Understanding Global SaaS Trends & The Importance of Minimum Usable Product with Shihab Muhammed Founder & CEO SurveySparrow

Shihab Muhammed, Founder & CEO SurveySparrow chats with Amit Somani, Managing Partner Prime Venture Partners.

Listen to the podcast to learn about

01:00 - The Launch of Shihab’s SaaS Career at Zoho

07:00 - Freshworks’ Early Days & Shihab’s Joining Story

11:00 - How to Grow at a High-Growth Startup

18:00 - The Idea & Inspiration for SurveySparrow

24:00 - Emerging Trends in the Global SaaS Market

34:00 - How to Keep Learning as a Founder

Read the complete transcript below

Amit Somani 01:10

Welcome to the Prime Venture Partners podcasts. Today I am delighted to have with us one of our very own entrepreneurs Shihab Muhammed, he is co founder and CEO of SurveySparrow. Welcome to the show Shihab.

Shihab Muhammed 01:26

Thank you so much for having me. Great to be a part of your show.

Amit Somani 01:30

It's been great Shihab having known you and worked with you now for a couple of years. But you had a storied career, having graduated as a young engineer, and then joined Zoho, right off the bat, which is probably the mother of all Indian products, or perhaps SaaS companies. And then you also spend a lot of time at Freshworks. So maybe we can start with your early days of getting started at Zoho. How was that experience, what did you learn from that?

Shihab Muhammed 01:57

I was just fortunate to be in Zoho. Rather, I would say it is like, I didn't make it into any of the service companies. And even I couldn't make it into one of the service companies because I had one back paper in my seventh semester. And Zoho was a place where they hire even if you have one history of back paper if it is there. And that's how I landed there. And that's where I learned a lot of things as a human. So basically, beyond the product and things, one of the best learning was how to fly high, while staying grounded, you interact with a lot of very nice, humble, grounded people. And you will learn a lot from them.

I was an electronics graduate. And I didn't have any computer science background. And for somebody with a background in electronics, coming into a product company like Zoho and learning, coding, especially Java coding, I was not good at it, it took two months there for me to learn that skill, then start coding there. And I made a lot of good friends. And I learned a lot in Zoho, especially since I even met Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks at Zoho, and that became a pivotal point in my life also, because I learned a lot from Zoho. And then again, I was fortunate to be part of the Freshworks story, I became employee number three after Girish and Shan. And that changed my life itself. So whomever I am today is definitely because of Zoho and freshworks.

Amit Somani 03:35

Absolutely. So let's stick to Zoho. I love the quote that you use, which is two interesting things. One, I didn't know about your back papers. That's cool. But also about flying high while staying grounded. Maybe you can elaborate that a little bit with an example. The other thing, of course, that Sridhar Vembu, who we've been trying to get on our podcast for a while, has been saying is, how talent was cultivated and recruited from anywhere, really. And I think now again, that we are back into the talent wars, in terms of lots of funding, unicorns now your IPO companies, etc. I think there's a lot to be said about how talent gets recruited and groomed that at Zoho, so maybe you can talk about both flying high and staying grounded as well as a little bit about, what are some of the more interesting places where people came from at Zoho just like yourself?

Shihab Muhammed 04:24

Yeah, Zoho was more of a say maybe it's like catch them young kind of place where you won't see a lot of lateral hires. While the majority of the people are very smart kids who might not be very good in communication, they can actually solve any problem. For example, I still remember all the interview questions which my interviewer asked me, and I think almost 90 percent of them were puzzles and problem solving kinds of things. And that will bring a lot of people who really are like aspirational people who want to solve bigger problems. And they might not be from the tier one colleges mostly from a tier two college. And that will give us the basic essence of the right talent with high aspiration.

And they generally hire for attitude. Because obviously all these 22 year old kids or who just get out of college, they won't have much skills needed, but at the same time, you are thoroughly checked on your attitude, if you have the right attitude and have reasonable problems solving skills, you can get into Zoho and maybe that is the reason like see, today when I look back at Zoho It is one of the company which I have seen as like the lowest employee turnover. I haven't seen any company which is actually that low. And that is because of the right attitude people coming in. And the culture is being built, whereas like, people are helping each other to grow.

And that is something like a wonderful thing which you experience. I mean, usually you need to experience beyond the word words, to experience that Zoho culture And obviously, when you come from that, sometimes you come from the remote villages, and with all those things, People who are coming from a good heart, and you learn a lot of things like compassion, you will learn how to be grounded, all those good characters will be built along with you, in that stint at Zoho.

