Founder reveals his decade-long journey and learnings

Zixflow’s founder opens up about leading, innovating, and making an impact.

Prem Saini, a visionary leader crushing the business and tech scene.

His big moves and cool ideas have left a real mark.

His journey is a mix of smart thinking, balancing, building what makes him smile and leading the way.

In our chat, Prem shared the story of his past 10 years – from kickstarting SAINO, a game-changer in cloud communication, to the evolution of Zixflow.

Let’s dive into the big moments, the lessons learned, and the serious grit that makes Prem’s business journey stand out.

We’ll unpack the tough stuff, the wins, and the smart ideas that shape how he builds, tackles roadblocks, and makes a lasting mark in the ever-changing digital world.

Let’s dig into the mind of this incredible founder and pick up some cool insights from his experiences and smart moves.

Prem Saini – Founder, Zixflow

1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how did you end up with what you’re doing today.

I’m Prem Saini, and my journey into the world of entrepreneurship has been quite dynamic.

I’ve been involved in various projects for the past 10 years, exploring different aspects of business and technology.

The turning point came with the success of SAINO, a cloud communication platform that I founded and which is now part of Zixflow.

While working on SAINO, I collaborated with numerous brands, assisting them in streamlining processes, generating leads, and executing effective marketing plans.

Through these interactions, a common challenge among businesses caught my attention – the cumbersome management of multiple contact lists.

This realization sparked the idea to create a comprehensive solution, leading to the inception of Zixflow.

My background includes completing an entrepreneurship program at IIM Ahmedabad, where I gained valuable insights into the business world.

Over the years, I’ve been honored with awards, including the ‘Business World Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and a Gold medal from AIMS.

Today, as the founder of Zixflow, I’m deeply involved in reshaping how businesses manage and engage with their contacts through our agile, customizable, and AI-driven platform.

It’s a journey driven by a passion for simplifying complex processes and empowering businesses to thrive in the digital landscape.

2. What does your day look like?

My typical day usually kicks off around 8 AM with a cup of tea and some quality time spent with my family.

I find that this morning routine helps set a positive tone for the day ahead.

Following that, I incorporate some light exercises to ensure both my mind and body are in good shape before diving into work.

In the early days of Zixflow, my role was heavily focused on understanding the needs of potential clients, creating product plans, and collaborating closely with our tech team.

However, since the launch of it, a significant part of my day has been dedicated to direct involvement in sales activities.

I engage with clients, gaining insights into their diverse requirements and showcasing how Zixflow can accelerate their growth.

It’s incredibly rewarding when we connect with prospects who have been eagerly waiting for solutions like ours.

Balancing the demands of a startup can be challenging, but I find that maintaining a structured daily routine helps me stay focused and efficient.

Ensuring a healthy work-life balance is crucial to me, and I believe that a positive and organized approach to each day contributes to the overall success and well-being of the business and its team.

3. What does your startup do, and what inspired you to start it?

Zixflow redefines how we manage & engage contacts.

It’s agile, customizable, and AI-driven.

A unified workspace to shape your CRM, automate workflows, and drive engagement through Email, SMS & WhatsApp.

Juggling between CRM, outreach tools, communication platforms, and automation was a daily struggle for my team.

It felt like too many pieces in too many places.

In today’s world, just having a CRM alone won’t cut it; connecting and engaging are key to nurturing relationships.

Dealing with the chaos of different platforms went against our efficiency motto. 

And so, Zixflow was born — a solution that streamlines, automates, and amplifies.

A platform that doesn’t just manage; it evolves with you. 

4. What’s your company’s revenue & profit for last month, and what’s its valuation at the moment?

We are a bootstrap company and are working on breakeven for now.

We expect to be profitable by the end of 2024.

5. What were some of the biggest challenges and obstacles you faced in the early days of your startup? And How did you overcome those challenges?

When I started SAINO in 2017, I had two options: first, to take my business plan and reach out to investors for funding, or I could just put my head down and figure out how to make a self-sustaining business.

