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September 21, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Cloud Based Supply Chain Systems for the SME Marketplace and Marketing Systems for SME to Multibillion-Dollar Businesses



Ravi Srinivasan

President and CEO


Group FiO


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 21, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Srinivasan, what is Group FiO?

Mr. Srinivasan: We are a specialist in providing cloud based supply chain systems for the SME marketplace and marketing systems for SME to multibillion-dollar business.


CEOCFO: What do you understand about creating a system that is efficient, easy to use, cost effective and has what people need?

Mr. Srinivasan: There are usually three elements that are important when you build a system. The first element is that it must subscribe to the business process, because a system that does not support the business process is going to be fought all the way by the end users. The second element is the system must be able to integrate into an existing environment, such as other systems or business processes inside a company. If you cannot integrate into an environment, where there are other systems and business processes automation of processes will be difficult to achieve. The third element is the intuitiveness of the system and the software. This is critical because people understand actions that they need to take and a system should typically present itself in terms of what the user needs to do and what they need to take care of.


CEOCFO: Does a company come to you for an overhaul of their whole business processes or start with one area? What is a typical engagement?

Mr. Srinivasan: In a typical engagement, we would need to solve a key hot button area, with about three to four pain points that we attempt to address. As we address those, other areas may come into play or may not. It depends on what is possible within a particular business. We try to stay focused just on that single big initiative, deal with it, solve it and then when they are ready they will pick up additional pieces where we have competence and they have a need.


CEOCFO: Which of your solutions are currently getting the most traction?

Mr. Srinivasan: Our marketing solution is getting a great deal of traction, especially in medium to large enterprises. That is because we provide a unique solutions perspective where we encompass and deliver systems where in many cases the business needs three or four systems to solve their objectives. Because we are component based our customers like us because we can just replace one component to give them the ROI they seek and as their vision matures they can implement the rest of or modules when it makes sense to do so.


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your systems? What might a company use as they evolve?

Mr. Srinivasan: If I were to focus on the marketing suite that we have, the big pain point that most customers have today is that they have two or three systems that they need to go to, when they need to do their marketing. For example, they would have an email system, a business system, a CRM system, a Business Intelligence tool and probably a segmentation tool. What they enjoy about working with Group FiO is figuring out which one or two systems to replace on the first round so that they can get that benefit. That benefit could come simply from being able to segment customers based on various criteria, whether psychographic data or monetary data that they can use and get some ROI that they can invest in marketing. Many businesses need that additional marketing ROI, the only way that they will get it is by being sharper, and reducing the time that it takes to go from concept to execution. The only way that you can do that is by reducing the number of moving parts that they need to work with.


CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape?

Mr. Srinivasan: In general, in the cloud software suite, which is where we are engaged in, it is almost like the old Wild West. Anybody can claim anything and show a few simple screens, then claim that they can do everything. Therefore, you have to separate the riffraff from people that can actually deliver. In some ways, you have to figure out how you go about assessing if someone is able to execute for you. What we always recommend is that you ask whomever you are going to work with to demonstrate those specific modules that address your pain points. Then listen carefully to ensure they actually understand the business and implementation processes.  The team that works with the client needs to be able to prove they can deliver on their promises. Every company is well intentioned, but the marketing hype in cloud especially, is over blown when you compare it to actual capability and delivery.


CEOCFO: When you are talking to a prospective customer, can they easily see the depth of what you are doing?

Mr. Srinivasan: They would understand our depth after a couple of presentations, because many times you have to complete a discovery to uncover the actual pain points and then address those paint points. They tend to have assumptions, so you need to work your way through those assumptions to where the understanding is better. On too many occasions, sales teams tend to leave their prospects with perceptions that are superficial.  One has to try to explore and explain why the pain point they have can be solved at a root cause level, as opposed to a superficial level. Many times a typical new customer is not clear on what they need and therefore will make the wrong decision for the wrong reason.


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your CRM?

Mr. Srinivasan: Our CRM is built to deal with B2B and B2C, because I found in the past that many CRMs deal very well with one or the other. We have always had a CRM that can deal with either or. Our CRM is be able to deal with the sales force, help desk, marketing initiatives and have the ability to do customer segmentation, as well as analytics. We cover each one of those aspects, so that when you look at the face of what a CRM is, the user can perform customer service, lead management, lead to account conversion, post-sales support, marketing activities to increase RFM metrics and manage segmentations. That is really how you interface with the customer and increase lifetime value.


CEOCFO: How do you ease the implementation for a new customer as change is always hard?

Mr. Srinivasan: There are basically three components to an implementation. First component is understanding of the process. We have to understand what the business is trying to do and map it to what we are able to do, so that we can identify either a business process gap, a system gap or a data gap. Then we plan to solve the gaps and mitigate any risks. Second component is the most difficult thing to do which is data. This is an area where we have to provide the customer a great deal of assistance. They have to bring the information to us to import into the system and the only way that we can make it smooth is to give up on asking them to just do it, we have to participate with them and help them in any way that we can. We take all of that responsibility on with the customer. The ability to do it all themselves is typically beyond the customer’s capability. The third component is to complete an end to end review and this will include bringing up the base system with their processes and demonstrating how we can close the business, data or system gaps identified earlier.


CEOCFO: How is business today?

Mr. Srinivasan: Business is doing very well. We have well trained resources, the retention rate of our associates is high, our customers love what we do, so we do not lose customers and we are gaining customers. Therefore, the business environment is very healthy and growing. We are exceeding our financial performance targets.


CEOCFO: What is the strategy for the next year?

Mr. Srinivasan: We will increase the market awareness of our company and solutions we offer. Our strategy is to embark on a significant partner/reseller recruitment process. We will continue to improve and execute our rapid growth deployment model for sales and implementations. In the meantime, we are going to continue to service the heck out of our existing customers.


CEOCFO: Put is all together for our readers. Why choose Group FiO?

Mr. Srinivasan: To have a successful implementation we provide a team that has a good understanding of the software, business processes and technology. We INTEGRATE into the existing business and systems so that the client can AUTOMATE processes to reduce cost and thereby free up time to INNOVATE their business. We offer a great team with a strong pedigree that knows how to make that initiative successful, and that is the most important thing. Our customer philosophy is very simple: uncompromising, personalized support.


“We INTEGRATE into the existing business and systems so that the client can AUTOMATE processes to reduce cost and thereby free up time to INNOVATE their business.”- Ravi Srinivasan


Group FiO



Ravi Srinivasan

(512) 529 7414

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