At the #NAMA Conference, Paras Chopra of Wingify and Girish M of Freshdesk talked about the growing SAAS (Software As a Service) market and about copy cat startups. The session was moderated by Dev Khare of Light Speed Venture Partners.

Here are some notes from the session:

– Girish of Freshdesk stated that it was ok to launch a clone of a successful business elsewhere  it was ok to enter an established large market with existing competition, since it’s better to target markets with the largest customers, and develop apps which people are already using, rather than targeting random markets with no users.

– Elaborating on this approach, he noted that it depends on how the company innovates with an existing product, differentiating them from its competitors. Girish further added that they were about an year late to the market with Freshdesk, but the opportunity was huge and the existing solutions were too expensive, all of which triggered the launch of Freshdesk.

– Girish noted that social media will be a differentiator in the future, since customer support has shifted from one-to-one to one-to-many.

–  Chopra pointed out that there will be always be a set of customers who will be dissatisfied with existing solutions. He said that startups who plan to launch a copy of successful businesses should identify this set of customers, figure out what’s missing in the existing solutions and what users want, which could act as differentiators for their own products. Following this, Chopra noted that startups can later pivot or expand their feature set to challenge the market leader in the future.

– Girish also noted that startups should look for base talent initially and look for innovative ways to attract talent, since good talent is not easily available in the market. Citing an example, Girish stated that they weren’t able to find a good developer who could focus both on a good interface and a good user experience to their website, because of which they split the interface work to aesthetics and usability, which was later outsourced to artists in regional publications and CSS developers, respectively.

– Speaking about pricing their products, Girish stated that startups should fix prices based on their target market. For instance, if they are targeting smaller and medium enterprises, they will have to price the products quite low, however if they intend to target large enterprises, they can price the products higher.

– Girish also noted that startups can find out what features are important for smaller customers and larger customers and launch different versions of their products with a varying feature set, which caters to both the customers.

Update: We had previously made an error in reporting. We apologize for the same and have updated the article.