Archive for the 'Entrepreneurship India' Category

Health Startup Opportunity in Indian Market

For last couple of days had been trying to demystify the health space in India and found out most of the startups rising are targeting the B2C space where doctors are the businesses and connecting them with consumers. Though the space tend to be bigger but if you try to work out revenue per user and scale required to breakeven without the right money muscle power it makes it difficult to pull of the same.

Although a niche space not being explored and which can be scaled easily to other markets and have higher adoption by the doctors is to create a Doctors startup kit for independent practitioners which is primarily a vehicle for pharma and other medical device companies to reach out to smaller practitioners. The kit can take either of 2 directions

i)  Medical Journal Route where one discuss new happening,drug discovery and tries to push such information on regular basis, host webinars and conferences for doctors and takes care of sending free medical samples, garner feedback for medical companies etc. Help bring down cost of marketing for Pharma companies. The model is different from webmd.com which again concentrates on just the research information part but not concentrate on the business model for organizing free medical supplies and feedback loop from practitioners to Rx companies.

ii) Online Clinic Management Tools for doctors which help doctor use power of internet,mobile to manage patients their history etc free of cost again sponsored by Rx companies where access to patient data to pharma companies and doctors schedule help them push relevant diagnosis and suggestions of their products.

Rxvantage.com is another startup based out of US which has taken similar B2B route in the overcrowded B2C market and has great potential for growth if it clearly keep launching services which will enable doctor to keep moving more of his offline MIS online for more convienence.

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Digital Marketing Institute – Is it time to start one for the industry

Every single digital industry professional has been talking about starting one to fullfill ever growing need for Digital Marketing Institute for increasing skilled digital marketing professionals pool for industry to hire and hone.

Most of the certification available around concentrates on SEM and google based marketing and doesn’t look at going at fundamentals of marketing and how innovation can be digital medium lead and converted into 360 degree campaign which would help meet brand performance objectives of maximum reach leading to increase in sales or brand recogniztion as desired.

Recently we have seen lot of good Interactive initiatives like jaagore.com of TATA Tea or Sunsilk Gang of Girls social networking site has helped brand establish create recall or loyalty among segement of users which it was fast losing out to likes of Pantene in case of sunsilk etc.Hence there is strong case for us to train creative and media pros to understand the digital medium can be the lead medium for executability.

Such Digital Marketing Institute course program would need to concentrate on following topics

i) Fundamental of Strategic Planning in TV,Print,OOH and Radio

ii) Mapping of performance metrics of other mediums to digital medium metrics

iii) Understanding how to effectively use Internet Measurement Tools like Comscore, Alexa, Nielsen Online, Google ad Planner

iv) How to evaluate brand objectives for execution via digital medium

v) Various digital marketing techniques like SEO,SEM,PPC,CPM,Innovative properties,Mailer  and their impact on brand performance metrics with case studies

vi) How to design creatives,,microsite communication to ensure RoI from digital medium

vii) Media Planning and how to create performance benchmark for various properties

viii) How to demystify audience of media without actual using the property

ix) Effective Media Buying for Results – Negotiating and finding low cost – high performance media

x) Using Omniture, Visual Science, Atlas,DART for effective media optimization

xi) Social Media – How to create brand engagement using tools like blogging, Youtube,Social Networking sites

This is just basic guideline for starting a course and ofcourse can go into more details on what exactly should be covered etc and there will be lot of study put in generating the content and studying its impact for driving result for people taking the program.

In terms of business viability side program can be marketed to Advertising Agencies, Marketing Managers and even B-Schools can be partnered with for delivering the program.

If some one is ready to invest, am ready to execute the same 🙂 though would love some feedback on what all should be covered and individuals who can used as knowledge hub for same.

Tripmela.com – up for sale on Ebay – Bubble Burst is happening all over!!

This is just in tripmela.com an online deal aggregator newsletter has decided to shut shop. This was an email which came in from Jared Blank CEO,Trip mela.

“Given all of the upheaval in the market, we’ve decided to close up shop.  We’ve done everything we can, but we don’t see an end in sight to the slowing travel and advertising market, and we simply don’t have the cash to ride it out.

