Victor Hugo, the great French philosopher once remarked
: “You can resist an invading army but you cannot resist an idea whose time has come”. The startup ecosystem in India, among the largest in the world, is brimming with millions of such ideas.
“Enabling businesses, small and big, to be discovered online by millions of potential customers is our strength”, says Avinash Pant, Director Marketing for Meta in India. “We at Meta believe that at the heart of every business is a good idea that deserves to be found.”
The increasing ‘personalisation’ of products and services enables creation of connections, communities and brands. For instance, personalisation has helped farmers who need credit to discover fintech platforms such as Jai Kisan and students passionate about Math to connect with edtech firms such as Bhanzu. While connecting people to products and businesses most valuable to them, Meta also helps businesses and entrepreneurs to more than just sell; it helps them create a unique brand identity. Zwende, a handicraft outfit, is a case in point. It is not just a company that sells handcrafted products but is known as a brand that empowers artisans.How quickly a startup is able to scale depends a lot on how rapidly they are able to fulfill an unmet need. Perfora for instance is a digital-first oral care brand that has introduced a range of science-backed products after extensive research. A strong product needs a robust supply chain and awareness. “Meta helps us build brand awareness along with distribution”, says Jatan Bawa, the company’s founder. “The beauty of Meta as a platform is that you can experiment, you can learn, pivot, execute faster, and you can monitor what's happening in real time”.
“With a minimal budget you could have control over what you are doing,” says Chetan Krishna Murthy, co-founder of Gift of Love, an online entity that sells stationery, home accessories and gifts. It allows outfits to experiment and disseminate their messages more creatively.
This also allows brands to expand their reach and sell to customers well beyond a restricted geographical jurisdiction of physical stores. For instance, Isadora Life, a size-and-shape inclusive fashion brand for Indian women is based out of Raipur. How can one build a national brand while being based in a smaller town? Meta made it happen, says Neha Tandon Sharma, the company’s founder. “Over the last three years, Meta has helped us reach the right audience, understand their requirements, and then create products accordingly.”
With an influx of ads on various digital platforms, it is not just the customers but also companies that yearn for personalisation as Tandon Sharma found out when she clicked on an ad about a Small Business Loans Initiative by Meta. “Since it was on Facebook, it seemed like [it was] coming from a credible source. I just clicked on it. And I think within seven days flat, the entire process got done efficiently”. This helped the company to expand its marketing budget, procure raw materials, and hire new talent which brought a 30% rise in overall sales.
Meta also goes a step further through its Managed Partners Programme
, according to Chetan and Hoofrish Krishna Murthy, co-founders of Gift of Love. “We started the sessions and they started telling us how to go about doing the ads. It was like Meta University for us and they guided us how to try out things, what are all the different aspects of advertising”.
Similarly, the Venture Capital Brand Incubator (VCBI)
is an industry-first initiative designed to accelerate growth of VC-backed companies. “VCBI has been invaluable,” adds Jatan Bawa. From helping us in navigating how to structure our campaigns better, to what kind of communication to run, what kind of budget should we be spending, considering the stage and the scale of our business and just being super proactive in addressing any and all of our queries”.
Whereas disruptive business models and constant innovation continue to remain a stable of successful startups, platforms such as Meta act like a catalyst to fulfill an entrepreneur’s hunger to succeed and scale by providing them with the right toolkit to reach the right audience.The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.