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The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is organizing NASSCOM Product Conclave  017 on Tuesday, 7th Feb 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.


NASSCOM Product Conclave (NPC) is the platform for Indian software product companies to engage with the community. NPC is a unique event wherein the best and brightest technology leaders, emerging companies and start-ups congregate. NPC North is an opportunity for the companies in the Product ecosystem to create a buzz, showcase their brands and display product excellence.

NPC North is a regional attempt to set the stage for Indian start-ups and emerging companies to access knowledge & support from the ecosystem on building markets, creating high-performance teams and addressing funding concerns.

NPC has a glorious history of over a decade. NPC 2016 held at Bangalore, witnessed 2500+ national and international delegates, interaction with 200+ speakers in over a 100+ sessions, 140+ product showcases, various connect programs, five summits for practitioners and much more excitement over three days.

If you have a great product which can be showcased in front of the market leaders then you should attend #NPCNorth2017. We have listed down three reasons explaining why you should not miss NASSCOM NPC North 2017:


  1. Connect: NPC North provides a platform for product companies where one can engage with the investors and CXOs of user communities (enterprises) for strategic partnerships. Imagine the top-level networking you are going to get from here.

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  1. Showcase: Product companies who have build a great product will get an opportunity to showcase their product at the event and that too in front of the market leaders, investors and CXO’s etc.

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  1. Learn: Along with networking and product showcase, this event does provide a platform where motivational speakers will pump up the adrenaline among the start-ups, high achievers will share their experience and subject matter experts are going to conduct workshops on relevant topics including Sales – Enterprise SaaS, Going International; Content Marketing; Connected Things/Industrial Internet; Funding and Mentoring nitty-gritties.


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Be ready to immerse yourself in the excitement of networking with experts, investors, founders and mentors. Plunge deep into meaningful conversations with your peers and delight in the experience that constitutes the one and only NASSCOM Product Conclave!

Get more detail here:

Use npcnorth2017 to track all content and discussions around the event.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is organizing NASSCOM Product Conclave 2017 on Tuesday, 7th Feb 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.  This event will bring together the best of 4 workshops with first-“SaaS Products” on day 1, followed by “Designing For User Engagement”, “Product Marketing” & “Selling to South East Asia” on same day with members of Nasscom Board, speaks about the main highlights of this event.



Workshop 1: SaaS Products : Go-to- Market in 180 days

Schedule: 11:00 am, 7th Feb 2017

The term "software as a service" (SaaS) is considered to be part of the nomenclature of cloud computing, along with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS), managed software as a service (MSaaS), mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), and information technology.

With the help of this workshop you will be able to understand SaaS in a better way. SaaS, the real problem-solving power, will help you to face the market in just 180 days.



Workshop 2: Designing for User Engagement

Schedule: 11:00 a.m, 7th Feb 2017

Every UI designer wants to engage their userbase. That’s the whole point of a website or mobile app: to provide something of value that gets visitors excited and interactive. But it’s almost impossible to gauge engagement unless you’re actually watching a user interact with your website. Thankfully, there are clues and metrics that can be used to infer user engagement.

This workshop will cover how these metrics work, and why they imply greater engagement from users.


Workshop 3: Product Marketing

Schedule: 13:45 pm, 7th Feb 2017

The success of every product lies in its customer base and brand value. This workshop will cover how to develop an end to end product marketing strategy for technology products.

This workshop will also breakdown the role of product marketing within a larger product and engineering team. Aimed at beginner and intermediate marketers as well as entrepreneurs looking to develop an end to end strategy to bring their products to market.


Workshop 4: Selling to South East Asia

Schedule: 14:00 pm, 7th Feb 2017

Should you sell other people's goods, sell your own goods, or enable others to do so? These workshop will teach you to how you can expand your product in South East Asia..


Register Now! Limited Seating Available


Get more detail here:


Use npcnorth2017 to track all content and discussions around the event.




Inside the boardroom of NASSCOM headquarters, takes place a serious brainstorming.

