SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Indus Khaitan

About Indus Khaitan:

Indus Khaitan is the Chief of Growth at Chargebee. He straddles on the both sides of the venture ecosystem, as an Angel investor and entrepreneur.

Before Chargebee, Indus built a mobile security company that was acquired by Oracle.


Show Notes:
02:50
A SaaS for SaaS
04:05
Four Friends Decide to Build a Company Together
06:50
Finding Product Market Fit
09:05
Starting Marketing With Content Initiatives
12:15
Building and Distributing Guides
15:10
Endorsing Content as The CEO to Bring Trust and Credibility
16:25
From Lead to Customer
18:05
Partnerships: Not Just Integrate But Jointly Provide Value to Customer
22:05
A Dedicated Team for Integration
24:25
The Chargebee Incubator
27:35
Leveraging Events for Long Term Relationships
30:31
Lessons Learned: Making Strategic Choices
32:20
2019: An Exciting Time to Be In The SaaS Space
33:55
Growth Numbers
35:00
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

DA: 02:13
Hey, Indus. Thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. Really excited to have you here. Have Chargebee on the podcast. What a cool company. I'm really excited to learn from you guys. We've got a lot of good topics to go through. But let me just first start off by asking, how are you doing today?

IK: 02:28
Really well. Can't complain. It's 66 degrees sunny outside. And after a long break we have sun and the spring is here.

DA: 02:36
Oh, that's amazing. And you're in San Francisco, right?

IK: 02:39
Absolutely.

DA: 02:40
Oh man, that's amazing. So it's nice and hot out here in Tampa, Florida. But that sounds gorgeous. I love San Fran and especially in the spring, so that's amazing. But let's jump right into the podcast. We have lots to talk about. You know, you're coming from Chargebee, so yeah, let's start off there, lets talks about the basics. Talk a little bit about Chargebee, you know, tell us when it was founded. I know it involved a few midlife crisis is maybe talk a little bit about your customer base and what you guys are doing uniquely in the marketplace.

IK: 03:07
Super. So in a nutshell, Chargebee is a SaaS for SaaS. So we enable other subscription businesses to help tackle the complexities of payments, billing, managing the recurring revenue as it comes in, so that they focus on building the business, which is the subscription service they have, while they outsource the problem of the recurring revenue management and collection to us. There are big and small companies that use us for SaaS, which is software as a service, so virtual goods and of course great boxes that get delivered every month in the ecommerce world. So again, we're a SaaS for SaaS, we sell to other merchants and other entrepreneurs out there and they use our service to enable subscription for their customers.

DA: 04:03
It's a really well known brand in that space. I love the idea of SaaS for SaaS by the way. But when did you guys actually get founded? When did you enter this marketplace?

IK: 04:12
I think we started almost eight years. 2010 or 11. I wasn't in there at that time. But you know, my founders, Krish, KPS, Thiyagu and Rajaramanand, they got together and we can talk more, but the thing the company is now eight years old.

DA: 04:30
Fantastic. Actually, when did you join?

IK: 04:33
I joined almost a year ago. Last spring in March. That's when I started. Ah man, Jesus, it's already a year.

DA: 04:43
It always goes by so fast. That's hilarious. But I guess this question is going to take you back probably to what you've been told by the founders as you joined that team. But how did Chargebee actually find initial product market fit? I know you guys have evolved a lot since then. You said you have customers of all different sizes, but what did it actually take to find like a strong product market fit with Chargebee?

IK: 05:07
I think if you look back in terms of the genesis of the company, all the four founders, they were buddies. They knew each other. Two of them were, I think they were in the same dorm in their undergrad days. They had, they haven't told us, but I think there was a secret pact that they will start something together. And probably somewhere in their midlife, 10, 12 years into working for other companies, they just decided to call it quits. And they got together in an apartment in Chennai, in India. And then, hey, let's start a business. And contrary to the popular belief that hey, you got an idea first and let's start a business. They started something together before an idea, which was very surprising. I was, you know, amazed and ecstatic at the same time when I've heard about this story. So they started and they said, hey, let's try to find what are the white spaces and can we do something? Can we start something? And as I was told, being locked in to this phenomena of SaaS, so in 2010 they kind of saw through, hey, SaaS is going to be big. Every business is going to move into the cloud. Think of build some shovels and pitch and fork to provide ammunition to the SaaS companies. And that's when they iterated over 18 to 24 months. And Fintech was the domain that they are interested in. And then they started working on the platform that we have today.

