It’s been six months since I relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area to join Freshdesk, one of India’s fastest growing SaaS startups.
We have launched two new products — Freshsales and Freshchat, and doubled our customer base to over 100,000 customers across 145 countries over the last one year. My time at Freshdesk as head of Engineering has been nothing short of exhilarating, driven by the passion and energy of the Freshdesk team to make things happen. It’s not about where you have been, and all about where you want to go.
My early days at Freshdesk remind me of my early days at @WalmartLabs — the thrill of the immense opportunity ahead, and some trepidation.
When we started @WalmartLabs, it was about bringing in new technology capabilities and ways of working into a business that was already operating at a massive scale. At Freshdesk, my efforts are more about aligning engineering teams and practices to scale our products for the next phase of growth — in line with our value of “Making things work and then making them better”.
An important takeaway from my previous role is the effectiveness of small product development teams connected to the customer and the business — teams that are more nimble are more responsive and move faster. Independent, yet aligned.
Freshdesk’s track record of successfully launching products over the years has established the startup DNA in the company. We’ve been through the 0-to-1 and 1-to-10 scale-ups with our products — Freshdesk, Freshservice, Hotline, Freshsales and Freshchat. We are now on the 10-to-100 growth phase with some of our products. What’s abundantly clear to us is that we need to preserve the essence of a startup, of the original Freshdesk team, as we scale. To make that happen, we’ve launched an internal program called Freshwave for the 10-to-100 growth phase.
Freshwave combines product management, engineering and technical operations into ‘independent, yet aligned’ cross-functional product and platform development teams. While all teams are guided by a common product roadmap, each team has a distinct charter based on technical expertise, domain knowledge or ownership of a service. To the extent possible, we avoid reporting relationships within the teams — to strengthen the team spirit, ownership and initiative. Freshwave adapts agile development to the Freshdesk culture code of a happy work environment — building genuine relationships, taking ownership and playing to our strengths. With the initial wins from Freshwave, I’m just as excited today as I was on my first day about the opportunity to make Freshdesk a global SaaS powerhouse.
Over the last six months, I have also observed that Freshdesk’s fundamental values influence every aspect of Freshdesk’s products, be it their intuitive and elegant design, the robust technology stack or the stellar support our customers receive. Freshdesk’s culture of being customer-inspired was seen in the recent launch of Freshsales.io, our new CRM product. Based on customer feedback from our previous products, Freshsales has been built as a product that can scale easily to handle a large customer base and transaction volume right from day one.
For most businesses, when inbound marketing attracts an extremely high volume of leads, sales teams are often presented with a hard challenge. How are they going to identify the most promising leads at a glance and filter-out junk leads? That’s when Freshsales’ intelligent lead scoring comes to the rescue. With Freshsales’s lead scoring, one can easily assign scores to leads based on their professional information, their in-app behavior, their activities on the website, and their engagement with your business through email.
Freshsales makes setting up lead scoring rules super easy. And once the rules for each of the lead scoring categories have been defined, Freshsales, in real time, automatically scores and re-scores your leads on a 0 to 100 scale making it easy for businesses to classify their hot, warm and cold leads. Each of Freshdesk’s products lets you focus on the most important aspect of your business at any point in time — which is why we built Freshsales with intelligent lead scoring right out-of-the-box.
Doing what we do in Freshdesk Engineering, enhancing the technology foundations for cloud-based customer engagement products, is exciting. And there’s a deeper sense of fulfilment for me to do all this while being back ‘home’ in India.
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