iSPIRT Meeting at PMO – Stay in India Checklist

An important policy agenda for iSPIRT is to reverse the exodus of technology startups. About 75% of the funded technology startups are redomiciling outside India due to regulatory irritants.

iSPIRT has a Policy Expert Team – called Stay-and-List-in-India – working only on this area since December 2014. This is the policy team that worked closely with SEBI on the “startup bourse” that was notified earlier this year. Mr. Mohandas Pai has been an important guide and mentor to this team.

The Stay-and-List-in-India Policy Expert Team has developed a Stay-in-India checklist. This has 36 items that need to be addressed by Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, RBI and DIPP.

After PM Modi’s Silicon Valley visit, Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary DIPP, has been pushing hard to make progress on the Stay-in-India checklist. Towards this end, he had organized a cross-ministerial meeting with iSPIRT that was chaired by Mr. Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary – PMO. The meeting was attended by Secretaries including Mr Madhav Lal, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Mr Ashok Lavasa, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Department of Revenue, Mr Shaktikanta Das Department of Economic Affairs, both from Ministry of Finance; Mr. Tapan Ray, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; Mr Ashutosh Sharma, Department of Science & Technology and Mr Krishnaswamy Vijayraghavan, Department of Biotechnology both from Ministry of Science & Technology.

Others present included, Mr Shatrughna Singh, Additional Secretary, DIPP; Ms Snehlata Shrivastava, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Dr. Renu Swarup, Sr. Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, Mr U S Paliwal, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India, Mr Hemang Jani, OSD to PM and Operations Officer from the World Bank.


There were three parts in the meeting. The first part was a showcase of 6 technology startups. This was curated, as usual, by Shekhar Kirani, Fellow, iSPIRT (Accel Partners) and Avinash Raghava. The purpose of this session was to highlight that tech startups are key to transforming India at large. They are setup by entrepreneurs from middle class backgrounds who parley their skills into sweat equity to build valuable businesses. The showcased companies included CRMNext, Foradian Technologies, Eko India Financial Services, Snapdeal, Uniken, ForusHealth and Team Indus. They all made carefully prepared 3 min presentations and answered questions.

The Stay-in-India Checklist was discussed in the second part of the meeting. Sanjay Khan (Khaitan Associates) of the Policy Expert Team made the presentation. This was a technical discussion on specific issues. At times, it was very detailed.

In particular, Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) were very proactive in taking suggestions. Mr. Kant did say that they are trying to create a single window to deal with startups.

In the third part of the meeting, there was short discussion about teaching entrepreneurship as a minor in engineering education. This was led by Sanjay Vijaykumar of Startup Village. His talk was very passionate and impactful.

It was cleart that all the officials were determined to make quick progress and were truly concerned by the exodus of tech startups from India. We all ended the meeting with a group photo. One of the senior officials remarked that this moment is important to capture so that we can look back and remember where it all started!

Guest Post by Abhishek Sinha, CEO, Eko India Financial Services 

India B2B Software Products Industry Clocks Solid Growth from 2014 to 2015

India’s B2B software product industry has grown nicely since we published the first edition of this index in November 2014 – the top 30 companies are valued at $10.25 billion (₹65,500 crores) and employ over 21,000 people.  The index has grown 20% in USD terms and 28% in INR terms from October 30, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

There has been an acceleration since 2010 in the pace of creation of B2B companies.  Vertically-focused offerings in retail, travel, financial services, media have reached scale and we are likely to see some larger exits in terms of IPOs or M&A over the next couple of years. In parallel, we are seeing horizontal offerings targeting global markets emerge and start to breakout of India into the US and other global markets – we are starting to see not only India-based venture funds backing these companies but also Silicon Valley funds coming in once there is initial customer adoption in the US.

A new set of founders are coming into the B2B software products ecosystem. These include an increasing proportion who have worked at consumer and B2B startups that have scaled in India and who have identified problems that they can solve with software automation.  We are also seeing continued venture creation from founding teams that have backgrounds from established enterprise software companies and some from IT services companies.

In terms of target markets, fast-growth Indian companies (in sectors such as organized retail, organized healthcare services and technology startups in product commerce and services commerce i.e. online-to-offline) are starting to purchase software from Indian B2B software product startups and have globally-aligned requirements, helping these startups get closer to product-market fit before or in parallel to starting to sell globally. We are also seeing many startups go global from day-one through a desk-selling model, as evidenced by many of the companies in the index. And finally, several startups have moved founders to the US and are succeeding in direct selling models there.

Some of the numbers: 80% of companies have global customer bases, while the rest are India-focused.  67% of companies are domiciled in India, with the rest principally in Singapore and the US.  Bangalore and NCR account for half the companies’ principal city of operations with Chennai and Pune as key secondary hubs – there is a trend to newer companies starting up in Bangalore, Chennai and Pune and away from NCR.  Average enterprise value per employee is climbing toward Silicon Valley levels – the index currently nets out to $480k per employee.

