HomeShop18 & Flipkart are brand consultant Harish Bijoor’s favourite startup brands

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Yesterday we presented the first part of this interview with Harish Bijoor of Harish Bijoor Consults. Where he spoke at length about how entrepreneurs should look at the branding space. Today we present the second part of our discussion with him. Excerpts.

On hiring an internal brand person

When the startup is growing, the need in the beginning is very few and at that time it is ok to have a learner with you says Harish. In this space, a new person will bring in his uniqueness and that can be very valuable to a young organization. It is however necessary to expose this new person to newer avenues of learning, like conferences, people, meeting domain specialists, branding, advertising, PR, analytics and so on. “Sometimes a sullied mindset is not a good thing for a startup. So long as you have a person who is willing to think, is open and humble – humility is the touchstone of success in this space, you can be relaxed,” says Harish.Favourite startup brand and why?

Harish likes HomeShop 18 the best, fundamentally because the venture has used every medium to its benefit, which he says very few online guys use to do. “HomeShop18 uses TV, online and in a big way. Its very important to have adjunct mediums. So TV feeds internet, feeds mobile, feeds TV. I think they have done an excellent thing. I don’t know of any other company who has done things so well,” says Harish.

Harish also likes how Flipkart has handled its branding. When Flipkart reached its tipping point, it invested in advertising which was pathbreaking, differentiated advertising, which was also lambasted at that point in time, but they went ahead nevertheless. “Most people need to invest in a big idea. They have to capture that one big idea, Flipkart got it with the kid showing their products. So brands maybe successful, but there is so much more that they can do. They have just touched the tip of the iceberg,” he says.

Importance of rewarding an idea

Harish says that he has been approached by the PE community many a times to vet an idea suggested by an advertising agency and his firm does it professionally. “Sometimes the owner doesn’t have the courage to back an idea and we have to push them and tell them it’s good and they should go ahead with it. Things are becoming very collaborative in the online space and there is lack of ego,” says Harish. An idea, he says can sometimes come from a hole-in-the-wall agency, but it is important to recognize and reward that firm. It is important to encourage ideas and remunerate them well, so that people are going to be excited about ideas and want to be in that space.

“This is like the app development space. That space boomed fundamentally because some guy made Rs 2 crore on an application and today you have hundreds and thousands of app developers. So the ecosystem of ideas have to flourish much more in this country than it has. The moment we start respecting ideas and thoughts, we will go places,” predicts Harish.

Tomorrow we will present the last part of this interview. Stay tuned.

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