Vinod Subramanian is the Chief Executive Officer at Logo InfoSoft Business Technology Pvt Ltd. A graduate from IIT Kharagpur, he is a business leader who with 24 years of experience in the IT industry has brought a unique vision to Logo Infosoft. Vinod has been spearheading operations since Logo Infosoft’s establishment in India in 2017. A thorough professional, he has helped craft a strategic direction for Logo InfoSoft that has captured the attention of leading Indian Corporates across sectors such as chemical, FMCG, pharmaceutical, and SMEs and resulted in the creation of a capable core team that promotes Logo’s brand and solutions in India. He has been leading the way in the quest to digitize India by engaging with regulatory bodies and GSPs to contribute to government’s MSME automation initiatives and the Digital India mission.
In an interview with Shweta Papriwal, Editor, indiainfoline.com, Vinod Subramanian said, “We have 35+ years of experience and have seen the evolution of GST in Europe and the adoption of technology by the SEMs. The next set of GST reforms in India is e-invoicing.”
Tell us about the business proposition of Logo Infosoft and its legacy?
Logo is uniquely positioned, being the only software products company, which offers ERP software and GST/TAX solutions. We offer products offering GST Compliant Business Solutions to, MSME’s, SME’s and the Trader community.
Logo is the market leader in the ERP space and the #1 player in the e-Invoice solutions in South-Eastern Europe. Many of the economies in South-Eastern Europe are developing economies and similar to India and the back office to Europe for all manufacturing operations. In one of the South-Eastern European country’s GST was rolled-out in 2010 and has grown to become a 2 billion e-invoices market in 2018. India’s GST roll-out in 2017 provided an opportunity for global software vendors like Logo to enter the Indian market, which has the potential in terms of taxpayers and compliance requirements. Logo brings its robust European GST experience to Indian SME’s with operations starting 2 years back.
Who are your target audience?
MSME & SMEs, trader communities and newly registered taxpayers under GST.
How do you see the level of GST readiness in Indian businesses? How can it be improved?
India has rolled out GST from 1st July 2017, and reporting as per the draft formats was designed at HSN level, but based on the feedback received from the trade and industry, the Government has moved to the transaction level reporting and also not implemented matching. After two years of rollout of GST now, the Government is keen to implement both the things as it has observed the leverage given is being misused by a few sections of the trade and industry. As part of it, it has rolled out E-waybills and now the Government is planning to implement the e-invoices, which is time tested and implemented in many countries across the globe.
With matching in place from Oct 2019, the taxpayers have to change their business process & carefully choose their partners. In case if their partners do not file the returns, then the MSMEs cannot take input credit, which will be a loss for them. To have total control of the business transactions, MSMEs can use any of the Accounting and Billing solutions like Vyapari, which are being given as free to MSMEs having turnover less than Rs 1.50 crs in the initial period and move towards digitalization. MSME’s can download the app on his mobile and register his business. Users can enter the GSTIN number, the system authenticates his details from GSTN, and complete accounting setups are automated With a few clicks, he can populate his party data from previous filings with GSTN. Without investing in hardware or storage, he can do his transactions, give access to his Accountant or tax practitioner to check the accounts and generate GST reports in one single click.
Vyapari is based on the DIY approach. It is very simple and user-friendly without any jargon. It has a unique proposition of chatbot for product support. Users can learn, explore and implement using the chatbot.
What is the business model of Logo Infosoft?
Logo brings in innovative and proven software which leverages cloud and mobile to empower SMEs at frugal cost. We are a product company and invest deeply in R&D to build accounting and GST rules, integrate with banks and financial institutions, mobile POS devices and one-click filing to GSTN.
For example, our solution, Vyapari, is offered on the cloud in a subscription model currently priced at INR 499/- per month for 5 users. Partnering with the GSTN we are also offering one user with basic functionality for free to the MSME (below 1.5 crore turnover) working closely with IRIS GSP.
What are the key USPs of Logo Infosoft vis a vis competitors?
Logo brings advanced technology that works in real life and at a scale. We have proven solutions where we continue to innovate. We observe the trends in the economy and try to think a few years ahead. We bring competence and learnings from the European experience, thus, delivering software on the cloud, at affordable pricing to Indian SMEs.
There are many companies globally that provide Billing, Accounting, ERP, and others that provide GST solutions. But Logo provides both. Logo Vyapari is thus a unique product, results of decades of ERP expertise from Europe coupled with sophisticated GST capability.
