Interview with CEO of eMart Solutions India Pvt Ltd : Aditya Bhamidipaty
1. How your company started?
It was the summer of 2009 when two friends got together in a New York restaurant, discussing about probabilities in marketing tech world. I’ve had worked in and out of marketing teams using expensive software but somehow always felt that the technology needs an upgrade.
After interacting with few marketers from medium to large businesses, it was evident that the marketing software then were not comprehensive. None gave a 360-degree view of customer behavioral data from across channels.
There was an opportunity to build an upgraded tech that’ll give more power to marketers so that they understand their customers better and create targeted campaigns.
My friends seemed excited with the idea, thanks to the opportunity involved and their boring job life. After few days of SWOTs and B-Plans, we finally launched eMart Solutions, the parent company to FirstHive.
2. What was the vision behind it?
Back in the days, marketing used to be a shot in the dark. Without much help from technology, marketing was majorly used to be driven by the instincts of seller.
They had this famous saying,
“You know only 50% of your marketing budget converts, but the problem is you don’t know which 50%”.
I believed in technology. I had this vision of giving marketers enough technological power to understand their customers well and put their marketing efforts where it matters. Think about it like this, Marketers were playing dartboard game, blind-folded, and I just wanted to used technology to open their blind-fold.
That’s how FirstHive was conceptualized.
3. Describe the services that you offer to your customers and in what way they are unique ?
eMart Solutions, as a parent company, offers two core services: FirstHive is a DIY, SaaS-based cross-channel marketing platform. It helps you in automation and real-time tracking of your marketing campaigns across channels like Email, SMS and social media. The beauty of the product lies in its patent-pending algorithm which collects customer behavioral data from different multi-channel campaigns and presents a single-window view of your particular named customer’s behaviour.
Second service from eMart is WorldSwipe, which is a loyalty points wallet which promises to take loyalty management to another and make it easy for every B2C marketer to implement reward points marketing for their products and services.
Beside these out-of-the-box applications, eMart has also provided consultation-based customized marketing platforms for large enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies.
4. Difficulties which you have faced or you are facing.
I would be lying if I say we had a smooth ride throughout. That’s practically impossible. Initially, when we went to big enterprises with our new product, we always had this one concern from CMOs “How can we share our customer data with your platform? How safe it is?” Well it was a challenge for us with small product to have big clients.
We started with pilots, test data and other configurations to make things happen and eventually won few major accounts. Also, we faced challenges (won’t say difficulties) during our boot-strapping days. We had no development budget, nor any marketing budget.
We managed to hire a developer at our personal expenses, worked with him to build the alpha version of the software, and then finally launched FirstHive. As we started to get sign-ups, we grew organically and our team size increased. But we keep facing challenges in form of resource management, sales process, US time zone follow-ups etc.
5. How your company is helping India to grow?
We are putting India on the global innovative map by bringing paradigm-shifting technology in the marketing field that promises to change the way marketers communicate with their customers today.
We have seen a positive response for FirstHive from western countries, especially USA, Canada and Brazil, which is precisely aligned with Indian Government’s ideology of “Make in India”.
6. Your view on Startup India Campaign
Startup India Initiative was much needed for country like India where we rank pretty low on capital investments and ease of doing business. A step from Government was the need of the hour. Also, it tries to solves an impending problem of unemployment to an extent.
To sum up, I totally welcome this Start-up India Initiative and am doing every bit to extend my support.
7. Message to young Entrepreneurs.
I always believe that India is an emerging pool of talent. With 1/6th population of the world, India is capable of producing 1/6th of the great products developed globally.
To the young Indian Entrepreneurs, I’ll say that you are the most lucky entrepreneurs in the world because of three core reasons:
1). You have great resources in the form of human talent, you just need to look around.
2) You can boot-strap and still manage to grow organically, and
3) You have a Government that is willing to extend its support given you prove your mettle.