OUR GUESTS

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    Ganesh Shankar

    CEO , RFPIO
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    Sarvana Kumar

    Co-Founder , Kovai.co

OUR HOST

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    Pankaj Mishra

    Founder , FactorDaily

What’s the first thought that gets triggered when you hear a mention of Coimbatore? For me, it’s always been the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. Much before startups became a cool word to go around, Coimbatore’s entrepreneurs have been busy creating enterprises, failing, learning and growing. It’s called “the Manchester of South India” for a solid reason.

So it was a delight to record this conversation with Ganesh Shankar, CEO of RFPIO and Saravana Kumar, co-founder of Kovai.co–the two entrepreneurs who hail from Coimbatore, and who are now working relentlessly to make the city a next-generation SaaS hub.

What’s even more heartening is to learn how India SaaS pioneer Zoho and poster child Freshworks are inspiring this new wave.

“The confidence that they gave us (Zoho and Freshworks) is amazing because even we now have 15 of the Fortune 500 companies as customers. Both Zoho and Freshworks have delivered quality products globally from India, and that’s the key motivation,” Ganesh tells me in this podcast.

For a long time, Zoho remained an inspiration for a generation of SaaS startups founded by its former employees. Then came Freshworks; a complete breakaway from the Zoho’s bootstrapped model, fast-growing and nourishing an amazing product-design culture. And while both Zoho and Freshworks continue to be the role models for most SaaS companies, it’s amazing to watch the rise of another generation led by the likes of Postman and Browserstack.

“What Freshworks has done to Chennai is what we want to do to Coimbatore because that spot is still available,” Saravana tells me in this podcast. Kovai.co now has its own campus in Coimbatore, built with an investment of over $1 million.

Chargebee, co-founded by Krish Subramanian, is another inspiration for startups such as Kovai.co

“They are coming in and proving that you can build world-class products and scale,” adds Saravana.

Startups such as Kovai.co, which is at almost $10 million ARR, and RFPIO that counts Zoom, Microsoft and Adobe among its customers, are beginning to democratise the India SaaS story by looking beyond the traditional IT hubs of Chennai and Bengaluru.

Listen to this podcast to learn from the entrepreneurial journeys of RFPIO and Kovai.co, and how the startups’ founders, Ganesh and Saravana, are on a mission to make Coimbatore the next SaaS hub.