DA: 06:49
So once they got into it, do they have to work to find those SaaS companies or was like the marketplace was so small that they were just like, any SaaS company that was running subscription, we're a good fit for you?

IK: 06:59
I think it was any SaaS companies, in fact that time there were already a few competitors that had gotten off the ground. Zuora that is in the same space. Granddaddy legacy company of their subscription billing space had started by then. So they knew that there is a problem to be solved, but it has to be solved not just for big, large enterprises. You know, that's, that's what the conventional wisdom was that, hey, subscription billing is for large enterprises and you don't need to solve it for the SMB or mid market because they're going to solve it themselves. But when they started building something around it, they found it is complex. You have to have an abstraction layer above the payment gateway, you have to work with the ledger and accounting systems. You have to have a front end that takes credit cards and (inaudible) and debit and all of that different payment methods. And at the end of a billing cycle, which is your, let's say 30 days, you got to reconcile everything. Yeah. You got to know where is this $50 that's coming from, when did it come and who paid for it and is there the full amount that was being paid for it? Basically articulate it in their minds that there is a space, everybody needs it, not just large enterprises. And they started building for SMB. So the smaller customers and a smaller SaaS there's that, hey, if I am a 1 million ARR SaaS entrepreneur, I have the same problem, very similar to a Salesforce, which is probably now 10 to $12 billion. But yeah, they decided to build it themselves in-house team, but an entrepreneur doing one M ARR, he will not spend time building this, he needs somebody to outsource this problem to.

DA: 08:54
Makes a ton sense. So it sounds like initially the problem itself kind of worked itself out to where they need to go. The SMB area makes the most sense. You did also mention that there were some competitors when the founding team kind took this to market. So now they're coming in, they have a carved out, you know, product market fit that they want to go after. How do they come in with their first marketing initiatives? Is it content? Is it advertising? What does that look like?

IK: 09:21
The founders Krish, and Rajaraman, Thiyagu and KPS, we do not have the luxury, and I'm quoting them, of being in North America, being in Silicon Valley, having boots on the ground to go out and sell. They were 5,000 or 6,000 miles away in Chennai. The only way to drive traction was either word of mouth or good quality content that you would drive and that would drive people into trusting and reading about it and hopefully somebody buys from them. So they embarked on a long journey, writing good quality content, and then releasing the content in the wild in the forums where SaaS entrepreneurs hung out, on Hacker News, on Linkedin, on social media, that Hey, every entrepreneur dabbles with payment gateway, and I'm giving this very tactical in terms of the playbook they worked upon that at the foundation, you need a payment gateway. The payment gateway will take the payment method, which is a credit card and does some magic wand behind the scenes and 30 days later a dollar falls into your bank account. But all of that was very mythical. He was not easy and Stripe did not exist back then, I think until 2010. So wiring up your product that is let's say a SaaS business with three pricing plans, 10 20 $30 or 100, 200, 300 dollars and then collecting money on an ongoing basis. So they basically started writing content, demystifying what it does, what it does it take to work with the payment gateway. How do you choose one versus the other based on your own set of requirements. And they started writing, you know, long form articles, not the click baity that would take you in three bullet points and you just, what the hell did I just read that it doesn't give me any advice. So they just did the same thing in terms of put themselves in that guy's shoes saying, if I click on a link, I'm looking for advice and looking for somebody who would bookmark this and go back and read it again. Building long form guides and articles around payment and that basically worked wonders for us and still does today, I don't have the hard numbers, but a very large portion of our organic opportunities are the cause of the content that we have written and we still write in the last four to five years.