Amit Somani 06:19

Absolutely, it's phenomenal. And I know of another Pune based company, which would hire people for whom English was not a natural language of communication, but they were very good at problem solving. And exactly like you said, their retention for their employees was super high, because they were very committed to the culture and to the inclusiveness of their employer. So let's talk about the transition to Freshworks. And some of the early days. So what was your freshworks joining story? I recently saw, of course, congratulations on the IPO for freshworks. But I also saw one of the early pictures in that two or three BHK in Chennai with you and four or five other people, including Girish and Shan, so maybe just talk to us about how you joined Freshworks, and maybe the first year or so at the company.

Shihab Muhammed 07:05

I was again really fortunate, or maybe it's like, right place at the right time kind of thing. So in October 2010, I got an offer from another company to be a lead engineer for building something like Facebook for health. That point, Fitbit was not very popular. So there was a Chennai company which wanted to build something like Fitbit. And at the same time Girish was also leaving Zoho to start Freshworks. Obviously he came to know I'm leaving. And once I left, Girish called me and told me the thing on the weekend that he is starting freshdesk at that point. Today it is Freshworks. And he asked me, do you want to join Freshdesk but I don't have money to pay.

So then I told him I do have a mortgage. The mortgage costs around 8000 rupees monthly because my mom wanted to stay in a concrete house and I built a concrete house, a two story house for her while I was in Zoho and that loan was there. So I told him, see I'm not married but if you can pay the loan, that is the only thing that is a liability to me. Then he happily told me that, that we can take care of. You don't need to worry about that. So I was like okay, I got into Freshdesk we were just Shan and Girish were sitting in the room and I was fortunate to be the third person in the room it was just 100 square feet room in Velachery and then that changed the life especially for me and many many other people.

And regarding the picture you told me, it is in a suburb of Chennai. Maybe today it’s like you have something but at that point there was nothing in that place. And that is not a house, it was a place where you store all these agricultural things. And that was the place and then we changed that into an office at that point. We can't afford a bigger office space and that's how that small office space is being built. And the picture is when we won the Microsoft award. That's the picture you're referring to.

Amit Somani 09:05

That's right. So how were some of the early lessons from Freshworks. Because a lot of our listeners here on the podcast are early stage entrepreneurs. And obviously, things have changed.10 years later, SaaS has become global Freshworks’ IPO or Freshdesk, as it was called then. So maybe some lessons in terms of what are you guys doing early on that if you reflect back were good things that stuck with the company and helped you guys be successful later on.

Shihab Muhammed 09:30

One of the things, definitely from Freshdesk, the product which we were building as the first product, so we were obsessed about the product, we made sure that we are shipping the right product, we were making sure that it is a minimum useable product, instead of a minimum viable product, which I'm a huge advocate of. So make sure that when the customer journey is like, it is the ticket coming into your helpdesk to reply to that and that should be flawless. It should work, so we made sure that when the product is really good, that is the centre of all those things. And honestly, in 2010, if you talk about Chennai, we didn't hear much about funding or VC, to be honest. And the whole idea was like, how do you make in a month $10,000 so that the six of us, which you are seeing in the picture, can take some salary and have a decent life? That's the whole plan of like, okay, building a right product.

So if you build a good product, yeah, we can make $10,000 a month so that we all can feed our family. That was the whole idea. And from there, yes, it scaled. And obviously along with the company, I also scaled. One other important thing for my life is how do I turn from an engineer to a business leader. That is something that just happened at Freshworks training, because there is this thing called one of the beliefs or as Lego, which I read initially. So the title of the article in Forbes was, “if you are not leaving your logos, you're not going to grow along with the company’’ that was the title of the company.

So what it says is, a company, especially a startup will grow very fast in a particular time frame, because that’s what every startup is meant for. As an initial employee or as an engineer, you're coming there, you know only about engineering and you know how to code. Beyond that if you want to grow, you will have to leave your chair every six months or one year, so that somebody else will come and pick up that one. And then you can move into the next level. If you're not doing that, then you will be stuck. And not just you sometimes even the company is stuck there because of the influence you are creating. So sometimes what happens is people will hang on into what emotionally attached into what they are doing, and then they'll try to hang on the Lego, which they're trying to build the building. So the best learning was how to leave that one. And I myself changed my job title at least five, six times in that period, until I became the business head for the hugely successful Fresh service. It was a separate BU right inside Freshworks. And that's another biggest learning.

