How you can navigate the changes taking place in the SaaS space

In this exclusive interview Rajesh Ganesan, President, ManageEngine, delves into the impact of emerging technologies on the SaaS landscape in India.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
Rajesh Ganesan

Rajesh Ganesan

In this exclusive interview Rajesh Ganesan, President, ManageEngine, delves into the impact of emerging technologies on the SaaS landscape in India. He emphasizes the shift of established companies into platform enablers, advocating for strategic partnerships and innovation.


How will emerging technologies shape the future of SaaS in India?

AI will facilitate personalised recommendations, automated customer support, and data-driven sales and marketing. Additionally, AI-powered security tools will continue to enhance threat detection and response time. Edge computing is set to drive operational efficiency in IoT deployments, enabling real-time analytics at the Edge of the network. For example, many manufacturing organisations use intelligent Edge devices to analyse sensor data for predictive maintenance, which ultimately reduces downtime and costs.

By facilitating secure, transparent record-keeping, blockchain technologies are poised to revolutionise the financial services, logistics, and supply chain management industries. Blockchain is well suited for supply chain management, as all transactions are viewed on a shared ledger, providing every participant within the supply chain with end-to-end visibility. Blockchain technologies, when integrated with AI, can also help identify bottlenecks in the supply chain. It provides an unparalleled level of visibility and trust.


For established SaaS companies, how do you see your role evolving in the face of industry maturation, and what strategies will be crucial for staying ahead of the curve?

In today’s evolving business landscape, companies are changing from being product providers to becoming platform enablers. This transformation involves embracing open APIs and integrations, and empowering third-party developers to craft add-ons and contribute to a thriving ecosystem. To navigate this shift successfully, companies should adopt crucial strategies:

Innovation: Prioritise continuous product development with a focus on automation and seamless integration of AI. This commitment to innovation ensures that products remain up-to-date and adaptable to evolving market needs.


Customer focus: Elevate customer experiences through personalisation, robust support mechanisms, and data-driven insights. Understanding and meeting the needs of customers fosters loyalty and strengthens the overall value proposition.

Partnerships: By forming strategic partnerships with startups and technology providers to create solutions, companies can leverage diverse expertise and resources. This helps businesses deliver more holistic and competitive offerings.

To the startups in the SaaS space, how do you envision contributing to the next chapter of SaaS innovation in India, and what unique perspectives do you bring to the table?


Developing niche solutions: Organisations should focus on creating specialised solutions for specific verticals. This approach ensures a targeted and effective response to the unique challenges within each industry.

Leverage emerging technologies: Embrace the potential of emerging technologies, such as Edge AI and blockchain, to create disruptive applications. Companies can position themselves as innovators in their respective fields by staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

Prioritise user experience: A focus on delivering seamless and user-friendly solutions not only enhances customer satisfaction but also expands market reach.


What challenges and opportunities do you foresee for the SaaS industry in India, and how can stakeholders collaborate to overcome obstacles and foster sustainable growth?

For businesses aiming to thrive in this competitive landscape, the SaaS industry demands strategic innovation and adaptability. Many of these challenges, such as talent acquisition, data privacy, and infrastructure limitations, require a proactive approach to ensure growth and success.

Also, India’s SaaS landscape is fuelled by opportunities from government initiatives like Digital India and Startup India. The increasing cloud adoption and massive user base propagated by the internet and mobile penetration offer a strong base for SaaS innovation. Collaborative efforts, including industry associations, academia-industry partnerships, and nurturing initiatives for startups, will further enrich this ecosystem, unlocking its full potential and ensuring India plays a leading role in the global SaaS scene.


In the context of data security and privacy concerns, how are SaaS companies preparing for and addressing potential challenges to ensure a secure and compliant future for their users?

In preparation for potential challenges, it is essential to implement robust data security protocols, ensuring the safeguarding of sensitive information. Companies should employ data anonymity and encryption techniques to protect user privacy. Building transparency and trust is equally important, and this can be achieved through clear communication of one’s data management practices.

In order to address potential issues, companies should conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration tests to identify and rectify security flaws before they can be exploited. Regular employee training on data security awareness and best practices further fortifies the defense against potential threats. In the event of a data breach or security incident, it’s vital to maintain open communication with one’s users, as this will establish a foundation of trust and demonstrate a commitment to addressing challenges transparently and effectively.


The subscription-based model has been a key feature of SaaS success. How do you foresee pricing models evolving in the future to cater to diverse user needs and market demands?

Subscription models in the tech landscape have evolved to cater to diverse user needs. Tiered pricing, structured around usage levels and features, offers users plans that align with their requirements.

There are several emerging pricing models. Outcome-based pricing, where users pay based on achieved results or delivered value, fosters a results-driven approach. The pay-as-you-go model provides a cost-effective approach to software utilisation, as it allows businesses to scale resources based on actual usage. These evolving models showcase the industry’s commitment to adaptability, innovation, and providing a tailored experience for users with various preferences and requirements.

With the globalization of businesses, how do you envision SaaS companies adapting to and influencing international markets, and what role might India play in shaping the global SaaS landscape?

Adapting to international markets: To navigate international markets, companies must prioritise localisation efforts. It’s important to tailor products and services to accommodate diverse languages, cultures, and regulatory measures. Additionally, investments in robust cloud infrastructure and data centres play a pivotal role in ensuring global reach and reliable service delivery. These factors are essential for sustained success in diverse international landscapes.

India’s role: India emerges as a highly attractive destination, serving as a cost-competitive centre for international SaaS companies. The large domestic market in India, characterised by diverse needs, not only fosters innovation but also provides a testing ground for scalability. Furthermore, the country employs a pool of skilled SaaS talent, ready to meet the growing global demand. This combination of factors positions India as a strategic hub for international SaaS endeavors, offering both a dynamic market and a skilled workforce.

The startup ecosystem in India has been vibrant. How can government policies, investment strategies, and industry collaborations foster a conducive environment for SaaS startups to thrive and contribute to the industry’s future?

Government policies: Government policies play a pivotal role in fostering a conducive ecosystem for startups. Simplified regulatory environments and tax benefits provide crucial support, particularly for startups navigating complex legal landscapes. Government initiatives like the MeitY Startup Hub and support from Data Security Council of India (DSCI) programs assist startups in adopting robust data security measures. Skill development programs further contribute, as they bridge the talent gap in emerging technologies and ensure there are qualified workers to drive technological advancements.

Industry collaborations: Collaborations within the industry are instrumental in nurturing the growth of SaaS startups. Mentorship programs initiated by established SaaS companies offer invaluable guidance to startups. These knowledge-sharing initiatives foster a community where insights and experiences contribute to the collective advancement of the SaaS industry.