Three Indian entrepreneurs began a digital agency in 2010 with the intention of helping small and medium-sized businesses adopt digital marketing solutions. Sound familiar? Of course it does. And they quickly learned how ill-prepared the market was to adopt digital technology. Agencies worldwide have learned this lesson over and over again.
Yet entrepreneurs always seem to reason that all local small businesses needed were budget, skills, or a push from consumers. And this 2019 survey of small business owners in India indicated that only 34% were doing anything digital in terms of communicating with their customers, suppliers, or employees. There are roughly 60 million small businesses in India, a country of 1.4 billion people.
Then along came that global COVID-19 pandemic and changed everything for virtually everyone. With businesses having to go digital to survive, the entrepreneurs pushed ahead with what they had hoped to do a decade earlier. Using what they’ve learned from a decade as operators, they came up with Kylas. It’s a CRM platform that sees itself competing with the likes of Freshworks and Zoho.
Keeping It Simple
“SMBs in India have been severely impacted with the uncertainties of start-stop lockdowns, unreliable cash flows, and disrupted supply chains. The pandemic forced SMBs to accelerate digital adoption and ensure business continuity,” said Kylas co-founder Ketan Sabnis in an interview with SMBStory. “We launched Kylas now with a vision to make a high-quality CRM software accessible to small businesses with a differentiated pricing and no hidden costs to help them focus on reviving the business.”
We think low pricing and no hidden costs will resonate with small businesses. Those are certainly important considerations for SMBs when they’re buying software for their business. The trio hopes they’ve figured out a solution that can help SMBs. And do so without adding a burden of increased technology costs.
Ketan seems to have a handle on the small business pulse. He noted that many SMBs complain about CRM software that is loaded up with features. These are features SMBs pay for but often never use. The company reports a good response from small businesses to its beta version.
The trio also believes is that SMBs often need their hands held during their digital transformation. To this end, Ketan says the company will deliver a six-week upskilling program. They believe this will help SMBs utilize the features of the software. And also improve their overall capabilities in areas such as marketing strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, paid search, and eCommerce.
If they can get business owners to spend the time in the upskilling program and extract real-world capabilities, then Kylas might be able to solve one of the most vexing and challenging issues in the SMBs SaaS landscape.