Amit Somani 12:05

Got it. So two things I want to double click on. One is, of course this minimum usable product, as opposed to minimum viable product. And have you taken that learning here as well? We'll talk about SparrowSparrow next. And can you kind of elaborate on that a little bit, for why that is sort of more interesting to do. And then I'll come about the job role and the Lego blocks later.

Shihab Muhammed 12:30

Definitely we took that learning in SurveySparrow also see one of the thing what we did at SurveySparrow is we actually launched our first version of the product in six months, but we made sure that it is actually useable to at least some set of people with the idea that we wanted to create the most engaging feedback platform ever, that was the whole idea because we found the typical response rate for any survey is 10 to 15 percentage. This is when people are giving you feedback for free. That point when you're getting free of cost you need to make sure that when they experience the survey taker or the feedback, the person who's giving you feedback should be the best experience.

And that’s where the thought process came and we made the best possible worlds first chat survey software and we made sure that on that particular piece where it’s like people are taking the survey is the most engaging one and that was the whole point of doing SurveySparrow itself. Now, when when you ask me like what how do you make this like a minimum usable product you can only go with this particular thing and you can release it but at the same time, most of the time people might need to when you want to do this one you might need a C name to be, people wanted to white label your product because nobody wanted to carry SurveySparrow’s logo nobody wanted to carry SurveySparrow’s URL when they are getting feedback from their customers. Obviously they need to make sure that when it is looking as it is on their own kind of thing. We all do branding for ourselves. So that is something we added along with that one to make sure that when the customer is happy using SurveySparrow and distributing that to customers.

So what we did is, one of the hacks we did is, very early just after like Okay, while launching is like, okay, I was fortunate to meet this lady Tracy from Canada, and she was running a group of marketing enthusiasts who would like to test new software products. So what I did is like I told her, and she was also starting to make some noise on that particular group. And she told me, if you can give me this product for a year for a month’s cost, I will probably bring probably 500 customers. So I wanted to make sure that the person who was giving me the feedback has got some skin in the game. Because if you are giving if you’re getting feedback from somebody who’s not using your product that is not of high value.

So what Tracy did is like she distributed this thing and within two days she herself brought 500 customers and that also paid customers who opened their wallets to use SurveySparrow. And we started getting continuously the feedback because they already paid for this and then in a very short span of next two three months because of this feedback we made the product so solid that we added another 500 more customers in the 50 days period.

Amit somani 17:39

Got it. Yeah, I think a lot of interesting things in terms of the distribution being as important as the product, particularly in the early days. One quick question on Freshworks and then we should move forward which is when you say change your job title every 6 to 12 months. How do you kind of still bring a culture of accountability and some stickiness because if I’m doing one product go on to some other product and third day go on to be product management for day go on to a business role or some other unit then how do you make sure that kind of some delivery accountability consistency is happening

Shihab Muhammed 15:56

So what I mean by changing the job role doesn’t mean that when we are changing completely a different business unit or anything which is needed by the business which you are running and also like you can just leave your seat unless you have another person who’s going to replace it in your chair. I was fortunate to get the right people on time and we spend maybe a month and then by the time he can do this job and so that you can focus on something else you leave that one. So basically it’s more of thinking if something can be done by somebody else, let me give that one to him. He is the best person to do it and let me move and find out about the next job.

So you are creating a team. A team is actually working together to make sure that the thing is much better and if somebody else is good at what you’re doing just leave what you’re doing to them and find out your next things. That’s the best way to grow also because otherwise a typical engineer who can code will not turn into a heading a business unit, which involves a lot more processes and involves a lot more because it’s not just the product, you should know what is the basics of at least if even if you’re not the best person at least you should know basics of marketing you should know basics of sales, you should know how to do pre sales you should know like how to do and you will do also. It is not like you are going to be just the boss sitting there.

So you you have to be the first one who will be selling your first first product, and you should be the one who is always giving the pre sales to, or demo to that your customer, you should be the one who’s making up at the night and giving the support to the customer, then only you will do those things.

Amit Somani 17:30

Got it. How about now the picking of the idea for SurveySparrow. And I also draw a parallel, of course, to your previous company, but let’s talk about SurveySparrow. There were already a bunch of companies, some of which have done very well like from Survey Monkey to Medallia to Qualtrics and so on. So how did you narrow down on this idea? And can you talk a little bit about that?

