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CIO Review >> Magazine >> August - 2013 issue

NetProphets: Believing in "Ideas before Execution"

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It is estimated that the total retail sales in India will grow from $395.96 billion in 2011 to $785.12 billion by 2015, according to reports by the Business Monitor International (BMI) India Retail. The organized retail in India is also posed to leap to phenomenal numbers in a few years and on the back of this growth are associated opportunities in every aspect of retail. NetProphets Cyberworks Pvt. Ltd., an Integrated Business Solutions provider, chose to grab this fortuity to build integrated retail software from PoS (Point of Sale) to customer intelligence to serve this organized retail sector for international players in the space.
Founded in 2000, NetProphets is headquartered in Noida and stands with a mission to design and develop custom software and offer products and solutions for specific market verticals. The company, ever since its evolution, has been a firm believer in the philosophy of "Ideas before Execution", an idea which has not changed over the years. However, this philosophy today is more critical for its own growth than it was earlier. The Software industry has undergone two low and high cycles since the year 2000, and today it has settled into a phase where clients want more investment in time, energy and even resources from their technology partners. "Here is where we need to invest; the ideas and time we can give our clients to engage with us allows us the opportunity to help their businesses grow with ideas," says Saurabh Rajpal, Director, NetProphets.

With increased competition, the scenario has changed. Clients are seeking a lot more from services firms. NetProphets has tried to rise to the challenges of technical execution, however the irony is that with expansion of teams they often need to go back to their philosophy and first convert their people and then their clients. Currently addressing the middle level-enterprise market, the company provides only custom software solutions and hence is addressing the needs of such clients who are expanding their bases and looking for innovative, custom automation for their business processes.

Fabindia’s success story proves the dedicated services that NetProphets offer to their clients. When nine years back Fabindia was struggling with their limited product offering and were retailing via 35 stores across the country, they turned towards NetProphets to be their sole IT partner. A dedicated team of professionals from NetProphets undertook at business process re-engineering exercise to first streamline processes adopted at that time. This helped Fabindia to increase their turnover by more than 50 percent year-on-year for the next three years. Today, Fabindia retails out of a total 172 stores across the country with a turnover crossing Rs.600 crore.

The Major Challenges!

During the time when NetProphets just began their journey in 2000, there was a great deal of optimism around the idea of digital technologies. Many startups were born at that time in the software technology space. NetProphets found that while there were providers for larger enterprises , the small and middle organizations were left behind with the need for custom technology development. Finding this gap, NetProphets patiently carved a niche for themselves within the industry.
However, they found it quite difficult during the initial days to get committed people. “We were building a team and needed absolute commitment with the zest and zeal of joining a start-up with no credentials. That’s not easy. Luck has a lot to do with such situations as does patience and perseverance,” adds Rajpal. NetProphets got the team and slowly built on it with small work to attract the brands that were looking for a young, dynamic, flexible and quick to respond company. Headed by Amitabh Vira, the company has an employee strength of over 120 professionals serving several startups and established brand names such as Fabindia, Airtel, Genpact, Reckitt Benckiser, and BBC World among several others who form a part of their clientele.

A firm believer in innovation and constant renovation of technological needs of the market, NetProphets is currently addressing the challenges of how to double the sale of a retail chain in 5 years; implement an IPTV solution for a company in a more broadband friendly market; and drive greater media efficiencies for FMCG brands using web-technologies. They have already started consolidating this knowledge and converting them into new business opportunities.

The Road map Ahead

The company offers Business Intelligence and Enterprise Solutions for the retail industry, telecom, media and online ecommerce.
With a vision of "limited scale with unlimited skill", NetProphets wants to go from a projects company to a consulting company where they will continue to sell ideas before their technologies. "We want to be able to work with our clients who are seeking ideas on how to grow, impact customers better and how to make processes more seamless among a host of other entities," adds Rajpal. Having over a decade of experience within the industry, the company has created depth in their work experience by working with clients who have given NetProphets both confidence and insights on what clients may need.