Take four friends, love for new media and passion for entrepreneurship, and you get “Webitude” an offering of Bluelemon Technologies Pvt. Ltd. This new media venture is a startup founded by Vivekraj Shah, Girish Mahajan, Santosh Kumar and Mahesh Singh. The company has social media services as its main offering and has worked with some top brands in India. What differentiates them from most other social media consultancies is their product offering, Buzzref, a Facebook-enabled analytics tool.
YourStory recently caught up with Girish Mahajan, who spoke about how he and his friends founded Webitude and their collective aspirations for Webitude.
Tell us about Webitude. What is your business all about?
Webitude is a dream project of four young first generation entrepreneurs who believed in each other as well as their combined strengths and skills. I started the company along with my friends Santosh, and Mahesh with seed capital from a friend and co-founder Vivekraj Shah. It has been a roller coaster ride for us since then, wherein the team has faced and overcome numerous challenges.
Webitude is primarily a social media company that provides social media services to some of the top brands in India. Along with that, we create social media products that help brands and advertisers, to track, analyze and benchmark their marketing activities on various social media channels.
What are the services that you specifically offer?
The core services of the company are;
(1) Social Media Services that includes online community management, content development and distribution, online buzz monitoring and response management
(2) Social Applications development
(3) Social CRM integration that includes everything from setting up of the social CRM infrastructure on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. to integrating the same with the enterprise CRM solutions(SAP, Oracle etc).
What differentiates you from other social media consultancies?
None of the other social media companies have a product that we offer, called Buzzref. We got a great response for Buzzref, with a lot of agencies using it for tracking and online response management. A company with a product under its hood is looked at differently by the world and investors alike.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I post graduated in Advertising and Public Relation from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. I worked for about six years in traditional advertising at JWT, Zenithoptimedia and Grey Worldwide before starting Webitude.
What made you take the entrepreneurial plunge?
I took the plunge after 5 years of being with corporates. We were unhappy with the lack of respect for ideas in our job. We did not see the digital advertising agencies welcoming the idea of social media, the agencies relied less on technical aspects and social media involves a lot of technology base. We saw a lot of potential in this space. We decided to take the risk and see how it shapes, it has been a great journey so far.
Since how long are you operational? Where are you based? What is the size of your team?
We started in October 2009. Currently, we have two offices, in Mumbai and Noida. We are a team of 14 people.
Tell us about your clients. What is your turn-over?
We have 9 clients that we service directly and we also work with other brands indirectly through different agencies. Our turnover is between $ 250,000 - $300000.
How did you manage funding?
To begin with, one of the co-founders invested in the company. And we were fortunate to get an unsecured bank loan, though we had to work hard for it.
What are the biggest challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?
The first year was challenging, we hardly had any business by March 2010, and that is when we decided to create our own product rather than waiting for business to come. In India advertising is seen as a final product and technology is not given much emphasis. Also, it is expected that we show accountability in terms of growth and other performance indicators. The product that we created, automates the process and provide valuable information to companies.
Please share your success stories with us.
Key Product Achievement – We created Buzzref.com last year. It is a Facebook-enabled analytics tool that enables one to track one’s own Facebook business page vis-a-vis your competitors. Through it’s simple interface and powerful back-end analytics, it provides advertisers and marketers with valuable information and helps you to analyze your marketing efforts on Facebook.
Key Service Achievement – This year, Webitude successfully implemented a city-wide event, social marketing for a large publication house. The success of the social media marketing campaign can be gauged from the fact that it was one of the most interactive social media campaigns during the period, with record fan growth on the Facebook page.
What are your business targets for 2011?
We aspire to become the top player in social media marketing services in India and to extend our presence in Europe. We plan to increase our portfolio of social media product offerings by creating more tools that will help advertisers and agencies to track and analyze the impact in a better way. We plan to associate with retailers to create a social royalty program, to create a strong specialization with our social CRM products and services. We also plan to start monetizing our social media product Buzzref.com and multiply our turnover by 300%.
YourStory wishes good luck to the entire team of Webitude(http://thewebitude.com/) and we hope that they achieve all their business targets for the year 2011.
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