12 Nov , 2022 By : Monika Singh
While the market currently is touting what a lot of experts are calling the funding winter – we know that in the long run, SaaS companies will dominate the market. What would work in favour of the SaaS companies is the ease with which they are able to serve global markets, which is inherent to the SaaS model – requiring minimum on-ground personnel or infrastructure investment to scale in any other country.
This advantage allows Indian companies to not only compete with their international peers on a level playing field but also, in some cases, become industry leaders – helping them to be valued in line with premium SaaS peers, given their high growth rates, sticky revenue, and attractive margins. The low cost to develop the software and ease of building new platforms reduce the barrier of entry, making the market more competitive and giving the consumer multiple options to choose from.
Today, India is plagued by a lot of inefficiencies, all of which cannot be solved by the government or large private players due to lack of resources or priorities. This is where SaaS companies, focusing on a specific issue in an industry or a bottleneck in the supply chain, can quickly build solutions and deploy them. We see examples of this across all industries and are also witnessing start-up hubs in Tier-2 cities, such as Jaipur, coming up.
Over the last two years, we have seen a lot of focus on Fintech, Edtech, as well as Metaverse and Web3 technologies – however as we see the economic situation, most companies across industries are focusing on solutions that drive efficiency and reduce costs. The unorganized sector is replete with unstructured data that has extremely poor record keeping and is unable to provide insights as well. The use of AI to solve these problems in the coming years will be critical for the Indian economy and my advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on problems within the country to help us progress faster.
Hyper focus on Product-Market Fit: I won’t be the first to give this advice, but focus on clearly understanding the problem you want to solve and invest time and energy in finding the right product-market fit. Once you have product-market fit and the first few users that love your product, getting more will become easier.
Prioritize, prioritize and prioritize some more: Push everything off your product roadmap that does not add 10X differentiation and only focus your resources on a few things.
Stay close to your customers: You might not have the dollars to acquire a lot of new customers, so check in more with your existing customers to understand their usage of product and how can it be improved further, as well as identify any other areas which can open new revenue streams.
Cut back on advertising spends and plan long-term: Build an in house demand-gen engine, using your product marketing, product and sales talent and ask them to use organic channels to build an audience.
Over-communicate internally: This helped a lot during COVID as communications every week with the company to share how things are going aligned everyone to one mission – that of reducing costs, working with less and making us more successful.