How a father-son team built Germin8 to help decision-making easy for brands
Ranjit Nair is a computer science engineer from the University of Southern California with a strong bent towards analytics and artificial intelligence. He worked in the US for a few years but soon realized he would be more satisfied doing something back home in India. “The startup ecosystem had matured in the US and I felt there were more exciting things to be done in India and hence I decided to come back,” says Ranjit. His father Raj Nair is an IIT Bombay and IIM Ahmedabad alumni who has played key roles in growing several companies. Together they found a gap where they could add value. Raj plays the role of an advisor and mentor.
The company is called Germin8 and it was launched in 2007 with the intent of helping companies make better informed decisions. “The traditional way of market research is to conduct surveys which are not very efficient. People were already sharing their opinions online and we thought of getting these two trends together with Germin8,” says Ranjit. Germin8 is a Big Data analytics company focused on helping companies understand and act in real time on the conversations by its stakeholders.
The company started out with a services model but gathered expertise over the years and then launched a product in 2012. The product is called Explic8 and it works on a SaaS model. “Explic8 is an insights and engagement platform that collects and analyses conversations in real time (from public sources and private sources), and converts them into industry-specific actionable insights and leads,” says Ranjit.
Brands like MTV, Johnson and Johnson, Godrej, etc. and agencies like Groupm, Perfect Relations, etc. use Explic8. Ranjit gives us a case study of MTV and how it uses the product, “Pick up any MTV show, for instance, Roadies. Lot of people are talking about the Roadies participants on social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. There will always be a few participants who generate more interest and Explic8 helps MTV recognize them. The promos can then focus on these participants more and increase viewership.”
Their experience in the field helped Germin8 to sign up some big brands for a beta and the success led to more clients. Brands and agencies use Explic8 for brand monitoring, lead generation, ORM (online reputation management), influencer engagement, etc. Germin8 is a 55-member team based in Mumbai and had initially raised an angel round from private investors.
We recently wrote about the rise of social media analytics companies and how India is seeing a good crop of companies in the space with the likes of Airwoot, Simplify360, Unmetric, etc. “We believe that analytics should be actionable, these should be business actions which reflect in actual business outcomes. Also, we feel that this industry is still in its infancy, brands are using social media analytics as 'good to have' practice which will eventually evolve into a ‘must have’ business requirement,” says Ranjit.