Prasant Naidu, Lighthouse Insights: Showcasing & analysing the social media efforts of startups & SMEs
Among the key concerns of startups is getting the word out about themselves and today, this has been democratized through the extensive use of social media. Lighthouse Insights is a venture in this space, focussing on showcasing the best examples of social media usage by startups/SMEs and offering suggestions based on analysis. We at YourStory.in caught up with entrepreneur Prasant Naidu to know more about the business idea behind Lighthouse Insights.So, Prasant, what is Lighthouse Insights all about?
Lighthouse Insights is a blog that captures all social media related news, insights and updates inIndia. We also showcase social media efforts by startups/SMEs and offer suggestions after a thorough analysis. We do not claim to be social media gurus. We’d rather be known as social media believers.
How did the business idea for Lighthouse Insights come about?
I used to look at Mashable and TechCrunch in the morning every day. And then I started asking myself and my friends this question - why don’t we have a provider for social media news and insights dedicated toIndiaalone? There are sites that are covering social media inIndia. But then, they are all under the umbrella of ‘digital media’. That is the point at which I decided to start ‘Lighthouse Insights’ that concentrates exclusively on Indian social media.
And as far as the name is concerned, I’d have to thank Vinaya Gopal, our editor, designer and occasional author who happens to also be my wife for coming up with it. She is fascinated by lighthouses that warn ships about shallow waters and is also inspired by the story ‘The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspin Wall’.
The initial expenses have been only with regards to buying a personal domain, broadband services and required tools. Perhaps, I am lucky to have an editor work for free!
Tell us about your backgrounds. Vinaya Gopal is a graduate in statistics and a MBA dropout. She comes with a rich experience of nine years with market research, analysis and content creation. I hold a Masters in Computer Applications and have been a Business Analyst for over six years in the banking and finance domain.
Is there acceptance for your concept?
Almost all the big brands are on social media and their accounts are handled by agencies. For startups and SMEs, outsourcing to agencies is not only risky but also not cost-efficient. Here is where we step in by providing basic how-to’s and tips, illustrating case studies of startups implementing their own social media campaigns. So, there definitely seems to be strong acceptance for our concept, reflecting the void in a ‘space’ that concentrates on the social media sector inIndiaalone.
We have had numerous incidents where the startups that we had reviewed actually worked on the tips we provided and were benefitted by them. The market that we are addressing is quite dynamic and growing day by day with the acceptance of social media as a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’.
What is Lighthouse Insights’ revenue model? Also, have you been funded?
I started on the basic premise thatIndianeeded its own social media hub – a space to share and grow. At the moment, I am concentrating only on content that is in synch with our objective and helps our readers, thus giving us a loyal reader base. At the moment, I do not have a revenue model. No, I haven’t been funded!
What are the challenges that you faced while developing Lighthouse Insights?
Working on a passion along with a full-time job is the biggest challenge! Apart from finding the time, I faced quite a few hurdles along the way. At times, a concept didn’t work or at times, there was nobody to give feedback. I guess belief in our vision has kept us going so far.How big is the team behind Lighthouse Insights? Are you looking at hiring?
We are a team of two members. Vinaya is the editor and designer for the blog and I do everything else except editing. Right now, I am not thinking of hiring.
Where do you see the social media space in India and Lighthouse Insights five years from now?
With better infrastructure, easily accessible information and loads of enthusiastic communities, the social media space inIndiais only going to boom and the next five years will see unprecedented growth. At Lighthouse, I plan for every six months as technology coupled with social factors is quite a fluid area. I do hope five years down the line, all Indians check out Lighthouse Insights in the morning!
We at YourStory.in wish Lighthouse Insights all the very best. To know more, check out http://lighthouseinsights.in/. Also, do let us know what you think of this story by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.