RateGain Travel Technologies Pvt Ltd , founded by Bhanu Chopra in 2004, provides SaaS-based solutions such as revenue management and distribution channel management software, and real-time pricing data and analytics to the hospitality and travel industry.
At the Techcircle SaaS Forum 2015 held in Bangalore recently, Chopra talked about what a SaaS startup should (and shouldn't do) to make it big.
Chopra's first piece of advice was to focus on profit rather than growth. Asking whether a startup is profitable may raise eyebrows, but Chopra says it is one of the key metrics to determine a startup's success.
“Our revenue growth and cash flow margin is upwards of 100%. So it's very much possible to have a fast growing company and be profitable,” he says.
Chopra says a SaaS startup should focus on getting the minimum viable product out in the market at the earliest rather than spending time on perfecting the product. It's possible to have a product with fewer features and sell more, as a lot of sophistication makes the product difficult to sell, as users consume hardly 5-10% of the functionality on offer.
“You don't need to have the best product in your competitive space to sell the most,” says Chopra.
Instead, a startup would be better served if the resources for product development are diverted towards identifying a market and selling the product to that audience. “If you could probably limit how much you continue to build your product and instead spend it on your go-to-market strategy, that would be actually more beneficial,” he adds.