In over 400 interviews, founders have mentioned 1500 tools that are critical to growing their business. Most of these tools, like most of the founders we’ve interviewed, are based in the US. However, more tools from India, Israel, Canada, Brazil and European countries are becoming essential to how US-based startups run their business.
In a recent interview with Jugal Anchalia, the founder of JustDoc, we were introduced to several tools from Indian companies that we thought all startups could use. It inspired us to do a deep dive into other tools that are coming out of India. As you’ll see, some of them are strategic in that they enable commerce with one of the world’s largest economies. Others are just damn good tools.
Make payments easy & accessible for everyone
“We use Instamojo, an Indian company, for payments. You can just send a payment link to the customer, and then they can pass it on to friends and relatives. This works super well for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India.”
Instamojo is a massive digital payments platform that enables payments via WhatsApp, SMS, email, Facebook and more. The product is focused on appealing Indian SMBs and startups, and they’re largely succeeding in making it a great tool for Indian entrepreneurs. One of their standout features is the ability to generate a link with a set price details and to collect payments by messaging the link to your customers.
Instamojo also offers a light ecommerce platform.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Instamojo links are a great way collect payments from your customers.
Payment gateway solution for India
Razorpay is described as the “Indian equivalent of Stripe.” It has a large user base and differentiates itself from its competitors with an easy to implement API. The checkout process is simple and effortless for the consumer, and the mobile UX is also excellent.
Razorpay integrates with other popular tools like Zoho, WooCommerce, Shopify and more.
For a more in-depth comparison of Paytm vs. Instamojo vs. Razorpay, check out this blog post by Subbu Athikunte, who was looking for the best payment gateway solution for his company, SimpleGuest.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Easy to implement API with various integrations.
“Hasjob and Hirist are Indian-specific tools; made by Indians, for Indians. We look for developers via Hasjob. They are a spinoff from HasGeek, which is specifically for developers.”
Both tools have very easy and simple to use interfaces to post open positions you are trying to fill. Hasjob is a straightforward job board, whereas Hirist has a few more bells and whistles, including an ATS.
Why they’re great tools for startups: Intuitive tools that help startups find the talent they need to grow.
Take the chaos out of projects
Brightpod is a project management tool that helps you manage your team workflows. They offer a variety of features like project planning & tracking, blogging calendars, time tracking, file storage and more.
Users of Brightpod are big fans of their customer service. Pamela Owens, Founder & CEO of Writing it Right For You says:
“We use Brightpod specifically for keeping track of all of our internal marketing activities, like Twitter, newsletters, and web design and maintenance. They have a great editorial calendar feature. Their founders are in India, but they are extremely responsive! They listen to all of my feature requests, and I like that.”
She has a fuller testimonial on the Brightpod page where she mentioned moving her team’s project hub from Basecamp to Brightpod.
Why Brightpod is a great tool for startups: An excellent project management tool with stellar customer service.
A smarter way to setup your subscription billing
Chargebee is a recurring payments platform for SaaS and eCommerce businesses. It’s a well-known company, used by companies around the world since 2011.
Chargebee is a popular option for startups because it works seamlessly with popular payment gateways (i.e. Stripe) and is accessible on popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify. They handle all recurring billing and invoicing, and sync well with fulfillment operations.
“Chargebee does all our invoicing and that’s where we define the plans we have. The MailClark bidding portal is done through Chargebee. Chargebee is great for startups because the first fifty thousand dollars of sales is free of charge. That’s the best thing when you're still working on your monetization, knowing you won’t have to pay for Chargebee for a while. It’s also a very flexible tool. We are happy users.”
Chargebee is also continuously adding new features and updating their product; their latest update introduced multi-lingual support.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Scaleable recurring payment platform with a budget friendly free Launch Plan.
Customer experience, simplified
OneDirect is a customer experience management (CEM) platform. They make it easy to connect directly with your customers across varied touchpoints like email, Facebook, and Twitter. Their Service Cloud features an advanced ticketing system, canned responses, and analytics.
OneDirect also helps users track brand mentions across every marketing channel via their Marketing Cloud - and ultimately enables users to support and respond to customers through their Service Cloud.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: A comprehensive customer service tool.
Shared inbox for support and sales
Hiver is a project management and email productivity tool wrapped in a neat little package. Instead of trying to “kill email” like so many other apps try to do, Hiver instead makes it easy to assign emails and collaborate with team members out of your inbox.
We think of it as a “Streak for customer support.”
Hiver started in India (under the name GrexIt) and was part of The Morpheus startup incubator in 2010.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Project management, collaboration and customer service in Gmail.
Outbound hiring solution
Belong is a hiring tool that uses data science and predictive analytics to find the right people for your startup. They analyze social profiles to find out if someone would be a qualified recruit, and if they are likely to fit in socially.
The problem a lot of startups face is that great candidates typically don’t apply to positions, and some of the best candidates are found through external referrals and networking. You can use Belong for outbound hiring to find targeted and personalized candidates.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Personalized, targeted candidates make for star hires that you usually don’t find from inbound recruiting.
Solve your app uninstall mystery
Uninstall is a platform developers can use to find out why people are uninstalling their app. Their dashboard gives users a full view of install/uninstall numbers, retention data, and user actions before the uninstall. That way you can easily deduce if a particular factor, like push notifications or a crash, might be driving people to uninstall.
You can also use Uninstall to win back lost users by doing retargeting campaigns after you’ve resolved the reason they uninstalled your app.
Why it’s a great tool for startups: Better app user retention via granular insights into user behavior, particularly app uninstalls