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Web(bing) Success

Apprehending tremendous potential in the medium of IT to reach and engage masses effectively, Sidharth founded Webchutney with Sudesh, who was his collegue in a previous company. In a chat with us, the CEO recounts his success story.

Tags: digital marketing

BY Seema Seth | May 18, 2011 | COMMENTS ( 9 ) |

Web(bing) Success
Sidharth Rao Founder, Webchutney

Apprehending tremendous potential in the medium of IT to reach and engage masses effectively, Sidharth founded Webchutney with Sudesh, who was his collegue in a previous company. In a chat with us, the CEO recounts his success story.

 

SS(Seema Seth): Tell us about yourself, what was your previous profession and how did you think of coming into this business?

SR(Sidharth Rao): Both Sudesh and I were working together at Grey Worldwide in 1998. This was around the time that IT was taking off in a big way globally, and internet companies/businesses were mushrooming everywhere. Both of us knew there was tremendous potential in the medium to reach and engage masses effectively and founded Webchutney in 1999.

 

SS: What is your company’s full name and what services are you rendering?

SR: Webchutney Studio Pvt. Ltd. is a full service creative digital marketing agency. Our diverse range of clients across various categories includes leading brands like Airtel, Microsoft, Unilever, Marico, Titan, Samsung, P&G, MasterCard, Barclays, Nokia, Canon and MakeMyTrip among others. 

 

We work with them in areas of online advertising, website design, mobile marketing and social media.

 

SS: How did you fund the business initially?

SR: We founded the company with angel investment and in 2007, Capital 18, the venture capital arm of Network 18, invested in us.

 

SS: What challenges did you face in establishing your business? What is your team size and what challenges did you face in putting your team together? How was the experience of hiring the first employees?

SR: The biggest challenge we faced initially, like any other start-up, was getting leads for the business to evolve and scale up quickly. We operated out of a single room with one telephone. Nobody had heard of us and convincing clients to shell out ad-dollars on a medium that reached a tiny fraction of the Indian population (in the early days of internet in India) kept us on our toes for a while.

 

We’ve covered massive ground since our early days, just as the internet population has now risen to an impressive 80 million. After surviving the dot-com bust to pioneering viral marketing in India, receiving national and international recognition for ground-breaking work with Fortune 50 companies and start-ups, we have risen from a two-people ‘creative shop’ to over 200 digital and creative specialists across our offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore today. 

 

We’ve always been careful and particular with hiring the right people and acquiring the kind of talent most suited to the nature of the medium we work with. We constantly raise the bar for ourselves with creative innovations in digital marketing, and are proud to emerge as the most relevant and awarded independent digital creative agency today while gaining credible recognition as India’s number one digital marketing agency two years in a row.

 

SS: What is your agency’s USP?  What is your marketing strategy?

SR: Our creative fortitude and deep-rooted conviction in the power of digital communication instantly sets us apart from other players in the Indian digital marketing landscape.  Our work culture is much like ‘internet’ – open, agile and free flowing where we run as individual units instead of a centralized governance system. Just like the web, the agency is a platform for people who believe in disruption, ingenuity and the power of sharing!

 

Cyberculture is a whole new ballgame today. Citizens online behave differently than they do in the real world. Traditional Indian housewives surf porn. 5 year old kids who fail in school kick ass in online games. Grown men poke each other. Teenagers attend virtual candlelight vigils. Politicians tweet away their careers. To understand this world is to be a part of it, to live it and to imbibe its culture as second skin. We are deeply ingrained in this brave new world and our personal relationship with the internet lends credibility to our services as an interactive agency.

 

SS: How are you planning to scale up your business?

SR: We’re exploring various mobile platforms, technologies and devices to expand our service offerings across the length and breadth of digital technologies. We’re also looking at increasing the scope of our interactive marketing capabilities beyond India. While digital adoption hasn’t reached critical mass in India yet, we’re not too far from witnessing a digital revolution in a few years, where online/digital marketing will gain primary focus in the marketing mix.

 

 

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