Bisbo, registered as GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt. Ltd. is India’s first and only YouTube channel that creates intriguing animated news videos and has a combined subscription base of 1 million subscribers and 100+ million views across 10 channels in 10 different Indian languages. Shakir Ebrahim, Founder and creator of Bisbo, is Mumbai based serial entrepreneur, seasoned businessman with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Bisbo is the only channel in India that produces news content in animated format and has recently launched an international news channel targeted at the American market.
We are publishing an interview with Mr. Shakir Ebrahim:
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: Has former experience in the publishing industry; publisher of medical literature, property directory, IT directory, jobs directory. See this business as a news/media/broadcast business. I published this same concept from 1991-93 in printcalled “The World in Pictures” as a 25 year-old. Ran it for 2 years before I ran out of money to sustain. Now at 50, I have launched a digital version that people half my age could be doing, but this time I am wiser, wealthier and smarter and won’t stop.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: People are reading less and consume information through video. I provide these people with current news in a never-before seen manner.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: It’s all around us; decline in reading; increasing OTT consumption, launching of new clipping apps
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Initially thought it was for kids, but saw 80% viewership in the 18-34 age group, so changed focus to producing ‘deep dive’ and comprehensive content, proving sources for viewers to cross-check, increasing average time per video from 2-3 minutes to 7-8 minutes now.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Mixing serious news with comic style and animation to provide serious news content.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Ans: Thought it would largely be read by kids 10-15 but less than 10% of my audience is below18 years of age. In fact, we have many UPSC aspirants seeing our news videos.
We also thought that news stories would have a short shelf life; but we were wrong; probably because of our presentation style, we see several old videos, where the story is no more in the news, but made interestingly, continue to get robust views.
Ideal customer is any person who wants to know details about an event without going through the trouble of researching it. We have 1 million subscribers on YouTube across channels with peak time watched in June 2019 – 72 million minutes.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: That I did not launch language versions in 1991-93; this time I am in all languages.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product?
Ans: Presently free, though I receive advertisement revenues from YouTube.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: They just come, we stopped promoting Bisbo over a year ago; people watch our videos and subscribe. The best promotion for us is our video.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: Self-funded; we will make a profit at 3-5 million subscribers; ie. end 2020
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: We were selected as “Best Startup in Asia” in 30 startups selected by Super Startups Asia. However, every video is a success and each milestone celebrated. Success is an ongoing endeavor.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We will have 100 million subscribers globally by 2024…5 years from now. By producing more content. It’s well known, ‘the first million is the most difficult’ and that’s a Rubicon I’ve crossed.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
Ans: Turnover till date, approx $40,000; 1 million subscribers; 100+million views; half a billion watch time minutes cumulatively on YouTube; 1,000+ videos.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: Our methodology to present news is unique. Nobody else has it.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: Sure. They are:
- Jishu Dev Burman: He runs Bengali; technically sound, will come into play during App development and management.
- Ramya Khosla: Social media, capable of handling the hundred videos we plan to publish each week.
- Boski Gupta: A journalist, can mentor incoming news desk.
- Seema Yadav: The languages manager.
Each & every member of my animation and artists would form part of the core team; Ganesh, Aamir, Harish, Mahesh, Ram, Sanjay, Rehan, Ramesh, Sushant, Mayank, Abhishek, Akshay, Niket, Rakesh.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Other news and information YouTube channels; Vox, Zeitgeist, Kento Bento, etc, though none use traditional comics to display news
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: Goals by March 31, 2020:
- 3 videos consistently per week
- 1.5 million subscribers
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Follow your passion. Think Big.
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: We don’t compete with the camera; we compete in imagination.
Bisbo YouTube Channel links are:
- www.youtube.com/BSBO (US market)
- www.youtube.com/BisboGo (English, Indian market)
Thanks. Best wishes!