First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kapil Agarwal: Thank you for asking. We’re doing well. We follow the guidelines for social distancing when outside and are using this opportunity to spend quality time together.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Upaya.
Kapil Agarwal: It started 20 years ago when I moved to the US and began working at various companies and startups. Once I joined NetSuite, I realized a gap between the ERP offerings for small businesses and their real operational needs, so I ran on the mission to fill it by building Upaya’s solutions.
We support small and mid-size business owners to achieve operational efficiency and cut costs by leveraging NetSuite ERP software as their cloud-based real-time solution.
How does Upaya innovate NetSuite?
Kapil Agarwal: We’re a customer-centered company; all our innovation is driven by our clients’ needs. Upaya’s innovation center works solely on real NetSuite user feedback; we’re constantly in touch with them through surveys, phone calls, account manager meetings, and social listening. As a result of listening and taking feedback to the research development initiatives, we are able to build NetSuite integrations & add ons they need to run their business more efficiently.
Based on their experience, our guru consultants are able to develop better services and products that meet our NetSuite clients’ most urgent needs.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected Upaya, and how are you coping?
Kapil Agarwal: We are a technology-based company with offices in 4 countries, and we have been providing flexible and remote options to work with all our consultants. So, the pandemic affected us more in terms of the mental and emotional well-being of our employees.
I announced at the beginning of the pandemic that our company will not lay off any employees. We put in place programs to ensure that all our employees’ emotional and psychological well-being is being taken care of. The leadership stepped up, and we personally speak to all our people and take the necessary steps to help if our people need it.
Once the people are taken care of, they will not let the business down. That is what has ensured that we have successfully navigated the pandemic and been there for all our customers whose businesses went through radical changes.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Kapil Agarwal: We’re in constant communication with our clients, so we based any change on what their businesses were experiencing. Many industries had to pivot during the changing business climate due to the lockdown, so we quickly adapted our methodology of service offerings to meet the upcoming requirements.
For example, many NetSuite clients were not adept at using platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts, so we added a training session for them before we started the projects. We also bolstered our project managers to be communicating with our customers about how their business is changing, so when we implement the software for them, it is done in line with their new business plan.
Upaya’s learning center focuses on the fact that businesses should be nimble, and it is imperative to have digital technologies in place.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Upaya in the future?
Kapil Agarwal: Endorphins are the cure to stress and anxiety, so I started cycling and working out to prevent it. We have proved in this situation that our business plan is solid as we had a minimal disruption in our services. Upaya’s future is strong, and we plan to expand globally and add more software offerings to be an end-to-end provider for NetSuite customers.
Who are Upaya’s competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kapil Agarwal: As ERP technology developers, we never really stop creating. There are many software consulting companies in our ecosystem. Upaya’s team goes a step further and wants to improve how NetSuite users adopt and maximize the return from the platform. We will continue to invest in people and R&D projects; that is our competitive advantage.
Your final thoughts?
Kapil Agarwal: When innovation becomes a practice, you can create flexible plans and strategies that keep you growing. Any product delivered by Upaya’s team is the result of our dedication, inspiration, and constant improvement methodology.