Participants - NASSCOM Products Team, NASSCOM Industry Research Team, and Zinnov (our process partner). A total of ~500 companies being screened and scrutinized on more than 30 business and technology parameters. Since I was already working on the Start-up Report - 2016 Edition - it became intriguing for me to draw synergies between our report and the EMERGE 50 Analysis. Some of the key findings are given below:


Tier 1 cities harbor maximum software product companies - tier 2,3 steadily making their visibility

Although Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad occupied more that 70% of the total application pool, companies from tier 2 cities were also becoming noticeable. Jaipur, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Visag, Trivandrum, Amritsar, and Chandigarh - together accounting for 6% of the application pool. With >13 states having already established start-up policy frameworks, this number is bound to rise in the next couple of years.


B2B businesses are becoming prominent in India

65% of the applicants offered B2B solutions. In a country with 1.3 billion customers, with huge scope and opportunities for B2C companies, B2B software product firms are also making their presence felt - most of them catering to both Indian and global clients. B2B product start-ups (as per our start-up report) occupied 1/4th of the total start-up funding and their funding went up by 18-22% YoY.


Big data/analytics, cloud, and enterprise solutions are the most popular, IoT catching up fast

Of the top 50 companies recognized and awarded at the NPC, ~50% of the companies offered analytics solutions. 20% of them offered IoT solutions - in the HealthTech, CleanTech, EnergyTech, and Robotics. Top technologies as per our start-up report would be Big Data/Analytics, Cloud, IoT, ML/AI (~750 start-ups in India).


Product companies are exploring global markets

>80% of the total applicants had some form of global focus, highlighting that global scaling is on the top of their mind, prompting them to create world-class software products.


Finally, I will leave you with the list of the top 10 companies recognized by EMERGE 50 Awards.

Company Name
AVR EdGE Networks Pvt. Ltd.BangaloreHIREalchemyHIREalchemy is an end-to-end AI driven solution for workforce transformation
Cardiac Design LabsBangaloreMIRCaMMIRCaM is a single front line device for advanced cardiac diagnosis with intelligence which provides real time analysis and generates instant alarms on detection of problems informing a doctor ahead of time, thereby enhancing patient care and safety.
Ducere Technologies Pvt. Ltd.HyderabadLechal FootwearLechal is the one of the world’s first interactive haptic footwear - that helps in navigation and monitors fitness
Hansel.ioBangaloreHansel.ioA toolkit for software developers which allows them to fix crashes and dynamically communicate with users
iFuture RoboticsBangaloreArk RobotBuilds technology inspection systems (mobile robots) for small scale manufacturing industries
Indix Internet India Private LimitedChennaiIndix APIIndix Product API provides RESTful, programmatic access to offers and catalog information, and easily integrates with ecommerce platforms, business systems, and product information management systems.
LogicLadder TechnologiesGurgaonEnergyLogicIQEnergyLogicIQ makes energy data simple to acquire, understand and act upon. Using machine learning technology that turns facilities into conscious facilities that learn from and respond to every energy wastage.
Oslabs Technology (India) Pvt. Ltd.MumbaiIndus OSIndus OS is the world's first regional operating system made for smartphones in India & other emerging markets
Razorpay Software Private LimitedBangaloreRazorpay ServicesOffers developer-friendly APIs and hassle-free integration for fast, affordable, and secure way for merchants, schools, ecommerce, and other companies to accept payments online
SirionLabsGurgaonSirionA SaaS platform that helps technology buyers and sellers effectively manage costs and risks associated with complex service agreements


As you can see, Indian software product companies and tech start-ups are beginning to offer sophisticated technologies and platforms, foraying both locally and globally. Do share your thoughts today on how can these companies scale fast and sustainably.

We shared a few insights from our latest report on startups here and here on funding. Given that the report is extensive, here are a few more interesting datapoints from the report that you may find interesting.


First, accelerators/ incubators have seen over 40% YoY growth in 2016. Impetus from government and corporates have made this possible. Around 30 new academic incubators established under the ‘Start-up India Stand-up India’ initiative. Most of the incubators are located in Mumbai, Bangalore and NCR, as are the startups.




Incubators/Accelerators differ in the type of support and mentorship provided. Here is an overview, see more in our startup report.




We will share more insights and simplify the report findings. Stay tuned. We also have a special report coming out in accelerators/ incubators in a month. Get the details of that too on the Community.

Shekhar Kirani, Partner, Accel Partners in conversation with Nishant Rao, Global COO, Freshdesk & Sudheer Koneru, Founder & CEO, Zenoti


SaaS is a rage. It can create “corporate happiness” - helps companies engage better with customers, and ease CEOs’ burden.


