SaasBoomi 2024 Chennai – What I learnt and discovered

Last week, on Thursday (3/7) and Friday (3/8) I attended the annual SaasBoomi 24 event in Chennai, India.

What is SaaSBoomi?

SaaSBoomi is an ecosystem for SaaS founders or Executives. You get to meet others who are building in the SaaS space. 

I have heard about SaaSBoomi in the past and have also known about the events that happened in Chennai. However, for some reason (travel/others), I never took it seriously. Even this year, when SaaSBoomi was announced I did not register, and finally, when I decided to attend, the tickets were sold out. However, I tried to work my way through, and got in touch with Vivek Khandelwal, a SaaSBoomi volunteer and Founder of iZooto. He let me know of a waitlist / lucky draw. Just got lucky getting in.

What happened at SaaSBoomi 2024?

First off, if you are building SaaS products, this event is very relevant and important. 

In the fireside chat that I attended, Dheeraj Pandey Co-founder of DevRev, and Manav Garg, Founder & CEO of Eka Software Solutions had a great conversation. Dheeraj emphasised that the key differentiator will be people in spite of all the AI around us. You need great people, who travel with travel along with you for long

There were also a host of start-up presentations including from companies like InVideo (Sanket Shah), (Sneha Roy), Portkey, Clueso(Neel Balar), AuraML, and Dubverse.

A lot of us working in the SaaS space encounter the same problems. How do you scale revenues from 0 to 1M, 1M to 10M, 10M to 100M, and beyond? How do you determine if there is a product-market fit? How do you do SEO? How do companies scale? These are common questions a lot of SaaS founders and executives have.

There were workshops on these topics. The Founders and Executives open up and they are also vulnerable. In one of the workshops I attended Kirsh Subramanian, CEO of Chargebee, Srikrishnan Ganesan CEO of RocketLane, and Lalit Bhise CEO of Bizom shared their experiences and business problems. Krish led this session and he made sure it was interactive. You could ask about anything, discussing real-world problems on what worked, and what didn’t. All of them were very accessible even after these workshops.

In another workshop that I attended Sashi Narahari, CEO of High Radius was kind enough to bring in his team Kiran Rana (GM, Mid Market), Kush Kumar (SVP, Enterprise Sales), and Prasanna Boni (SVP Products). The workshop covered product market fit, marketing, and sales and offered some live examples. It was nicely moderated by Suresh Sambandam CEO of KissFlow.

In his keynote, Girish Mathroobotham, CEO of Freshworks, the first Indian SaaS company to list on NASDAQ shared his story on riding waves and how today all of us need to be riding the AI wave. He also talked about AI being the Monster wave. Girish is a master storyteller and it was great listening to him there is a lot one could learn. He also went back to the roots of SaaSBoomi, on how it all started, and outlined his vision for the Big Indian Dream – India being a Product Nation and how SaaS can contribute to it.

Avinash Raghava CEO of SaaSBoomi in his closing note, talked about creating a movement. He referenced this TedX video. It was nice to see this video, as I did come across the same video being referenced in the book So Good They Can’t Ignore you. Things like this re-emphasize your learnings. Thanks, Avinash for the inspiration.

The first fireside chat on the second day was with Bhaskar Bhat, (MD of TITAN) hosted by Ashwin Ramasamy (Co-Founder of PipeCandy). Ashwin had curated the questions well and did his research. Bhaskar talked about the TATA values and the story of TITAN. I did not know that the Tamil Nadu Government was a stakeholder in TITAN. The name TITAN is derived from TATA Industries and Tamil Nadu[TITAN]. Phanindra Sama (Founder of RedBus) hosted a fireside chat with Krishnakumar Natarajan KK (Co-Founder of Mindtree). Phani did a great job presenting KK and it was great to hear KK”s perspectives on the Services Industry and AI.

In events like this, you get to meet with a lot of smart people. You could have conversations with key players who are building in the SaaS space in India. Anand Jain, CEO of Clever Tap (we sat next to each other at one of the keynotes and it was great to have a quick chat), Khadim Batti. CEO of Whatfix (he offered some great insights during a brief chat), Vinod Muthukrishnan (CloudCherry) was available to answer questions from anyone in need and more. I also bumped into some friends Dharmendiran A.R. and Ramya Chandrasekaran from Datalligence.

One cannot but be in awe of the designs of Georgie Paul and volunteers. SaaSBoomi is a volunteer-led organization. If you are interested to learn about the different sessions and workshops you can find them here.

My Big Takeaways:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future. The first day of the conference was focussed on AI. Are we incorporating AI in our products? If not, rethink and make sure we ride the monster wave. This is a big opportunity.

Take a step back, think, and see how you can apply these learnings and also have deeper conversations with experts.

Thanks, SaaSBoomi for building a purpose-driven wonderful ecosystem. Thankful to be a part of it.

This article was originally published by Karthik Chidambaram. 

About the author

Karthik Chidambaram

Founder & CEO at DCKAP
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