We are bringing unprecedented simplicity of automation to SMEs. SMEs can today click a few buttons on their mobile to generate an invoice to a customer. That’s it. In another two clicks, their GST filings are out fully automated. They don’t need to worry about accounting entries. That is the simplicity that customers have been dreaming. It is a reality today.
We have open APIs for partners to integrate their services. We will bring in AI and ML to improve user experience. We will work closely with regulatory bodies on eInvoices front, with fintechs and on open banking front to simplify SME lending. We are working with academia to build technology skills.
There have been warnings about fake GST invoices. What is your take on the problem? How can it be solved?
In the implementation of any tax regime, there will be certain challenges, and the system will improve based on the challenges faced over a while. In India, GST is hardly two years old, and with the diverse culture and geography, it is expected, and the Government is more or less successful in curbing this menace by way of introduction of e-waybills and reconciliation and proposing to introduce the e-invoices and rollout of simplified returns. Once these are in place, the problem will be solved to a larger extent, and the Government is also using data analytics at the backed basis of the returns filed to detect frauds and tax evasion.
What are your views on e-invoices?
e-Invoicing is real-time. It provides real-time visibility of all the commercial transactions to the regulator. In an ideal scenario, an e-Invoice would capture all line item level details of an invoice and all critical elements of the invoice, which determines the tax applicable like HSN Codes, Material or Service descriptions, quantity, and unit of measure, etc.
By definition, an Electronic Invoice will be defined as an Invoice that is issued and received in electronic format. During the life cycle of the invoice, i.e., from the issuance of the invoice until the end of the archiving period, the invoice must remain legible. Non-Repudiation of the invoice is critical - an Assurance that someone cannot deny something.
How are you helping SMEs adapt to compliance rules? Do you have any special programs for building GST awareness?
Reconciliation is implemented only a few days back, as there was some amount of input tax credit being claimed by a section of the taxpayers fraudulently. For the reconciliation process to happen seamlessly and correctly, digitalization is the way where the SME’s can adopt to save time and be fully GST compliant. Logo is offering a wide range of products & solutions (integrated & standalone) at a very frugal price, which can be easily absorbed by them. All the products and solutions are GST Compliant and are hosted on AWS, India, on a secured environment, and the SME’s can access data any given point of time for decision making and monitoring even out of office also.
We run workshops and knowledge sessions at regional and urban grounds to explain GST related questions, help, and guide business owners to South-Eastern to digital systems like Vyapari regularly.
We also make the graduates readily employable by running a certification course on GST and usage of our products. Training is provided by experienced and eminent personnel through a collaboration with the colleges across India.
What are the different solutions Logo Infosoft offers to companies?
Logo Infosoft’s solutions constitute a customizable and mutually complementary product family. Its offerings include enterprise resource management for automating and optimizing distribution networks at scale, Billing and Accounting solutions for SMEs and Micro SMEs, and a set of solutions for automating GST reporting, eReconciliation, and integrating seamlessly to e-Invoices, eWay Bills, etc.
Vyapari is a cloud-based billing and accounting solution, with multi interface access points (Mobile, Web, and Desktop) Users can access it from any location. The product has both sales and purchase functionalities, in addition to maintaining stocks and prices. Generating a Sales invoice is easy, the user needs to pick the party, and the item, prices, and related taxes are auto-calculated. The invoice can be shared through email or WhatsApp or printed through a connected device. In addition to regular cash transactions, collection through debit or credit cards is auto reconciled when used in a mobile POS device. Since the complete accounting is fully real-time and automated, the user can generate his GSTR-1 reports anytime, and it will fully reflect the sales (in the example above), including Invoice sequencing number, HSN based summary, B2B/B2C classification, etc. The same applies to all GSTR reports; it is completely real-time and fully automated.
What are your future plans - Business, Non business and technology?
We have 35+ years of experience and have seen the evolution of GST in Europe and the adoption of technology by the SEMs. The next set of GST reforms in India is e-invoicing. As a pioneer in the segment, we can switch on this functionality for our customers and provide seamless integration.
Alongside, to create an integrated business ecosystem. We are further integrating Vyapari with banks and lending institutions, android based mobile POS. Some of the largest enterprises are demanding complete integration of their distributors and retail outlets, their SME suppliers, and service providers. Enterprise Vyapari provides a private version of Vyapari with tight integration with its existing ERP system and helping the enterprise supply chain becoming digital.