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How to start a successful SaaS business in India in 2023?

SaaS (Software as a service) serves software to customers as a service. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that makes up the application.

By Asif Alam
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SaaS business in India

SaaS business in India

Did you know that India is quickly becoming a hotbed for IT innovation? As a developing country, it's thriving with the rise of technology hubs – with a total of 27,000 active technology-based startups. Additionally, its impressive stats in the world of Software as a Service (SaaS) startups are turning heads globally.

With almost 17,010 successful SaaS startups making their mark, it's no surprise that entrepreneurs are feeling inspired and motivated to launch their own ideas. 

So, what is a SaaS company?

SaaS (Software as a service) serves software to customers as a service. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that makes up the application.

These businesses build, develop, host, maintain, and update all the services through a centralized location. Some of the most successful Indian SaaS startups that serve as inspiration are – Pine Labs, Razorpay, Chargebee, and Zoho Corporation.

And why is SaaS rising in India? 

India is emerging as a powerhouse for innovative technology, and with the rise of Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Virtual Reality (VR), the country has become a hotbed for launching game-changing Software as a Service (SaaS) companies.

These cutting-edge startups aim to tackle problems in the B2B world by utilizing new technologies like lead management systems, cloud telephony, CRM solutions, and more.

SaaS market share in India 

India's SaaS market is to be worth $10 billion by 2025, with an 8% share of the global SaaS market. With such staggering growth potential, the opportunities for SaaS companies in India are truly limitless.

Benefits of choosing the SaaS Industry in India 

Challenges faced by the Indian SaaS market

  • India has a huge tech-based talent pool
  • Prospecting with bad data
  • The benefits of cost
  • Global scalability issues
  • The benefit of customer support
  • Data security 
  • Location and culture 
  • High integration cost 

If you're one of those aspiring founders and wondering where to start, we've got you covered with an expert guide to help you hit the ground running in India's exciting SaaS ecosystem.

The key to success is to keep it simple and straightforward. 

Here are some steps to get you started.

1. Identify a problem that needs solving and develop a solution that alleviates it. Without addressing a problem, you don't have a business. Once you have a clear idea, write up a lean plan. Rather than a lengthy 40-page plan, start with a one-page pitch. It's faster and more suitable for constantly testing new ideas.

2. Validate your SaaS idea by finding out whether your assumptions are true or false. Attempt to answer the question, "Can my idea make money?" Once you've validated your idea, explore pricing models and initial customer acquisition. Subscription-based pricing models are popular in the SaaS industry.

3. Establishing your brand is crucial in standing out in a crowded marketplace. Figure out how to differentiate yourself from competitors, and make it memorable. Ensure that you comply with industry-specific rules and regulations when setting up your company legally.

4. Build your product with the following principles in mind

  • Start as soon as possible, 
  • Start small, 
  • Use a development technology,
  • Keep core development in-house. 

5. Develop your go-to-market strategy. There are many ways to market a SaaS product — from paid advertising and affiliate partnerships to active outreach to media outlets and content marketing. Experimenting with a combination of these methods is a good idea. Pay attention to what works and be aware that it may change over time.

6. Establish metrics for success. Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of numbers, if you run a business, you’re going to have to get used to looking at them.

Government support for the Indian SaaS industry 

India has been promoting cloud adoption in the country through project MeghRaj (launched in 2014) to accelerate the delivery of e-services and has established a vision to develop India as a global cloud computing hub. 

The government has introduced various policies –

  1. National Policy on Software Products 
  2. Start-up Accelerator Programme of MEITY for Product Innovation, Development, and Growth (SAMRIDH).