This week we are going to have an interview session with one of the top email marketing experts in India, ‘Mr. Manish Chauhan’. Being part of the digital marketing industry, he has experience in almost every aspect of digital marketing while delivering work to 500+ clients across different parts of the world and providing training to 2000+ students.
Let’s start with a small introduction for Manish Chauhan before we go into one on one session with him.
1. Tell us everything about your startup, what does it do? What were the challenges of setting up and scale? How did you overcome them?
Manish Chauhan: Panache Softech Pvt Ltd is a parent company launched on January 17th, 2013. Under this we are running subsidiary like;
- Hikemytraffic ( A Digital Marketing Agency)
- DIgitalaka ( An Email Marketing Company)
- SMTPGET ( A SMTP server Company)
In a nutshell, we provide all sorts of specialized Digital Marketing Services to businesses, startups, Personal and individual projects.
Finding a Right Company/Person in the industry is the main pain of any business, I have suffered a lot personally. At the early stage, when I was trying to set my startup, Digital Marketing was the major part and I couldn’t find the right person. My maximum seed fund was wasted to pay to the online advertisement company. At last, I faced a huge failure. From a macro perspective, failures set the foundation for starting something solid.
Further, I found this as an opportunity and started a one-stop solution for Digital Marketing Services & Training.
2. How did you come up with the idea and what was the Eureka moment?
Manish Chauhan: I was attracted to Digital Marketing as a business opportunity, right out of college. It was a wave, which I felt, could be promising considering my skills in ideation and technology.
I (Manish Chauhan) met Durgesh Mishra, founder & co-founder of Panache Softech Pvt. Ltd. respectively at the startup- event in Gurgaon. He was also working on his idea. After a few meetings, I convinced him to join me as a co-founder. That was the Eureka moment when we got on board and started this up.
3. How did you build the core team (co-founders and initial employees) – How did you meet and how did everyone align to the idea? What is the total team size?
Manish Chauhan: Most of our team members are those who have been with us from the start.
Right now, we are a team of 16 inhouse and 12 Freelancers from all over the globe are working for us.
4. Give us a background of your core team and yourself with the age.
- Manish Chauhan (CEO) – B.tech, CS
- Durgesh Mishra (MD) – B.tech, IT
- Faizan Ahmad( CTO) – (31 years): He is a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Computer Applications and has been holding our heads high with his skilled technical knowledge and support.
- Sanjeev Kumar – (Technical Support)- (30 years): He is an MBA with skills in technology management and graphic designing.
- Nisha Rajput – ( Social Media Manager)- (27 years): She is a Graduate in Computer Applications with technical skills and handles Social Media Management.
- Priyank Bhushan – ( Seo Manager)- (30 years): He is a BBA and specialized MBA in Marketing and International Business, holds key responsibilities in SEO management.
- Gurpreet Singh – (BDM) – (26 years): He is a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Economics with a skillset in Business Communication, Marketing Strategy, and Business Development.
- Vinay Kumar -( BDM) – (26 years): He is a B. Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering, responsible for E-Mail marketing and Business Development management.
- Sachin Chauhan- Project Manager: He is B.Tech from a mechanical branch but an expert in project handling.
- Pooja Singh-(HR): She is an MBA, and handling our HR department.
We have in the digital era and we are using it very smartly. We have a team of freelance who are working from home for us like:-
- Aakash:- As a Content writer
- Shahin:- As WordPress developer
- Kamal:- As a Graphics Designer
- Kabir:- As a Copywriter.
And many more!
5. What has been Revenue, traction, and growth from the date of inception till now?
Manish Chauhan: Our team worked hard to earn Rs. 3 Crore in the last financial year. Right now, we have 100+ recurring clients every month from all over the World who contribute 80% of the revenue for the company.
6. What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors and what’s your revenue model? – Who are your key clients? How much do you charge them?
Manish Chauhan: We provide service to our clientele with an industry-specific approach, which is rare to find in a saturated internet-marketing sphere.
At PIMS, students are groomed by entrepreneurs, guided by professionals and mentored by an alongside running organization, like ours. In the same space, students are learning and applying the same in our organization. I have never seen such a class in-cabin experience and learning.
We are in the service Industry and charge on an hourly basis model to the client. Our Pricing Includes Software, Resources, tools, and service charges. Our main clients are basically every sector from FMCG to services to non-profits. It is an indispensable service that any business should include to gain a wider reach to the audience.
Our minimum charges start from 15000/Month (200 USD) and go up to no limit. No one wants to limit the marketing budget.
7. What are the unit economics and margins for a business like this how does the model work?
Manish Chauhan: The cost lies in hiring the right people and finding potential clients. This cost cannot be measured in terms of salaries or rent but, time. Time is the most valuable cost that goes into this business. If you are able to reduce the gap between finding a potential client and the right skilled employee, you will win start winning the game in no time.
This model works on a snowball effect model, where you start catching up with small budget clients, fix the mistakes you make while approaching them in the meetings, and then after certain experience shoot big-budget clients. Although, different agencies have evolved following a different model. It is individualistic.
8. How are you funded?
Manish Chauhan: We don’t have any Investors on Board. But, we are planning to pith to the VC’s in the coming years. Once our new B-plan would be ready, it will be a good time to go for.
9. How does the product work? Detailed answer on the workings of the product or how does the platform work? How does your service work?
Manish Chauhan: The service that we provide is basically driven by ideas and technical know-how of Digital Marketing that involves SEO, PPC, SMO, Email Marketing, and Online Reputation Management. It is basically using these sets of skills via our dedicated team and executing the strategy with a specific approach to the client’s industry.
The service’s conception usually starts from the objectives a client is wanting to achieve. His business goals and expectation are our basis for the blueprint of marketing strategy.
Once we know that, we look into his expected revenue goals and cost boundaries.
We do in-depth research for his products and industry so that we know the best players, failure, and competitors. This homework helps us shoot the arrow every time in the meetings.
The client’s work usually starts with a marketing strategy outline and followed by its execution once the client agrees with the same.
10. What are the costs of building something like this (approximately) or the basic idea at least? How long does it take?
Manish Chauhan: The cost of building a company involves not just the Fixed and Variable cost, apart from input capital. The cost is that time gap when you find the right employee and the potential client. This is very subjective. I know people who have started digital marketing agencies with zero investment and laptops and doing great at their work. I also know those people who have invested huge amounts in fancy offices and still not able to cover up[ their fixed and variable costs.
So, it totally depends on your entrepreneurial mindset.
11. Future plans.
Ans. We believe in planning for the long-term. I and Durgesh never want to limit ourselves. We constantly yearn for new ideas and therefore, keep on working to cultivate them. Currently, we plan to find expand via other subsidiaries Hikemytaffic (A Digital marketing agency) and Digitalaka (An email marketing company).
Furthermore, We have a big plan ready to train more than 15,000 students, conduct workshops in 20+ universities, and organize more than 1000 seminars in the next 5 years through PIMS, Noida. To provide Digital Marketers in the industry. It’s to give the Society back what we have given to us.