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Meet Krishnamurthy – The CEO of VSM Software on How VSM Scaled Up Its Pharma SaaS Offering Globally During COVID-19

Today we have selected Krishnamurthy to take his interview. He is the CEO of VSM Software.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

Initially, we were very worried when COVID-19 started in March 2020 in India. We were not sure how it would affect our clients in the Pharma Industry, and therefore us also and we work with banks, and some of the work is delivered from client sites. We were worried about delivering those services at Lock Downs and other COVID-related disruptions.
And we made a 4-point plan to adjust to the new normal. Four major aspects we covered in our continuity plan were “work from home protocols and infrastructure, employee welfare, minimal business disruption, and greater attention to costs/cash flow.” We could execute that plan well, and our SaaS business has grown over 50% during the pandemic.

Tell us about how you reshaped the focus of your business successfully?

As SaaS and cloud adoption gained momentum, we saw great potential in offering products and solutions that can cover a vast part of the Pharma Industry’s sales and Marketing solutions needs. We had prior experience working with Pharma and we used that experience to build a Kea product, which is now a compelling proposition for the Industry.
As we are unique because our product Kea covers three important pillars: Effort and Investment put in by Sales teams, measuring results achieved, and finally SalesForce enablement processes like E-Learning, etc. The first pillar also includes Multi-Channel engagement, which is the emerging need. It is this approach that has guided our success. In anyways, our offering is more complete than our competition’s.

How does your company innovate?

Customer needs largely drive our innovation. For example, during the pandemic, the Pharma salesforce worldwide has been forced to interact with doctors remotely. We added all remote engagement modes, such as remote detailing, approved messages, and mails, in our product.
We also realized that the pharma field force would like to save time doing their daily call reports. And that is how we added voice as a mode of inputs to our application.
There are now many other innovations that we are working on, including Artificial Intelligence tools.

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Once we adopted our four-point plan, we could quickly adapt to the new normal. Our excellent SaaS product and sales teams turned adversity into an advantage. Without the possibility of traveling to many of our markets in the APAC and Africa region, we have managed to scale up our customer base. Our license revenues have grown by over 50% this last year. We now cover several countries in APAC and Africa. To address West Africa, we have released a French version of our product.

Did you have to make difficult choices and the lessons learned?

The pandemic has taught us valuable lessons on paying attention to human capital most. End of the day, the software industry is people and process-driven. That is why we focused on employee welfare a lot. Another lesson that we learned is the importance of teamwork and the value of time in team meetings. We are now geared to achieve twice as much in half the time in our team meetings. In the virtual world, we tend to be far more precise and to the point, a habit that we have now carried into physical meetings.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

We have invested in all the normal tools needed to collaborate on projects and secure “Work from home protocols.” We have also enhanced our processes to mitigate possible risks in remote working. We are ISO certified for quality and information security and follow stringent standards.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

There are similar products in our segment. However, the completeness of our product keeps us ahead of the curve when it comes to features that can help Pharma companies achieve “commercial excellence.” Our goal is to capture large market shares in Emerging Markets, where we bring 50% more in the product at more affordable price points than products from the US or Europe. We have made good inroads in these geographies and are confident that we will reach our goals in the set time frame. We will, of course, continue to innovate based on customer needs.

Your final thoughts

We are thankful to our growing customer base for their immense support during these continuing pandemic times. We work hard to meet their needs despite challenges, and we will continue to do that.

  • Spokesperson: N.Krishnamurthy, CEO
  • Company: VSM Software P Ltd, Bangalore, India
  • Website: www.vsmsoftware.com

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