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    Saravana Kumar

    CEO , Kovai.co


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    Suresh Sambandam

    CEO , Kissflow

Saravana Kumar, the founder of Kovai.co is a techie, a marketer who was ahead of the curve, and a maverick salesperson.Even during his early career, he has done the unthinkable of switching from a product company like Microsoft to consulting company like Accenture.

While at Accenture, he continued working with Microsoft products, he spotted gaps that left enterprise clients in the lurch. The techie and entrepreneur in Saravana Kumar built a product to address the challenge and managed to sell it to an enterprise market successfully. All this while working part-time for Fidelity International and moonlighting on his idea during 2 weekdays and the weekend.

During the initial days of Kovai.co, Saravana Kumar was able to win 30 enterprise clients clocking in $300k in revenues. Saravana Kumar also had the sales and marketing acumen that made him run content marketing when the term itself was known only to a handful.

He built an audience for his idea by writing 600+ articles about the Microsoft BizTalk server which created the initial buzz and demand for the product even before it its launch. This also led to Microsoft recognizing him as the ‘Most Valuable Professional’ in BizTalk Server, a credential he has held for the past 15 years.

To further build the sales pipeline, he also attended user group events across Europe and succeeded at winning at least 10 leads from every event.

As a SaaS brand’s leader, Saravana Kumar is also adept at doling out deals that others cannot refuse. A skill that came in handy in building a leadership team consisting of ex-Microsoft employees among many others.

Tune into our latest episode where Saravana retraces Kovai.co’s journey from being a one-person company to a multi-product SaaS company that is now 250+ people strong.

Key take aways:

02:13 – Introduction/Who is Saravana Kumar?

03:18 – The birth of BizTalk360, the first product

04:09 – From London to Kovai (Coimbatore)

04:52 – I see. I solve. I sell.

07:04 – Leaving Microsoft for a red carpet welcome at Accenture

16.56 – Building an audience before the product

19:23 -Nuances of  pricing a SaaS product

24:56 – The two ingredients that helped couture the enterprise market (blog and events)

29:03 – Tracing the growth journey from $100k to $8 Million

34:42 -Giving a Microsoft guy a deal he could not refuse

36:06 – A Founder’s Mindset ingrained since childhood

41:47 – Coping with the challenges of a multi-product strategy

47:34 – The biggest cost in building a software company

49:19 – Acquisitions to fuel business growth

52:46 – Building leadership talent from past network

58:45 – The Culture DNA of Kovai.co

1:02:03 – Kovai.co – The story behind the name

1:02:34 –  Kovai Connect – A program to nurture young talent

01:03:08 – The next 5-10 years for Kovai

Key mentions

  1. 16:42 – Sarvana Kumar wins recognition for exceptional community leadership – The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional 
  2. Walking buddy becomes the new COO for Kovai.co – SaaS firm Kovai.co appoints Andrew Cloke as new COO
  3. 1:07:10 Saravana Kumar featured on the cover of the Latka SaaS magazine
  4. Microsoft
  5. IIT Madras 
  6. Stanford University 
  7. Accenture
  8. National Health Service 
  9. Fidelity International 
  10. Biztalk360
  11. Serverless360 
  12. Andrew Cloke

Happy Listening!  🎧