Winning deals – Think of Product, Audience and Competition
Priyanka Rungta along with Abhishake Rungta started NavSoft as a software services entity. They grew the company consistently and got 100s of customers over a decade and gained enormous experience in the industry. Priyanka realized that software services was not a viable industry in the long haul as there were giants in the industry and she will begin making money only when they reach a critical size. When they realized that the products they had built for their clients over the last decade were making a lot of money for those companies but got Navsoft only the hourly charges. Also was a fact that there was a lack of quality products in the Indian industry. She decided to make a product that is world class but Made in India. They went back to their existing customer base and began analysing the earlier projects to figure out the product they need to build. They realized that an Australian customer they had configured a shopping cart on Amazon and on e-bay did not even have a shop but was making a lot of money through these online storefronts. Priyanka also found that lots of companies were starting an ecommerce company thereby concluding that brick and mortar retail will soon play second fiddle to online retailing and since there were no great products in that space, they decided to make an ecommerce engine as a product. Priyanka says that large companies have deep pockets and will be able to build a big brand by spending lots of money and can find the early adaptors for their new producs, but startups need to go through friends and family as they are the ones who can help the startups get the first customer without any proven track record as people trust people and that leads to business.
Priyanka used the network to let the initial customers use the platform as a testing ground but was very careful about being professional on the user experience. She went all out in reaching out to everyone she knew as she decided that there was no harm in asking anyone. Her friends found her passionate as she was married to her product and had huge belief that the product was so good that came out in her conversations. So when she speaks, she was able to influence other people which motivated them to go and talk to the small company owners about this concept and convinced them to go online and she began getting lots of customers. She also went back to her customers and began talking about this product leveraging the goodwill she had built over time through the services business and she got her first client from the services business through which she learnt the domain.
Priyanka began demonstrating the product to 100s of prospects having retail outlets and convincing them to go online with a store front. In spite of lots of hard work, results were not as per the expectations. She realized that she had an over engineered product but was focusing on small business owners who could not see the value that would come out of this product. She then began focussing on medium and large enterprises where the value proposition was good and the results began to show. She concentrated on their product and made it outstanding. Every touch point with the prospects gave a “wow” factor and helped them take a decision. She made sure that small things like demos she showed were in line with the prospect and did not have dummy data that had no meaning which she knew will only reduce the interest to buy because they will be unable to imagine and to understand how to use the system, She gave extreme attention to her early customers so that they liked the product and gave recommendations without her asking for one. She has very good knowledge about the competition as she was competing with global products and once she was able to compare competition in reference to a prospects needs, the prospects confidence levels on the product increased.
Priyanka’s advice to Founders – Think of Product, Audience and Competition and build your product or you will end up building something that no one wants. This also ensures that you don’t live on false positives that your product is the best in the world. She says that as founders who does not come from a sales background are not used to taking a “No” from people but that is what they will end up when they begin selling. She says that even if you get hit 100 times, you have to stand up again and work hard to win.
Navsoft has now close to 100 customers and has been a Nasscom Emerge 50 company and has now been nominated for Express IT award product