Zluri is an enterprise SaaS Management Platform founded in 2020 by Chaithanya Yambari, Ritish Reddy Puttaparthi, and Sethu Meenakshisundaram. The startup is headquartered at San Francisco, United States. StartupTalky took the initiative to get insights around building how to build a SaaS Product.
Insights shared by Mr.Ritish Reddy, Founder & CEO, Zluri.
How did you get your first 10 clients for your SaaS Company?
We got out initial customers through referrals and content marketing.
Each of the co-founders - Ritish, Sethu, and Chaitanya - had a decade of experience building/selling enterprise software before starting Zluri. They were founding members of Knolskape and made some excellent connections while working there.
During the ideation phase (of Zluri) itself, we had pitched ideas within our circles. So, when our MVP (minimum viable product) was ready, the first thing we did was to reach out to our network for feedback. Not only did they give helpful feedback, but a few of them were also interested in the product, and a few referred to the right people, who later became our customers.
What's 1 pain which you are solving for your customer?
We help companies solve the challenges of managing SaaS applications.
Though all companies know the benefits of SaaS, not many are aware of the problems it brings. The high adoption of SaaS in the post-pandemic era has brought new problems for IT teams, like SaaS sprawl.
When employees themselves start purchasing apps without the purview of IT, it leads to shadow IT and SaaS sprawl. This leads to budget wastage (in the form of unused & underused apps, many apps with similar functionality, unsuitable licenses ) and brings security and compliance issues if not dealt with.
Traditionally, these apps were managed in spreadsheets but spreadsheets have their own limitations. It is time-consuming to update the app details every time a new one is bought, but they are also prone to errors.
Further, many tasks are not possible in spreadsheets, like app discovery, visibility into SaaS usage, automation of giving and revoking access to apps while onboarding and offboarding, etc.
Zluri solves these issues by eliminating SaaS wastage, reducing security and compliance risks, and automating IT tasks, like provisioning and deprovisioning of apps.
Finding an Ideal Customer Profile is very important for SaaS startups. How did you go about doing that?
We knew one thing from the beginning that our product would be most useful for companies using a large number of SaaS apps. So, we reached out to IT and finance directors at many enterprises, where we got many insights on who would need our product the most.
What we found was that big organisations were still relying on on-premise software. Though they were moving towards the cloud, most software apps were still not consumed as SaaS.
On the other hand, though recently founded startups were using SaaS apps, the problems were not painful enough to solve for immediately.
What are your views on the Indian SaaS market?
Indian SaaS startups are in a position to grow rapidly today. What makes this possible is the demand for software and the availability of talent and capital in the Indian market.
The software revolution powered by the SaaS delivery model is giving rise to SaaS consumption in the domestic and international markets. Companies have seen the benefits of SaaS in events like a pandemic.
Then we have very talented people in the Indian market who can build high-quality products quickly. We can make a prototype, iterate at high speed, fail fast, and pivot.
We have a lot of communities that support Indian startup ecosystems, like SaaS Boomi, TiE, etc.
Further, Indian startups can launch in multiple markets simultaneously and win big in the international markets like the US, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
What are a few things a founder must take care of during SaaS product development?
A SaaS product needs to be developed based on the industry and customer you will be selling to. If you take SaaS, two kinds of people will be your customer: a buyer and a user.
Before building the product, it is essential to understand them. Your product must help the end-user deliver value, and the value must be viewable to the buyer. So, before deciding to build a product, the first step is to talk to at least 100 users to understand their problems.
Of course, you aren't going to come up with a solution for each of those pain points initially, but you can go after the common ones to build an MVP (minimum viable product).
Make sure to keep note of the other problems as well and include them in your product roadmap for the next few quarters.
After completion of the minimum viable product, get the users feedback, validate the problem-solution fit with users, and analyse the scope for improvements.
In some cases, users might suggest a better solution for some of their problems. In those cases, instead of going blindly with their solution, see how you can use innovative emerging technologies to provide the best solution for their problem.
Remember, customers are good at telling their problems, but their solutions are mostly not good. It's your job to think and come up with the best solution.
Once you get the initial users, take their feedback regularly and keep improving your product.