DA: 12:13
That's incredible. That's an awesome initiative. So you guys are still actually writing these guides. You're writing them direct to your specific target audience, talking about the pain points they have. It's like a definitive guide of everything that they need to solve. When you go about looking to build these, if you're still building them and maybe you're part of this initiative, how does that process look? What is it? What does it look like when you're trying to find the right pain point to solve. How are you outlining the concept? What does it actually look like?

IK: 12:41
I think there's three parts to it. Part number one is, you know what you rightly mentioned the pain point. The pain point is, I'm an entrepreneur, I have a product, I have a customer, and I got to collect that money on an ongoing basis. What the entrepreneur would normally do when there are no solutions in the market, he'd throw in a developer, say, hey buddy, write some code. You know, over Paypal, Stripe (inaudible) what have you to collect payments on an ongoing basis. The developer buddy writes the code, but guess what, the product manager decides to change the price point from $100 to $229 a month. The developer has to go back, not just update the pricing page, but all the logic to collect the payment now from $100 to $229 a month. Let's say the price got reduced. You got to inform everybody. Somebody has to launch a campaign saying, hey, you know, good citizens. We have reduced the price. Everybody's grandfathered into the lower price point. So just these two use cases you could imagine the amount of workflow that kicks in and the amount of code that has to be written. So they just were putting themselves in the shoes off this entrepreneur and decided to solve this problem. So that's the pain point. That's number one. And then content around that pain point that, hey, you got to do this to enable that. You've got to send out an email when you have to grandfather. When you do a price point change, these are the tactics and strategies to adopt. And they wrote about it, they wrote content around it, how to optimize your price page, how to change the pricing, what's the measure of loyalty based on how much, how many, what the page views you get, how many times customers visit your pages.

IK: 14:40
So every recipe, every little detail around that experience and pain point they basically documented and they tactically organized it in copy clusters, organized it in content clusters and, and the team worked on it diligently pushing out content on a weekly basis. You know, still if you go to a website today, you'll see some fresh content out there around LTV, ARR and loyalty that got shared around widely. So that's point number two. Hit point number one, content number two and third is distributing this content to wherever the entrepreneurs are. So you know, if there are SaaS forums where they're hanging out going there and saying, Hey, I'm the founder of Chargebee, Krish and Krish would do it himself. He would not leave this distribution task to, somebody who's writing content because he wanted to bring that trust and authority into the content, not just based on what it is, but also I am endorsing this as the CEO of the company. Hence go out and read it. This is why I feel, you know, your opinion of choosing (inaudible) versus the other may not be correct and here's our research and you know, seven pages of documentation to support it. That basically drove entrepreneurs and SaaS startups around us saying, okay, I like what you're saying. I like the content. Let me see what you got as a product. And that drove our early adoption of the customers that we have today.

DA: 16:19
That was a fantastic outline. I absolutely love that. So content marketing, a huge stepping stone to get you guys off the ground. Getting people in, on the early days did you guys have or do you now have basically STRs and development of reps that basically take those inbound leads then from that content and then pushing it through a process?

IK: 16:41
So you know the typical lifecycle of a customer content gets pushed out. In this case, let's say somebody reads about it and say, Hey, love what you wrote, I have the same problem. Clicks on a link, request a demo or does a magical self DIY sign up, the front end sales team makes the set up, qualifies the entrepreneur or startup that is reaching out, does an initial email or a phone call says Yup, here's how we can sell and matches up in terms of their needs. (inaudible) onto an account executive for further nurturing and see if there is a match in terms of what the person is looking for and the usual sales process of, you know, converting that into an account and you know, making them become a customer and passing that or transitioning that account to customer success. So the usual suspect of starting with the lead, giving them to sales, converting them to opportunity, and then converting into an account, then somebody in customer success nurtures that relationship. Here's the amount on a quarterly basis, sets product announcements, hear their issues, provide support and all of that very typical customer life cycle. You know we have that in essence as well.

