Brace for impact, huddle and let’s build great Global SaaS companies, together
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” Aristotle
These are extraordinary times that will test the resilience of companies and also the strength of community. While each one of us is in a war room bracing for the impact or managing the early tremors across our businesses, this is also the time to stand together, and stand firm.
SaaSBOOMi is today among the world’s fastest-growing and the most valuable communities of SaaS companies, with around 700 companies. Indian SaaS companies have a collective $1.5bn in annual revenues.
We are in this together with each of you.
Over the past few weeks some of us have huddled together to discuss the potential impact of #COVID-19 on our businesses (both vertical and horizontal SaaS) and what can we do as the SaaSBOOMi community to help each other survive and emerge stronger.
We also believe that this is the time to invest in building stronger communities, deeper engagement with our teams and creating organisations that are “built to last.”
First, while the extent of disastrous impact from the #COVID-19 crisis can only be articulated over this year and the next. For now, we are experiencing turbulence in the sectors of hospitality, travel and tourism, retail, finance, pharma and other sectors. This will surely mean lower to the absence of any customer demand in these sectors.
And while the retail sector is going through an immediate crisis because of the lockdowns, we believe that it will bounce back as the restrictions are lifted over the next few months. We need to survive this and be prepared for the time when retail bounces back.
It is difficult to assess the overall impact on India SaaS revenues as of now because we are going through the crisis currently and still assessing the situation.
SaaSBOOMi Survivors’ Checklist
Over the past few weeks the SaaSBooMi council including Girish Mathrubootham — Freshworks, Suresh Sambandam — KissFlow, Krish Subramanian — Chargebee and Manav Garg — Eka Software have been having conversations about how they can, as a community of India SaaS companies, survive this crisis and emerge stronger for a post-COVID world. They may not all be experts, but they are going to share what they are doing and learning as practitioners for the benefit of the community.
Here are some of the top recommendations for the member companies and the community. Over the next few weeks, they will be organising focused webinars on each one of them for specific cohorts:
Think sustainability and not growth. Prepare for the next 12–18 months survival; this is not a 60–90 days crisis.
Conserve cash — plan your scenarios including specific trigger points and timeframe for all the opex cuts
Talk to customers — since everyone is WFH people are more accessible. Show genuine warmth and understand them and be a partner.
Also double down on prospect conversations to understand any changes to value prop and help them realise that value faster
Keep calm. Watch mental poise and physical health.
If you are a SaaS founder looking to connect with our board members or anyone else in particular, please write an email to email@example.com, and we will do our best to help you with an appointment at the earliest.
SaaSBOOMi COVID-19 Fund
We also realise that for some of the early-stage SaaS startups, a crisis of this magnitude can be existential. So we are in the process of putting together a COVID-19 SaaSBOOMi Fund. if you are a startup that needs help in surviving this crisis over the next 9–12 months, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
SaaSBOOMi — WhiteSwan
One of the less-talked-about things even during normal times is the issue of mental stress among founders and startup employees. The kind of crisis we are going through can test our mental resilience and even affect employees’ morale overall.
SaaSBOOMi is partnering with the WhiteSwan Foundation for organising focused counselling and workshops in these areas.
If you or your organisation is looking for any expert insights in this area, please send an email to email@example.com
We’ve got your back
Finally, the coming days and months can potentially force some of us to part ways with some of our colleagues. While we wish and stay confident that we will be able to bounce back fast after the ongoing crisis, consumer demand is beyond our control. But we want to stay committed in helping every employee in the Indian SaaS ecosystem find opportunities.
We also realise that many of our member companies will continue adding new products and looking for new hires in some areas.
SaaSBOOMi is establishing an outplacement initiative to help the industry cope better with the crisis. If you or your organisation wants to be part of this initiative, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line as Outplacement for SaaS.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot coming up from SaaSBOOMi from later this month. A new podcast series, a virtual conference around Growth and a newly designed, dynamic SaaSBOOMi website — all aimed at helping us build a stronger, more resilient India SaaS.
So stay tuned and stay safe.