We’ve put the business up for sale on eBay India – we’re selling Tripmela.com, Searchmela.com and – what I think is actually most valuable – our 80,000 member opt-in email list.  You can see the listing here:
http://cgi.ebay.in/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300279667102

It looks like first effect of recession on Dot com’s are becoming clearer and models which were based around audience aggregation and monetization via advertising will see the first ripple shaking their foundation. Lot of Action was seen in last 2 years in travel space with travelguru completely changing its model from flights to being dependent on Hotels which came from their acquisition of desiya.

It will be interesting to get commentary from other travel players like ixigo,zoomtra etc and get their reaction on impact current recession is having on their business model.

Brand Advertising Performance Measurement in India

Today when we meet Publishers and Online Advertising Agencies everyone talks about lack of even 1% proportionate spend by Brand – FMCG advertisers like Nestle, Pepsi, Unilever etc on online medium for reach out to masses.

At a recent discussion organized by Nikhil Pawha  – Mediamnama i meet couple of people which were indicating why brands dont spend online due to lack of performance metrics or sheer scale of medium as always indicated as “New Media or Alternative Media” with just  access to 30 million active users in India when compared to TV & Print which has access to 400 million users.

Being in Online Industry for almost 10 years i have personally been firm believer or positioned the medium as most performance measurable due to automated intelligence and sheer capability to collect data. But the kind of data we collect or metrics people look into like CTR(Click through rate), Impressions served are the just functional data points which were created by us marketers to bring some audit ability to our medium instead we started to use this to compare ourselves to print and TV where lack of such data from publishers perspective makes it harder to define.

On the other hand if you look from perspective of the advertiser like a big telecom giant or big toothpaste brand which caters to mass audience just dont just consider them foolish when they only get excited by wow factor shown by a publisher like a rich media ad communicating to user about their brand or sponsorship to a section against measurement of traffic to their micro site talking about their product as for them being on the online medium is to give user to talk to their brand or be wherever their potential product user.

We as online marketer need to show potential to online brands somewhat similar to how offline medium agencies work where they try to understand the pain point of the brand in terms of market positioning, reach to consumer, brand message, channel problem etc  which a brand face and give solution through medium of advertising to solve these problems and show RoI in simple brand recall + most important increase in sales perspective. This is something very similar to what Naukri’s of the world may do Cost per Resume or as one online marketer was suggesting going Cost per Pizza sold to an International Food Chain present in India it sounds very foolish but its very practical in all sense.

Why cant campaign for a women cosmetics product measure increase in sales or give feedback to brand on lack of availability of their product by sheer interest shown from one region etc.

The WPP and Publicitas of the worlds have for long been measuring performance for brands in offline world and we as online marketers need to come out from our measurement of CTR is what brands are looking for answers and need to get more innovative to drive more media spends online.

In answer to later question which talked about scale which medium provide you are right when some one in discussion from audience mentioned that 90% of audience online already has access to a mobile phone and a telecom brand advertising online will not really benefit in terms of RoI by asking user to subscribe or change providers but knowing so much about our users online give the marketer an edge where we can address specific pain points of our brands like increasing ARPU per subscriber already in a telecom circle where they find potential exist but not been able to crack it via the offline medium etc.

We need to evolve the medium bring in more technology metrics for increasing measurements in simple terms which offline world provides to brands to get access to more money power but another question needs answering do we have capacity to consume a 20,000 crores budget online per year. Answer is NO and we need to grow the medium users or evolve as medium for other mediums to integrate to us. Lets cross the 100 million user mark soon to stay in this race otherwise technology and business models will get too evolved without test user base for measuring their scale and may lead to early collapse of lot like the dot  com bubble burst where lot of entrepreneurs replied with answers of their models being too early for that time.

Is it time for Education portals to blossom in India

Its the time of the year when you start hearing of education portals launching across India. Every year we get stats thrown in newspapers and entrepreneurs talking about big potential this sector have and how businesses can be built around educational content delivery via digital media.

Year on year same concept same sites same information. There are books available in market being published year by year with special mention to UGC Universities in India guide book which offers complete profiling of UGC recognized educational institutions.

