How to take advantage of the Indian SaaS bull run

At TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition, Anand Jain of Clevertap, Bhavik Koladiya of OTPLess, and Tejas Baldev of Redis discuss the evolving Indian SaaS landscape.

How to take advantage of the Indian SaaS bull run

Thursday April 06, 2023,

3 min Read

Amidst a funding winter and market slowdown, Indian SaaS companies have shown exemplary resilience by continuing on a growth trajectory.

A report titled Bellwethers of Indian SaaS has revealed that the Indian B2B SaaS industry is likely to continue to have a bullish outlook for 2023 despite global headwinds.

The report also states that Indian SaaS growth is highly capital-efficient by default across stages and remains largely unmoved by recessionary trends of the past year.

At TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition, Anand Jain, Co-founder, CleverTap; Bhavik Koladiya, CEO, OTPless; and Tejas Baldev, Sales Director, Redis, India; explored growth opportunities in the Indian SaaS market.

Evolution of SaaS landscape

If we go back 10 years in time, there were only a handful of players in the SaaS industry.

“The mindset in the industry has evolved from following the West to building in India for the world. There are some great companies building innovative products in the space. It is the golden era for the SaaS sector in the country,” Jain said.

Elaborating on how SaaS has come a long way, Baldev said companies can now deliver services in a geo-distributed manner, which means low latency, high expectations can be delivered beyond boundaries when it comes to SaaS products. Moreover, these services can be delivered to customers across verticals along with benefits of cost optimisation.

Koladiya believes SaaS used to be enterprise-focused in the early days. However, we now have examples of UPI, which is built and scaled in India and is used by the masses.

Successful SaaS startups

Koladiya’s OTPLess launched in January 2023 and is currently trying to tap a market that is tired of OTPs and wants to do away with them.

“We are a SaaS company focused on identification and authentication so that businesses can swiftly eliminate OTPs to create a seamless purchase experience,” Koladiya said.

With a client base across geographies, Clevertap offers customers lifecycle management and mobile marketing services.

Redis, meanwhile, is an open source database technology, widely used and popular across the developer community.

Monetising models

The SaaS market is insurmountable and Baldev believes anyone who uses pen, paper, and an Excel sheet is a potential SaaS customer. As far as execution is concerned, distribution is of utmost importance.

“Once you crack the distribution game, you can figure out ways to monetise things,” Baldev said.

Some of the finest examples of companies that have aced distribution are Khatabook, Pagar book etc. which are catering to small and medium entrepreneurs. “These are successful business models and will eventually find a way to monetise,” he adds.

Sharing his concluding thoughts on ways to scale a SaaS startup, Jain said, “As you build your core product, you will not be able to build everything yourself. You will discover your customers have an extremely wide variety of needs. That's when you partner with some other companies. At Clevertap, we partner with companies like Appsflyer and Branch in the mobile marketing performance space. That’s how we approach scaling.”