6 Things I Learnt from The Venture Talk with Ranjit Acharya

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6 Things I Learnt from The Venture Talk with Ranjit Acharya

On the 23rd of July, NEXT Launchpad organized its regular Venture Talk session, this time with Ranjit Acharya, CEO of Prizma Advertising. Through a first-hand experience of over 25 years in the Nepali Business market, the veteran entrepreneur was able to give insights on why an entrepreneur should also be a good marketer. Here are some key takeaways from the session worth a read. 

1. Create a Product Before You Form Your Company                                                                                                                   Many aspiring entrepreneurs today first think of forming a company before they create a product. But Acharya, based on his own experiences says, “Create a product first. The company will form itself.” The story of Prisma’s evolution as a company, as such, is a case in point. He followed his own mantra of product before company and started the registration process for Prisma Advertising only after he already had a product in hand- a TV advert for a glucose company. To come out with a winning product, we have to open our minds to a number of ideas. Coming up with ideas is easy, but finding the correct one is difficult. We have to find inspiration to form not just a company, but also a product. Let yourself be inspired to create a workable product first and see how your product creates a business, and your business shapes your company. 

2. Your Brand Goes Beyond Its Name

Brand naming might be the first step in developing a brand, but before that, creating a product that stands out from the plethora of products available in the market is more important. A customer’s decision to buy your product is not solely based on whether they like the brand name, it is also based on how much the product appeals to their needs. A well-established business might be able to use their coveted brand name to their advantage and attract customers, but implementing this strategy as a startup might not garner the same result. A startup is known for its work before it is known for its name. And since creating a place in the market is not accomplished overnight, it can be years before a startup gains access to the market consciousness.                                                                                                                                                                    
3. Finding a Need Gap Equals to X Marks the Spot

According to Acharya, there are 37 FM stations operating in Kathmandu right now. Of those 37 stations, some may be reaching break even, but only 5 are operating in profit. Now, his question to you is if you would want to open the 38th FM station? Most people would recognise this to be a tight market and say no. But, what if there’s a chance that the 38th can become the 6th? With the correct resources and business outlook, your new FM station could become the 6th addition to the group of profit making FM stations— all you need to do is find a need gap and cater to it. Finding a need gap is not all that hard either, there are hundreds just lying on the table. And with technology coming into play, the consumer cycle is more dynamic than ever. Why try to enter an existing market when you can create your own niche? Sure, there may be barriers to entry, but beyond all those obstacles and hindrances, there is a lucrative business idea all your competitors are completely missing out on. 

 

4. “Win-Win-Win” With Diversification

With new technology developments making way every day, you can never tell when one of them will make your business obsolete. As such, diversification is an amazing tool to stabalise your business. According to Acharya, when it comes to diversification, concentric is the way to go. With concentric diversification, you could come up with closely related products and services and reach more consumers. It is a good way to ensure that even if one of your businesses don’t pan out, there will be a backup plan that will anchor your company’s valuation. In Acharya’s context, his portfolio includes companies like Prisma Advertising, an advertisement company;  Media Hub, a media consultant; And Neel Barahi Film, an audiovisual production studio, that complement and leverage each other to drive profit three times more in the same market creating a prospect of win-win-win. 

5. Criticism Is Your Friend

Criticism can work to your benefit if you know how to respond to it. Anyone can criticise, but it takes a certain character and determination to make the bitter words work to your advantage. Criticism should be seen in the same light as commendation, as both of them provide us with a source of encouragement. You know you’re making an impact once people start forming opinions about you. Criticism is feedback, and feedback is required for growth. When Ranjit Acharya was told that his advertisement agency, Prisma Advertising was just a bubble that could pop any second, he did not fret. The person who was criticising Acharya might have intended for his comment to sound negative, but for Acharya, the criticism proved to be the much-required motivation to make his company what it is today.

6. Marketing Is the Heart of a Business

The success of a business is determined by influential marketing. You might have a stellar product, but without marketing efforts, you will not be able to get your message out to a potential customer base. There is a reason why even already established Fortune 500 companies spend billions of dollars on advertising and promotions each year. These companies stand out from their competitors because the consumers recognise their branding efforts. Moreover, as an entrepreneur, there is nothing wrong with flaunting your brand. If anything, you are losing your chance on a Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) when you don’t bring up your company during a relevant conversation or engagement. Speaking of word of mouth, every business should maintain an online presence. Today, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, among others are the biggest Word Of Mouth Marketing platforms. Not having a presence online is cheating yourself out of perfectly good marketing opportunity, because a person is more likely to trust an acquaintance's recommendation than a filtered form of advertisement being fed to them. 


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Guest Saturday, 18 November 2017