For Rohit Awasthi, Starting his journey in this vast entrepreneurial world with a B.Tech from National Institute of Technology, Calicut was mere a start to the brilliance that was about to follow. While working at an online educational portal pagalguy.com, he took its user base to a whopping 500% in just a couple of months, this perfectly portrays his prowess in the field of marketing and brand management.
It was his above par work experience at various leading firms and knowledge in social media branding that eventually helped him create his own social media branding venture, which mainly targets the small media enterprises that lack in this particular field of digital media marketing due to lack of funds. Solomofy steals the show by providing its services at the most affordable prices in the market.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
“As Digital India becomes bigger and more impactful, it is very important for small businesses to shift their focus to Social Media, where the audience is. With the help of Solomofy, we are going to solve 2 biggest problems for SMEs,
1) Creating regular content for Digital Media
2) Use the best practices to maximize the efficacy from Social
Regular content generation through smooth & easy processes, lies at the heart of Solomofy. It is accessible through mobile & is user-friendly. Once the user is logged in, he/she can send the request for creation of posts, give approval/denial, check out all the published unpublished posts in the library and access analytics through Solomofy. A notification is sent whenever something important needs to be reviewed. The user can also plan the content according to upcoming events & festivities which are already mapped out on Solomofy. But what makes Solomofy stand apart from any other solutions present in the market is its affordability. With all these benefits a strong team backing, the plans start from as low as Rs 14,999/- only. Solomofy aims at reaching out to lakhs of SMEs and helping them build a social brand.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Solomofy is a technology platform that aims to resolve the social media puzzle. Designed especially for SMEs (small & medium enterprises), Solomofy is the result of countless meetings we had with small businesses – restaurant owners, individuals, professionals, marketplace sellers and owners of not so cool enterprises. We realized that they had a story to tell but were constrained by-
a) Decreasing efficacy of traditional media – Print, Pamphlets, Hoardings etc.
b) Lack of understanding of Digital Media
c) Lack of a partner who could tell their stories on a regular basis, interestingly) No good agency wants to work on small budgets
d) No good agency wants to work on small budgets
What is your life mantra?
To build a workplace where common sense rules over hierarchy, mediocrity is unacceptable and excellence is rewarded.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Being a bootstrapped startup, we had a choice to scale or to strengthen the product. Scaling up quickly would have got our tempting revenues in the short term. We took the more painful route and chose the latter and in hindsight, it has proved beneficial for us. We took a deliberate call to go slow on acquiring businesses, and go fast on iteration and acting on their and team’s feedback.
How did you overcome those challenges?
It is not just a matter of Technology, but also a deep understanding of workflows in this business and optimizing at each micro-step. Today, we are seeing 70% retention and the types of workflow issues we have solved since launch, gives us a terrific advantage against any competitor who tries to enter this space.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have a business model whose Proof of Concept is already done. The fees is paid in advance, hence operating expenses are being taken care of. We have invested in capital expenses, hiring etc but we are looking to be cash flow positive in 3 months.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We are working with lots of talented and bright people and we understand that the new generation (21-26 yr olds) look at work in a very different way. Besides having free food, transparency, minimal hierarchical structure, we focus on the following –
1) A lot of learning. Regular training programs with assignments.
2) Open discussions about Product roadmap and where the business is going and what is at stake for them. Brings involvement and ownership even at the entry level.
3) Absolute no to politics and formation of power centers in the organization.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Temperament, Curiosity and Continuous Improvement.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
AWS, Github, Google Analytics and of course Solomofy.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Reaching office 30 minutes before everyone starts streaming in. That 30 minutes in the morning helps me prioritize my tasks and prepare for meetings.
Answer in less than 50 words
Be fair to people.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid
Trying to win the argument, not the case.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now
Once you become an entrepreneur, you lose the “value” of the visiting card you held in your last job. You start from zero. Hustle, be hands on and there is no shame in going out and making things happen.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
To take Solomofy to 10,000 users.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Wherever there is no mobile network.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Business is built on the streets, not on excel sheets.