DA: 18:01
No, sounds good. Just kind of laying the framework of what it looks like through that customer journey and I love that. So outside of those content marketing initiatives, I know you're doing a couple of other cool things there with Chargebee Partners and an incubator program, but I want to start with the partners. I think this is really interesting. You guys have several integrations with other SaaS companies. How do you actually set up these partnerships? Is it just the API specific partners that you're integrating with? Or are you guys doing some marketing stuff together as well?

IK: 18:32
So short answer is both, but if I could just take a, 10,000 feet view on this and the reason we do this because you know, the world has moved on from on premise single vendor's solutions. You know I worked for Oracle, so I know how that system works. But essentially you as a company, you get locked into a vendor that provides pretty much everything from marketing solutions to CRM to support to mobile APP builders to middleware. If you look at today, the world is about best of breed. So if I'm the CIO, I'm buying a leader in marketing automation as a software. I am buying the sales automation software. I'm buying the best support software and buying the best nurturing tool. I'm buying the best reporting tool. It's no longer single vendors lock in. It's best of the breed. Now for me and the CIO, I still need that 360 view. I still need that life cycle because you could be a best of the breed, 100 million ARR marketing automation vendor. But if you do not talk to sales, if you do not talk to customer success, if you do not talk to support, then you all your data is living inside silo that basically is driving us for this overall partnership and integration exercise. Because we think in the life cycle as we talked a few minutes ago, subscription is, is the middle portion where marketing and sales, or marketing drives that lead and eventually the closure happens in the subscription engine. And then customer success and support is on one side. Everything else is on the other side. So we have to work in tandem with other best of the breed solution. So we work with the CRMs of the world, we work with marketing automation software of the world, support systems of the world so that you know, when the CIO or the VP of sales in the organization or the entrepreneur then get a holistic picture of what this customer is doing when crosses over the boundaries from one system to the other. So that's kind of the bigger picture.

IK: 20:52
For us, it is no longer just partnership, which is hey, let's shake hands and do some drumming, but there is no real value to the customer. We believe in let's do bottoms up, first let's wire up the API of the two companies. For example, a couple of weeks ago we announced our APP on the APP store of Intercom, not just the wiring of the APIs. You know that's kind of natural, but we are planning to do some activities together. We did some social media, we got featured on the APP store, new and noteworthy, they send out a blog post, they send out a newsletter and we are reciprocating with something similar on our side of the fence. Of course we want to make people aware, but you also want to talk about it. And we're taking this approach with all the partners that hey, that's not just integrate, but let's also go jointly provide a solution to the customers you know, because that's how they would get value out of it. Maybe they'll discover on their own. But let's go ahead and talk about us as a joint story. So to answer your question and am repeating myself, that's kind of both. So Hey, let's wire it up and also, let's talk to talk about it.

DA: 22:06
I absolutely love it. I love this dedication here to the partnerships because you want to provide value to the customer base by putting them together, but you're also creating more acquisition opportunities for both Chargebee and the partners, but basically for Chargebee by, by having this very robust platform that integrates with the marketing stack that your users need and must have today for marketing. One thing that I just want to clarify because I think it's such an astute points and I absolutely love that you guys did this. You talked about the APIs. You guys actually have a team that will create those API integrations for the other company?

IK: 22:45
Yup. So we have, you'd be surprised, we have a dedicated team of two and a half product managers and their full time role and their day to day operations and activities that are around integration and only integration. They dream about integrating with everything else in the world, they articulate the business use cases. And push that as a requirement to a team of four engineers that is outside of the core platform. So we have a set of developers that are not part of Chargebee the platform that's anyway we are building the application but a dedicated team of two and a half product managers and four engineers whose job is to only do integrations with other partners. And I just sit there saying, okay, let's just sign up the partnership and then bring the marketing team to do some announcement and bring the product team to talk about how we can use this, bring the sales team to, let's say hey there's an opportunity that has a signal off a CRM, let's introduce our CRM partners if possible. And without naming names, there is one opportunity that's going on where there's a CRM partner involved.

