How to Scale a SaaS Startup Globally: The Story of Worxogo

As a SaaS startup, there are several questions regarding product development, sales, pricing, market growth and scalability that we face every day. Sivaramakrishnan Narayan, Director – Product Development at Worxogo shared some insights into Worxogo’s early days and how they scaled so quickly in a short span of 3 years.

Hamad Jowher, a volunteer with Headstart interviewed Sivaramakrishnan Narayan at Startup Saturday to get insights into the fast growth of Worxogo.

  • Could you explain to us what your SaaS business solution does?

We started Worxogo to help employees get a realistic understanding of their productivity levels while at work. The solution uses a mix of gamification and economics to encourage employees to use the solution to their benefit. Worxogo is the only SaaS Solution that focuses on ‘Employee Productivity’.

  • How did you meet your founding team?

We are 6 members who’ve been in the industry for 15-20 years and have known each other for a similar number of years. During our discussions, we would explore various opportunities that would help us use our consulting skills.

We were looking for an avenue to utilize all our individual consultation skills and scale it. The discussion started from there and it has evolved over the years to become what it is today. So yes, there is a long association and comfort with the team.

  • How did you manage to get big clients like PWC and ICICI Bank as your first set of customers?

Luckily for us, we have been in this industry for a long time. So our network pans across and business verticals and sectors. We got our initial set of customers through direct contacts and introductions within the network. It helps that we’ve built strong credibility as individuals over our years of experience.

“You need to have a lot of contacts that are monetizable, that’s where you start from”.   

  • What is your sales process, how do you close customers?

Businesses allocate thousands of dollars to improve growth productivity of their employees. Today, they want a solution that shows results. Our sales process involves talking about specific pain-points that our clients face and how our solution addresses them directly.

We give specific data points of the improvements that the company can expect after integrating our solution. For example, one of our clients told us that a sales guy spends several hours talking and convincing dealers to buy their service without any tracking mechanism. This is where the worxogo solution comes into play. We help our customers track the productivity of each sales member so that they can make improvements to their sales pitch/ process, thereby improving overall productivity.

When we talk about business outcomes, we say you want to make a 20% improvement in productivity, that’s what we do.

  • How did you expand into the global market? What steps did you take?

We’re still in the nascent stage of growth in the US market. Again, our initial set of US clients were through references from our existing clients. Since they’ve experienced our product and service, and believe in our team, it happened smoothly. To build such credibility you have to get people to trust you and what you’re doing. If you don’t have a network, you should build a network.

  • What is your product positioning and what is the pricing model?

Pricing is a complicated problem that we’re still trying to solve. Ours is not a full subscription SaaS model yet. The pricing strategy should consider the duration of the contract, the number of users, different features offered, etc. which we’re still experimenting with.

  • What is the next step in your journey? Which stage of growth are you at?

We’ve already validated product-market fit, now we want to scale. We are looking for a coach who will be able to tell us what we’re doing right without being invasive.

  • Your customers are predominantly from the financial sector. Was it a planned move?

It didn’t consciously happen. We got started with Axis bank and they gave us the reference to ICICI Bank. From there it grew organically. Also, our sales strategy involves reaching out and selling to the functional decision-makers of the organization, rather than the HR or admin heads.

  • How was the experience while pitching to your first set of investors? What is your growth strategy going forward?

If you have a simple representation of your story which addresses an age-old problem there’s a good chance of getting investment. We were addressing ‘workplace productivity’ and no one else was doing it. I think that worked well for us.

Currently, we have two priorities. Our product is already ticking the right boxes and generating both traction and money. The Series A funding we received from Inventus India and Ideaspring Capital is helping us focus on improving our product further. Our second priority is to enter the US market. We’re ahead of any possible competitor, and we want to leverage our first-mover advantage.

  • What are 3 big learnings from your startup journey?

Working in a startup is hard. We have to keep our minds open to concepts that don’t come from our own head. We need to be very clear about what our solution will not provide, more than what all it will provide, and thirdly speed is of the essence when you’re doing something that is new and untested. Avoid overselling and making claims that aren’t true, we’re very conscious of that of when we sell.

Contributed by: Ashika Devi
Volunteer, Headstart Bangalore