Coimbatore, gearing up as next SaaS Bhoomi

Saravana Kumar, Founder & CEO of Kovai.co

COIMBATORE, being the second major commercial / industrialized city in Tamil Nadu has always been the hotspot for IT investments. With entrepreneurship in the city DNA, the Manchester of South India is gearing up to be the next SaaS Bhoomi, supplementing Chennai. With SEZs, Incubation Centres and IT Parks, the city has built what is needed for tech entrepreneurs to innovate, venture, and grow. Be it technically skilled employee base, educational institutions, and IT infrastructure – Coimbatore has got everything needed to create ground-breaking and leading IT solutions, esp. in the SaaS segment, Saravana Kumar, Founder & CEO of Kovai.co, told TechTrail in an exclusive interview.

Also, emerging technologies such as AI, Machine, IoT, and data analytics are bringing investments and opportunities as plentiful resources are available to resolve business challenges of specific industries. For instance, with a great passion for innovation, the Kovai.co team built Document360, a Knowledge Base Platform that was recently rated #1 by Gartner Digital Markets from Coimbatore.

Interestingly, we see most SaaS companies from Coimbatore, delivering exceptional products & services globally. Kovai.co aims to drive the culture and SaaS ecosystem of the city by leading from the front.

Speaking about COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on Indian IT industry, he said,  the effects of COVID-19 did have a significant impact on the IT industry in India. The disruption was an eye-opener for many enterprises whose infrastructure was built on legacy systems and it was hard for them to have a reliable business continuity plan (BCP). However, Indian enterprises that had a firm Cloud Computing technology, were able to seamlessly move to remote work and access critical applications and data through cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.

We can see that certain verticals like educational institutions, medical/healthcare, and retail businesses intensified their cloud adoption and thereby expanding the business opportunity, he added.

Due to the nature of Kovai.co’s business, we have not seen a huge dip in our revenues. As a matter of fact, Document360 has been acquiring a greater number of customers than usual in the last six months.

Kovai.co has been focusing predominantly on the global market with its complete marketing, sales, and engineering teams based out of Coimbatore. This pandemic has created an opportunity and needs for cloud migration and the need for preparedness to operate remotely and efficiently. Therefore, many enterprises across industries are now adopting to Cloud. Thus, India has become one of the key markets for Kovai.co.

With the increasing adoption of cloud computing and the majority of customers moving online, our enterprise products BizTalk360 and Serverless360 are deemed more essential products to run the business. We have done a few POC’s for a few Indian companies to showcase the Serverless360 capabilities and are in various stages of discussions.

Since our business has not been affected by the current situation, we have continued working as per our 2030 growth plan.

Also, we recently invested in a brand new 40000 sq. ft office space with a seating capacity of almost 260 people which would be inaugurated once the Covid19 situation eases. In terms of hiring since April this year, Kovai.co has taken on board 45 people on our rolls in various disciplines making our headcount to 150 plus.

Suggesting ways to tackle economic uncertainty during and post COVID-19, he said, “What we are seeing now goes beyond cities, markets, and countries.” To tackle COVID-19, a combined global effort is needed since it is a collective challenge to all of humanity. Meanwhile, to improve the economic health, corporates need to examine the way they operate, having healthy WFH (Work from Home) policies, ensuring business continuity and mitigating risks should be their immediate priority.

The perspective of almost all the enterprise has evolved since COVID-19, one way or another everyone has adopted to some version of emerging technologies. For instance, for many enterprises it was important to hold on to their existing businesses when working remotely, cloud services like Azure helped them to scale up or down their applications to meet elastic demand.

Balancing supply and demand or dealing with unexpected spikes/low demand needed digital transformation, by which facilities, operations, workforce, IT, R &D, environmental and social governance activities could be managed. Considering external technologies to upskill employees and evolving the go-to-market strategy for the next two years will help companies thrive post-COVID-19.

Kovai.co was one of the first SaaS Company in Coimbatore to announce Work from Home (WFH) for all our teams since early March 2020. It was not too difficult for our teams to adapt to WFH, thanks to our processes and systems that are in place, which helped us to better manage the COVID-19 situation. 

The pandemic has created a tough situation in the market and hiring has been slow across the industry. However, within IT, the SaaS companies performed quite well in potential segments. Kovai.co has had the opportunity to hire good talent (as stated above) during this pandemic.

COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional way of functioning and so young graduates should have a strong penchant for learning and acquiring new skills to make themselves more competitive so that they can be hired. They should have a mindset to ‘unlearn’.

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