DA: 23:58
I love it. That's such a great system. I just love how deep and you know, valuable you understand how those integrations are and how they work for your company. There's so much more than just, you know, hey, there's an API connection to this guy. Like there's so much value to be driven there. And I think in the modern world of SaaS, it's something you can absolutely go so deep on. So congratulations. You guys have done a great job. That's, that's absolutely amazing to hear. But let's talk also about the Chargebee incubator program. Another thing that I think you're running. What is that exactly in what results are you guys seeing from this type of program?

IK: 24:33
I don't think the objective was pretty straight forward and this is again, you know, the vision of our founders. You know, Krish was a CEO. He, he's a big believer that hey, you got to, we have raised three rounds of funding. We are slightly bigger than maybe were like eight or nine years ago. The two things, A let's keep ourselves connected at the ground level, to the entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of companies, and B, let's also provide them Chargebee when they're ready. So it kind of works both from his personal angle as well as the business angle that hey, Chargebee is a platform which entrepreneurs that are building Saas companies can use and B, let's give back. So in a nutshell, the program is pretty straight forward. We partner with the, the incubators and accelerators in the wire such as Capital Factory, UC Berkeley, Skydeck, Techstars globally, various accelerator programs. And my favorite accelerator is the one in Hawaii. Called Blue. That we have partnered. I love to go there someday. With this partnership we do two things. A, we give out a perk where Chargebee is for free to use until they hit 1 million in total processing volume. So again, until they hit 1 million, we will not charge any money for the platform. So go out, build your business grow to a million then start paying us. That's part one. Part two, we spend our own time, so me, my founder and CEO Krish and the guy Eric (inaudible) runs this program for me. We are constantly on a plane and at a target incubator talking about, not Chargebee, but talking about how to build your business and take it from zero to one. In fact, Eric who runs our program. He was at Techstars in Boston two days ago, doing an office hours, advising entrepreneurs how to build your, how to run a successful marketing campaign, what tools to use, how to hire, how to retain, you know, how to find developers and so on and so forth from topics ranging as, as diverse as that and be just advice. And you know, our time is for the entrepreneurs for free in a way, hoping that someday when they're ready and they find value in our software they become paying customers. So that's the program, which is the Chargebee for entrepreneurs that Chargebee (inaudible) for incubators.

DA: 27:13
So really great idea. And I think the key part is that, you know, you're adding value to these companies. You did a really cool thing to, to kind of give back, but you're also integrating early and you have this sticky product, that once they reach that million, that's like you don't want to switch processors at the same time. So you found like a really big, you know, value add to them, but also one that was an easy way for them to then convert to a customer. So I really love that. You talked about travel there, I know you just also came back from what lifetime value conference?

IK: 27:42
I unfortunately did not go. I bailed out at the last moment.

DA: 27:45
You did? That's awesome.

IK: 27:47
I bailed out and you know, secretly conspired with my events person to send my VP of sales there. So Jermaine was our VP of sales. He, he had a speaking gig over there, so he spent time with startups and other SaaS companies.

DA: 28:07
Makes lot of sense. But you've done events in the past perhaps. Do you have any insights from a sponsoring perspective about, you know, just going to conferences, having a booth?

IK: 28:17
I somehow am conflicted, but I always loved the idea of events, you know, there is some popular advice on the internet or going on my Twitter feed, I see, Hey, events is a waste of time. I kind of disagree with that. If you are carefully choosing your target carefully be careful about the money that you spend. You could land yourself at great partnerships, great relationships, and great customers, you know, I am a big believer that so much so that business can be done on phone. It can be done 10x better at, at a show floor. Where you would connect and talk for 20 minutes and you make lifelong relationships if not just for that particular deal or the company you work for. But you found an individual who was interesting enough. So we, we basically do 15 to 20 events mid to large every year. And of course very consciously spend that money knowing fully that it drives awareness and drive leads. But more than that, drives long term relationships. So for example, we did, SaaStr was a flagship event for us. We did that. We did SaaS Connect, doing Mind The Product, we're doing Collision Conference in Canada. We're doing SaaStr Europe. So yeah, picky. But we kind of carefully choose what we spend our money on. And I think the event is a good way to get awareness and, and relationships on a long term basis.