Does india still needs so many sites giving repetative information helping students find the right college and right course. Is a simple search by course name or region where they want to study or by stream they took enough to return the right results on what students are looking for??

Starting a portal targeted to students is much simpler then even providing search to find courses and colleges. Just create a a simple site collecting all admission notifications of education institutions coming in news paper. Create a list which students can sort on course they want to apply for or city. Boom you have a functional site which will have higher usage then high flying course and college finders. Over the years web has evolved information available has increased then why arent people trying to be innovative coming up with much simpler formats??

There have been so many sites in this area admissionhelp.com , admissionews.com, indianmba.com ,coolavenues.com, mbauniverse.com

We have seen so much innovation happening in online travel space why not come up with education meta search engine. I dont blame the indian online space even in US there has not been much innovation in online education space. Some one just needs to rise up and cease the moment to become the biggest.

Question i will be answering next couple of days…why cant i do it???

HTMedia Gobbles up Desimartini.com

When i read contentsutra.com today it was not a surprise to know that desimartini.com has been sold off. Everyone in the industry pretty much knew that desimartini.com has been sold off by the Pahwa KBS family.  But valuations they have indicated are pretty hard to believe.

Even if i do basic maths HTMEDIA has paid up around 40$ per user they have acquired which in indian context is 1600 INR ARPU they are looking from each user. Keeping in mind how social networking sites are valued it should not have been greater than INR 450 ARPU as except for brand advertising the social networking inventory has not been a hit on providing return for performance advertisers which India is heavy on.

It will be interesting to see what efforts are put in to first keep the viral for desimartini alive and on other hand will HTMEDIA  bring in synergy from existing content they are generating on hindustantimes.com to bring social networking to news site viral which is long talked and not fully implemented in indian scenario.

Lets wait and watch.

Interview with Amit Kumar Co-Founder of Idiscoverindia.com – Independent India Trip Planning Platform

Below is an email interview we did with Amit Kumar from Idiscoverindia.com  – the site was recently launched in beta stage where its helping budget travelers plan out trips to indian destinations like agra, rajasthan etc.

 Q1. Can you give us some background on founders and their experience ?

All three current founders share a common passion for travel. While I have experience working in online advertising  in USA , our other two founders are from creative and technology backgrounds, with varied experience of working on national and international clients of repute ,both in India and USA respectively.

My experience with online media tracking and strategy combined with  our Creative Director’s experience in design and usability along with our Chief Technologists expertise in developing and implementing enterprise wide systems helps us to build a formidable team to launch our brand .

 

Q2. Some brief on idiscoverindia.com the concept, why travel vertical, why now,how you started full time involvement and current setup, how are you funded?

All three of us co-founders always felt the need for an independent third-party that could lead us through a travel trip . I mean someone that assists me thru a travel planning process and not just a purchase process. By this I mean  a guide or a friend who could tell me where to travel to, what to do there, how to get there, where to buy purchase for the cheapest or the particular thing one is looking for  ,etc ,etc. Moreover we wanted a quality site  that takes some responsibility to ensure that all the information is made available readily by a trusted third-party rather than just banking on users to generate this content or a travel agent to form content ( which anyways is aimed at maximizing their own profits and not necessarily the best option for the traveler).

In a nutshell IdiscoverIndia.com is a common platform that answers everyone’s queries regarding their Travel Search. So if you are a small hotel we have tool for you that allows you to market your property through our site, if you are a travel agent you can send offers directly to the customers looking for a service or say even market your hotels through our site by integrating into our hotel application  and soon we will have tools that will also allow users to compare online tickets. So our site is built to provide travelers with enough information regarding their travel needs and guide them and help them to decide and choose throughout their decision making  cycle up to the point of purchase.

Months before we registered as a private limited company , or you can say that from the time we formed a group , I went full-time with the company along with  1 programmer and 1 operations personnel and 3-4 freelance content writers.  Our other 2 co-founders have been working  part –time since our inception. This was important for two reasons, firstly it was imperative for one of the co-founders to be on board full time to deal with the daily nuances of a start –up .The other co-founders went on a job and worked part-time on IDiscoverIndia.com to provide the much needed financial support  throughout our building process.

