MarTech Interview with Yash Madhusudhan, CEO and Co-Founder, Fyle

MarTech Interview with Yash Madhusudhan, CEO and Co-Founder, Fyle
MarTech Interview with Yash Madhusudhan, CEO and Co-Founder, Fyle

“Organizations large and small can start by first being data oriented before anything. How the company consumes the data it generates is a good indicator of how AI-ready it can be.”

Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Fyle?

I am an engineer who became a sales professional right out of college. I have primarily worked in technology companies and have spent over a decade selling SaaS.

Fyle was born out of trying to solve a personal frustration of many years. As a sales professional, I was behind submitting my expenses and in the process, I have lost a lot of money by either displacing receipts or by choosing not to spend hours to submit an expense report.

It started with a very simple problem. I was on the road most of the time and had no clue about my personal and professional expenses. There were many times when I chose not to claim just because of the sheer pain involved in submitting my claims to the company. Sure, there were tons of apps on the market (which I did try) but they all had one thing in common: the burden was put on me to be disciplined. If I was disciplined enough, I felt there was no need for a tool. My own expectation, however, was to use something that took not more than a second to use, similar to liking a Facebook post of a friend or pinning an image onto my Pinterest board. My reality was, setting aside a Sunday afternoon going through a mountain of invoices to get my money back. This was frustrating and felt like I was transported back in time.

From  conversations with professionals ranging from sales professionals, lawyers, accountants and consultants, it became clear that this was a universal problem. Our goal, then, was to develop an expense management solution that put the employee experience first, something that’s not very common in the world of enterprise software. But the thinking was that if we could design something that improved the overall employee experience, workers would be much more likely to adopt the solution and submit expense reports on time, which in turn would improve an organization’s cash flow, as well as promote corporate compliance enforcement. With a number of integrations including G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 email platforms, as well as a host of mobile features, we feel, as do our hundreds of customers, that we have developed the most robust and user-friendly expense management solution on the market.

What is Fyle and how does it fit into a modern Marketing Technology stack?

Founded in 2016, Fyle is on a mission to create the most user-friendly cloud-based expense management platform on the market. Fyle’s industry-first AI-powered solution provides a mobile and desktop user experience that seamlessly integrates with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 to automate previously manual tasks associated with expense reporting. As a result, companies can optimize productivity and harness analytics insights related to employee spend and corporate expenses. Serving more than 200 customers across more than 20 countries, Fyle is backed by Tiger Global Management, Pravega Ventures, Beenext, and Freshworks.

Which businesses are fastest to adoption of Expense Management platforms? How does it impact Branding and Marketing operations?

While expense management automation is applicable to practically every business in the world, the penetration of usage is still quite low. Businesses that value employee and finance productivity, and care about user experience, have been on the curve of early adopters. While this doesn’t traditionally fit into the branding and marketing operations stack, it plays a big role in assessing an organization’s commitment to providing a great experience for employees. Reimbursements impact the organization’s core revenue generating section of employees and ensuring a simple, effective process goes a long way in how employees perceive the company’s commitment to their needs.

Tell us more about your recent announcement about AI technology for Email Management?

Employee reimbursement is the second largest expense for companies, yet little to no innovation has taken place in the past two decades when it comes to expense management technology. Today, a significant portion of business spend happens online. Whether it’s transportation receipts or a software subscription invoice, email has become the default repository for receipts.

To relieve the pain and hassles of expense management, Fyle launched the industry’s first AI-powered expense management solution integrated with email, empowering users to automatically report expenses directly from receipts in emails with one click directly from Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. The Google Chrome extension, G Suite add-on and mobile plugin enables automatic tracking to identify expenses and create reports directly from the Gmail inbox from mobile or desktop devices.

Fyle’s Gmail add-on sits securely inside the email inbox and helps create expense entries without ever leaving the inbox. Fyle extracts relevant data from the attached receipt in the message and auto-fills information for reporting the expense. Details of the expense such as currency, amount and merchant, category and other important fields are automatically populated from the receipt, which is attached to the expense as soon as it’s submitted.

Why should marketers leverage your AI tool? How does it compete with other email delivery platforms?

Marketers — and anyone, really — can benefit from the Fyle platform because it makes expense management, typically a tedious task, streamlined and simple. Anyone who travels for business and receives receipts via email, specifically Microsoft Office 356 and Google G Suite, can automatically extract receipts from their inbox, complete with policy checks to ensure they always report compliant expenses. In essence, the platform improves the overall employee experience and gives them one less thing to worry about.