Horizontal SaaS can solve challenges across industry verticals and purely from that standpoint, the product has to be phenomenal. The targeted market is huge, so the pain points have to be identified quite accurately. Vertical SaaS is specific to a particular industry, and usually offers end-to-end solutions.


When should one go Horizontal? If the markets are established and one wants to create a major impact, then Horizontal is a good option. It is important to nail a use case, and subsequently develop solutions for other industries (with necessary tweaks) to solve their challenges in a function.


Vertical? It is ideal when one seeks out a certain scale and is passionate about solving a particular industry’s challenges. Or even all of it. Often, deep domain expertise is associated with Vertical SaaS. Once you reach a critical mass in a particular vertical, it might be a good idea to explore horizontally.


Some popular horizontal SaaS products are in the areas of CRM, Employee Engagement, Communities & Collaboration, and Inventory Management among others. To build sophisticated products in these areas the investment required is often large. The initial focus should be to acquire the first 10 customers. Initially, it is prudent to keep a narrow focus and then build scale based on success. If one is able to secure a marquee brand, then so much the better. This will provide the much needed momentum.

For years together, NASSCOM Product Conclave has been the breeding ground for ideas and collaboration, bringing together various stakeholders of the technology product ecosystem. From the last couple of years, NPC has shown a strong focus towards start-ups and innovation. In line with this focus, and the rising interconnectivity with other global ecosystems, one of the sessions at NPC focused around the ‘French Tech Ecosystem and Initiatives’. Being a technology analyst and an ardent follower of the Indian tech start-up landscape, I got intrigued enough to attend the session.

Some of my learnings of the French landscape:Picture3.pngSome of the points to think over:

  • Although India stands 3rd globally in the number of start-ups, we have 140+ incubators/accelerators in India – less than France. Given India’s scale and growth, is this enough?
  • The investments by French govt. is 4.5 times what is promised under India’s Start-up India and Stand-up Policies. Again, is this enough?
  • Maximum applications to French Tech Ticket flowing in from India – could mean many things – Indian entrepreneurs looking for global markets because A) they find it hard to start-up in India or B) they are late entrants in categories which are already mature in India like eCommerce. Whatever the reason, is there a scope and possibility to make Indian start-up environment even more conducive to retain talent and companies, and by conducive I mean technologically, environmentally, and socially?

Our start-up ecosystem is maturing like never before, but we continue to need more impetus and push from various stakeholders of the ecosystem – impetus in the form of funding, structured mentoring, and ease of doing business in India. With the hope that the French start-up ecosystem makes its mark globally and flourishes as one of the key hubs in Europe, I also bring to notice that India can’t become complacent on any front – we should continue being aggressive and take the imperative of becoming the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’. Can we?

We shared a few insights from our latest report on startups here. Given that the report is extensive, here are a few more interesting datapoints from the report that you may find interesting.


First, we told you India is third in terms of number of #startups Here is the bigger picture on where other countries stand.




Second, coming to cities from countries, how many of you knew that cities prove conducive to specific sort of startups? For example, Hyderabad gets infotech, Pune gets health and Chennai dominated B2B start-ups in India.


startup 2.PNG

Third, let’s come to funding. Despite subdued funding, 6-10% YoY growth in the number of start-ups funded.




Here are the leading investors in India


How much funding went to B2B and B2C startups?



At which stages were most start-ups funded?



We will share more insights and simplify the report findings. Stay tuned.

Dheeraj Pandey, Chairman & CEO Nutanix, in conversation with Bejul Somaia, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture.



To executives who are currently employed in companies – it’s an inner calling, a certain gut feel and you know that it’s time to startup. And only the individual would know when the time is right. It is important to realise that when one quits a job to do something large, it is essentially asking all the family members to sign up, and the opportunity cost is often huge. A professional colleague had once remarked to Dheeraj that fatherhood prepares an individual to cope better with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. It’s always about seeking that “average line.”


Increasingly, everything is becoming software and there’s a distinct need to bring this convergence to the masses and build everyday applications accordingly. That’s why the design element is so important. What would the application do? The developer should be able to see it from the user’s point of view. It’s the hardware which is getting disrupted and not the OS. The applications sit atop the OS.


