Saturday , 15 December 2018

This Pune Based Startup Provides a 360 Degree Digital Marketing Along With Payment Solutions

We are publishing an interview of Mr. Rohit Prasad, Co-Founder & Director, SRV MEDIA.

About the founders:
Both, Prasad and Kumar, are engineers and joined the MBA program with a fair amount of corporate experience. Rohit Prasad has worked as a business analyst and Associate Manager in Accenture Technologies for 4 years prior to starting up on his own along with his partner Vikram Kumar. He has done his MBA from symbiosis international university and Bachelor of engineering from North Cap University, Gurgaon. He has also worked with Tata consultancy services as a senior software engineer for 4 years. Vikram Kumar has worked as an Associate Manager in HDFC bank for 2 years before he embarked on starting his dream venture, SRV Media, along with Rohit. He is also a MBA student from Symbiosis International University and has done his Bachelor of engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra

Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
Rohit Prasad:

  • Worked for Accenture for 4 years in the role of a business analyst and associate manager.
  • MBA from Symbiosis International University.
  • Worked for Tata consultancy services for 3.5 years as a senior developer.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Instrumentation from North Cap University, Gurgaon.

Vikram Kumar:

  • MBA from Symbiosis International University.
  • Worked with HDFC Bank as an associate manager in Technology solution group.
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from BIT Mesra, Ranchi.
Left to Right- Mr. Vikram Kumar, Co-Founder & Director, and Mr. Rohit Prasad, Co- Founder & Director, SRV Media and EaseBuzz Pvt. Ltd.

Left to Right- Mr. Vikram Kumar, Co-Founder & Director, and Mr. Rohit Prasad, Co- Founder & Director, SRV Media and EaseBuzz Pvt. Ltd.

List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time? 
The core team members are:

  • Apurv Verma
    • Skill Sets and Domain expertise- He is an MBA from Symbiosis International University and has recently completed the certification in Big Data Analytics from S.P Jain. He is certified in Google AdWords and highly skilled in running data-driven campaigns on different online platforms.
    • Roles and Responsibilities- He is into client engagement role. He is a senior account manager and heads the team of 6 Account managers. His primary responsibility is to train his team within the domain,increase customer retention rate along with cross-selling of services to existing clients
  • Vinay Babani
    • Skill Sets and Domain expertise- He has done his Bachelors in computer applications from Pune university. Certified in google adwords and is an expert in Education, Retail and Manufacturing sector. He has about 5 years of relevant experience.
    • Roles and Responsibilities- He is a senior account manager and is responsibility is handle a team of Account Managers and to work on scalability with customers and also retain them.
  • Viswajeet Patil
    • Skill Sets and Domain expertise- Digital Marketing Manager and having 4+ years of experience in digital marketing. Completed MBA in Marketing also Google & Bing Adwords certified.
    • Roles and Responsibilities- Responsible for handling Digital Marketing team.
  • Shubham Puranik
    • Skill Sets and Domain expertise- He has done his bachelors from RGPV Bhopal and his MBA form Symbiosis International University
    • Roles and Responsibilities- He leads and mentors team of Business Analyst who interface between business users and IT for collaboration on reporting requirements, support, application improvements and project.
      He Plans course of projects, including milestones, resources needed in the form of staff hours, budget, use of technology and tools and document in project plan, following established project management methodology.
  • Amit Kumar
    • Skill Sets and Domain expertise- Graduated with BE in IT from BIT, Mesra in 2008. Worked as database consultant in TCS and Bigdata consultant gradually moving towards data scientist in Ericsson.Completed Big Data Analyst program with Wrox Wiley International certification from Praxis School of Business. Attended Executive program in Business Analytics from IIM Calcutta which is One year intensive program on data science. Strong knowledge in machine learning and data processing. Strong in SQL programming, HIVE, R, Tableau and RapidMiner tools.
      Experienced in Telecom Analytics, text analytics and Digital Media Analytics.
    • Roles and Responsibilities- The role entails Technology & Analytics solutioning and product management. Also involved in several business development initiatives.

