Indian mid-market software firms leverage SaaS to offer disruptive advantages to customers

Bangalore, October 15, 2014: Microsoft Ventures and iSPIRT Foundation today launched a report titled “Indian Mid-market SaaS companies: Forging a new path to disruption”. The report, which was launched under Microsoft Venture’s Think Next initiative, takes a close look at Indian software product companies targeting the mid-sized enterprise market and the competitive advantages that sets them above their Western counterparts. It looks specifically at how these companies are adapting their Software as a Service (SaaS) offering to meet the unique requirements of medium sized business.

Discussion around SaaS models held at Microsoft Ventures' Think Next 2014
Discussion around SaaS models held at Microsoft Ventures’ Think Next 2014
October 13, 2014


The report establishes mid-market SaaS companies as a unique category within the software products industry. It highlights how the three pillars of their business strategy are setting them apart from those targeting larger enterprises, including overseas competitors. The three key pillars outlined in the report are:

  • Digital immersion– this is used to quickly identify customer problems and develop use-cases. It enables the rapid development of Minimum Viable Products (MVP).
  • Desk selling and marketing this level of sales engagement brings down the cost of customer acquisition. It also provides companies with an increased base of potential customers in a shorter period of time.
  • Cloud-based customer engagement using digital trails on the Cloud to capture customer behavior and interactions with the product in real-time helps these companies quickly adapt to changing customer needs and sharpen the product development roadmap.

The report is part of the iSPIRT Product Industry Insights (PII) series, and is co-authored by representatives from both Microsoft Ventures as well as the iSPIRT Foundation. It is a compilation of learnings from a Think Next panel discussion held in May 2014.

Announcing the report, Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India, said: “This report is a refreshing perspective on the startup ecosystem, and showcases how Indian software developers are adapting to the unique requirements of the local market to deliver value to their customers. It highlights the unique product development cycle being adopted by these companies and also provides some guidance on how these companies should be evaluated.”

Speaking about the report and the collaboration with Microsoft Ventures, Sanjay Shah, MD, Invensys Skelta and iSpirt Fellow, said; “With the launch of this report, we are looking to further understand the dynamics of the mid-market SaaS companies as a unique category within software product companies in India. We will continue to foster talks and take this discussion forward, and our next step would be to delve deeper into the three pillars of their business strategies.”

On the sidelines of the report launch, Dev Khare, Principal, Lightspeed Ventures India said, “Indian software products have now hit world-class standards in terms of design, usability and ease-of-adoption in areas such as CRM, HCM, marketing automation, business intelligence and developer tools. The Internet has flattened the world in terms of the competitive playing field – strategies outlined in this report are contributing greatly to giving Indian software product companies an advantage in India and globally.”

Microsoft Ventures Think Next
is a semi-annual conclave of thought leaders and startups to network, deliberate and spur the growth of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a forum for thought leaders in the technology ecosystem to come together and compare notes. This initiative provides a feedback loop for the initiatives that are already underway, connects the dots for thought leaders, provides deeper insights to developing trends and delineates the next steps on facilitating faster maturation of the startup ecosystem.

About Microsoft Ventures
Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build great companies. We work with startups at every stage of maturity to provide the tools, resources, and expertise they need to succeed. The initiative is broad-based, and includes a community program, accelerators, and a seed fund. Our approach helps startups scale their business, bring innovative services to market and reach new customers. Visit Microsoft Ventures at to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight.

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