The top 30 companies in alphabetical order are:

Here’s the report in its entirety:

Thanks to all the volunteers at iSPIRT who worked on this project as well as Professor Sharique Hasan of Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; Professor Rishi Krishnan of IIM-Indore; as well as Signal Hill for providing public market valuation comparables and Rakesh Mondal  for designing the document..

We will publish an updated iSPIxB2B index every year starting with the next one in June 2016 – please do click here to submit names of companies you think should make this list.

SaaS Based CRM & Lead Management Software from India

Main reason behind choosing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) & lead management software is to cut down the sales time and add to the quality of client service. With a well equipped CRM & lead management system, customer relations would improve and the process of customer tracking is going to get efficient. Due to this, one would notice that the number of delays would be less and sales visibility would improve manifold. With all the sectors in India such as health care, financial, retail and pharmaceutical considering CRM and lead management systems, it gets imperative to know about the various available options.

  1. CRMNEXT: CRMNEXT is a responsive software designed to satisfy numerous goals like enhancing customer contentment and loyalty, affording your sales, management, marketing and service providing teams with thorough easily accessible information, manage, track and focus performance indicators like profitability, customer share, market-share, revenues and cross-market reports. This software is used in finance, banking, insurance, mutual fund, telecom, pharma, retail and multimedia sectors.
  2. Dquip: This lead management software would be of great help in lead acquisition, routing, prospecting and closure. The features that make it a wonderful pick are ability to add leads online, lead delegation, lead tracking, reminders via SMS and email and detailed reporting. Dquip lead management software consists of cloud as well as clients online servers.
  3. ImpelCRM: This software not only covers lead management but goes beyond touch marketing too. This is a Cloud + Mobile CRM that promise to help in many areas such as lead generation, order processing, collections, inventory management, and customer support. Striking features of this software include field reporting, e-coupon management, inventory management, email integration and advanced reporting. This is available in both mobile and web versions.
  4. Kreato CRM– Kreato CRM is a comprehensive cloud software solution that manages multiple aspects like managing numerous leads and inquiries, marketing campaigns like SMS and Emails, SFA(Sales Force Automation) – account conversion, generating analytical reports, arranging, planning and tracking customer support tasks and communicating with customers via inbound and outbound calls. The other notable features are business apps and integration apps.
  5. Lead Prime: This simple to configure and highly integrated software comes in a ready to use mode. It is going to make it possible to track down the leads, would provide timely alerts and help bring improvement in the lead conversion ratio.  Some interesting features that set it apart from others are, ease of use, fully automated processing, customizable, and easy to integrate. Lead Prime is available in both web and mobile versions.
  6. Leadsquared: This comprehensive lead management software would help one in areas such as lead acquisition, verification, routing and sales closure. Some of the features that add to the worth of this software are website visit tracking, lead scoring, email tracking, activity history, advanced search, dynamic and static lists, reminders, task updates, and social profile support. Available via SAAS model, this software surely promises to bring in efficacy in the order tracking and routing processes.
  7. Sales babu– Sales babu is integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that is hosted on cloud. Being on cloud offers the advantage that it can be operated from anywhere in the world. The data can be accessed, stored and analyzed irrespective of your location. The perks of using this software is that you can monitor the employee’s sales leads, check whether they are achieving the targets and likewise analyze and predict sales, implementation of strategies and carry out the successive planning. You can also sort qualifying leads, acquire a large amount of customer related information, collect the inquiries and manage various contact details of customers.
  8. SalesWah – Saleswah is specially designed for small and medium scale businesses and comes at affordable rates. The main highlights of this software are that it is user-friendly, innate app that has excellent functionality. Striking features of Saleswah include: easily operable by all and doesn’t need technical help, digs into customer interaction history and tells you where to focus, lets you customize your logo, email, time an currency settings and integrates data across Google apps and Microsoft Outlook.
  9. Winds CRM – Cloud based Winds CRM is mainly designed to grow organizations and is useful to both the sales and management teams. It performs a plethora of activities like managing multiple solutions like lead, clients, contacts, tsk management, team organization and product analysis, information and reporting. In the sales department it performs these functions: it helps tract leads that are created, qualified and promoted via numerous pipelines, sales staff can enter relevant information, update and track relevant opportunities thus making the entire process transparent, generating invoices against sales order and automation of the invoice generation proposal within seconds. In the marketing sector, Winds CRM is used for search based marketing for cross selling among customers and manage and orchestrate different campaigns to increase the output efficiency.
  10. Zoho CRM– A complete eagle-eye view about your entire sales cycle is provided by Zoho CRM. The key areas in which it makes your managing simpler is by automating the data so that you can lay emphases on selling, tracks your sales activity by displaying the sales cycle thereby helping you align your goals and strategies and it is mobile responsive. Add-ons include: connecting with your customers from within your CRM account, synchronizing your CRM account with other applications to increase the scalability of your business solution and you can integrate Gmail with CRM.

Any of these CRM and lead management systems can be considered after evaluating order processing, customer relation and order tracking needs. Depending on the business process, any of these variants can be put to work.

For any more queries or confusion about the SAAS based software, feel free to contact us.