DA: 29:50
I think that's very astute. I think another key thing that you're saying that I want to re articulate is it's good for awareness. It's good for branding, it's good for relationships. It may not be the most effective thing to look at it and say, Hey, I'm going to get a direct ROI from this event. Maybe in the long term with partnerships and stuff like that absolutely. But maybe not a direct ROI, which I think a lot of early startups and stuff like that look at. Would you agree?

IK: 30:12
Yeah, absolutely. You cannot do a direct hey, cost per lead based on let's say $25,000 that you spend. That would be a failure from get go.

DA: 30:23
Yeah, a hundred percent. Thank you for that. Thank you for that answer cause that's just some validation that I'm looking for in particular just for some events coming up, but that's awesome. What about hard lessons learned in the past? Maybe the year since you joined? Any opportunities that you thought would be better? Things that failed in marketing?

IK: 30:40
I think the conflict there is shall we go deep or go mile wide and have a much more crasp in the product. And because of that conflict it hinges on the marketing programs, the growth initiatives. If you look at the integrations that we are currently chasing, chasing companies that are in the same cohort as us, you know, Intercom, Hubspot, MailChimp and Active Campaign and Pipe Drive and others that are selling in the same SMB mid market, they may have larger customers but in the same domain, the question that always pops up, hey, shall we go integrate with the larger shall we go integrate with Salesforce. Shall we go integrate with the other vendors in the enterprise domain? Because that's where they should be going after. That's where the big bucks are. That's where the million dollar ARR deals are. So that conflict is kind of continuous and that kind of comes back. Yeah. As I reflect on the last year, maybe we should have done some of those product changes that would have taken us into our mid market or enterprise journey much faster than that we are doing right now. But again, you learn your lessons looking back rather than looking forward. So that's what I would summarize our hard and soft lessons of last couple of years.

DA: 32:09
I love that. It's a tough one. It really is. It's such tough decisions to make and we struggle with that too, cause you only have so much time priorities to make things that you can focus on. So it makes a lot of sense. Looking now forward, I guess in 2019, what are the challenges and, or opportunities I should say that you're looking for, you know, this year, anything that you see specifically standing out?

IK: 32:33
If you look at the longer range that includes 2019, you know, amazingly there is so much growth happening in SaaS. If you'll just look at the TAM of SaaS, it is hundred and hundred and ten billion dollars. Around that. If you look at the total enterprise spend only in software that is half a trillion dollars, 80% of coverage still to be done in software as a service. So that keeps us in, excited about this whole space that are going, we are going after. You know, if you look at 2019 in general we are, we are lucky to have some of the largest companies in the world that have reached out to us. You know, without naming names, the largest media companies, the largest fintech companies. So the largest software companies that have worked with us in a product is about to go live, without disclosing names. But I am super excited based on the foundation that the founders and the team that has built in the last seven or eight years, we can call and pat ourselves oh what an amazing year 2018 was, but the work for 2018 was done like 2014 2015,16 and 17 and we are just here and collecting the laurels and building on top of that. So looking forward to 2019.

DA: 33:55
That's fantastic. Where'd you guys end up at the end of 2018 like current numbers?

IK: 33:59
Oh, without disclosing the hard ARR numbers, I would leave it to Kris and Thiyagu to disclose it. I'm not authorized to talk about it, but we close to, in terms of volume of customers, we were at around 10,000 including companies of all sizes, SMB, mid markets, of the largest enterprises, many companies doing $100 million plus in ARR, tens and fifty or hundreds of companies doing 10 million plus in ARR in terms of their volume. So it was super exciting last year, I think last year was the year that we thought, hey, we have, kind of reached that inflection point and there is flywheel ahead of us. So hopefully we continue to deliver this year.

DA: 34:48
No, it sounds incredible then, you know, congratulations to you and the entire team. You guys should feel really proud and you know, I hope that continues. Like you said, the excitement for 2019 is is definitely apparent and good for you guys. What I want to do actually right now is I want to switch to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions. You can answer with the first best thought that comes to mind. It's really fun. You want to get started?

IK: 35:13
Yeah, let's get started, that's hard. Okay. Come on.

