Behind every Entrepreneur are actions that speak better than words

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From my archives of 2014- a note on Entrepreneurship

What do you get when you put 25 start-up entrepreneurs in a room along with four other successful entrepreneur professionals? You set the room afire. Which is what happened at the recent Startup Leadership Program (SLP) session held on 11th of October.

The session was supposed to cover customer development & marketing aspects but quickly turned into a free-wheeling discussions as entrepreneurs pounced on every insights that the speakers had and kept asking for more.

As usual I had my misgivings on the subject matter. After all here I was with over 20 years of hardcore marketing experience coming to a session where I would have to listen to people expound on marketing. I was a bit curious too. The curiosity and misgivings turned into sheer delight as the speakers came on.

Our first speaker was Nikunj Jain of Frankly Me- a mobile social network that allows people to ask and answer questions in text or video anonymously. A techno wizard, Nikunj held everyone spellbound as he took the class through the intricacies of developing the initial customer throughput spanning his stints with Inoxapps and then more recently with Frankly Me.

From techno geekiness we oscillated towards our own homegrown global firm Zomato.com the restaurant review site that’s making news. Radhika Rai  gave a up-close & personal overview of the struggles and ultimate success that Zomato had during its early days when it launched. She went on to explain the number of times Zomato got their marketing completely wrong in various countries. As the class of startup entrepreneurs kept hitting Radhika with questions, she rose to the occasion answering queries that ranged from how they got their first initial breakthrough to how they priced themselves in various international markets.  But the clear insight that came through the two hour long interactive session was something which I believe every marketer needs to hold close to his heart.

1. Persevere in what you do.

Nothing come easy or quickly & perseverance is the key to success. The Tipping point in any marketing initiative or customer development program is usually a few months down the line. More good ideas are lost on the way due to people giving up on them rather than on the idea being bad.

2. Customer insights.

Much before market research and big data were nice words, marketers used to talk to consumers. And that is what Zomato did. Knowing what your customer thinks, feels and wants is more than half the battle won when it comes to developing your product or service to fit the customer needs.

Great insights that most of us tend to either overlook or forget in our MBA led jargonized work life!

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