Bootstrapping a $100 Million ARR SaaS Company: The Netcore Story (Part 9)

Tomorrow’s Netcore – 2

In the continuing learning journey, the next Netcore will need to focus on many new things going forward.

Coming Martech Era: I have written extensively in the past few months about the shift from Martech 1.0 to Martech 2.0. [See: The Coming Martech Era: Driving Exponential Forever Profitable Growth.] Adtech budgets will shift to Martech as brands seek a path to profitability; the 50% waste in adtech because of reacquisition and wrong acquisition is not sustainable. CAC (customer acquisition cost) is the new rent for digital brands eating into their profits. A business that cannot make profits is not a business at all; it is a “non-profit.” There are many exciting new ideas which will power this shift. Best-Rest-Test-Next customer segmentation framework based on CLV (customer lifetime value). Velvet Rope Marketing. Best Customer Genome. Email 2.0. Atomic Rewards. Web3 Tokens. Hooked Score. Microns. µniverse. Earned Growth Rate. Adtech-Martech Bridge. Progency. (These are themes I have covered in my previous writings.)

Talent: Even as companies battle for customers, there is another battle underway – for talent. Attracting and retaining employees has become equally important because it is people who will deliver the products, platforms and profits of tomorrow. Creating learning environments where employees can enrich their own skills and create better versions of themselves will be increasingly important.  We have to do the same at Netcore. Our stock options program offers a wealth creation opportunity that no short-term salary hikes can match.

Life as a public company: Netcore will soon IPO and become a listed entity in India. The responsibilities as a public company grow to also include investors. Delivering good predictable profitable growth is what will be expected of us. The narrative is changing from the race to becoming a unicorn to race to profitability. While we will get a currency via our stock for driving consolidation, that will only happen if investors have the confidence that Netcore is building a dominant position in key product segments and geographies with a large TAM (total addressable market). They are investing in our future; and the day we list will be like another Day Zero for Netcore; the work begins afresh for the next 25 years.

M&A: We will need to learn from the likes of Danaher and Constellation Software on how to do acquisitions right. Most acquisitions fail, as history has shown us. And yet, the ones that work can have a transformative value and create great value for all stakeholders – customers, employees and investors. We have to create a playbook to ensure we can do this right and as a repeatable process. The goal is to adopt a three-pronged strategy of “build, buy and partner” to unlock value going forward.

Netcore Business System: Netcore will need to become better daily. We will have to ensure that we learn from practices like Kaizen to create an internal efficiency machine that is capable of doing “more with less.” It will be about automating internal business processes and information flows to create a real-time enterprise, which can also combine agility and innovation. With an employee strength that will soon cross 1000 and revenues which will touch $150 million (over Rs 1,000 crore), Netcore needs to reinvent its organisation architecture and retrain its leadership to become more process-driven and yet have decentralised decision-making to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit that has guided our past.

We have a great opportunity to show the power of “Made in India, for the World.” I always remember these words of William Burnham: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”

The company that began life in a 300 square foot office in South Mumbai a quarter century ago is now ready to think long, aim high and build big.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.