Now that the much needed initial work is complete  , the company is looking for investments to consolidate its position to build further on its vision.

Q3. How do you differentiate with community driven destination guide kind of sites like holidayiq.com

Well I think to begin with we generate our own content unlike others and will have user generated content only  as an addition to our own content. Secondly we provide tools to other service providers that enable them to market their services or products directly through our technology. So in this case we fulfill a role of enabler, facilitator and an arbitrator. As of today we believe we are poised to be a more integrated site between travelers and service providers than any of our closest competitors. However , its seen that lots of other companies in similar space are trying to fulfill the same role that we are currently in .

Q4. Do you feel indian online travel space has more scope for vertical content driven portals or aggregators like ixigo.com or zoomtra.com

Well naturally there should be some kind of aggregation on this front, I know for sure that these companies want to get their hands on content , but then again currently people are just trying to get better at what they do the best and eventually the economies of scale will dictate such portals merging with some other content driven portal.  I hope these companies understand earlier than later and get on the road of scalability rather than companies spending so much money individually on media and providing distributed services rather than integrated single platform to deliver.

 

Q5.  You guys have done a great job by cataloging destinations based on interest. Do you feel lot of travel information sites rather choose destination specific cataloging over interest. You feel destination brand name brings more value when travelers are organizing trips or end of the day experience they get out of the trip is more important.

It’s a catch 22 situation .  Lots of sites choose brand destinations to promote trips because that’s what users identify with and that’s what users are looking for . On the other hand brand destinations are “known destinations” because of the way they have been marketed in the first place. Basically we have found out that how a destination gets marketed is very important in determining how it is perceived. So many times certain service providers promote a certain mode of transportation or a particular route just for their own personal gains.  As we do not have any vested interest in promoting any particular service provider or travel product we are able to assess the product or service for its merits without any bias. Consider a situation where a travel agent pushes for a trip to Agra by car  for a night , when a user could definitely have a better option for  Agra in form of morning train and coming back the next day by the evening train. The traveler in such case is coerced by the travel agent to hire a car from Delhi coz he stands to make more money  even though it’s a 5 hr drive one way which could have very well be done in 2hr by train , thereby providing much more valuable time for tourist to spend .

Q6. Which is your target market. Keeping in mind existing stage of US online travel industry don’t you feel you are better positioned to service that mature market as compared to developing learning indian market.

Our Target market varies by product or service that we market. As of today our target market might seem to be skewed towards budget category if you look at hotels , but then again  a user can request any kind of package as all kinds of travel agents / service providers  cater to the leads originating from users.  As for content this line of differentiation is already blur , and overall  will thin out even more across the board as we evolve .

 As of targeting US ,I am not sure how I can leverage this better for one geographic market over the other , I think each will have its own challenges but at the end all users look for the same. Brand Loyalty is very tepid in this segment. Loyalty comes from being positioned as independent and being able to provide an unbiased  viewpoint .

Q7. Have you looked at monetizing your content with advertisements from indian ad networks or publishers.

Yes we have just started working on that and are actively looking for advertisers and alliance partners.

Q8. What Unique marketing strategies or synergies you have in pipeline to become revenue positive and have a clear growth trajectory. Like are you looking at social networking or wireless as mass reach out play.

Currently we are looking at just ways to provide a product and service to the user that helps them get the best of what they are looking for. We are still in the process of developing our model fully in terms of the tools that we will be introducing .

Q9. What all can we expect from idiscoverindia.com in future.

In IdiscoverIndia.com you will find a trusted advisor and friend  who will help you create the trip you are looking for.

 

Q10. Any word of advice for budding entrepreneurs on the whole startup experience.

1.Sometimes its better to raise money quickly  rather than wait for a prototype before going in the market to raise money.

2. Look for ways of consolidation and scale and don’t delve too much into share proportions. Your penny can be worth a pound or a pound a penny depending on your timing.

3. Take risk and either join a startup or have one of your own , whatever your level of risk taking is , the experience is invaluable , even if you struggle with money first.


Contact Details

E-mail:siddharthpuri@gmail.com Call Me :+91-9910444460
December 2017
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