Software as a service, made in India

SaaS is redefining the software market around the world, with Indian enterprises not only consuming it, but also — like these ones — producing it

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Thinkstock

Software as a Service (SaaS) is reshaping the operations of enterprises across India, freeing them from the need to install and manage applications on servers and desktops and leaving them reliant only on internet access and a web browser. 

This software distribution model offers a lot of agility, often at a lower cost. Forrester expects enterprise cloud spending will be dominated by larger public cloud platform providers and the maturing SaaS ecosystem over the next few years, growing globally at around 21 percent annually. NASSCOM, meanwhile, forecasts that the Indian SaaS market will grow at 36 percent a year, topping USD 3 billion by 2022. 

India is not just a consumer of such services, but also a producer. A report by Google and Accel Partners forecast back in 2016 that Indian SaaS vendors would have annual revenue of USD 10 billion by 2025, serving around 8 percent of the global SaaS market for SMEs. They expect the biggest opportunities for Indian vendors to be in CRM, data visualization, HR, marketing, health care, and education. 

Here are some of the home-grown SaaS companies that can help Indian enterprises move their businesses into the cloud. 

Zoho

Founded: 1996

Categories: CRM, HR, Finance, Sales & Marketing, Analytics 

Details: Zoho’s key offerings include Zoho CRM, Zoho Books (for accounting), Zoho Inventory and Zoho People (for HR). The company also offers access to all its tools as a bundled offering, Zoho One. Headquartered in Chennai, Zoho has over 50 million users globally, including Hyatt, KPMG, Mahindra, Tata Projects, Facebook, Apollo Hospitals, and Renault.

Freshworks

Founded: 2011, rebranded in 2017

Categories: Sales, CRM, HR, IT support

Details: Freshdesk, originally the name of the company, is now the name for its customer support software. Other products include freshchat for customer messaging, freshsales for tracking prospects and deals, freshservice for IT service management and freshteam for recruitment and onboarding.

The Chennai-based software company has over 150,000 customers globally, including Cisco Systems, Pearson, Hewlett-Packard, American Express, Honda, TeamViewer, Schneider, Henkel, and Decathlon.

Chargebee

Founded: 2011

Categories: Finance, Sales, HR

Details: Software is increasingly sold as a subscription-based service, but so are many other things, from transport to industrial machinery. Chennai-based cloud-based recurring billing system integrates with CRM systems, pament gateways and accounting software to automated billing and simplify revenue operations. Among its customers are Freshworks, Linux academy, Fujitsu, and study.com. 

CRMNext

Founded: 2001

Categories: CRM

Details: CRMNext, based in Noida, is a CRM pure-player, offering cloud and on-premises versions of its software tailored for industries including banking, insurance, financial services, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and media. It’s not just for small businesses: Its largest banking CRM implementation serves over 3,25,000 users in 5000 locations across 36 countries, and some of India's major banks are its customers – Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto Finance, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Reliance Mutual Fund among them. Other customers include Tata AIA Life Insurance and Big FM.

Capillary Technologies

Founded: 2008

Categories: CRM, e-commerce 

Details: Capillary Technologies’ customer-experience platform includes tools to personalize marketing (Engage+), e-commerce (Anywhere Commerce+), loyalty programs (Loyalty+) and in-store experiences (Smart Store+). It targets retail, fashion, restaurants and hypermarkets. Over 400 brands are using it for customer engagement today, including Aditya Birla and Kalyan Jewellers in India, and Walmart, Samsung, Puma, Giordano, and Aster Pharmacy elsewhere. Capillary grew up in Bangalore, and is now headquartered in Singapore.

Agile CRM

Founded: 2013

Categories: CRM, Sales, Marketing

Details:  Agile CRM has a customer base of over 20,000. It helps businesses build customer relationships on the web with tools including landing page builders, mobile marketing, social media tools and marketing automation. The company started up in Hyderabad, where it maintains offices, and is now headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

TalView

Founded: 2012

Categories: Hiring

Details: Talview’s Instahiring platform has one purpose: simplify the interviewing and assessing of prospective employees via an online video platform. It targets customers in retail, banking, financial services, healthcare, schools and ITeS with special tools including behavioural assessments and coding tests. Founded as Interview Master Technology Solutions in Bengaluru, Talview is now headquartered in San Mateo, California. Its customers include Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Reliance Digital in Indian customers, and Amazon, Cognizant, Walmart, HCL, and Whirlpool elsewhere. 

WebEngage

Founded: 2011

Categories: Marketing 

Details: Crafting contextual and personalised marketing campaigns is what WebEngage specialises in. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company offers a customer data platform along with full-stack marketing automation for consumer businesses. WebEngage’s solutions include multi-channel user engagement, tracking user behaviour and analytics, personalized communications, and journey designer. The company has over 300 enterprise customers including Flipkart, Shawacademy, Spykar, Goibibo, BajajCapital, Yatra, Edelweiss Tokyo and Lamba

BuildaBazaar

Founded: 2011

Categories: E-commerce solutions

Details: The Gujarat-based company has helped its customers build over 90,000 online stores. It also specializes in e-commerce consulting, payment gateways, and customer services. Crossword, Amul Online, Daikin, Hidesign are among its customers.

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