The digital space in India has witnessed the birth of lots of young entrepreneurs. Sorav Jain, who runs Echovme– a digital marketing firm, is part of India’s young-entrepreneurs brigade. Aged 23, he chose to launch his own venture, instead of accepting the lucrative job offers that came his way. Echovme is now a team of 10 professionals who operate from Chennai and Mumbai. A few days back I approached Sorav for an interview, where he spoke at length about his business and his future plans for Echovme.
Q) When was Echovme founded? What motivated you to start your own digital marketing firm? Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? Tell me a bit about your background.
Sorav: Echovme’s groundwork started in December 2009. It became operational from March 2010. I belong to a family that has an entrepreneurial background, dad and uncles have always believed in the power of creating one’s own path than following someone else’s. As dad believes “Mind your own business – Why mind someone else’s?” – I follow the same. Profession wise details can be found here: http://www.echovme.com/workshops/the-coach.html
Q) You are quite young. If you don’t mind my asking, what’s your age? Do you find your age to be an advantage or a challenge when doing business with your clients?
Sorav: I have recently completed 23. My age is definitely a big challenge when it comes to convince clients. Unfortunately I am amongst those individuals who do look younger than their age. At times before I start my talk it is difficult to control the audience at guest lectures, where the average student’s / participant’s age is greater than mine. But, ‘power of thoughts and concepts’ helps me convince prospects I meet or the audience I address. This challenge was initially a trouble till we could establish ourselves, but once you are confident of what you are doing you learn to ignore things that hardly matter.
Q) What’s your team composition and size? Are you looking to hire new candidates?
Sorav: We are a team of 10 members today. 6 individuals work from Chennai, four members from Mumbai. In Mumbai we work under banner of Bamboo Shoot Communication that works as our creative channel. We take care of the technical and strategic initiatives from Chennai. Mumbai office works for BD and creative strategies. We work with many students who join us as interns. Yes, we are looking to hire few Sales Heads and Creative Designers in near future. Students are always welcome to work with us as interns.
Q) Your company runs several Social Media workshops and training sessions. What has been the response so far? Who are the typical participants for these workshops?
Sorav: We have created sessions in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and will start soon in Delhi and Sri Lanka. The response for the previous workshops has been excellent. I remember, when we planned our first workshop we were little scared to launch but the team made a smart strategy to launch it in Mumbai (the most relevant and interesting crowd we had found). The participants till now have been from best brands and include CEOs, CMOs, Marketing Managers and Executives, and other professionals. Surprisingly, our session in Pune also had housewives and freelancers as participants.
Q) Could you list some of the major clients Echovme consults for? Any digital marketing success stories that you could share?
Sorav: We specialize in outsourcing Personal Branding, Corporate Blogging and Social Media Consulting today. I cannot disclose the Personal Branding projects we currently deal with, as we sign privacy policies with them. They are majorly the leading entrepreneurs and celebrities of India. On a corporate blogging and integrated digital marketing note will cite a success story; we work with Andromeda Marketing (Largest Loan Distributor of India that has disbursed more than 1 lakh loans). The company has closed deal worth more than 10 million in few months of time just via the corporate blogging strategy. We also deal with a personal branding firm from Spain and the US, who outsource their digital and social media marketing needs.
Q) Who are your competitors? How do you differentiate yourself from them?
Sorav: I think all the companies that work in this space are our competitors. We are very modest with our approach. We only take those projects that we feel our bandwidth can leverage and we believe in taking on those projects as executers, which we can use as a case study in future. Our industry focus is Real Estate and Finance, Medical Tourism, Hospitality, Hotels, and Apparels. Our corporate trainings come along with consulting model, where we run complete analysis on a SOSTAC and POSTING / Month basis and ensure it is practically implemented in the training modules.
When it comes to differentiation we explicitly share what we learn and that makes us stand apart from the crowd. Moreover, we are a bloggers centric firm and believe in creating historic evidence of a company’s presence on the web.
Q) What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced as an entrepreneur?
Sorav: Time management is the key trouble that I face most times. Managing funds and accounts is another major concern. As I am not from finance background these terminologies do not help me. But apparently one good thing about this role is it makes you learn everything and you are not just a person who performs one task. This role moulds your overall personality and teaches you marketing, socializing, finance, project management, customer service and relationship management, time keeping, human resource management, and lot more that even the most expensive MBAs cannot teach you. After all, you learn and face things here in reality, which is unlike in case of MBAs, where you know it’s all for the time being and the phase shall pass soon. Entrepreneurship values every phase.
Q) What are your future plans for Echovme?
Sorav: Ahh! @echovme is my baby. When I started, my friends thought it would not work and wanted me to take up some of the finest job offers I had. But today we are a strong team of 10 individuals who are passionate about what they do. Passion is making @echovme grow. Echovme is now entering into Digital Marketing Training, and planning to conduct courses and workshops across the globe. We are also planning to start an online version of the training very soon. The training wing SOCIALME will soon provide certification for all courses, workshops, and trainings. Well, I won’t disclose much here now. Follow me on twitter @soravjain and you will soon get to know interesting things coming up within the Social Media space in India.