This Entrepreneur is Bridging Small Business Technology Gap
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Bengaluru-based G7 CR Technologies India headed by CHRISTOPHER RICHARD is among the most prominent small business technology enablers in India. It helps SMEs with free custom application development for their business process automation even as SMEs pay only hosting charges. The company has built over a dozen applications like payment tracking system, leave management system, and recruitment management system. Richard details out more about his vision for SMEs.
From a freelance IT consultant to running G7 CR Technologies, how the transition happened?
I started as a technology consultant for leading brands like Microsoft and Accenture. I was brought in as a technology consultant at G7 InfoTech, part of G7 Group of companies and helped it to become a 700-people company. I took over that company in 2012 and rebranded it to G7 CR Technologies India. The organization has seen a growth of 500 per cent with 100 per cent customer retention. I am also the President of Karnataka Small & Medium Business Owners Association to empower, enable and support SMEs.
What differentiates you from existing software development businesses?
We are the only company globally offering software development for SMEs at no cost. Also the charges for hosting are as low as Rs 2k-6k per month. We manage the entire life cycle of digitalizing an SME, starting with building affordable technology solutions, driving adoption and extending support services. Our earning comes from the incentives paid by cloud service providers. My aim is to bring a disruptive change in the technology industry and offer innovative technology solutions to every SME.
So how do you derive value for yourself?
Deriving value can be subjective to every business. You can only focus on your growth by extracting maximum from your customer or you can do that by making your growth a part of their growth. We choose latter. We have delivered smart technology solution for over 300+ businesses. Since our earnings are from the cloud incentives, each time our customer acquires a new customer or adds an employee, our revenue grows.
GST has opened up tremendous opportunity for software development. Have you tapped onto it?
Yes, we are working with a handful from the first batch of GST Suvidha Providers (GSP) who have hosted with us. We are engaging with two dozen from the second batch. We work with 270 SMEs who are very small in size whom we bill as low as Rs 600 per month. They might not be on radar of large corporations or GSPs but certainly on ours. We have initiated strategic engagement with GSPs to help these SMEs leverage an economical technology platform.
Any innovative solution you are coming up with?
We have built a revolutionary learning platform called ‘Machine for Learning’ (M4L) which had over 2,000 active users in 60 days of its launch. It gives you virtual machines of any size with the software required for practice preinstalled on it. A lot of investment and maintenance is required otherwise by engineering colleges and corporate to set up such labs for practical training purposes. The charges for using the platform are on pay-as-you-go basis with only per minute billing. In addition, it can be accessed 24*7 from any location and device. M4L is built to help businesses cut capital expenditure, nullify hardware depreciation and administrative efforts.
(This article was first published in the August issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)