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A product with fewer features can sell more: RateGain’s Bhanu Chopra

RateGain Travel Technologies Pvt Ltd , founded by Bhanu Chopra in 2004, provides SaaS-based solutions such as revenue management and distribution channel management software, and real-time pricing data and analytics to the hospitality and travel industry.

At the Techcircle SaaS Forum 2015 held in Bangalore recently, Chopra talked about what a SaaS startup should (and shouldn’t do) to make it big.

Chopra’s first piece of advice was to focus on profit rather than growth. Asking whether a startup is profitable may raise eyebrows, but Chopra says it is one of the key metrics to determine a startup’s success.

“Our revenue growth and cash flow margin is upwards of 100%. So it’s very much possible to have a fast growing company and be profitable,” he says.

Chopra says a SaaS startup should focus on getting the minimum viable product out in the market at the earliest rather than spending time on perfecting the product. It’s possible to have a product with fewer features and sell more, as a lot of sophistication makes the product difficult to sell, as users consume hardly 5-10% of the functionality on offer.

“You don’t need to have the best product in your competitive space to sell the most,” says Chopra.

Instead, a startup would be better served if the resources for product development are diverted towards identifying a market and selling the product to that audience. “If you could probably limit how much you continue to build your product and instead spend it on your go-to-market strategy, that would be actually more beneficial,” he adds.

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