Shihab Muhammed 17:58

So while I was in Freshworks itself, I used to have a good relationship with my bank. And I have an amazing relationship manager over there also. So they generally used to ask me even you will get it every month while talking to a relationship manager. There is one survey there, can you please just give me a five star rating. So just like that people used to take a huge survey at that point. And I was not taking it, again we were using some of these Google Forms kind of thing, which was not very mobile friendly and not engaging. And the response rate was very low. And that was the initial thought behind this one.

And again, I saw there was a shift happening in 2015 -2016. Everything was moving towards a lot more conversational chatty things. Be it you take WhatsApp, which was growing like anything and getting 1.8 billion users. And again, on Facebook, if you’re taking Facebook Messenger was overtaking Facebook usage itself by 20 percent, and Intercom, Slack, a lot of things coming at that point, just because it’s like the mainstream conversation is coming and chat kind of interfaces come. And that’s where the initial thought process came. But at the same time, that was not the only decision point. So basically, you will need to have a big market basically, whatever the market you are going to go after should be at least a billion dollar market.

That point itself if you really see the experience management market or more of a survey or feedback collection market. That point itself is like the revenue of the top three players was over a billion dollars, today that number is much higher and the total market cap of the top two players alone is actually 30 billion. And that’s a huge opportunity. And I also noticed one pattern where one of the players, Qualtrics is predominantly going after an enterprise segment, while Survey Monkey or small players were going after SMB or a freelancer play. While there is a gap in the mid market space where nobody was going after that one exclusively. And that is also added in two distinct ways, when you get all these things that come together. Sometimes maybe it’s like data plus your gut feel, will give you all, here is an opportunity. Probably this is my opportunity to build the next thing. So that’s how we got into SurveySparrow.

Amit Somani 20:15

Makes sense. The other interesting choice you made was, moving to Kerala and picking Kochi as the place to start this. So talk to us a little bit about, I know you have a personal affinity for Kerala, but about how that journey has been with respect to building a new age SaaS product company from Kochi. And also hiring in that area, because Chennai had become the hub for SaaS startups. And so can you talk a little bit about that as well?

Shihab Muhammed 20:45

Yeah, so one of the things on the personal side was like, okay, my wife also wanted to, we were shifting between Kerala and Chennai. She will always stay two months in Kerala and two months in Chennai. And that also, like would have added into that one. But on the other side, after starting, how do you attract people, because the knowledge or the points I made about Zoho, that was still with me. So you can actually get good people, the right attitude kind of thing. And you can still train some of them. Maybe they’re not from SaaS background, but still they’re good people who can code. There are a lot of people who can write very well. And there were a lot of designers also.

These were the basic ingredients needed to build a good product. And that really helped in Kochi. And that also is sometimes to be honest, the cost compared to a metro was at least 20 percent lower than the initial cost of hiring and then building the product. And those were the experiences. One of the things maybe because people in Kerala read a lot right and we got some amazing marketers writers over there. Even I am seeing one pattern is like the majority of companies today designers or maybe either from Kerala or some background related to that design kind of thing. And that also added, so it was a perfect fit for building. And we were able to attract the right people into SurveySparrow.

Amit Somani 22:06

Fabulous. What do you see is the journey for service sparrow going forward? In terms of what are the next big sort of things to conquer for the company.

Shihab Muhammed 22:15

So as a product, or as a company right now, we moved from a point solution to more of a platform today. We wanted to be the superstore of feedback, so wherever the feedback collection is happening, we wanted to get the feedback and we wanted to help our customers to build brands. So basically, I’m a huge believer in Kaizen. Kaizen is a continuous improvement process. And that is probably the reason Toyota today is one of the best companies in the world. Toyota and the term Kaizen itself are coming from the Japanese side, and you can see that they continuously improve their product. And today Japan is a synonym for the best product.

So just like that, if you continuously get feedback at every touchpoint, be it customer touchpoint or employee touchpoint, you get your feedback, for example, just after sales, you get the feedback from customers, when they come for a support, you get in that touch point, get feedback, then again, every quarterly you do an NPS survey, you do a CSAT, whenever a ticket is closed. So if you get feedback from these multiple touchpoints, and if you carefully listen to that one, and then act on it, over the period, you will build a brand. Because you’re not just doing one thing, you’re listening to every touchpoint. And over the period you will have an amazing support team, you will have an amazing product because, you might be doing product feedback surveys, and especially customer effort score, CES. CES is a measure of how easy was your onboarding into your product.

