“In the next 6 to 12 months, people will see a lot of interesting developments in myBillBook”: Rahul Raj, CEO and Founder of FloBiz

Founded in 2019 by IIT & BITS alumni, FloBiz is a fast-growing startup backed by renowned global investors like Sequoia Capital India, Think Investments, Elevation Capital, and Beenext. FloBiz is India’s first neo-business platform that aims to accelerate the growth of small & medium enterprises through digitization. The brand launched its flagship product myBillBook early last year.

In an exclusive interaction with MI, Rahul Raj, CEO, and Founder of FloBiz take us through the working model of their maiden product myBillBook. He also speaks closely about their first campaign “Business Ko Le Seriously” and its strategies. Rahul Raj is an Integrated M.Sc. degree holder from IIT Kharagpur. Prior to this, Rahul has founded/co-founded as many as 3 start-ups in his seemingly short career span of just 6 years and is working towards accelerating the growth of small & medium enterprises through digitization.

Read the excerpts here:

Q) What are the different services that Flobiz provides? Tell us more about the product myBillBook.

Rahul: FloBiz is the umbrella banner under which we are building a bunch of products and services that ultimately aims to help the Indian small business grow. We are building a Neobank for small and medium businesses. Our overall idea is to provide digital products, tools, and curated services including value-added and financial services that can help small businesses grow.

Our only flagship product is called myBillBook is already available on both Android and Desktop. myBillBook is a GST, billing, and accounting that helps businesses to keep a record for all different kinds of business transactions. For example: automate and manage the payables and receivables, maintain inventory properly. It also helps with 25 (approximately) business-critical reports, including GSTR reports. We have more than 1.1 billion monthly active users on myBillBook who record more than $1.1 billion worth of trades on the product every month. We aim to distribute the product to as many businesses in the country as possible and begin to offer curated financial services directly via the myBillBook interface as well.

Also Read: SMB Neobank FloBiz Ropes In Manoj Bajpayee As Brand Ambassador For MyBillBook

Q) What are the key locations where you are targeting.

Rahul: myBillBook is a pan India product and we have users from every nook and corner of the country.

South: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka.

West: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan

North: Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi NCR

East: West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand.

We also have users over the Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands. These states act as a sizable market for us. The app is currently available in English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Tamil. In the next six months (approximately), we will be adding five more vernacular languages to it.

Q) Please share more demographic details.

There is a sizable male queue in terms of the user base. Also, there is a huge crowd of the younger population on our app, which is also considered as people aged 55 or 60 plus are not much tech-savvy. So we see slightly lesser adoption among old people. Considering other factors, we see a large part of our user base is nonretail. There are wholesalers, distributors, traders, small manufacturers, stockiest, etc. There is also an emerging category using our app pretty well are the tech startups and services sector. We focus on GST registered businesses which sets a benchmark of 40-50 lakhs plus annual turnover. Therefore, these businesses find good use of our app because of their GST registration and compliance.

Q) How is the overall business work considering the fact that India is still recovering from the pandemic?

Rahul: Surprisingly, we had a large part of user acquisition happen during the lockdown period through digital and affiliate channels. So, when other businesses, primarily where they had the physical infrastructure, might have had a little bit of trouble in the pandemic. Whereas our business was fully digital, we were able to switch to a fully remote work setup. We also saw a massive uptick and the adoption of our product. This was fueled by a bunch of reasons, including but not limited to the pandemic itself, where people began to realize the need of going digital and adopting software for streamlining their business operations and staying operational. But also because adoption of digital transactions saw a push due to GST compliance. These were the reasons for our growth despite the pandemic. In fact, after the first launch of our product in January 2020, we have seen more than 1.1 billion monthly active businesses who are using it. In less than 2 years, our app is one of the top-rated under the business category on Google Play Store, where we have been rated 4.6 stars along with 90,000 product reviews. So our product has seen scale and adoption because small businesses like its quality and customer service.

Rahul Raj, Founder CEO FloBiz

Q) What is the process of education to reach out to businesses?

Rahul: It’s a lot of effort to reach out to small businesses. We try all channels that we think are worthwhile for experimenting and whichever channel begins to show good results, we begin to scale that channel. As of now, we have all kinds of infrastructure for acquisition via digital channels, like Google ads, Facebook ads, and affiliate marketing. We also have a sales team that takes care of the direct selling to businesses in respective cities where there is high contrast concentration of businesses. Now we are finding innovative ways of distributing the products both digital and offline.

Also Read: FloBiz Awards Its Communications Mandate To Perfect Relations

Q) Tell us more about the campaigns and their strategies.

Rahul: The strategy was pretty simple. We were quite sure that the branding campaign has to align with the mission of the organization. Our aim is to be able to help small businesses grow with technology and digitization. We also wanted to make sure that small businesses understand the core value proposition of the product. We found Mr. Manoj Bajpayee the relatable personality, a classic example of being self-made. He could deliver the message in an interesting and understandable manner. There was a huge option that we had to consider while choosing celebrities. How we could leverage their personalities to be able to communicate our message and core offering of the product. For us, Mr. Manoj was quite an ideal candidate. He also has a wide mass appeal, especially among the male audience. He also has enough popularity among the Hindi-speaking market. We wanted to leverage all of these qualities to communicate with our campaign. Apart from selection, we wanted to entertain people while speaking about our core value proposition.

I think it came out very beautifully. This was an incredible effort by the FloBiz team and we got great support from the agencies, Manoj Bajpayee’s team. Tilt Brand Solutions helped with the conceptualization, production, and delivery of the campaign. Mr. Satyajeet Kadam did a classic job at capturing the entire essence and the personality effect of Mr. Manoj. So strategically it came together beautifully to deliver poignant messaging in such an entertaining manner.

Q) As the campaign is already live. What kind of response are you receiving for the same?

Rahul: The response is incredible. We are receiving appreciation messages from everywhere. People are congratulating us on the maiden campaign. It has seen wide adoption on digital platforms where the films were released. Apart from that people are appreciating the strategies of the campaign too. We began to see an uptick in the product being used. There is also an uptick in the number of people who are searching and downloading the product. There is a rise in interest from startups and the corporate community. It helped us to reach out to quality talent as a growing fintech startup based in Bangalore.

So I think the purpose of the maiden campaign seems to be working. Although, it’s a little early because it was launched on the 24th and 25th of October. But the early signals are pretty healthy and heartening.

Q) What are the future plans and programs?

Rahul: Yes, there are ambitious and audacious future plans. We want to become the best billing and accounting product that is used by all small businesses in the country. We hope to continue to deliver product quality and delight with our impeccable customer service consistently. The objective is to continue having massive product velocity. Create new products, identify new services, run as many experiments and pilots as we can, and continue to deliver the promise of being able to help small businesses grow.

We hope to increase our growth trajectory rapidly. In the next 6 to 12 months, people will see a lot of interesting developments in myBillBook. Hopefully, 2022 is going to be an interesting year.

Also Read: Google For India Launches New Video Creation Feature

Q) Are there any other products in the pipeline?

Rahul: There are a bunch of ongoing things. We have just kicked off our Fintech road map. So far, we delivered a great experience on the software product. We will create more personalized and vertical-specific features on the billing and accounting product. There are a lot of projects on the financial services and Fintech offering which we will continue to roll out. We will pilot them initially to select cohorts of users and then mass roll out it over time.

You can begin to hear announcements as soon as the first quarter of 2022. These are the interesting things that the team is currently working and we will soon be in a position to make public announcements for them.

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