Why do founders need to think about building a moat? Freshworks’ Girish Mathrubootham shares insights
To help startups grow in turbulent times, Freshworks for Startups program offers a wide range of solutions purpose-built for sales, marketing, IT, and support teams.
Wednesday August 24, 2022,
5 min Read
The economy, a pandemic, and war — one of the most common questions that founders have is to what extent the macro environment will affect their businesses. Nobody has a clue what the situation could look like. But, it is still considered the best time to be an entrepreneur.
YourStory research found that 18 Indian startups entered the coveted unicorn club in the first half of 2022, an increase from 14 in the same period last year. At an aggregate level, Indian startups raised $17.1 billion across 891 deals between January and June. This is 82.8 percent more than the $9.4 billion raised across 541 deals during the first half of last year.
Girish Mathrubootham, CEO and Founder of, says one of the questions on every startup founder's mind right now is how they should think about the next one or two years. “Because there's a lot of advice on conserving cash versus focusing on growth. Two years down the line, when things improve, you obviously want the company to be in a good spot. So do you make those investments now? Or should you actually be worried and conserve cash? These are both crucial questions,” he adds.
“I think it revolves around priorities and focus. And at the same time, that's where you're understanding your moat. You need to look at what are the things that are making an impact. How can I get creative in those areas? What are the things that are really delivering the ROI and moving the needle, and then focus and prioritise those and get really good at them so that when things change, that can be your moat, and that is your differentiator, and then you can build the other things on top of that,” shares Stacey Epstein, Chief Marketing Officer, Freshworks.
Zach Nelson, who joined the Board of Directors at Freshworks after being the CEO of NetSuite during the dot-com bust (rise and fall of tech stocks in the early 2000s) and the 2008 recession, explains how everyone's motivation is different. “What motivated me was just seeing how our customers used our products to improve their business. That was the most exciting aspect — how the technology we built transformed other people's visions,” he adds.
What are successful startups doing differently?
There are no correct answers or processes for innovation, but startups definitely need a hook in the form of a well-defined problem statement. Truly remarkable ideas take time for execution, but that doesn’t mean organisations should stick to their roots steadfast. Changing with the times and being resilient is crucial for companies to stay afloat.
“We're all working on being more efficient. When you're growing fast, you can afford to do things in an inefficient way because it's ‘growth at all costs’. At a time like this we have to use our data and metrics to really understand what is working and what is not,” shares Stacey.
Build an agile GTM model
A good GTM strategy framework requires extensive research, planning, and other time-consuming tasks. So is it really worth the effort?
Since results are of utmost importance when it comes to startups, the sooner founders can prove that their idea is working and bringing in revenue, the better. An agile GTM strategy helps organisations to launch their product, get noticed by the audience, and get profits way faster. A detailed plan in place makes it a lot less scary and less tiresome to make informed decisions at breakneck speed.
“At Freshworks, we believe that this is the time for us to really power through by innovating constantly. And if there are internal challenges that we need to fix, this could be a great time to focus on those and emerge stronger,” Girish adds.
Unite sales and marketing around the customer
As a startup grows, teams become more disconnected. This leads to a customer going through incohesive experiences.
Reason? Sales and marketing don’t have the full context of the customer. This is where the need for an all-in-one CRM becomes crucial for a growing startup. Nurturing relationships and growing rapidly become a lot easier when you have a single customer view.
Freshsales Suite: A startup solution as big as your aspirations
Freshsales Suite is a powerful, modern CRM solution that combines the power of sales and marketing automation, chat, and telephony in a single, comprehensive solution.
Freshsales Suite can help you:
- Attract visitors by creating stunning landing pages
- Generate cost-effective leads with personalized email campaigns
- Find the best deals to close with AI-based deal insights
- Nurture, retain, and get repeat customers
Transforming the startup landscape with Freshworks for Startups
It takes a startup to understand a startup. With a sense of energy, enthusiasm, and mutual purpose, uncertainty is common amongst organisations that are in the same boat. From setting goals and defining the target audience to finding a palace in the market, determining the budget and creating a website, startups need to be on their toes and stay agile.
Freshworks for Startups program is helping startups boost their growth journey with customer and employee solutions that are extremely simple to set up and use, cost-effective, and come with powerful automation. Founders can switch their focus back to growing and scaling their business. Indian startups like, , Zumen, , and , have all grown with the program.
What does the Freshworks for Startups program offer?
- Up to $10,000 in credits across products designed for sales, marketing, IT, and support
- Get 1:1 guidance from the Freshworks’ team
- A dedicated consultant every step of the way
- Access Freshworks’ international startup mentorship community
To learn more about the Freshworks for Startups program,