digitizationhas created an opportunity for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to scale like never before.
- https://londonbusinessblog.com/ India’s Special Web Series
SAAS scionsin partnership with AWS, Beerud Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Gupshup, talked to Tim Barnes (GM, Advertising and Marketing Technology Vertical), Amazon Web Services, on the digitization journey in emerging marketsprotecting user privacy and more.
- According to Sheth, it is now for markets like India.
According to Beerud Sheth, co-founder and chief executive officer of Gupshup, the unicorn conversation messaging startup, the next two decades could see the greatest amount of digitization and “maybe even wealth creation.” Sheth spoke with Tim Barnes, General Manager, Advertising and Marketing Technology Vertical, Amazon Web Services, during https://londonbusinessblog.com/ India’s SAAS Scions web series.
“(It’s) the kind of growth you’ve seen in China for the last two decades, and in the US maybe the two decades before that. The baseline for digitization was low (in emerging countries) and there was a huge need to make every aspect of the business e-enabled (during the pandemic). That is only for companies targeting the Indian market. Of course, for companies targeting the global market, India has huge cost advantages, economies of scale and so on,” said Sheth.
Sheth noted the notable differences in India’s (and other emerging markets’) digitization journey compared to developed economies. “Some of it is clear, the moment people couldn’t get into physical spaces, it obviously all went online,” he said. “Everything from online banking to commerce, to online education and even some business use cases. All that then requires a lot more notifications, updates, interactions and more. All this caused a huge spike in demand.”
The digital game in emerging markets
Much of Gupshup’s business comes from emerging markets, where, unlike western markets, the pandemic-induced spike in digitization did not abate as things returned to normal.
For Sheth, the transition to digital in emerging economies was a metamorphosis that never came back. “There’s a slightly different impact on emerging markets for different reasons,” he said. “There were a lot of local companies, that before the pandemic (would say) I don’t have to do this, otherwise we’ll do it later. But this was really a shock to the system and it really accelerated the adoption of digital technology and so on. And that’s not a temporary spike, you digitize and then you’re digital forever,” he added.
According to Sheth, it is now for markets like India.
Rapid digitization has enabled software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to scale like never before. “Conversational messaging supports customers throughout the lifecycle, including the front-end in the marketing side, in the middle around the commercial or purchasing side, and then in the post-purchase around support. Especially around martech, there is a commensurate growth in use cases such as people using it for lead generation, promotions, deals, offers and so on. So we have seen a huge growth spurt.” said Shet.
And this growth isn’t just happening at large corporations, but it’s significantly at the “bottom of the pyramid.” A restaurant or corner store didn’t have the same amount of time to digitize before the pandemic, but when customers stopped walking into the store, “what was once a nice to have became a must-have.”
Protecting User’s Privacy
However, he warned that SaaS companies should take corporate user privacy seriously when building their products. If privacy is an afterthought, Sheth argues it could disqualify companies from operating in certain jurisdictions, as different countries have different compliance and user privacy requirements. “We’re trying to create federated solutions, meaning it can be hosted in separate instances without having to work with a centralized assistant. That gives us the flexibility where different agencies can support different privacy frameworks,” he advised.
Adoption of the new de facto
Beerud Sheth’s comparison of new-age chatbots with early Internet-era websites demonstrates the potential for conversational messaging for businesses of all sizes. The company’s innovation, which keeps pace with emerging cloud technologies and is aligned across geographies, has unlocked a newer communication tool that has revolutionized the core of how businesses interact with their customers.
If the old slogan “The medium is the message” were to be evoked, then Gupshup is both the medium and a strong message for any company that has a customer.
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