In April this year, as I began this blog’s second year, I had written: “Going forward, I want to write more about the present and future – how to go beyond entrepreneurship and build an enduring, great company. It is what I am focused on at Netcore, and I want to share my thinking and learnings as we go along.”
It is a promise I have not kept. Most of my writings since then have been on marketing – the ideas of rethinking the brand-customer relationship via ems and microns, solving the attention recession problem via atomic rewards, and the coming martech era. (I also wrote a few more series on Nayi Disha, a new path for India.) But until now, there hasn’t been much I have written on the great company journey. It is time to rectify that.
I spoke to Business Standard a few months ago about the forward-looking IPO and growth plans: ““We want to become India’s first B2B SaaS (company) going for an IPO by 2022,” says Jain … “One of our goals is to double our annual recurring revenue (ARR) in the next two years to $150 million,” says Jain. “We’ve done very well in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Now our plan is to grow very rapidly in the US and Europe. We are looking at both organic growth, and acquisitions.””
A subsequent interview with the Economic Times elaborated on some of my thinking:
Martech SaaS company, Netcore Cloud is looking to double its annual recurring revenue (ARR) to $150 million by 2024 and will look to expand in new geographies, said Rajesh Jain, founder and managing director of Netcore.
“We are at about $75 million at this point of time and we are profitable,” he said. “The growth will come from multiple dimensions. The first is international expansion. We have had great success in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and want to now replicate that success in the US and Europe.”
… He said that he expects about 30-40% of the company’s revenue will come from outside India in the next few years through a mix of both organic growth and acquisitions.
Through 2020 and the first half of 2021, I wrote extensively on learnings in my nearly three decades as an entrepreneur and building two proficorns, IndiaWorld and Netcore. Each of three decades as an entrepreneur has had one success: IndiaWorld, Niti Digital (in helping the BJP get a majority on its own in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections), and then Netcore. These thirty years have also been punctuated with many failures, and even in Netcore’s success, I have had to endure the aftermath of many wrong decisions. And yet, we have survived and thrived. Could Netcore have been bigger and better? Yes. But that’s water under the bridge. Business is an infinite game; one has to visit past decisions to take stock of errors in judgement, but for the most part, one has to look ahead to the future that is unfolding.