How Deskera is helping SMBs get GST ready

Deskera Jul 07, 2017

Deskera Featured in ETCIO

In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera talks about the market opportunity that GST is creating for Deskera and how the company is gearing up to serve its SMB customer base.

Talk to us about the opportunity in this market and what Deskera has set out to do?

The Cloud model essentially means getting your application on the internet. Deskera brings the SMBs on the cloud. We get their accounts, finances and business processes on the cloud. We help them run their entire business processes from any device or form factor. With the current context of GST, it’s clear that the SMBs have to be on the cloud to be able to submit GST. So cloud becomes a very integral part of the whole GST discussion in India. To file a GST, an SMB will have to be on the cloud. An SMB that transacts will have to get its business on the cloud to be compliant with the tax code. Cloud also help run your business in a better way. If you look at the western markets, SMBs have been adopting cloud for a while now.

Deskera claims to be the first GST-compliant ERP in India? What are key challenges?

In this context, I would go a step ahead and mention that Deskera is the only company in India that understands GST because we have gone through the GST cycle in Singapore and Malaysia. We are very strong in these regions. Also, we are the only company that has experience in GST and SMB, both.
When it comes to GST, the only successful markets globally are in South Asia. Malaysia and Singapore are examples of successful GST implementations. So we are not only present but pioneering in the markets that have had GST for a while now. We work with SMBs in these markets so we know their issues, challenges, problems and have been successful in getting them compliant with GST. So Deskera is native to GST and is well aware of the GST challenges that SMBs face.Deskera enables seamless data migration from the old system to a GST-compliant system. We help SMBs in dealing with the complexity of the multi-layered tax regime. We enable them to maintain dynamism to cope with the changes in the legislative/judicial pronouncements.

How can you see GST adoption impacting SMBs?

We are native to the idea of GST. Although most of the people see GST as a tax, we don’t see it as one, we at Deskera see it as a debit-credit system. Let’s say you are a small company that buys Rs100 worth of goods for your manufacturing and you sell Rs 200 worth of goods. When you buy the goods, you are supposed to pay some GST and when you sell the goods, your customer is supposed to pay some GST. Now the good thing here is that in both these cases, these can be offset. So if you do proper documentation of your systems, you don’t have to pay any cash and the customer also doesn’t have to pay any tax or any additional items as long as they pass it on. So in this sense, GST is a very nice debit-credit system where cash is not encouraged and not needed as well. So, in a typical tax system like service tax or VAT, the system, is designed around charging you a tax irrespective of how you sell or how you produce that good in the supply chain. In GST, they encourage you to not pay the tax right then but to do the documentation. Hence, GST is a documentation system.

What kind of inroads are you making? What can we expect from Deskera?

Last week I met Vijay Shekhar, CEO, Paytm. We are essentially planning to solve a lot of issues that SMBs face. One of those issues is cash. So when you look at cash transactions, 90% of these transactions are done by SMBs. When you look at consumer cash, it’s only 5-10% and it’s not a big part of the cash cycle. The demonetization drive did not affect consumers as much as it affected SMBs. Hence, if we make an SMB use cashless mechanisms to pay their vendors or for equipment or receive payment from customers, then we will address a big challenge with cash. Through a partnership with somebody like Paytm, we try to bring those issues for SMBs. This will allow them to invoice completely using PayTM and get payments through our system.
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