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Originally published Monday, July 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Making work for CFOs a breeze

A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:

What: Nirvaha, Seattle

Who: Ramesh Parameswaran, 38, founder and CEO

Mission: Provide financial officers with a low-cost software to help manage business processes, including setting up a framework for negotiating quotes, tracking deliverables and submitting invoices.

Organization rules: The target customer base comprises small sales-based companies using a variety of disparate software. They may track commissions on a spreadsheet, awarding half the commission when a deal is signed and the remainder when the bill is paid. This can cause cash-flow problems. "Our customers love the concept of an end-to-end tracking solution," Parameswaran said. "We can help them distribute sales commissions by applying a series of complex rules."

Employees: Seven, full time

Financials: The private company is primarily self-financed, with the aid of a seed round. The company expects to make its profit from service fees, estimated at $100 per user per month. "We won't spend any more money on development until we achieve certain milestones," Parameswaran said.

Blissware: Nirvaha is a Sanskrit term meaning "good management." It may not be coincidental that the term for enlightenment requires changing only a single letter.

Circle of life: Parameswaran worked for Microsoft in the 1990s and was among retired employees who started what became known as "Baby Bills." This particular history may not repeat itself. Microsoft, he said, "gave rise to an industry full of smart, talented people. But the people who work for Microsoft today may be as reliable, they are not necessarily entrepreneurial. They are professionals, but there was a different spirit back then."

Family tree: Even if the current crop of Microsoft graduates is different, some constants exist. "There is no end to ideas in a capitalist society," Parameswaran said. "Companies are always looking to optimize and improve their efficiencies, so there is always room for growth."

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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