Getting SaaSier every year #SaaSx #Chennai

With almost 150 SaaS founders, a set of investors, and the volunteers, SaaSx was rocking content-wise from 10am to 9:30pm, with the @Zarget beachside dinner kicking it into the next gear. How do we know it was a good event? Well the NPS score of 76, with 91 responses says it all!

Probably only event that was worth being a part of in the last 1 year. Happy to volunteer next time!

The most earth shaking session every year? After all, “Chumma Adhirudhulla.” is the dialogue of his favorite actor! @mrgirish rocked the stage with his sheer authenticity, wearing his heart on his sleeve, and talking about the challenges in building a business like Freshdesk, the mistakes they made on their journey and the learnings from them. More than one founder approached me later saying, ‘If even someone like Girish makes mistakes while growing the business, then I should not fear my mistakes but grow faster by learning from them’.

Best part was how approachable, upfront, honest and open all the big guys were..

It takes a special form of courage to go (metaphorically) naked on stage in front of your peers. And get critiqued by the best in the business. And we saw that from three very special founders in the Product-Tear-Down. @WidelyHQ  @GetOmnify @99Tests, were three SaaS startups at different MRRs, at different stages of their product/market lifecycle. Read up on their experience at

These three were chosen by the panel from seven initial conversations, from a shortlist of a few dozen startups who had applied. The startups they picked were in different stages, had to be easily understood by the audience, and yet have enough lessons to learn from. The goal was to create teachable moments, and the audience loved it with many founders volunteering to get their products torn down, something we’re working to do at scale. If you’re interested follow @saasxin to get notified.

Fantastic event with priceless learnings.

The constant refrain on the SaaS side has been ‘move up market’. But what does that mean? Well if you were at SaaSx, @Sudheer_Zenoti spoke candidly about their journey from SMB->Enterprise. What’s the largest single $ value sale done on the phone from India, for an online sale product? I nearly slipped off my chair when I heard a 7 digit number. In US Dollars. Whoa! And here we are discussing whether Inside sales can work at $30,000. It must be something in the Chennai water that Arun Kumar, COO Zarget drank over his 13+ years of inside sales experience. Or was it in the product? In India, we have enough developers and product managers, to build any product we need. But as Srikrishnan Ganesan pointed out, ‘Market trumps everything’, and if you are in a bad market, or too early, or too late, then there is little you can do to win. There are many paths to $1M ARR. Some have angels that give you loans, and others take some time to light, but then take off like a rocket. If you were there till then end, Ashwin Ramesh of Synup, and Girish Redekar of RecruiterBox, shared their paths to where they are. The only truth is that there’s no one path, you’ve got to make your own!

SaaSx4 was fantastic. I started implementing few of my learning from Saturday (18th March) itself.

The morning #SaaSFaQ unconference turned out to have some great questions on product/market fit and GTM from early stage startups. Fielded by Shekhar Kirani, Avlesh Singh, Krish Subramanian, there was a great deal of interactive learning concentrated on the floor. Learning for next time, break it up into smaller sub-sections, to get even more interactive and participatory.

In Product Teardown session, it was evident that Bharat’s inputs blowed everyone away.

Do you have more than $1M ARR, facing growing pains in your org and model?? Well, in the morning, the dynamic duo – Suresh and Girish, ran a closed door session for a few founders, getting into serious topics that were only for founders’ ears. What happened inside, stayed inside.

Every SaaSx runs purely on the passionate, high-energy,  super-committed volunteers, themselves serious SaaS founders & thinkers, who create the strictly curated content that makes for a great experience. This year the volunteers were @MrGirish, @SureshSambandam,  @cbKrish, @ArvindParthiban, @Avlesh, @avinashraghava and @sKirani. We sorely missed  the ever-energetic wisecrack @vinod_cc. Like every year @_rakeshmondal did a kickass design and website, bringing SaaSx to virtual life online.


Here’s to an even better #SaaSx5 next time around!

 

Survival is not enough: #SaaSx4

Note: SaaSx is an invite only event, for SaaS founders, by SaaS founders. 

Are you ready to push beyond SaaS survival?

Are you all set for Chennai on March 17th?

The SaaS world is changing. Niches are breaking out, the number of SaaS startups is increasing by the day. Competition is fierce and being SaaS is not sufficient.

If you’re not the best in your market in some way that your customers deeply care about, it’s no longer enough to just survive.

So welcome to Singara Chennai, the SaaS capital of India, where you may find some answers you seek! Apply here for an invite, limited seats remaining.

Are you solving the right problem? Are you targeting a good enough market? If you’re at an early stage, @cbKrish @ArvindParthiban @Avlesh and @sKirani are hosting an unconference on getting the basics right.Be ready to participate, sitting quietly is not an option!

For startups that have reached product-market fit, with at least a million dollar ARR, are you ready to dial it up to 11? A small closed-door round table with @MrGirish & @SureshSambandam might help you get on track to build a world class organisation (and biz model too).

Post lunch, on stage we tear into the problem+discovery+UX+market of a couple of brave founders, in the early stages of product-market-fit. We’ll have @Avlesh @sKirani @Spinfree break it down for you, so you can build it back again. See http://pn.ispirt.in/every-product-needs-a-good-teardown/ for what went down last time around.

Want to increase ARR? You could increase your lead velocity or your ACV. Want stickier customers? You could improve product or move up market. Vertical SaaS for enterprise is getting hotter and hotter, and we have @Sudheer_Zenoti talking about making the move from SMB customers to Enterprise customers, and the pitfalls and perils thereof.

Do you know what it really takes to go from $0-100K-500K-1M ARR? Well here’s where we get a peek behind the curtains. We have a couple of entrepreneurs sharing their stories of growing from scratch to initial scale. This is a session which will NOT be recorded or replayed. Only for those who are in the room!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep taking the perfect steps on the path to $1M ARR? Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone could just tell us which steps are mistakes to avoid? Well @MrGirish is going to do just that, talking about what they did in their early days that didn’t turn out just quite right.

And after a long day of SaaS-talking, when you want to tune out of ACV, CAC, LTV, CMRR, LVR, … tune in to the soothing sound of the Bay of Bengal, and lose yourself in dinner and conversations. (We won’t judge you if the topic stays SaaSy 😉

So come right over, sign up now, there’s no place where your love for 3-letter acronyms, business customers, and software, will feel more at home, than Chennai on the 17th March.

See you there!

Secure your spot before 10th March 2017 to get a seat at SaaSx4