Product vs services: The Federal decodes with GoFrugal’s Kumar Vembu

Currently, GoFrugal boasts of more than 30,000 customers across 60+ countries experiencing simplicity in running their businesses.

GoFrugal
GoFrugal is a digital-first company offering cloud and mobile ERP solutions to retail, restaurant, and distribution businesses. Photo: GoFrugal/Twitter

In these times of COVID-19 and post-lockdown, a large number of companies are facing issues with reopening, with regard to maintaining social distancing, and finding labour and customers. Some of these issues could be sorted out by technology, which would enable less human-to-human contact.

Kumar Vembu, Founder and CEO -GoFrugal

The Federal brings you a series of stories on Indian IT product companies that help solve daily problems of users. In an exclusive interview with The Federal, Kumar Vembu, founder and CEO of the SaaS product company, ‘GoFrugal’, describes the problems with the Indian IT sector and the challenges faced in technology adaptation.

Established in 2004, GoFrugal is a digital-first company offering cloud and mobile ERP solutions to retail, restaurant, and distribution businesses.

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They essentially help businesses embrace agility and transform digitally to stay competitive in the dynamic market. “We help businesses grow with minimal staff, least skills along with 100% accurate and reliable solutions”, is their official pitch.

Kumar is often unfairly compared to his brother, Sridhar Vembu, founder of Zoho Corp, which has made a mark with an array of web-based tools that is a hit with Indian businesses.

Kumar is an alumnus of ACCET Karaikudi and did his post-graduation at IIT Madras. He then went to the US to work for the US semiconductor company, Qualcomm. After this, he returned to India and the two siblings decided that they would build a product company in the country.

Together, the brothers built a successful company ‘AdventNet’ which they founded in 1996 and has been continuously profitable for 12 years, after which it ventured into other markets. AdventNet became Zoho.

But taking off from Zoho, Kumar Vembu launched GoFrugal, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, in 2004, and in 16 years, it has quietly managed to be India’s equivalent to the likes of SAP, Microsoft etc. Over the years, Kumar has managed to grow organically and sustain GoFrugal in the Indian market.

Currently, GoFrugal boasts of more than 30,000 customers across 60+ countries experiencing simplicity in running their businesses. The most thrilling part of their offering is that they serve a wide spectrum of customers from small independent stores to local chains and large enterprises. The company, which is now a global player, is headquartered in a cozy corner of Velachery in Chennai.

Anupama Kadambi, the Chief Experience Officer at GoFrugal, had met Kumar at Hewlett Packard, where he was working as an IT contractor. Married now for 2.5 decades, GoFrugal is their story.

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