How can businesses maximize their ROI from investing in your platform?

Tracking expenses is an unproductive part of work for any working professional. A significant amount of time gets consumed in manually tracking expenses. A recent survey by HRS, estimates that it costs about $54 per report to process expenses manually. This process also consumes a disproportionate amount of time from the finance and accounting process.

Business that use Fyle, are able to realize ROI by:

  • Reducing the amount of manual work involved for employees and admins alike. If a manual process to submit an expense report with about 20 expenses takes 2.5 hours, with Fyle, it takes less than 10 minutes.
  • Ensuring that accurate and real-time enforcement of company policies and employee expenses are not in violation, and in detecting and preventing duplication of bills before submission. This avoids over-spending on invalid expenses, whether accidental or fraudulent.

In addition, since the platform uses intelligent automation, expense management is transformed from a tedious process to one that is handled in just a few simple clicks. This frees up employees’ time to be productive in other more strategic ways.

Tell us about your technology integrations with other Marketing Technology platforms such as Contacts, Contracts, Email and Customer Service.

As a product, Fyle has a fairly unique proposition where we have opened up and published our APIs. This is a first step towards enabling seamless integrations with cross-functional systems. Examples of such systems include ERPs, CRMs, Project Management systems, Hiring and Applicant tracking systems.

As a product we are deeply embedded in the G Suite ecosystem with multiple integration points and we also have a very unique Office 365 integration – this covers 95% of the world’s email subscription-based systems.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We use HubSpot, Freshsales, Reply.io, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Intercom.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Digital Asset Management technology for 2019-2020?

People will be more aware of what is true AI and what is not; there will be a lot of contextual AI, which solves real-world problems that people experience on a day-to-day basis. In addition, I feel that voice-based AI is becoming more prevalent in use cases including answering basic questions, or in customer support to diagnose problems.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

In addition to the expense management industry, I am keenly watching companies in the payments industry and the travel industry.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?

Organizations large and small can start by first being data oriented before anything. How the company consumes the data it generates is a good indicator of how AI-ready it can be. We are seeing cloud platforms and tools making it easier than ever to build machine learning based systems. An application of machine learning in the real world or a business context constitutes AI.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

With my team, I try to ensure that they are on top of their game and skills by encouraging them to read, learn and look at how a certain problem is solved elsewhere and if something has worked, we should not try to reinvent the wheel or try to solve a problem that has been solved.

One word that best describes how you work.

Disciplined.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Slack, Gmail, Google Maps.

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Adding to-dos on as meeting invites on my calendar.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

Currently reading “Cashvertising” by Eric Whitman. I mostly consume information via podcasts. I am a huge Audible fan and have finished more books on audible than by reading.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Just start, life will fill in the details from there.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

Not sure about being better than others but I like to think that I am reasonably successful at getting people to believe by being passionate, honest and at times vulnerable.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Would love to read Mike Volpe’s (CEO, Lola.com) answers to these questions.

Would you like us to recommend you as a Speaker to conferences relevant to your technology?

Yes, I would be interested.

Thank you, Yash! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Yash loves building & connecting things that don’t seem so to everyone. He is passionate about developing Products / Markets and fortunate to have been doing what I love for over 12 years.

Yash has crazy about Customer / user experience and particularly interested in working on 3 areas – Analytics, SaaS & Big data. He have excelled in Enterprise sales & Solution sales working for Global MNCs & early stage to mid stage venture backed Start-ups. Experience is building high performance direct sales teams , channel partner program, partner compensation . Experience in working with partners & customers across APAC & EU

fylehq logo

Fyle is the next-generation spend management platform for businesses that employees actually love using. Fyle comes with plugins that makes the entire process of fyling an expense similar to liking a post on facebook. Its that easy. Fyle links email, consumer apps and other platforms to simplify recording, sharing and processing of expenses and invoices within an organization. With Fyle, users can capture their spend data the moment they complete the transaction with a single click.

Fyle has created the world’s first automated data extraction engine for emails that works across G-Suite and Outlook clients that captures information like Amount, Merchant Name, Category along with the attached invoice automatically. So, if you’ve spent on your company’s behalf and hate filling up forms and spreadsheets, there is a better way, Just Fyle It.

We use Machine Learning algorithms to make the invoices readable, searchable and processable and to flag suspicious ones. Fyle incorporates enterprise workflows to ensure that the expenses are approved by the right people in the organization and pushed to payment and accounting automatically.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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