Hi, I am CA Himanshu Osatwal, Indian Chartered Accountant by Qualification and Founder of MyTask, India’s Most Popular Practice & Office Management Software for Chartered Accountants and Tax Practitioners.
Legal Deadlines in India can be very stressful. Consider a practical example, say, there is a Chartered Accountant (CA) practicing in India with a staff of 10 and providing various services like income tax, GST, audit, etc. Based on actual factual data, on average a firm of this size normally provides about 5000 services in a year out of which typically 60% of services i.e about 3000 services have legal deadlines spread in 4 months (July to October) of the year. Hence, 60% of the work has to be done 35% of the time. Problem gets even worse because about 50% of clients turn up in the last 15 days of the legal deadline. So, approximately practically 1500 services have to be provided in 15 Days !. A Practicing Professional can now understand the pain and can understand why services management is very important.
Moreover, the articles/staff attrition rate is about 30% each year, hence considerable time is also spend on staff training.
Some of the major management challenges in the practice that comes before him are:
- How is he keeping detailed tracking of all running services?
- How he would know which of his staff is working on what service?
- Is he able to complete all jobs within the legal due date, considering its penal provisions?
- If he is not able to complete certain jobs due to pending information at the client end, is he or his staff has informed such matters the client?
- Is he able to determine the cost of each service?
- Is he able to bill all completed Services?
- Is he able to timely collect its dues?
- Has he billed all out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the client?
- Does his staff generate the required output in a limited time with the first focus on priority jobs?
- In case anything happens, does he have the required evidence to convince the client that he has done his job to the best of his efforts?
That’s Where MyTask removes your stress and gives you peace of mind by answering all questions.
MyTask is a problem-solving product. We are growing in terms of Revenue at a pace of 60% annually.
What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?
Back in later 2015, when I completed my training and joined my father’s practice, I was made in charge to handle voluminous 4000 income tax returns. In my training, I worked only on 2-3 clients in full-year now I had to handle 4000 clients in just 3-4 months of the span. It was really tough. Tried Excel, manual methods everything but none could succeed. I just mentioned one-word “handle” but let's look few at what all things needed to be handled :
- To know which all services are completed and which are pending
- To know what information is pending at the client end to complete the service
- To know which of my staff is working on which service
- To give status to clients as to which of his services are completed and which are pending and why they are pending
- To chase clients early who have not turned up so that there is a lesser backlog in the last days of the due date
- At each interval to track the progress of work, track staff utilization, and many more such problems
Then thought that it can only be achieved by software, searched the market for the available software, there was generic task management software but couldn’t found a practical, industry-specific, and cost-effective solution.
Discuss your idea with the people you trust, identify the ifs and buts, list them out, make a plan and solution for each question, identify the financial and other resources you have, make a chart for resources you need.
Then in later 2016, had an idea to develop, partnered with one of our technical client Mr. Kshitiz Bharti and thought of developing in-house software for our own office.
Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?
Having an idea to develop software was easy but its implementation was really tough
The need was very clear, but how to do it wasn’t clear.
Then Thought of, had it been done manually what all things would be required to achieve the desired management and control assuming that volume was not 4000 but just 40, because 4000 was just a replica of 40 unique cases identified.
Basically, a bigger problem was divided into smaller pieces.
Created a list of solutions that are required. Compared it with actual on-ground practical logical working. Then tried to develop the business logic that should work on software.
Fortunately, I was good at excel, so I prepared an initial sketch on excel, as to what users will be required to enter, what reports will be required, what would be the flow from the inception of service delivery, etc. I remember the initial sketch took 2 months just to identify and convert the idea into the actual set of requirements.
We both (Me and my technical partner, Kshtiz) started with available resources and developed a prototype.
It failed, it failed miserably due to several reasons.
We never gave up, remade it, redesigned it, reworked on in. In a year we made 6-7 versions for its initial 1st version where a reasonable version was developed which somehow with great efforts was made to test in a live environment. Feedbacks from the live environment were implemented on a real-time basis but we were not taken seriously by many.
We were de-motivated several times by some internal and external factors and the first 2 years were really tough because we were putting energy, money, time and practically couldn’t see any material result. But yes we continued to work hard because we believed in ourself, our idea, our efforts, and our vision.
After 2 years of hard work, we launched our product. We made just 5 clients in 6 months, we listed their feedback carefully and again worked hard on their feedback.
When you give your soul in your work and work hard you get good people with you. We were fortunate to get Mr. Adit Dosi and Mr. Anil Dosi as our marketing head.
Gradually we could see results, more and more people wanted such management software and was having look at our software and was really appreciated our concept the way we captured the real working environment flow in software and yes in just 2 years we made 650+ clients with more than 7000+ unique users.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are doing pretty well today, growing our revenues annually at a pace of 60% each year.
In India, there are about 100k+ Practicing CA Firms out of which 98% of Firms are small and medium practitioners with staff strength less than 30. They lack the control mechanism to track their management problems.
MyTask is to help such professionals very well. Our clients have given us awesome reviews that are the report card of our efforts. You can read reviews here.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Yeah absolutely. Entrepreneurship is like a roller coaster, where you know ups and downs will come but in the end, if you sit carefully, you will enjoy it.
Few things which are very important which I learned throughout the process and I believe apply to each business alike and are very important in entrepreneurship:
- Deep understanding of the problem
- Devising the conceptual solution
- Breaking down of the solution into bigger and smaller milestones
- Design plan for each milestone
- Calculate & Gather resources for each milestone
- Implementation of the designed milestone with close monitoring.
- Readjusting your plan as per actual circumstances
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We believe in creating tools on our own rather than directly using them because, when we make it we make it exactly to meet our pinpoint needs.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Real-life people are an inspiration to us. Every day I try to learn from the real person around me if it logically impresses me.
I like to observe, if you observe people around you, you will notice each person is good at something. Just adapt 1 good habit from the people who are around you and you will notice gradually you have many good habits required to be a good person and good entrepreneur.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
My friends, don't start by just having an idea. In entrepreneurship idea just has the role of 1% but a successfully implemented idea has 99%.
Discuss your idea with the people you trust, identify the ifs and buts, list them out, make a plan and solution for each question, identify the financial and other resources you have, make a chart for resources you need. Plan with practicality, question yourself, argue yourself and convince yourself. Spend considerable enough time in planning and then start. Don't start just by having weak planning. But once you are done with your homework and you can reasonably answer your planning questions don’t hesitate to start and once you start don’t look back and believe in yourself, your planning and your efforts will definitely payback.
Where can we go to learn more?
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