DA: 35:15
Best first thought. Yeah, there's only a small challenge there. It's all good. All right. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

IK: 35:26
I would say bootstrap first, raise money later. Yeah. I think, yeah, I would really bootstrap first, because there's so much money available because you know, founders are just chasing funding rather than building a business. That's why I probably think bootstrap first and raise money later.

DA: 35:47
Right. Validating the idea, learning the market better, making sure your product works before you raise someone else's money and have new stresses added on there, it makes a lot of sense. That's exactly, we're bootstrapped, so we kind of went that same approach. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on?

IK: 36:05
I think that's easy. And now I know because it's partnerships, you know, marketing always works in their own silo. Running experiments without even interacting and getting feedback. But if you learn to market together with a couple of companies, you would not believe the amount of traction and leads and awareness that it could generate. So I think partnerships, which is (inaudible) to what marketing does, I think it's a great skill, or an important skill to build on.

DA: 36:34
I absolutely love that answer and I'm totally going to be utilizing it in 2019. That's something we're going to building off of on 2019. So that's incredible. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

IK: 36:47
Let me not recommend any specific book or podcast, but I think for me, reading about psychology and following blogs and podcasts on psychology is, is, has been a great experience. It basically teaches you, a different point of view of the world. It teaches you how your customers think about you, what people think about you rather than what do you want to give them as a message. That would say if you want to give an advice to someone like a marketer, what he should do, read about psychology.

DA: 37:24
Any specific book that you'd recommend?

IK: 37:26
I would recommend books that relate to, let's say Daniel Kahneman "Thinking, Fast and Slow". That is basically a 101 on the emotions. How our psychology works, how our brain works, how do we decide, what do we, why do we disagree? How do we agree on stuff? Probably that's a great book to start. Daniel Kahneman "Thinking, Fast and Slow".

DA: 37:51
I love it. We'll link to that in the show notes. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

IK: 37:55
Evernote. That's easy. Yeah.

DA: 38:00
What about a brand, business or team that you admire today?

IK: 38:03
I mentioned this earlier, Salesforce. It's, it's amazing how Marc Benioff has built this business in the last I would 20 years to now or 21 years...

DA: 38:15
The pioneer of cloud CRM software.

IK: 38:19
Even the, even more than that, Salesforce is what, a 13 billion or 15 billion. I forget the numbers. It's true. Probably 12 or 13 billion run rate over last fiscal year they announced. And the company's still growing 20 to 30% quarter over quarter. Can you imagine that, more than $10 billion every year still growing 20% 30% year over year or quarter over quarter, is like insane.

DA: 38:51
That is insane growth that I can't even fathom at this point in the journey, but no, you're truly right. They are an incredible company and they really were one of the pioneers here in SaaS so we definitely have to tip our hats to, to Marc and everything that they've done over there. They are really leaders for all of us, but that's all my questions I have today in this and I really appreciate you coming on. You've been super transparent, very informative. Your answers have been spot on. I love them. They've resonated with me and gave me a lot of validation and things that we're working on here at Demio, so truly appreciate your time and thanks again for jumping on the show.

IK: 39:24
Thank you. It's been fantastic talking to you. I'm looking outside the window. I'm just going to go out for a run but love to catch up again sometime.

DA: 39:32
We'll have to catch up again. Have a great day Indus and we'll talk to you soon.

IK: 39:36
Bye. Bye.

DA: 39:38
First off, I want to give a big shout out to Indus and the entire Chargebee team. What an incredible journey they've been on for the past nine years now. They started around 2010 I believe in the SaaS, and they have made a such big wave, really been a force to be reckoned with in the SaaS space (...)

Resources:
Book "Thinking, Fast and Slow " by Daniel Kahneman:
https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman-ebook/dp/B00555X8OA/
Learn More About Chargebee:
https://www.chargebee.com/
Connect With Indus:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/khaitan/
Follow along on Our Journey to $100k MRR
A shaky start? No doubt. Yet, three years later, we've got our eyes set on $100k MRR. We'll be sharing everything along the way.