So you do CES, then you do CSAT, when a support ticket comes, when you get this 360 view of feedback from your customers, again, it’s like you’re doing this monthly with your employees. The best way to build the companies is just as an employee first company. When you build an employee first company, obviously, they’ll take care of the customer. So now you actually get feedback from your employees every month, and then probably it is like, when they are onboarding when they are exiting the company, after 90 days of their onboarding. So in all these touch points, which an employee will go through, so maybe you can call it an employee lifecycle. So if you get feedback throughout the employee lifecycle, you will know how to cater or like what to change in your organisation by listening to your employees also. So essentially, if you keep doing these things over the period, you will become the brand. So that’s the whole idea of SurveySparrow. And we will continue to invest. And we will go after that mission of helping our customers to build brands.

Amit Somani 24:50

Great Shihab, Let’s switch gears and talk about the global SaaS market and all kinds of interesting new SaaS companies coming out of India, I know you avidly follow this everywhere across the globe. So can you talk about some of the trends that you’re seeing in terms of the overall global saas market or even from the Indian landscape?

Shihab Muhammed 25:10

Overall, what we are seeing is, companies are turning a lot more a product led approach. Just to give you a little history of how SaaS is actually changing it for some of us, like it is still saas, but there is a transition which happened from 2000 to 2020. So in 2000s, it was all sales led companies like Salesforce, which is the first SaaS company, probably the one who invented cloud. And they created an amazing product and they directly started selling into the C level suite, field level salespeople who will directly go and sell into the C suite. And which might not be affordable to that point it was not affordable to SMBs also because that model will not scale for a SMB business.

But if you take it like okay next set of companies right you take HubSpot, you take Zendesk you take Freshdesk everything those were marketing lead companies basically it’s like you have an amazing product then you do like okay you have an amazing marketing team which will get people inbound marketing using the inbound marketing either via Google AdWords or via content everything; you have word of mouth or whatever it is like you are attracting people to your website and there is an inquiry and then you are actually is like a selling to them. And that actually made it affordable to mid market and even to a higher end of SMB. But if you see again, it’s like the journey in 2015 to 2020 right you can see today’s like slack is becoming the new sensation then today is like monday.com or notion is there all these companies have got a common thread.

It is all about the product lead growth basically that lower end of the pyramid that means the analyst or the person who’s really using this product and you made it completely freemium and you allow them to use it and after using it they will go and tell your boss, this is amazing product for example notion that is happening See I myself heard is like at least five times from employees is I wanted to use notion.So you don’t have a choice you have to buy an enterprise licence of notion so that everybody in the company can use it. So that is the typical product lead story. So this is the trend which has been happening in the last 20 years. So the change of sales led to marketing led to product led has happened.

Now, the next thing which I’m seeing is like one of the things like you move up the market, now a data centre, or is like data security is becoming increasingly important. Earlier, nobody used to ask, only enterprises used to ask, do you have SOP to report? So today even SMB or mid market started asking, Are you a ISO compliant? Maybe because today, nobody goes beyond behind the on premise solution. So if you take probably 5 year, or maybe 8 year back, people still were hybrid, there were people who will still buy in the on premise, and then they were installing it inside because of all these data privacy concerns today, even they are moving towards cloud. But only criterias are there now, instead of pushing over the physical criteria, now they actually created a policy where inside the policy they’re writing, okay, we need the data centre to be inside our country, that is a policy number one, and then it’s like ISO compliant, then it’s like all those kinds of that is another thing which we are seeing.

Amit Somani 28:20

Shihab there are two other dimensions, which I would love to get your thoughts on. One is this whole thing about vertical saas versus horizontal? And the other one, which we talk a lot about is, SMB versus real mid market versus enterprise. Can you talk about, what are some of the trends that you’re seeing in both in terms of horizontal versus vertical and SMB versus enterprise?

Shihab Muhammed 28:43

Yeah. So, the vertical saas is gaining momentum. The reason for that one is your target customer is really defined. For example, Zenoti is one of the typical examples from India itself. So Zenoti goes after all this saloon. So, another one is CareStack again. So, going after dental one advantage which we are seeing by interacting with obviously CareStack and all, what we are seeing is, because they are focused, their TAM is getting expanded over the period by adding more features or more functionality into that particular product itself. So technically, your net retention rate will always be on the higher side, which is a very good metric in the long run. But at the same time, if you don’t have enough TAM in that particular market. It may not be very sexy for investors.