When we started as a communication platform, I felt it was very powerful, reaching out to millions of people in a couple of seconds.

It’s fascinating.

We started just as an SMS platform.

As we evolved, we launched the Smartlink solution in 2017.

It kind of went crazy with the ability to track the phone numbers of people who were visiting the website.

We were able to quickly get to the market for marketing campaigns, and the company was profitable from the very first year.

Now Zixflow Campaign is powered by SAINO platform, which is now part of Zixflow. 

6. How did you build your team, and what qualities do you look for in team members?

It’s been a challenging part that I’m still working on.

When you bootstrap a company, you can’t afford to hire top leaders, so you have to run the show to minimize costs.

As we started making money, we expanded our team to over 20 members.

When I evaluate someone, I focus on their skills and trustworthiness, valuing them as a friend rather than just an employee.

I want the team to reach the next level and be able to improve their work independently without needing constant guidance.

7. What marketing strategies did you use or planning to use to acquire customers and grow your user base?

We have experimented with various methods, but one that has been particularly successful for us is receiving referrals from existing clients.

This has resulted in higher closing rates compared to other channels.

Our primary focus is on leveraging LinkedIn to establish one-on-one relationships, engaging in cloud outreach, and reaching out to communities by offering tailored solutions to their specific needs.

This approach has been effective for us without incurring additional costs in acquiring new customers.

8. How did you fund your startup, and what advice do you have for entrepreneurs seeking funding?

As I said, we’ve been running our business using our own money, and it’s been doing well. It feels good to have a business that supports itself.

We should consider whether we really need funding or if there are alternative solutions to address this challenge.

While some businesses must require funding, so you don’t have many options.

If you can make the market fit faster, you can negotiate better terms with potential investors and create long-term value for the entire ecosystem.

9. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as a startup founder, and how have those lessons influenced your approach to entrepreneurship?

I’ve learned two important lessons from my experience.

The first is the importance of delegating tasks, as I found myself spending a lot of time on various aspects of the business that could have been handled by someone else.

Empowering the team to take on responsibilities is crucial for success.

The second lesson is the importance of focusing on making each deal profitable and creating value for customers.

My advice to startup founders is to focus on problem-solving, streamlining tasks, and prioritizing customer value and profitability for sustainable long-term growth, even without external funding.

10. How do you stay motivated and focused when faced with setbacks and obstacles?

As humans, emotions play a big role in startups.

Challenges arise almost every day, with some customers satisfied and others not.

There are various tasks like improving conversion rates, reaching a broader audience, closing sales, meeting targets, building the right team, and managing finances.

Additionally, there are government regulations to fulfill on time.

As a startup founder, planning for the week, not just the day, is crucial. Success takes time, and it’s essential to work consistently, gaining happy customers along the way.

Setbacks are part of the journey.

When in doubt, reflect on why you started the business.

Maintaining a life outside work is important for balance.

Having a social circle helps me enjoy life and make the most of my time.

Finding this balance is crucial for living each day.

Making a positive impact, even on one person, brings joy and contributes to the growth of the business.

11. Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self when you were just starting out on your journey?

Sometimes, we just think too much about whether it will work or not, but I believe you just have to do it.

If you haven’t been there, it means you have a 100% chance of failure, but if you try, it might work.

I believe that if earning money is the only motivating factor, then it will create problems in the future.

So, check how you can create value for customers, which will make it sustainable and profitable.

12. Anything you want to add?

I believe the business tone is set by the founders, so you need to decide how you want to drive your business from day one and what made you start.

Can you note it down somewhere?

It will be great because that will help you in the future and keep the attitude of building a business which can help everyone in your ecosystem, whether they are your team members, customers, or even family.

Business is an important part of your life, but it’s not everything, so don’t forget to live your life.

When you look back, a smile should be on your face from how you lived.

That’s a wrap!

Check out how Tim built $80K a month SaaS business by learning to code in 6 months.

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