He had an interesting point to make about culture. “No one and repeat, absolutely no one is above the law” and building the right corporate culture is about doing the right things to empower people at the grass-roots. Especially the attitude towards salespeople. At the end of the day they are human beings too. They have feelings, insecurities like everyone else. Also, one needs to constantly benchmark against the very best in the industry. It is most important NOT to take shortcuts while hiring people. At the same time, it is important to realise that better people may come with a lot of attitudinal problems which ultimately leads to a lot of negativity. The “I, me, myself” syndrome is often a red flag at the time of interviews. There will be tough moments when one has to let go of individuals and such discussions are never easy.


He mentioned about “not getting too deep in the froth of unicorns.” This applies to choosing who your colleagues will be, and includes investors as well. It is essential to choose investors keeping an eye for the long-term. “Authenticity” is his favourite word. It cuts across the value chain. So what exactly is authenticity? It’s about taking self-righteousness out of honesty, and adding vulnerability to the equation. Authenticity = Honesty – self-righteousness + Vulnerability. 


Want more blogs, session updates, videos and discussions from NASSCOM Product Conclave, 2016, Bangalore? Use the hashtag npc2016  and find them all.

Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO, InMobi in conversation with Govind Ethiraj


CvsFKKZUAAAjmOz.jpg                                       Photo credit: Kiran Kashikar


We keep hearing this phrase “the journey of a startup.” Naveen had an interesting take for a Cricket crazy nation. At NPC 2016, he said, it’s like graduating from T20 to one-day and finally the big stage of test match, a similar experience and exposure which a cricketer finds in process. However, there’s a vital difference. In startups, unlike cricket, the progression is seldom linear, the format unannounced, and one is thrust into the middle without quite knowing which way things will go.


The margins in his business are handsome and yet it took several years before he started making money. Being a tech-driven platform, the investments in the earlier years were heavy and one of the major reasons why profitability kicked-in late. Naveen estimates that the Mobile Ad Tech has the potential to be a 250 billion USD industry in the next few years. InMobi is of course among the frontrunners in this space. The Ad Tech business is driven by emotions, and a very US-centric view of the world that global players are experimenting with at present.  


He shared an interesting thought on VC funding. He said, it can often spoil startup founders and lead to wasteful spending such as undertaking massive unwarranted changes in org structures, unless one is mindful of it at all times. The aim should be to invest in new ideas, a philosophy which he has been successfully following at InMobi.


The media likes stories which are laced with extremities – both of success and failure. They will never write about everyday operations which is most boring for readers. Hence, there is always a tendency to exaggerate conditions to draw eyeballs, especially when it involves exits of high profile execs from some of the fastest growing companies. In India, it is a common enough practise to hire from traditional companies, but many a times, the cultural shift becomes a challenge and can land the startup in a quagmire. It is wise to part ways under such conditions, and is healthy for both parties concerned. The ability to transition to a wholly different culture or the lack of it, is the real reason why people leave. Here, Naveen did some straight talking and his candidness was rather impressive. He has a mnemonic for people who stay and that includes him as well. ASS. A for attitude, S for smart and the second S stands for skill. It is absolutely essential for people who stay, to believe in the company’s vision. Just as people need to be appreciated for what they do, at times, hard calls need to be taken and there’s blood on the table. It’s unavoidable if one is running a successful venture.


On being queried, why it is that few “people” really understand his revenue model, he shrugged off with customary candour – well, it’s a B2B model so he is really focussed on making enterprises understand what InMobi does!


Ladies and gentlemen, that’s Naveen Tewari for you – the face of a new ambitious India which knows what it wants and is constantly working towards it.


Want more blogs, session updates, videos and discussions from NASSCOM Product Conclave, 2016, Bangalore? Use the hashtag npc2016  and find them all.

The new report on startups by NASSCOM was unveiled at the NASSCOM Product Conclave, 2016, in Bangalore recently. The report as expected has been one of the most anticipated ones of the year and has been quoted by media extensively. Here is a brief of the coverage. If you are interested in state of the startup ecosystem, this should interest you.


