In order to take Tally Solutions to new heights and give more power of Tally product to the users, the company launched TallyPrime in the midst of pandemic. In an exclusive interview with CRN India, Tejas Goenka, Managing Director, Tally Solutions, who spearheads the Research, Engineering, Product Management, Strategy, and Business Development functions shares detailed plans of transformation journey of Tally India
Traditionally, Tally is a physically present focused company. How has remote working brought changes to the work culture of Tally?
Our company is actually a very physically present company, there are two core businesses of the company- one is the sales side and the other is the development side. From a development philosophy as a company, it is very important to have face to face interaction. We use a lot of whiteboards for design and things like this. We never really encouraged work from home or remote work too much in the past. Our first big challenge was just how to get 900 people to suddenly work from home without any big productivity impact, and effectively the team has done a fabulous job in just being able to sustain the kind of momentum that we had before the pandemic.
The second big thing is from our partners’ side. Our partners like many businesses in India are small businesses and they sustain themselves on the availability of employees, the skills of their employees and their ability to serve customers, largely physically. We had encouraged them to use this opportunity to become a digital first company. They were able to get our customers served using all standard innovative methods. WhatsApp, Zoom, Teams, many of these video conferencing tools became obviously popular at that time.
In the midst of pandemic, TallyPrime was launched. Could you share the overall product journey and its market acceptance?
I have been working on a bunch of projects before the pandemic. Over the last three years, what has really kept us busy is just making sure that India and Indian businesses can be compliant with GST. We had shifted our focus as soon as the GST law was announced. We shifted our focus now to taking stock of what we have done over the last 30 years and our intent pre-pandemic was to be able to roll out a new product, called TallyPrime in November 2020 and that despite the pandemic, we have not seen too much delay here or there really in developing the product. One of our big focuses post this pandemic is realising the fact that we can deliver and we can deliver a lot faster. We can deliver across a lot much bigger diversity. Our first goal was that can we take TallyPrime. It allows us to consolidate the experiences that we have delivered over the last 30 years. It has gone from accounting to inventory, payroll, compliance, banking, MIS a bunch of things that you can do now in the product, which were not there 15 to 20 years ago. Today, the application is residing totally within the four walls of our company. We make our own core technology and we build our application on top of that and every once in a while. We are throwing away all our old code and building now for the future and the way we see the future is that it is a cloud enabled future, there is no question about it.
We redesigned everything to make it easier for first time businesses to purchase the product, use the product and actually benefit a lot more from the product. If you were using 20 per cent before, you can now use 40 per cent without even knowing it and benefit that much more. One of our focuses has been certainly on the product side. Every quarter we are intending to deliver valuable for our customers. We took that forward with the next release of it at the end of December for E-voicing compatibility. While we have been increasing our digital spends and digital approach.
You said that Tally is moving away from old codes and building next generation solutions or applications. Can you share the product roadmap?
We are the preferred choice for most small businesses when they choose to automate the back office and most people end up using Tally for what it was 20 years ago. They don’t get the full power out of it. TallyPrime was made to give the ease of use for anybody to use it and really extract the full power of Tally. It is not meant to be a path breaking change. It is meant to lay a foundation on which we will be able to deliver these other experiences. The application layer is what we have changed, the engine is still being changed and once you see the engine changed it will showcase actually what the magic can be.
The next decade in the company’s future is a very bright one as we are taking right bets and making bold innovations. Very rarely for example you will find a company who is willing to throw away 30 years’ worth of work and risk everything for an unknown product, but in this business, it is super important. That foundation was laid by my grandfather and my father. We are taking that forward. We are looking at international markets very aggressively compared to what we have seen in the past. We will be taking big bets in international markets, which we have not done before. We will be moving away from a single product company. Today, we only sell a product called TallyPrime. We sell it in two versions: TallyPrime Silver and TallyPrime Gold, but we pretty much only sell this. We will see a slightly different version of Tally tomorrow. We will see different products catering to different audiences. The foundation is what we are laying right now that will allow us to rapidly grow.
From the leadership point of view, how do you look at the positioning of Tally down the line. What are your broad plans for Tally’s growth?
Out of 70 million businesses that exist, I would say we cater to the segment that requires needs to comply with either income tax or GST. Basically, it has a need to maintain their books of accounts and that group is between I would say estimated between 8 to 12 million. In that, every year that we do our market surveys, approximately 80 per cent such companies use Tally, different surveys will give you any number between 70 to 90. Let us take a middle ground and say 8 out of 10 businesses use Tally. Most of those businesses use pirated Tally because only 2 million businesses have paid us.
The second big area that we want to move out into is move from the back office to the front office and we see a very large open space that many businesses have been trying to get to the kirana, the pharmacy, automate the endpoint and we think we will do a better job than most simply because we are willing to go down and create a lot of technologies that most people don’t have the knowhow to do or are not willing to do. The third is, we will start adding more services in the Tally product. We may look at possibly getting into financial services and insurance services. These are additional avenues that we are kind of exploring to see how else we can add value to our customers.