No one minds a bit of help when it comes to banking. In a country like India, most people aren’t aware about the different taxes and how to pay them or how finances even work. These people may learn these tactics on the go managing their business but it helps to keep their hands free. This is exactly what Pi.TEAM aims to achieve with its interactive web based platform.Small and medium scale firms may be on the lookout for such aid for all their payments, invoices and other transactions.
Nikhil Jathar’s new venture,Pi.TEAM aids people with this. It helps firms manage their payments, keep track of transactions and help understand customer and sales patterns. This can be used by any business owner without much difficulty. Targeting those in the service sector, this India and USA based business enterprise strives to reduce the need for accounting professionals by businessmen. It creates a single platform for activities of a businessman including invoicing, accounting and tax filings.
Pi.TEAM simplifies the whole accounting process by keeping track of your finances and helping you in maintaining the accounts of your firm. Most large companies have a dedicated accounting team to help with this work but small and medium firms cannot depend heavily on professionals who charge a lot. Pi.TEAMis truly a boon to these business owners and managers.
Having worked in the industry before, Nikhil realized an integrated ERP was what was needed by small businesses. But then he found out that outsourcing a team was not a good idea. He got into the development himself and the result in his new venture Pi.TEAM – Invoice & Accounting Simplified.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture?
Pi.TEAM (https://www.pi.team). To summarize Pi.TEAM lets you:
• Create awesome looking invoices, send payment due reminders in few seconds
• Accept payment online using net banking, credit card or debit card.
• Manage all business transactions, reconcile accounts and track expenses.
• Create sales dashboard, understand customer patterns. Predict revenues.
2.Who is your target Audience?
Small and Medium Scale Businesses. Especially those who are in the service industry e.g. architectural firm, co-working spaces, IT services firm etc.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) at & What are your target areas?
Pune, Maharashtra, India and Newark, Delaware, USA based.
4.What problems does your venture solve? What are your products or services?
We would like to remove need of an accountant by offering businesses a self help portal for compliance, tax filings and accounting – one single platform.
We have built a SaaS accounting solution with aim to make it hassle-free for the small businesses (e.g. consulting or IT services firms).
We offer intuitive UI that any customer can use without getting into the complication of accounting terminologies. Simple flows allow users to create invoices, ask for payments, manage inventory & expenses.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to an existence?
I have worked as SAP consultant for different companies with finance/accounting expertise for more than 8 years. While working I thought of this idea. However, my original idea was to develop a simple to use – integrated ERP system for the small businesses.
However, after working on it part time for more than a year,I realized that ERP is much complex and outsourcing a development team was super bad idea. That’s when I got myself full time into development and designed PI.TEAM from scratch in the last 3 months. We don’t have anything outsourced anymore.
People need what we are making because we are working with customers to build this product e.g. we offer bulk invoice upload feature not provided by any leading brand – this is based on the user feedback.
They need it because most important – we help them to improve their revenues.In addition Pi.TEAM improves their compliance, tax filing process and revenue by removing the need of an accountant. Accounting is extremely important but an always neglected area – we are mixing it with mainstream activities of any company.
6.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
I don’t have a co-founder.
7. How did you hire your first team members?
We are very lean and mean team. We have only 3 people. We hired the 1st person from the college internship program. Initially he was hired as an intern and later we converted him to full time employee.
8.What expansion plans are you looking at for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
By end of December 2017, our target is for 400+ paying customers with monthly recurring revenue of $ 10,000+. By March 2019, we target 10,000+ paying customers with monthly recurring revenue of $500k
9.Where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
Eventually we would like to be leader in the finance and accounting sector for the small and medium scale businesses. We would like to provide them complete end-to-end financial solutions e.g. one click tax filings. Plan is to offer other add-ons such as PAYROLL service along with accounting solutions.
10.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We haven’t raised any funding yet as we are completely bootstrapped. We have plans for funding as it will drastically help in our growth.
11.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
We hired wrong employees which was a complete waste. We not only lost the money but lost valuable time in training them. Lesson learned: hire only if you can’t deal with it even after 7 days a week. Otherwise don’t hire at all. At least in the initial stages this is very important. Less hiring hasn’t killed a company but more hiring has.
Another mistake we did was that we outsourced some of our work. Result – bad output, time and money lost. Lesson learned: don’t outsource. Period. If you want to survive in the ocean, learn swimming.
12. What have been your biggest challenges and learning so far?
My major challenge at the moment is to convince accounting people to use Pi.TEAM. Accounting people don’t trust new companies.For the same – we are working with customers to develop and design our product. Obviously we don’t need to follow all their suggestions but their real feedback is always helpful and can make or break the product.
13.Are you married, single or are you in a relationship?
14.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I play guitar and listen to music. I also like to play badminton. Fortunately we have nice badminton court nearby.
15.What’s your favorite food & holiday destination?
Holiday destination: definitely Goa. Fortunately, because of my previous job I had an opportunity to explore a lot of places.
Food: Mexican Burrito
16.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
My idol since childhood was and always been Bill Gates who needs no introduction. ZenDesk founder: MikkelSvane is the biggest motivator. His company is a great example of how any SaaS company should run.
17.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Work/life balance. Entrepreneurs know that balance isn’t achievable while employees are always looking for it. Other noticeable difference would be entrepreneurs thrive on risk; employees avoid it.
18.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I will start the company right out of college. Although work experience always helps but when you are just passed out of college your mind can accept new ideas easily. Apart from that I won’t change anything.
19.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Family/social life and running a startup at the same time is not easy. I am still learning to balance everything.
20.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I have done BE computer science from VIT, Pune. My family is into medicine distribution business.
21.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Small businesses want to save money and reduce human errors as much as possible. Goal of the Pi.TEAM is to remove accountant from the picture. Other companies offer bookkeeping products but to use them you still need some accountant help. However, with Pi.TEAM they can file taxes, comply with regulations even if they don’t have any accounting background.Xero, Quick-books, Zoho Books, Wave apps – these are few of our competitors. We fear the Quick-books most. We think their different products line & functionality depth can offer seamless experience to users.
22. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Themselves. With some patience and persistence – startup can find way out of any mess. However, if we are over or under confident then they become the biggest threat.
23. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
No, we are not even close to the success. We have long long way to go.
24.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
AvanSaber Inc, 2035 Sunset Lake RD Suite B-2, Newark DE, 19702 US
Phone no. +1 408 398 6759 & +91 9420998746
Website: https://www.pi.team – invoicing & accounting simplified
Contact Person: NIKHIL JATHAR