Under the software as a service (SaaS) paradigm, programs are hosted by a cloud provider and made accessible to end users via the internet. In this scenario, the application's hosting may be contracted out to a third-party cloud provider by an independent software vendor (ISV). Alternatively, the software seller may also be the cloud provider in the case of major corporations like Microsoft.
Along with platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), SaaS is one of the three primary categories of cloud computing.
Sandesh Chitnis, CEO of Core Integra, a SaaS-based compliance platform serving 500 entities in 30 industries, shed light on the introduction of new-age technologies like RPA and AI, Core Integra's development into the Indian Market and much more:
Here are a few excerpts from the interaction-
- Could you provide us a brief synopsis of Core Integra's development into India's market of SaaS-based compliance platform? Can you let us know about any planned features or functionalities?
Sandesh Chitnis: More than a decade ago, Core Integra identified the void of technology usage in the labour law compliance space. The entire process from industry to authority was manual with multiple forms, formats, paper procedures hence Core Integra identified the opportunity to explore automation in this area. Today Ctrl F, after a decade of continuous development and upgrades, happens to be the most comprehensive labour law compliance software in India, and the innovation has only picked up further pace with the new Wage Code on the anvil and maturity of future technologies like RPA and AI which will make the entire compliance process person independent, simplified with higher transparency and governance.
CtrlF was initiated in 2014 with a vision of providing a fully automated platform to manage the complexities of Labour Laws in India. Over the years multiple features and functionalities are added to the software which caters to Factory, Establishment, CLRA, Social compliances along with e-library of various notification, critical information, court judgments and workflows for managing notices and inspections from authorities. It also has a comprehensive automated audit module as well. Ctrl F currently enjoys usage of more than 10000 enterprise users across 500+ companies in 30 industries.
The future is all about RPA and AI, the journey has already commenced a year ago and the Clients will be able to optimize these tools to a very large extent from the coming financial year with the version released expected in December 2023 and April 2024.
- The idea of SaaS centres located outside of major cities with reliable infrastructure for smooth operation sounds very astounding at the moment, do you feel that is a possibility?
Sandesh Chitnis: In case of Core Integra, SaaS centre outside metro/major cities is a reality since our IT development centre is based out of a Tier 3 city, the first of its kind in our industry where end to end assessment, development, maintenance and support happens from here. There is very good support from TSP, ISP and Cloud DC which enables us with a world class IT infrastructure and seamless connectivity at competitive rates. Quality of talent pool is as good as available in any major city with the added advantage of better stability in terms of tenure with organization.
- Do you think India’s diversity can be an advantage making it a hotbed of cutting-edge tech talent?
Sandesh Chitnis: India’s diversity can be looked at in two parts – one the demographics where currently and over the next two to three decades, it will have its maximum population in working age category who will directly contribute to the development and consumption in the economy, the second diversity being in the spread of our population across the country connected (and continuously connecting) every corner through road, rail and air infrastructure. This combination of a aspirational talent pool and reduced concentration in metro/major cities will boost entrepreneurship, employment and ability to operate from remote parts of the country to service global markets. Due to the sheer size of population and consumption abilities, the price of most enabler services like telecom, internet, cloud infra is among the lowest in the world making it an added advantage to competitively price our products for the global market thereby being a preferred global hub for manufacturing and services industry.
- What particular qualities or strategies have helped Core Integra stand out from the competition and achieve success in the cutthroat SaaS market, particularly in the area of compliance platforms?
Sandesh Chitnis: The ability to have a clear vision for over a decade, move in the right direction to achieve the vision, agility to align with continuous tech innovation and stability of its biggest assets, its people clearly distinguish Core Integra from its competitors. The combination of domain knowledge, execution abilities, last mile connects and tech superiority will ensure we remain leaders in the Regulatory Compliances and Reg Tech space for a long time to come. Being early adopters of technology in this space clearly gives us the efficiency and cost advantage which our competitors and new entrants into this space will not enjoy.
- How do you tackle the problem of skills shortage in the tech industry that continues to grow because the need for technology is increasing manifold while the talent required to build the necessary tools is missing?
Sandesh Chitnis: Every organization must have the courage to pick up freshers with the right attitude and aptitude, train them on the job. They will deliver much better than the experienced candidates. This is proven by Core Integra when it ventured two years ago to create it full fledged IT development centre in a Tier 3 city and decided to pick up the right freshers from local colleges under the able leadership of the Product Head and CIO of Core Integra to train them on the job and today they handle complex products with ease, while in comparison their peers who were picked up by large IT companies, migrated to metro/major cities are either writing parts of codes or still in the bench. We follow a simple philosophy – Go where the talent is available rather than try to get the talent to where you are, the horizons will expand multi-fold suddenly.
- What are the top five SaaS markettrends that Core Integra ought to be concentrating on right now, in your opinion?
- User independence in terms of learning, implementing and operating the software
- Zero manual tasks, software should execute repetitive and quantitative tasks
- Auto logics, software should be able to perform logical calculations and simple decision making tasks
- Insights & Analytics over MIS & Reports
- Ability to seamlessly integrate across multiple software and platform to provide end to end comprehensive workflow
- What will be your advice to people planning to take up SaaS as a profession and make a significant influence in the technology and compliance sector?
Sandesh Chitnis: Technology development, ability to market it as SaaS and commercialize the model requires tremendous efforts and patience. In the compliance domain, which has a flavour of frequent changes and dynamism, it makes it even more difficult since agility is a pre-requisite. It took Core Integra six years before we moved the software to SaaS model, till then it was a combination of self help for Clients and back end servicing by Core Integra operations team.
The Entrepreneur or person who intends to build a career in the Reg Tech space needs to firstly have clarity on vision and purpose, patience to spend at least two to three years in the product development phase and the persistence to continuously keep evolving the product. In parallel keep exploring opportunities to adopt newer technologies and low cost scalable infra in order to be able to meet market price expectations.