Software products are not created overnight. Any new technology wave take years to build before it’s finally embraced by the market. So has been the case with Peri CRM – a cloud based SAAS (software as a service) product built specifically for the Indian FMCG industry. Let’s take a sneak peak at the journey of Peri, its founding team and its vision for this highly competitive SAAS CRM ecosystem.
[Oct 2015] Gen-1 Catalyst
A technology consultant (Harsh) and a business process consultant (Arun), took up a project to augment the trade sales of one of India’s largest medical consumables company. While evaluating the CRMs available (both packaged and customisable) they were dismayed by the quality of solution providers available in the market. Everyone who pitched was selling a software, not a business solution. No vendor was ready to engage with the 300 plus sales representatives across the country to understand and give an appropriate, holistic solution.
Frustrated by the Indian CRM landscape, the duo decided to pull-in their old friend (Ravi), a Java techie for a large ITES company and started creating a software using freelancers and mobile development start-up. What started as a project, soon became a passion. The team started spending hours on the whiteboard, trying to crack the right user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). They were fortunate to have a talented illustrator (Namrata) who offered to create the user interface (UI) for this vision. The product was launched pan-India early 2016 and got an amazing response from the frontliners who applauded and reassured the team that they have created something unique, something big.
[July 2016] Gen-2 DNA
The team had tasted blood and were eager for more! While consulting another client in Telcom services space, they identified a need for a corporate sales CRM, which could help salvage a declining business and become a sales pitch for future investors. They had momentum, an established team, learnings from the previous product and a new challenge – build a CRM specialized for B2B or account-based sales.
They improvised on design and made it vibrant, eased the UX, created workflows and incorporated best practices from the industry. The product’s UAT (user acceptance testing) and pilot in Delhi, NCR region got highly appreciated by the sales team, who were amazed by the simplicity of the product coupled with deep knowledge of business process. It couldn’t be launched pan-India due to tough market conditions but gave the team a very valuable lesson – a product cannot be specific to a single company, it has to be generic.
[May 2017 till Aug 2018] Ground work
By now, the core team had spend two intense years in the CRM space, created two promising products, met more than 500 sales representatives and had a strong feeling that they are onto something unique. Few things were crystal clear in their minds:
- SAAS is the way forward
- UI and UX should be ridiculously simple
- Implementation needs to be super agile
[Aug 2018 till Dec 2018] Gen-3 Peri CRM
Around middle of 2018, the team created their mission statement:
“Create a smartphone application which every sales representative in India can adopt and use for their daily work”
And finalised the brand name PERI with the dual meaning
“(in Persian mythology) a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy”
“(as a prefix) about or around or enclosing or surrounding like in perimeter or periscope”
And established the core values of the company
- Frontliners as the first beneficiary
- Middle and senior managers as the second beneficiary
- Happy and satisfying user experience
- Openness to change and customisations
- No rip-off pricing
And wrote the 2020 vision statement
- On-board 1 million retailers
- Sign up 10k frontliners
- Have deep market understanding of all Indian cities with 1 lac population
- Rollout all major and minor Sales business processes
It would be interesting to track the progress of Peri in the highly competitive, partially commoditised Indian SAAS industry which many have placed their bets on, and which has shown signs of a paradigm shift. Peri’s updates are available on their blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and their Quora channel.