The Economic Times




Read here:




The Hindu



Silicon India






Communications Today



Daily Thanthi




Navbharat Times



Dainik Bhaskar






With L4k New Cos, India Retains Startup-hub Tag

Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder & CEO, Social Capital in conversation with Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner PRIME Venture Partners



       photo credit: prime venture partners


Disruption is often associated with startups, finds resonance in new funding theories as well. A session title, well earned. Arguably, the volume of money doing rounds earlier had caused inflationary conditions to prevail. It is also interesting to note how capital is now being allocated. Some of the mandatory norms which got people funding ten years back, has clearly become antiquated. One can get funded even over Linkedin, if the messaging is compelling enough and packaged well. Today, one does not even need a high school education to get funded.


The rise of everything-as-a-service essentially means it’s like a tap. You turn it on when you need it. Why can’t funding be the same way? Why can’t people have access to funds just as easily as they do for software?


Social Capital has invested around 1 billion USD in a whole lot of ventures including Healthcare, Fintech and Enterprise SaaS. Chamath believes that it is imperative to understand the business before investing. Mathematical models can be derived successfully once a deeper understanding is gained, which can also be used for other investment decisions. The insights drawn from Capitalism can be automated to provide systematised learning. There has to be new ways of getting funded without having to give up a substantial stake in business.


Right now the funding ecosystem is buffeted. So far, young entrepreneurs were riding the high GDP growth and not expending enough efforts on building fundamentally strong businesses. Unit economics was yet to kick in for many. Once there is a structurally broken business, it’s almost impossible to claw back. One should strive to create value to derive more “pricing power” and be able to shift the benefits back to customers. The Pricing Sensitivity Model of Social Capital for instance, is also made available to people who don’t get funded.


As an investor, some bets obviously don’t work but one has to be prepared to be flexible. It is most essential to be in a constant state of preparedness where you know you are capable of beating the best. Ego and bias gets in the way when one bets incorrectly or misses an opportunity completely. The real learning should be about divorcing oneself from these negative traits, and not really linger on what has happened. The parameters of deciding whether funding can be made would depend on the business model - whether it is B2B model or a consumer business.


Often there’s a dilemma whether to go with hedge funds or capital markets. Essentially these are different stages in the lifecycle and one has to be prepared that once they go public, VCs are likely to abandon them overnight. Well so be it.     

A CEO is an investor. He invests on human capital, finance to create value and ultimately he is in the business of generating returns. The aim should always be to drive down the cost of capital over time. For the investor it is most important to get out of the way and let the CEO run the show.

Building a customer-centric organisation: The hike in the Unicorn world

Kavin Bharati Mittal, Founder & CEO, Hike Messenger in conversation with Syna Dehnugara, Features Editor, CNBC TV 18


The latest entrant in the coveted club of Unicorns, Hike was founded in 2012. Most interestingly, the first set of customers were from Germany and Middle-East. Kavin explained to us, at that time Hike had a 128-bit encryption, a not-so-common feature those days, and Germans being a stickler for security absolutely lapped up the idea. It became consumer-centric in a completely different part of the world.


To be able to build a sound product for India, one has to gather a deep understanding of consumer behaviour. As Kavin says, that is exactly where Hike scores very high and is able to hold its own even globally. The Indian consumers’ needs are very specific and has to be catered to in accordance. He gave an example. Smartphones in India are a shared device and even children have access to elders’ phones. Hike understands this peculiar trait, and has built chat features which can keep conversations hidden.  


Despite all the media coverage coupled with very high expectations, Kavin is never under stress. He is most excited about how the business can accelerate and double or even treble the number of active users. The Unicorn continues to raise the bar and create differentiation in messaging. There’s much talk about AI and Machine Learning, and Hike is not to be left behind. It has a repository of 10 k stickers and prompts the user based on past usage and various other parameters, made possible through AI and Machine Learning technologies.


Kavin says, very soon apps will become like any another phonebook contact and unless there is clear distinction, dormancy will set in. The avowed growth in number of users would also depend how fast the market expands in the next few years. Typically the target audience is within the age group of 15 – 24. The next 2 – 3 years will be spent in building a phenomenal product. The value chain components are: Suppliers, distributors and consumers. The path to monetization could entail the time-tested model of vertical integration, where Hike controls both the supplier and distribution network to optimise on scale, but right now the focus is on the consumer and build an incredible product. 

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