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The Playbook: Samir Bodas of Icertis on building a SaaS unicorn, life lessons from cancer

Far from the glory and noise of consumer internet startups, a new breed of enterprise software entrepreneurs is quietly building this decade’s most valuable companies. Zoho, Freshworks, BrowserStack, to name a few, are shining examples of such enterprises.

Add Icertis, which is based in Seattle and Pune, to that list. Icertis is a startup that helps some of the world’s biggest companies manage their contracts better. Founded in 2009 by Samir Bodas and Monish Darda, Icertis has raised around $200 million so far and has annual revenues of around $80 million.

I caught up with Bodas to gather the journey of Icertis. During the chat, he dropped a bombshell.

“Late last year, I was diagnosed with cancer, but not a serious one, but I still had to be away for over a quarter,” Bodas told me in this podcast.

Surely, the bad news must have had an adverse impact on Icertis. Not really, according to Bodas. “While I was away, the company performed the best ever in our history,” he told me.

Bodas’ absence did change the way of Icertis was run.

“I had to reinvent myself and apply myself in a different way. I went through this phase where I immersed myself in research. The way I engage with the company today is very different from how I did it last year,” he says. “I focus on very different things now. I now focus on our three-year strategy and not just quarterly performance. I had to pivot. “

Tune in to learn how to build a unicorn startup from the Icertis playbook.

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