How a couple of college grads run Panache Softech: a digital marketing services company
Early-stage bootstrapped startups have one major problem – reaching out to their target audiences, whether online or offline. And gone are the days when digital marketing was simple and inexpensive. Things have changed now. Every startup needs someone who understands the space and knows how to work around digital marketing trends – and this is what Manish Chauhan realised.
Fresh out of college in 2012, Manish told YourStory that he wanted to establish a startup and wondered a lot about the digital marketing space.
“In the early stage, when I was trying to set up my startup, Digital Marketing was the major part and I couldn’t find the right person. A large part of my seed fund was wasted in paying an online advertising agency. Further, I found this as an opportunity and started one-stop solution for digital marketing services and training startup,” says Manish.
In January 2013, he met Durgesh Mishra at a startup event in Gurugram. Durgesh too had just finished college and the duo, after meeting a couple of times, decided to co-found Panache Softech.
Panache Softech Pvt.Ltd. added PIMS (Professional Institute of Marketing and Strategy), Noida to its family in 2013 but the game changed in 2016, when internet cost got cheaper and the need for digital advertising increased.
What does it do?
Panache provides specialised digital marketing services to startups, businesses, independent, and individual projects. The platform has four main verticals - Hikemytraffic, a digital marketing agency, Digitalaka, an email marketing company, PIMS, a digital marketing institute, and SMTPGET, an SMTP server company.
“We provide service to our clientele with an industry-specific approach,” says Manish. The team felt that there was a need for an institute that could help bring the right kind of talent into the industry, as they had found it difficult to find the right people.
It led them to establish PIMS, a digital marketing institute. Manish explains, at PIMS, the students are groomed by entrepreneurs, and are guided by professionals and mentors.
“In the same space, students are learning and applying the same in our organisation,” he adds. The team charge on an hourly basis. The pricing includes charges for software, resources, tools, and service. The charges start from Rs 15,000 per month and are priced according to the client’s requirements and marketing budget.
Clients and team
“Our main clients are from every sector – from FMCG to services, to non-profits. It is an indispensable service that any business should include to gain a wider reach to the audience,” says Manish.
“The service that we provide is driven by ideas and technical know-how of digital marketing, that involves SEO, PPC, SMO, Email Marketing, and Online Reputation Management. We use these set of skills via our dedicated team and execute the strategy with a specific approach to the client’s industry,” he adds.
He explains that the team does in-depth research about the products and the industry so that it knows about the client’s competitors, their failures and the best players in the market. They usually start by outlining a marketing strategy, followed by its execution once the client agrees with the same.
Revenue and market
Panache has grown to be a team of 16 in-house people and 12 freelancers. The team claims to have made a revenue of Rs 3 crore in FY19. The team claims to serve 100 recurring clients every month, who make up around 80 percent of their revenue.
"We have collaboration with over 15 colleges and universities where we conduct informative seminars and workshops to let students know the scope of digital marketing. So far, we have trained about 2500+ students, in both offline and online mode. In the coming years, we are planning to add more courses to empower the youngster and provide good candidate to the company as per their demand. The course fees are Rs 35,000," adds Manish.
A Dentsu Aegis report states that the digital advertising industry in India is set to be valued at Rs 19,000 crore by 2020, at a growth rate of 32 percent CAGR. Apart from competing with the larger agencies like Happy, O&M, and JWT, Panache competes with the likes of – CloudMellow, OnePage Digital, and others.
“Currently, we plan to expand via other subsidiaries – Hikemytaffic and Digitalaka. We also plan to train more than 15,000 students, conduct workshops in over 20 universities and organise more than 1000 seminars in the next five years through PIMS,” says Manish.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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