Zomato, Oreo And Zee – Digital Ready Start – Ups : Seminar At IIT Kanpur

Pragyan- the guest lecture series of the IME Department, IIT Kanpur, organised under the umbrella of Prabandhan’16, witnessed an array of informative seminars delivered by some of the greatest personalities from all over India. The series was kick-started by Mr Sheraz Saeed, Founder of Websters. Websters is a Dubai-based social media company started in 2011 and specialises in web designing and digital marketing. It is a part of SoftAge Information Technology Ltd.

Mr Saeed gave a seminar on “Start-ups and Digital Marketing”. Giving a brief overview about himself, Mr. Saeed mentioned how during his final year at BITS Pilani, Dubai campus he saw a requirement for web services in the Dubai market and after initially beginning as a freelancer, he founded Websters, which offers a range of dedicated social media services along with other digital assistance in web development, app development, social media management, analytics, digital marketing etc.

Mr Saeed engaged the audience by probing about some start-up ideas. To the passionate budding entrepreneurs who had such ideas and the audience in general, he gave an interesting trivia, of discussing an idea with a group of friends on whom you could rely for feedback before converting it into a business plan. He also encouraged some of the students to proceed with their ideas and work towards bringing it to the light of the day. Further, he advised those keen to have their start-ups to always keep founders with different skill sets and at the same time have an eagle’s view of the entire initiative.

Dwelling further on the topic of start-ups, he mentioned an exorbitant number of start-ups do not recognise ‘need’ and sweat relentlessly on solving a problem that does not exist. He also cited this as being one of the reasons behind the failure of many start-ups after a small stint.  Mr Saeed also emphasised on the pioneer versus follower strategy in marketing, by providing an example from the e-commerce sector in Dubai. The small and new entrants learned from the mistakes of giant players like Cobone and Groupon and differentiated themselves to become stiff competitors. Thus it is important to push forward the right and required needs into the market.

Moving onto the topic of digital marketing, which also happens to be Mr Saeed’s area of expertise, evident from his clientele of big names like Zee, Dubai Government etc, he shared with us exciting examples where digital marketing was instrumental in garnering millions of eyeballs. He gave examples like the post of one of the Zomato’s co-founder, Oreo’s post after a few seconds of the power cut at Super Bowl XLVII etc. Mr Saeed also insisted on not entirely focusing on search engine optimisation, but evaluating the investment in paid apps and likes. And also imperative is the creativity in digital marketing, thinking different and utilising unseen opportunities to stay ahead in the game.

The session was a lesson on introspection before jumping on the start-up bandwagon and how digital marketing is changing the marketing landscape with its vitality felt in the sustenance of any company worth its salt.

MBA IIT Kanpur

MBA IIT Kanpur

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