What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Before the inception phase the co-founders saw major problems faced by start-ups and mid-size companies encountered at the growth stage, especially in the education sector. This was the time when they saw youngsters rapidly moving into social media and technology . This is where the founders felt that they could bridge the gap by facilitating solutions through which right content could reach out to the right audience and at the right time through digital platforms, using technology. Such a solution helps companies to understand their customers and allows more insightful data which would help businesses to grow, improve and take them to a next level. They started off with a couple of customers in the same year and in 2 years we could see major attraction by which we could scale over 200%. Today, the company is growing 100% year on year for over last 5 years.

What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
There were many challenges we faced as enterpreneurs. One of the biggest challenges was creating a good team. Since we were bootstrapped, we had limited funds to hire the right talent from the market. Reliability was another major issue. Majority of the digital marketing firms in pune were not giving the desired services and many of the customers were skeptical before releasing big ticket size projects. Another major challenge was deployment of technology solutions due to lack of funds. Technology comes at a cost which is difficult to establish especially if you lack a proper funding from an external source.

How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
We are a bootstrapped company and even now we are self funded. Investments were coming from profit margins being built over one by one after each successful implementation of the project. We maintained 30% margins throughout and we could save and re-invest from the profits we were making. We had also invested some funds (About 1 lac Rs) from our pocket during the start of our venture.

Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
When we started off there were some major problems. Data was growing in the internet and nobody knew the way to harness it by which they could reach to relevant audiences.

What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Majority of our competition is not having a customer centric approach. We understood one basic need that in this competitive environment focusing on your customers and their needs will always give you an edge over your competitors. SRV today retains more than 95% of its customers due to its increased focus on customized customer requirement. We have also built capability through which we could offer our customers any cohesive digital strategy which helps them to go online. It could start from a small static 1 page website to a full-fledged ecommerce website, with digital marketing plans for both short term and long term gains.

There are 5 major things everyone should know about SRV –
a. We are customer centric. We don’t leave a stone unturned unless and until our customers are 100% satisfied
b. We offer the full bouquet of digital services. We have capability to build a website or a mobile app, provide end to end digital marketing plans, consultants to advice and help you in scaling business, customized applications for automation of your online business, payment gateway for accepting online payments from your end customers
c. More than 75% of our employees are MBA post-graduate students who have years of digital marketing experience.
d. We do not just sell, we diagnose and analyze the underlying issue of our clients. We believe that a customer who wants to go digital or is already into digital space has to be helped in every way so that he could scale business. Our approach is to find that problem and help him in every way possible.
e. Data analytics is our biggest strength. Our execution plans start with a questionnaire and we work very hard using data modeling tools to find out “who is your customer”. We make plans and solve major hurdles in giving the right push to each brand on digital platforms.

What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Our biggest strength is the quality of service which we provide to our customers. Our turn around time is too less which really impresses a lot of our clients resulting in scalablity of any project.
We don’t work as an agency rather we work as a partner. Our strong understanding of online marketing is something which differentiates us from others. Also the amalgamation of IT + Analytics skills has helped us to provide the best possible service to our clients.

How did you get your first customer?
Their story dates back to 2011, when they were still management students at Symbiosis Center for Information Technology (SCIT). Noticing a spark in these young technocrats, the then director of SCIT, Dr. R Raman (presently the Director of SIBM Pune), entrusted them with their first digital marketing project. It was a small project with a big challenge that they executed with flair and since then there has been no looking back.

What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Our team strength is already 90. We are growing 50% in team strength almost every year. We want to expand in digital payments platform and we have already established “Easebuzz”, which is an online payment gateway, as a brand in Pune. We have over 5000+ merchants using the platform. In the years to come we will be more technology focused to make more informed decisions in digital marketing for our customers.

More details about Startup:

  • Launch date of Startup: SRV MEDIA was launched in April 2011. SRV MEDIA Technologies was incepted in June 2014.
  • No. of Founders: Two
  • Registered address/communication address: Office No.302, Survey No.166/8, Echoin Greens, 3rd Floor, Opp. Eden Garden Soc., Near Wakad Bridge, Wakad, Pune, Maharashtra 411027

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