The journey: From an Accountant to a Co-founder
As Prakash witnessed the journey of ERPNext unfold from v5 to v13, his hard work earned him the title of a Co-founder.
At Frappe we strictly disown the culture of Sir and Ma’am, for we don’t believe in labeling teammates just for the namesake. Indians have this habit of using ‘ji’ ahead of an elder person’s name as a token of respect and with him, it’s the same case. He is the eldest serving member of the Frappe family hence it comes naturally for us to address him as Prakashji.
Before the company was called Frappe, it was known as Web Notes and provided customized software. Prakash ji was referred to by the father of Rahul Seth - Marketing Director at Webnotes. Before Frappe, Prakash ji spent 15 years of his life working with TATA Steel in the accounts department along with Rahul’s father who found him extremely honest and a hardworking employee.
On 27th April 2009, Prakash joined as an Administrative Officer where he started looking after administration, accounts, and secretarial tasks. He has seen the team grow from 6 to 100, Charts of Accounts evolved right from his first year to date. Modules like buying, selling, and stock were added later.
Learning goes a long way
When he joined the organization, there were 5 employees including him, Rushabh, Umair, Nabin, Anand, and the office was situated in Bandra. He was well versed with Tally and had hands-on experience in maintaining the books of accounts. But his system knowledge was zero. Switching from manual to automated calculation was not easy.
There used to be an app called Support app which was developed in-house. Through this app, Prakash ji and Umair (who is also a Co-founder now) used to manage support. Customer requirements made them understand the modules on a deeper level.
They used to share the screen with customers and resolve their queries. If the customers had all of their queries resolved, they were happy to subscribe for the ERPNext product and Prakash ji used to wait for their mails and messages. Payment hitting the bank bought a lot of joy, it was all because of their good support that the customer was glad to subscribe.
The before and after story of using the system
Those were the days when the payment used to get credited on the portal or through Razorpay, and Prakash ji used to approach different customers and team members to trace the payees. Eventually, when they graduated from the repetition of manual work to automated they could successfully fix the process, and work became more system-driven.
While the modules were being developed, he used to manage around 20-30 invoices per month for the payments. During that period, our monthly SAAS plan was available at $7$ (per user) with selling, accounting, and buying modules. And today we are charging around $26 which covers almost all the modules, you name it and we have it. Customizations have a separate fan base, he adds.
To him, all the modules look magical. Personally, he likes the asset module. Earlier they used to have entries of the purchase invoice via purchase module only, but now he doesn’t have to do any excel work. If he is buying any asset, and the system covers the whole module, from the system you can generate the report of all the invoices and the transactions are reflected from day 1. Systems take care of the same. For example, if he is giving a laptop to any teammate, the system helps him with the report as to whom the laptop is assigned.
Enhancement of modules in Accounting Management System
Since he has first-hand experience working with the accounting management system, he tries to throw some light and shares knowledge about a few modules and how it is helping him resolve the complexities on a day-to-day basis.
CRM has evolved and so did the Buying and Selling modules. The customers can create opportunities, and after creating a quotation in the system, the sales order is generated.
(Opportunity in CRM)
In the early days, there was no payment gateway integration, and payments used to be wired independently and entered manually. Later as volumes increased, the engineering team added a payment gateway integration for customers to directly pay online. The entire payment cycle is taken care of by the system, only the first approval needs to be done manually which is at the time of invoicing.
Similar is the case with GST. Earlier there was a system of service tax and later GST came into the picture. A shift from the manual calculation of Tax to the system capturing each detail carefully is hygienic.
Success came with trust and hard work
Isn’t it nostalgic and beautiful to have spent a larger part of your life in an organization that trusts you and makes sure that your success is equally given attention to, with all due respect?
For Prakash to climb the ladder of success was not easy and he earned it through his hard work. He didn’t see the title of a Co-founder coming on his way, not even in his wildest dreams. Upon asking, how does it feel to be honored with this position? He softly says “it’s overwhelming!”. He adds, Rushabh has been a great motivator and I appreciate his thinking. Never had he asked for anything from Rushabh, I feel extremely happy and shocked at the same time to be considered worthy of being titled as a Co-founder. Salary is a different story, he says, if you work hard money will come to you, but holding on to people and work when there are losses, that dark time shows who you are.”
When he shared this news with his wife and kids, his wife said “It's your hard work which came back to you in the form of success”.
Being an avid learner, he is learning from the younger teammates at Frappe and is surprised to see how intelligent the younger generation at Frappe is. He is happy to learn from them and loves to share his knowledge at the same time. He is working with the Engineers, Deepesh and Saqib to improve the report generation in the system. He wants himself and the team to be proactive in incorporating new policies as per the Government standards so that our customers don’t face any challenges. He is also grateful to Nabin (Co-founder at Frappe), because Nabin has largely contributed to ERPNext and its growth.
Well, the team is proud to have him as the most trustworthy member of Frappe and is looking forward to his honest contribution.