3 Years of GST — Bigger, better & constantly evolving

Today we celebrate 3-year anniversary of ClearTax GST product. During the course of 3 years, we have grown in customer base, team size and features. There are countless memories and significant milestones we have hit during these years. Here is a summary of some of our big moments:

  • The euphoria when we launched our GST product and saw ~50,000 businesses try it within first week itself
  • Most Indians were anxious about this change so we focussed on educating them through our content
  • The focus on obsessively improving the product by talking to customers, led to the launch of e-waybill, multiple ingestion modes, reconciliation, reports, GSTR9, desktop app, tally connector and many more, which users love!
  • We have been at the forefront of driving awareness among people in different corners of India
  • Our software has enabled our win as the ‘Emerging Fintech Platform of the Year’ by the Economic Times and “Tech leader of the Year (Runners-up)” by ASSOCHAM
  • We prepared for a launch of best-in-class New GST and E-invoicing, which was postponed by Government
  • Our acquisition run rate increased from a few hundred to thousands of CAs every month and a similar uptick in Enterprise shows our category, sales and marketing’s commitment to our vision

The next phase of growth will be bigger with bold bets taken by product and business to enter mobile. The on-going effort to simplify product experience is already showing greenshoots. Our team has grown from 20 to 400 but we still work with the same customer obsession, ownerships and collaboration.

Wishing you all a very happy 3-year anniversary!

On this occasion, some of our CTzens recall fond memories of the early days on working on the GST product and their personal journeys of becoming GST veterans at ClearTax.

Divya Yadav , CTzen since March 2017

“The first time I visited the ClearTax office in March 2017, I sighted a huge rocket fixture on the floor with GST written on it. It really caught my eye and I was surprised since I had always associated ClearTax with consumer tax up till then.

As an organization we have very early in our journey caught the pulse of the customer. We are very close to them and are solving their day to day problems efficiently.

What I admire about our GST product is that our product suite is expanding constantly and enabling us to reach out to new demographics each quarter. The team unanimously works on removing redundancies and inaccuracies in GST compliance, thus making the taxation faster and more accurate for our customers.

I am excited to be associated with such projects, which will help enterprises, SMEs and CAs to handle increasing their clientele without much increase in effort.”

Akhil Potade, CTzen since May 2016

“I first heard of GST in December 2016. Everyone at ClearTax was determined and excited about this opportunity which we could bank on to change the way India deals with taxation, at the same time apprehensive because this was a new animal for us as well.

New laws were in the works. Drafts were out in public before they were passed in Parliament and we were building the ecosystem based on the draft laws. We spent hours on end debating, interpreting each line in the drafts, and discussing how it was going to revolutionize invoicing and filing of businesses in India.

In the early days, we started with customer research and gathered their expectations from GST in order to incorporate them into our product. We developed educational content, certification courses for CAs and tax practitioners, conducted webinars, and attended discussion panels.

Over the years, ClearTax GST as a product has matured well. The team is focused on the customer-first approach right from Day 1. The customer is at the center of each feature that we deploy. ClearTax products have always been ahead of the curve and deliver the right customer expectation. What has served us well is that we have constantly kept our ears open!

Saurav Badola, CTzen since July 2015

“I have been in ClearTax since 2015 and I joined the GST product team in early 2017 when ClearTax GST was in its nascent stage and our heads were buried deep into circulars and discussions with reputed CAs. Hardly anyone had heard of GST back in the day. There was an ongoing flow of communication with our engineering team on the interface and features.

The first year of the GST regime was marked with confusion and panic for tax-filers. I used to consider the GST act and relevant circulars issued for solving queries from clients.

We have made conscious efforts to understand the customer pulse and have provided technical support on calls and emails at all times. We have maintained involvement of CAs in our product development and implementation.

We are steadily building our offerings to simplify the lives of our users and playing a role in increasing GST compliance in India.”

Avantika Singh, CTzen since October 2016

“In January 2017 I was part of the partnership team at ClearTax. One day my manager told me we were building out a GST product. He explained how GST was about to revolutionize the landscape of India’s indirect taxation system and how we were planning to be part of this big change.

My colleagues and I studied modules, took exams and over a period of time gained subject matter expertise to the extent that when we visited clients to pitch our product, they asked us if we were qualified CAs as well!

The learning curve for me was amazing. We were able to get back a lot of valuable feedback from clients and get them incorporated into the product. In the last 3 years the product has evolved tremendously — it is bigger and better and is still making strides.”

Surbhi Punshi, CTzen since February 2016

“In November 2016 we spoke of GST for the first time. GST was great news for us — we wanted to foray into B2B and to expand our tax compliance suite from ITR and TDS. We started with the draft law and APIs which were in a sandbox environment. Our key thought was how to build a product that will make the user’s life easier.

We initially hired 6–7 engineers who quickly became experts on GST and were more well-versed with the law than most CAs in the country at that time! As I sat with them and explained concepts, it occurred to us that we should also educate the entire country on this unknown, speculative concept. Hence we started with free online courses and started attending relevant forums and speaking about GST. Eventually we realized that since the topic was so dynamic, we should do webinars as we upgraded ourselves.

A content team was created to write about GST and us CAs would review their articles. Soon we were trending on Google, with our expert content garnering a lot of interest. We also hired people in marketing and category to take our product to the market.

A war-room was created and we shut ourselves from the external world, determined to build out a working demo of our product. It was hard work but we had a lot of fun working together and celebrating our small successes.

Eventually the team expanded to include several product managers, designers, sales managers and customer support team members.

In the last three years, we have worked on making our product robust and comprehensive. Despite delays in filing dates and glitches in GSTN software, we have always been prepared and ahead of the curve.”

Akhil Chabra, CTzen since January 2017

“I heard about GST for the first time in December 2016 when I interviewed with ClearTax for an internship. When I joined the Lead Generation team with the support of my peers and managers, I was able to bag 100 leads (ET 500 companies) on my very first day. A small team of 5 members, we were given the opportunity to learn something new everyday. I got the opportunity to move into sales and meet CFOs, CEOs, GMs early in my career, learnt how to give effective presentations and gathered in-depth knowledge about GST.

We have enhanced our product capability to a great extent since then. Reconciliation, vendor communication, G9 automation and Airline ITC recon are wonderful additions to the product made by our Tech team and this has opened the doors to reach more and more clients, especially large enterprises. I look forward to adding bigger logos to our business soon.”