SoftTech Engineers – Customer education and innovation
“Be ethical, with good corporate governance, and have patience to get your returns”
Innovating and instituting change –
Mr. Vijay Gupta (Chairman) is a widely acknowledged authority in the e-Governance space, having more than 30 years of industry experience. He’s a first-generation entrepreneur who’s built a brand on hard work, dedication and long hours. After he graduated from IIT Mumbai in ’86, Mr. Gupta worked in multinational organizations across India and developed a passion for software development. He had a vision to bring revolutionary changes in the construction industry by inventing new software products. In 1996, he established SoftTech Engineers Private Limited with a team of just six engineers and built a company with more than 350 team members across India. Under Mr. Gupta’s leadership, SoftTech has grown steadily during last 20 years, along with innovating products like “STRUDS”, “QE-PRO”, “ESRGSR”, “OPTICON”, “PWIMS” and the International Award winning “AutoDCR”. These, and many more innovations, have helped Softtech establish itself as a strong contender in the software industry.
The entrepreneurial journey –
While developing various software applications for engineers and construction industry participants, Mr. Gupta realized that obtaining construction permits is an acute pain area faced by architects, real estate developers and building owners. The manual system of issuing construction permits is extremely tedious, time consuming and prone to errors, and applicants must keep running around and wait to get the necessary approvals. Thus, came the concept of developing an intelligent software which can read drawings of building plans and automatically check whether the plan passes through the rules & regulations thereby reducing delays and eliminating errors. The idea gave birth to SoftTech’s flagship product: “AutoDCR”. They realized a need for automation of public works organization as a lot of time is spent on collaboration with stake holders for approvals, tender processes, project management and billing. As a result, the software product “PWIMS” was released. This initial boost gave them the confidence to continue developing innovative products and face challenges as a result of which they’ve now grown into an INR 48cr business.
Industry wide achievements –
Along with successfully solving a pain point that existed for many decades, Mr. Gupta has multiple accomplishments that he takes immense prides in. They’ve grown to more than 4500+ customers in the last 20 years, completed 60+ projects, implemented state-wide e-Governance projects for Building Plan Approvals in 6 states (AP, Gujarat, Telangana, AP, Jharkhand , Kerala & WB), received 7 National Awards including the National e-Governance Award, been recognized by NASSCOM as ‘Top 50 Emerging Software Product Companies in India’ in 2014, and aided in improving India’s ranking for EODB (ease of doing business) parameters by making building plan approvals easier through use of web & CAD technology.
Challenges to overcome –
As with any business, Mr. Gupta had to face multiple challenges. Some of them included scarcity of funds for R&D and innovation and resistance to change from certain market segments. Their customer base wasn’t ready to change and Mr. Gupta wanted to explore other options in the industry. Cash flow issues due to procedural delays in receivables made them streamline operations for optimum efficiency to control the outflow. There was also a lack of support from industry bodies which they overcame through industry awareness programs and formal associations with bodies for mutual benefits.
An industry that thrives on quality service -
Growth of the industry has been focused on consumer education and providing quality service to customers. There hasn’t been a time when industry participants didn’t face challenges, but they can fight them all off with a strong focus on providing quality service to industry output leaders.
Helping society -
Mr. Gupta has been regularly contributing to various social causes such as financial assistance during events of calamity, old-age homes and the Teach India movement.