Engineering any startup company can be quite a challenge. India is considered one of the central hubs of business and quite a number of entrepreneurs have come up in the recent years, with very innovative ideas. However, conceptualisation is just the first step. Having a product and building a business around it, can be two entirely different things. The same applies to SaaS startups in India, and many challenges do pop-up! In this article, we will look at a few of them from an economic, strategic and technical point of view, and the meaningful lessons they teach us.
Before we look at the challenges, let’s get our jargon right. SaaS stands for Software as a service. Software, as we know it, is the information stored online that helps the computer in its operations. When software and the data associated with it our hosted in the internet, it is called ‘on-demand’ software or, in short, SaaS. To host SaaS online, we require a client( a computer or server) and to access it, a web browser, on the internet. The many uses of SaaS for businesses include accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) service desk management,etc.
Now to the road-blocks!
Human Resource and Funding
Most people seem to believe that anSaaS is run with 5-10 people sitting around computers. This belief can be wrong, as there are SaaS companies with a strength of 150 and more. Besides,the challenge of hiring expert staff, there are equipment and server costs.
The expenses can be met through reliable customers. The Indian market is just opening up to the technology available to them, and once the SaaS idea has caught on, there will be many small and medium businesses (SMB’s) ready to invest in the technology. However, as long as SMB’s are not very tech-savvy, there will always be the fear of the unknown, ie. Of SaaS. Also, the Indian market is also price conspicuous and many SMB’s will see to reduce their IT expenditure.
We are also less open to the Do-It-Yourself model, common with SaaS systems, hence a mixture of online and offline communication has to be used.