A business world operating without paper!!! Seems impossible but Ecobillz has taken it upon itself to make this paperless dream come true.
Ecobillz was established in 2016 by Ameet Patil and Nitesh Singh Rathore.
Ecobillz is an innovative SaaS-based real-time digitization platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to digitize, collect, aggregate data and build complex back-office automation systems. The product, connects with the existing systems and software, accessing the data and streamlining them onto Ecobillz platform to ease the document management process in large organizations. The platform aims to build the technology that can read, accumulate documents and store data in real-time, thus leading to an efficient digitised document management system. As the platform focuses on industry-wise intervention to replace paper-based transactions with customers, the artificial intelligence embedded in Ecobillz help to crunch the data, thus generating valuable insights for the respective businesses. Ecobillz, while currently focussed on the hospitality business, also aims to foray into multiple domains such as hospitals and the automotive sector.
We had the pleasure of asking Ameet some poignant questions about his startup. Below are excerpts from the interview.
- Ameet tell us about your startup and what made you start it. What gap in the market did you notice?
In our combined 25+ years of experience, we observed two important things. Firstly we saw that automation was going to be a key driver of growth for large businesses. Secondly businesses, despite using the latest technology in IT, were still using paper for a lot of their day-to-day activities.
This got us thinking. If we can use emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to digitize everything that is on paper even before it gets printed and be able to provide full automation with the processes, then this would be a great value add to customers. We studied in depth different market segments to identify our beachhead market. We found this market in the Hospitality industry.
The gap that we found was that the companies even when digitalised were not leveraging technology properly, and falling back on paper. The idea struck us while shopping at a retail super-mart and buying one item. The teller handed us a receipt which was over 1 foot long. This led them to think about the waste of resources in business.
Ecobillz was conceptualised to save paper and trees while imbibing digitalisation.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am a hardcore techie, a serial entrepreneur who never looks back while taking a step forward for a worthy cause. Best known as a Go Getter, I was born and brought up in a small tier II city Belagavi, in Karnataka. I dreamt of making a global impact by developing a product company based out of my hometown. While my career took me to many places, with Ecobillz, I fulfilled my dream of providing a sustainable solution, developing a paperless world— “Made in Belagavi, for the World.”
I was always keen on software programming and became a pro at developing software by my seventh standard. I was invited by the University of York to do my PhD in Computer Science in one of the world’s largest Real-Time Systems groups. I enjoyed cricket and played for the Yorkshire Vale county league during my stint in the UK. I always had a clear vision to venture into entrepreneurship that would have a global impact. Since 2009, I plunged into building various startups and acquired immense experience along the way.
3. How different is it from existing models?
Ecobillz is different from other technologies because to adopt Ecobillz the customer is not required to make any changes to the existing system and/or processes. The product is minimally intrusive. It brings in quick value to the table and also creates minimum cost implications for the enterprises that implement Ecobillz. Also, Ecobillz creates the impact pre-facto and digitizes the data before it already uses up paper.
Thus, it is truly environmentally friendly.
4. Who are your competitors and how do you plan to compete with them?
There is no Apple-to-Apple comparison with the competition. Nevertheless, a couple of our closest competitors would be NanoNet and DocMX.
Competition is always welcome. We believe it only helps bring the best out of any product. We at Ecobillz do not strategise to beat our competition instead, we focus on our product offerings and let our product speak for itself. The differentiation in the delivery and value addition provided to the customer is what will drive the acceptability of the product.
5. What is the traction so far?
The traction is mind-boggling. As of date, there is no hospitality or hotel chain that does not know about Ecobillz, at least in India. All the top hotel chains having premium 5-star luxury hotels across India are our customers.
6. What is your vision to scale your business? Like funding, marketing plans etc.
Ecobillz dreams of impacting the Global Sustainability mandate by implementing this AI-driven SaaS product worldwide and adding to the Made in India story. Ecobillz is currently working with 200+ Hotels across India and is also planning to expand globally in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia. We are onboarding almost 10 hotels every month and sincerely aim that they can make a foray into the sustainability index of India.
7. Most hospitality businesses have a POS, what is it that Ecobillz is providing that is not already in the POS?
Ecobillz is not a POS or a PMS software. Ecobillz compliments these existing software by digitizing on the fly and taking the experience to the next level. It helps with digital operations, to reconcile all credit card transactions from PMS, POS, ERP and Bank reports, managing complex workflows, performing automated income audits, etc. The module automatically highlights discrepancies along with required evidence to help a user quickly resolve the same. There is no need to perform manual reconciliation anymore using charge slips, bank statements, software reports, etc. The system compares data sourced from multiple systems to validate and reconcile the rental income, TA commissions, etc. It also highlights discrepancies in case any income or commission is not charged or paid as per the contracted agreement.
8. Any other interesting information you would like to share with us?
Yes, we have been growing more than 3 times with revenues doubling every year, since inception. In India, we are a household name in the premium hospitality sector. With zero sales team, we have reached here. We believe there is a lot more to be done in this area and our team is constantly working to innovate and bring out more products in the space.