‘AI is a monster wave,’ says Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a big threat but also provides the biggest opportunity for the SaaS (software as a service) community, said Girish Mathrubootham, founder and CEO of the Chennai/US based Freshworks, a cloud-based business software company. “AI is a monster wave. We need to ride it,” he added.

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“Every enterprise start-up should adopt AI. You are already late. The most important message that we wanted to land with each one of the founders [SaaS] here is that AI is going to be the biggest opportunity for us as an ecosystem,” he said at the two-day SaaSBoomi, a close-knit community of B2B SaaS founders from India.

“We started SaaSBoomi [in 2018] with India with a dream of making India as a product nation. If we ride the AI wave, we could reach that dream faster,” he said. This year, there are over 6,000 SaaS startups in India as against 3,500 last year building global SaaS products. “We are beginning to see the momentum and a force that cannot be ignored,” he added.

The 3,500 SaaS startups that were built over the last eight years, and many of them are not AI-enabled yet. The theme for this year’s SaaSBoomi was everything about AI, he said.

“This monster wave of AI, if we learn how to ride it can truly become the accelerator for all of us to achieve this dream. We will be able to create the next leaders of tech companies from India like Amazon emerging from the Internet era or Uber in the iPhone era.,” he said.

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“AI is an accelerator. We need to acknowledge and start dreaming about it. That is the opportunity available to each one of us in this room. However, this is not going to happen without first acknowledging that business, as we know it, is going to to be disrupted by AI. May be it is not going to happen tomorrow, but definitely going to happen in two or three years. As founders, we need to rethink our strategy, and throw away the roadmap if you have not put AI in every feature that you have built. That’s what we are doing at Freshworks,” he said.

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