So finding out a niche and then with an expandable TAM, because you may not have the TAM size where the total addressable market where you don’t already know about it. And if you can find a niche with an expandable TAM, definitely the vertical saas is going to be a huge story and we are yet to find enough things but we are we have seen some of these successes like Zenoti and on the on a horizontal side the advantages is your time is already big like and you can scale unlimitedly kind of thing. So that is there but at the same time what we are seeing is the NRR is not very high compared to the vertical saas but at the same time you can really build an amazing product with a much larger pool. And so, I won’t take any sides but both are actually like two different things and one is NRR game which hopefully is like you are expanding as you grow and the other one is like you already know it is there the opportunities there you are building the best thing in that particular market

Amit Somani 30:35

Agreed and I think the GTM will be very different for both as well right inherently, one will already have the horizontal one will have a lot more kind of spread out customer base with different use cases across different geographies whereas the vertical one can be much more targeted in terms of getting the flywheel spinning. How about SMB versus mid market versus enterprise.

Shihab Muhammed 30:55

So I personally didn’t experience a place where it directly building for an enterprise but what I have seen is building initially for SMB then is like slowly moving up the market is what we were doing throughout in my career that is the whole thing I have done it. The reason being you will get a lot of feedback from SMB, and you will over the period you will build an amazing product which can be used by the mid market also you might need to add a little bit more bells and whistles like what I mentioned like okay your data centre your security your who can access it kind of thing. So, a lot of security features you will add with those things it’s mostly is like an SMB product can be used by even mid market also then after that one if you have the real scale and then use cases sometimes what is happening is we ourselves will build as like some of the part.

So, by keeping the current product which is easy to try and easy to use. Some of the modules you will build and you will keep it a little bit of either is like in a locked way and you will move into enterprise and you will unlock only for enterprise This is the strategy which we are using but if you ask me is like directly going to enterprise unless otherwise you know that particular market and the founder has got an outbound DNA in them, I think that might work because Salesforce has done it because obviously the founder has sales DNA but for example for me the problem is like my DNA is a product DNA not a sales DNA. So if one of the founder is actually is like enterprise sales DNA fit is there that could also work but at the same time if your DNA in your founding team is product DNA or marketing DNA, I would not suggest going first into enterprise.

Amit Somani 32:42

Great as we come to an end of the podcast here Shihab, you mentioned how you grew from being an engineer to a product leader to a business leader at Freshworks. And now an entrepreneur and CEO. What has your own personal learning been? What have your personal learnings been? And what would you advise other entrepreneurs listening to in terms of their own growth. You have to grow the company of course or your product, but you also need to grow yourself so what has helped you along the journey for your own growth.

Shihab Muhammed 33:12

So I was always obsessed about customers and wanted how to build something which is usable to the customers. So basically build something which can be used and happily used, I would say not just use just. So people will everyday come to your product and they use it and they’ll give you amazing feedback. So the day before yesterday I was personally giving a demo to a customer, a prospect. And then the lady just said if this is your brainchild, hats off to you that’s what she told me and that moment actually tears were there in my eye. So I’m that obsessed with the product. So you will build something where somebody loves to use it and open their wallets for you and definitely they will open the wallets when they really love using your product. So keep obsessed with that product and all other things will fall in place. You will get investor money, you’re going to build a big company. Everything will follow that one if you really focus on that one thing.

Amit Somani 34:15

Great, you didn’t answer my question about how you learn about business? How did you learn about marketing? How did you learn about, let’s say, team building, fundraising. So those are also things, even if you’re obsessed with customers, how did you improve your skills as you went along?

Shihab Muhammed 34:30

Yeah, so one of the things is like, okay, I was really fortunate to work with some of the best people, including Girish Mathrubootham. And he’s an amazing storyteller. And again doing everything is like for example, as I told in the first story itself, I didn’t know how to code while doing Zoho. So one of the things is like I read a lot one, and second is definitely I do it and then learn right so I have done personally almost everything what a person can do in a SaaS company. I have personally written the code for at least two or three products. I have personally wrote blogs even in SurveySparrow block you can see personally I wrote blogs and I have personally done digital marketing, even today I go and do customer demos at least twice a week. Even now I go and replay in customer chats. I will go at least weekly like three to five times. I will go and replay it. Because you don’t want to be away from those things. So the best way to learn things is by doing and I think swimming can be taught only in a swimming pool and not only by reading. I have done it including tea making for my early employees.

Amit Somani 35:35

Wonderful. On that high note Shihab thank you again for being on the Prime Venture Partners podcast. It’s been a delight to work with you on SurveySparrow and appreciate you taking the time to record this with us.

Shihab Muhammed 36:00

Thank you so much for having me Amit.

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