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IIM Calcutta Alumni innovate Mobile Marketing and Outdoor Advertising

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MUMBAI: Management graduates from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Neeraj Sharda and Sudhanshu Goyal have joined hands to launch two unique initiatives as part of their broad vision of transforming the offline advertising market. Their first solution is Chikoop which is an audio mobile marketing solution for all phones. Their second initiative is 8Hoarding is a revolutionary venture leading the much desired change in the way outdoor advertising industry work in India. It leverages big data intelligence, sophisticated mathematical models and inputs of advertising veterans to help brands select the right outdoor media for their campaigns.

“Indian businesses are adopting the online way of doing things and rightly so, but in a country like ours one cannot really discard the offline ways so early. They still hold the key to success given we leverage the power of technology and big data analytics to make them smarter”, says Neeraj- Co-founder and CSO at the venture.

The venture has many awards and recognitions in its name including Hot Pitch Kolkata award from the prestigious startup network TiECON, among top 40 globally in Rice University b-plan competition, among top teams in Tata Social Enterprise Challenge and multiple international competitions conducted by IIMCalcutta.

“There are two ways to launch a successful venture: delivering MVP with focus on quick initial traction or work out the product in detail before looking to grow. We chose the second path as we see hundreds of startups everyday making debut with a weak offering and fading away in a short span of time. We believe that more than the early mover’s advantage, it is about delivering a masterpiece which users fall in love with”, Sudhanshu, Co-founder and CEO at the venture elaborates.

Sudhanshu Goyal who is also an IIM Caclutta graduate of 2015 batch has already served as CEO of a prominent manufacturing firm in steel industry. He joined his family business struggling against Global Recession of 2008, after dropping out from a premier Institute to help his father and led its turnaround at an early age of 18. “The contrasting backgrounds of me and Neeraj led to long and aggressive debates nights after nights during product conceptualization but now we realize that it has helped create a sophisticated offering as both of us approach things from two different angles and then converge to an understanding with the virtues of both”, says Sudhanshu.

“We raised an angel fund previously for product development and building initial traction and our team has strived hard for last 15 months to deliver a perfect product for our customers. Now that we have achieved this first milestone, we are in discussion to raise a seed fund from able investor(s) to take this to the next level,” says Neeraj who handles investor relations,” Pre-seed and seed stage investment ecosystem in India is still not mature and being a venture which is betting against the popular trend, you will surely face difficulty but your conviction about the idea and external validation from initial customers is enough to drive you to succeed.”

Sudhanshu points out,” This is just the beginning. We have identified a number of opportunities in offline marketing, each having a highly attractive market. We are ambitious and have sketched out a long-run roadmap to address them.”

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