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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Jag Lamba, CEO & Founder at Certa, a third-party management platform that has raised $52 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Origins in Consulting and Engineering: Jag’s transition from engineering to business and eventually founding Certa was driven by his desire to build rather than consult, highlighting the shift from advisory roles to hands-on creation and leadership in technology.
  • Insightful Career Shifts: Experiences at McKinsey and handling venture capital initiatives provided Jag with exposure to high-caliber problem-solving and innovative product development, setting the stage for his entrepreneurial journey.
  • Inspirational Figures and Readings: Jag discusses how influential figures like Satya Nadella and non-business literature, including Bill Browder’s “Red Notice,” have shaped his perspectives on leadership and the courage to innovate against significant odds.
  • Addressing a Universal Business Pain: The inception of Certa was rooted in Jag’s realization of the inefficiencies in third-party risk management during his tenure at McKinsey, identifying a gap that Certa could fill.
  • Early Adoption by Major Clients: Jag’s commitment to not letting early adopters down and his flexibility in product development helped secure early trust and collaboration from significant enterprises, including Uber.
  • Future Vision for Certa: Looking ahead, Jag envisions a streamlined, almost instantaneous process for onboarding and collaborating with third parties, enhancing compliance and operational efficiency with a single click.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Jag leveraged his personal and professional connections to gain early introductions and support, including a critical introduction to Uber. Founders should utilize every available relationship to create opportunities and gain initial traction, understanding the importance of each connection in potentially leading to significant partnerships.

Commitment to Client Success Builds Trust:

Demonstrating a deep commitment to not letting early clients down played a crucial role in Certa’s early success. Founders should prioritize customer satisfaction and deliver on promises, as early client trust can set the foundation for long-term credibility and growth.

Focus on Educating Your Market:

Jag's marketing philosophy centers on customer education, essential for products that introduce innovative solutions. Startups should invest in educating potential customers about the unique benefits of their products, especially when entering markets with established players.

Strategic Hiring is Crucial for Scalability:

The most impactful decisions Jag made involved hiring the right people. Startups should focus on building strong teams that align with the company’s culture and goals, as the right hires can significantly accelerate growth and innovation.

Iterate Based on Market Feedback:

Certa’s product underwent significant redevelopment after initial market feedback, which was key to better addressing customer needs. Founders should remain flexible in their product development, ready to iterate and pivot based on real-world use and feedback to better meet market demands.

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