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Mahesh Gupta: A man with manoeuvre in the software Sector
1. How did Lee & Nee come about?
Lee & Nee was started in 1989 by Mr. S. M Gupta. He is a Chartered Accountant who took a computer course in NIIT organized for Chartered Accountants. After he did the course, he realized the tremendous benefits of computers. Computers weren't common back then, but he understood that the potential of software could transform any business. He thought it was a good opportunity for the Indian industry to rise & shine. That's what inspired him to start this company.
2. You have a varied educational background. You were pursuing chartered accountancy, and you shifted to international marketing. Is it beneficial while making business strategies?
Any business has three pillars for it to run successfully: technology, Sales and Finance. I gave high priority to Finance while I completed my C.A. degree. Then I took a two years course from NIIT to upgrade myself with the latest technology to head a technology company. What was missing then was Sales and Marketing. We all know that the U.S. is the best for Marketing; hence, I went to the University of Berkley in the USA to get a Diploma in International Marketing, followed by an internship in a software company.
3. How are Lee and Nee gaining a competitive advantage? What is the USP of Lee and Nee?
The first is our company's existence in the market for the past 33 years, which adds trust to our company & the mind of the customers that this is not a fly-by-night kind of company. Throughout the years, our company has performed consistently. We have also served more than 6-7 thousand customers by now, which gives us the experience of working on different types of projects across different sectors. We can understand business requirements and can advise them on how they can have their software and solutions designed by us. That helps the customers to use our experience. We have a strong in-house team of 130 people working in the company. We are hence able to maintain the quality of work delivered to clients that too within the given timeline. These are the main reasons why people love working with Lee and Nee.
4. What products does your company specialize in?
We started with Software & Website development, and now are we also doing Digital Marketing along with ERP solutions. Digital marketing, again, is a broad term, so we do organic SEO for google rankings followed by social media promotion on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube. We set up Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns for our clients and manage them. So all these three activities: SEO, SMO & PPC, are parts of digital marketing.
Another important service provided by us is ERP Solutions. We have got three types of ERP.
- 1st) We are partners with SAP B1. SAP is a big brand globally. It is a German company and the world's No.1 ERP company. We are their authorized partners in India. We provide end-to-end solutions starting from selling licenses, doing the implementation, and providing the support & training to our clients. This is a high-end ERP solution for small to medium-sized enterprises.
- 2nd) We have our in-house BIZ ERP for people who cannot afford such high-end ERP. That is a cost-efficient product with similar features, but it's not as advanced as SAP. We're promoting it all over India.
- 3rd) We offer another ERP product known as Campus Konnect which is software for educational institutes like Schools, Colleges and Universities. It offers the entire solution from Admission to Alumni.
Lastly, we also develop Mobile Applications. We develop mobile apps on native as well as hybrid platforms.
These are the main areas in which we are currently working.
5. You recently attended an SAP SMB summit in Manila, Philippines. How was your experience?
This was our first participation in an international summit organized by SAP, so it was a great experience. It was great because of learning and networking. We got to meet the top heads of SAP who are running the organization, and we got to interact with them directly. We got to learn new things about SAP, including their roadmap. We also go to know what is the future of SAP and how much stress SAP is putting on SAP Business One.
2nd aspect was that there were many partners from different countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China and other South-East Asian countries, including Japan. We learned about the Markets of these countries and how SAP works in these markets in South-East Asian countries. So overall, it was a good learning experience.
6. What position does your company currently stand in Calcutta?
In the I.T. industry, in terms of age, we are amongst the top 5 as not many old companies are around anymore. In terms of size, we must be among the top 30 in West Bengal.
7. What steps will Lee and Nee take to nurture the future generations, and what other CSR strategies is the organization adopting?
Technology is a fast-moving industry, so we must be very flexible and agile as we need to keep adapting to new things. All this while we have been doing things in a certain way. Newer technology is evolving every month. So future generations should not be rigid about what they already know. Their focus should be on providing the best solution to the customer. To do that, if they need to relearn or unlearn, they need to be ready to do that to ultimately satisfy the customers' needs and adapt to new technologies.
We do a lot of CSR activities already in the company. We are attached to many organizations where we donate to poor children for their education and health. In the future, we would like to do more in education. Since we are in the I.T. field, we are looking for I.T. education for poor children. For those who cannot afford to take higher education in I.T., we would like to sponsor some of them in the future.
8. What advice would you give upcoming entrepreneurs who want to excel in the field?
I would say, Focus is very important. You should focus on one thing and expand on that. Don't take any shortcuts to success. Create a scalable business so that you can help yourself to grow your profits and business and help your customer as well in the long run. To build a scalable business, you need to have proper systems. If you don't have systems, it's very difficult to scale a company. Hence a person should focus on these areas.