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The Secret to Sustaining Your SaaS Growth as You Scale

by Itotia Waiyaki
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An image of someone looking at a graph with a laptop, a book and a calculator on his desk

In today’s blog, we take a look at the secrets to maintaining your saas growth as you scale as part of our multi-part series with Saravana Kumar, the founder and CEO of Kovai.co a bootstrapped, saas with an annual recurring revenue of $10 million.

What’s the importance of staying innovative, especially in this new AI era?

In our third episode with Saravana Kumar, the CEO and Founder of Kovai.co, we asked him how he thinks about innovation.

How do you incorporate innovation into your product roadmaps?

Kovai is a multi-product saas with its current offerings being BizTalk360, Document360, and Turbo360.

Saravana highlighted AI’s impact on various SaaS products in the industry, necessitating swift adaptation and even roadmap alterations.

Why Your SaaS Won’t Survive Without Innovation

“Every founder needs to keep in mind there is an expiry date for every product in the world. It’s not only for perishable items, even for a software product, if you don’t look after it well, it’s got an expiry date. So the only way you can prolong the expiry date—and make sure you never expire—is by innovating continuously and keeping up to date with what’s happening out there.”

The company maintains a dedicated growth team to stay ahead, with Saravana personally focusing on outward-facing activities.

“We have a growth team inside and I personally, you know, spend much of my time more outward facing, not inward facing.”

My typical day involves keeping an eye on what is going on – what are the latest innovations, what can we add on to our products, and then feeding that to our internal teams.”

“I give something to the engineering teams – these are the features that would be great for us, I talk to the marketing team – like hey, I think these strategies would be good for us, and the support team as well, and the need to now switch from more human-focused to more AI-focused tools”

Multi-Product SaaS: Maintaining Vision Alignment

“Yeah, I think to some extent, the products are independent. They have their objective. You can think of it like we are running three different companies under the Kovai brand. Each product has its independence.”

But in terms of culture, you know, they internally we maintain consistency in the way we develop products, and all those things are all matured and there we have consistency across multiple products in that context.

“So yeah, I think in the early days we used to think there’s a company we should have vision and mission statement, but we do have that, you know, it’s very difficult when you’re a multi-product company because every product might have its vision and mission and you need to give that level of independence for each one of them to operate on their own.”

How does a multi-product company adapt to selling to different personas?

“OK, I think typically, when you look at some of the companies like HubSpot, they have multiple products. But they typically go like a building adjacent products. They can sell it to the same buyer persona. So they would have started from marketing, and then now they got CRM, and then now they got support, and then they got success. And they’ll try to sell it to a similar kind of persona.”

“In our case, it’s completely different. It’s a plus and a minus. For example, the BizTalk 360 and Turbo360 are somewhat connected. They are in the Microsoft ecosystem. BizTalk 360 is typical of our traditional on-premise Microsoft product and moving to the Microsoft Azure cloud. We work on the Azure cost optimization as one of the value props of Turbo360.

“So people who are moving from on-prem to the cloud, typically the BizTalk 360 customer will get into Turbo360. But Document 360 is a completely different product. It’s not even connected.”

“So back in 2017, I was looking for a self-service knowledge-based product in the market to write documentation for BizTalk360 and Turbo360. And that is when I identified there’s a huge gap in the market. Even though it looks like a common problem, somebody would have solved it. But it looks like nobody addressed that problem very well. And even though I know we are going to build something completely different, which we cannot sell to our existing customer base, but the opportunity looked too big to ignore.”

“That is when we went off to Document360. And today, that bet is the right bet, because today, half of the company and half of the revenue is coming from Document360. But we are not actually selling to the same personas. So in fact, the strategy itself is different.”

“BizTalk360 and Turbo 360 are more sales-led products with heavy enterprise sales and a long sales cycle It takes anywhere from four to six months to close the customer.

“On the other hand, Document360  are more marketing-driven product and more of PLG I won’t call it complete PLG but to a large extent, the product does the talking, and people are self-aware and then it’s more like we have an inside sales team to assist them to close rather than hard selling it.”

“So they’re completely different. And there’s an example, like every company is different. So we are completely different in the way how we operate.”

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