Today in Hong Kong at the RISE Summit, the world’s biggest tech companies and most exciting start-ups gathered to share their stories and experiences. Sankar Narayan, Xero’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer was a keynote speaker, discussing Xero’s 10 year journey from a ‘start-up’ to a ‘superstar’, which you can watch in the video below.

Hosted by Web Summit, the world’s largest tech conference, RISE is the biggest tech startup event in Asia. Today was the final day of this three-day summit, which included a multitude of speakers, entrepreneurs, and investors from some of the world’s biggest companies and exciting startups.

Sankar opened his presentation by describing Xero’s incredible growth over the past 10 years: “From 2008 to 2018, Xero has gone from 27 staff to 2,000+, $120K to $400M+ revenue and 100 to 1.4 million subscribers.”

“This phenomenal growth has seen Xero become one of the fastest growing ASX-listed technology companies in terms of revenue growth and market capitalisation.”

So what’s the secret sauce for tech start-up’s looking to follow suit?

Knowing how to spot your business’s growth opportunities is key, explained Sankar.

For Xero, the key opportunities for growth are:

  • Total addressable market – Less than a quarter of small businesses around the world are in the cloud. There’s a global market we can reach through technology and disruption
  • Competition – Existing players are comfortable with the status quo and there are perceived barriers to entry, which are not that high
  • Disruption – We have a truly disruptive business model, born in the cloud, Xero connects small businesses on a global stage, providing compelling economies of scale
  • Collaboration – We are in a unique position to leverage a collaborative and connected world

“To capitalise on the opportunity, getting everyone in the business working towards the same goal is critical,” Sankar explained. “Building the next generation of billion dollar businesses starts with internal alignment.”

The advice Sankar gave to businesses looking to align and scale is:

  • Have a big vision aligned with a coherent strategy and consistent execution
  • Set a mission and clearly communicate it, ensuring everything everyone in the business does is directly linked to it
  • Have a customer obsession – this will drive customer passion
  • Continuous product and business innovation

For more information about the 2018 RISE Summit and the other companies who presented, click here.

Startup vs superstar: Can the next generation compete?

Xero's Sankar Narayan:Inside the SaaS industry, there are rumblings of disquiet. A growing worry that new arrivals can’t compete with incumbents. This session explores SaaS market monopolies and the fear that the longer those at the top stay there, the harder it is for those at the bottom to close the widening gap.

Posted by SaaS Monster on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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