We entered into 2015 as a Six-month-old start up.
Aim: To fill the gap in Digital Marketing Education Delivery in India, An Industry that already had few big Players but our aim was not to compete with them but to deliver an experience with our training that would be far more satisfying for trainees.
How Digiperform Started ?
I have been associated with few big digital marketing institutes & colleges as a faculty in past and know the ins and outs of delivery methodologies of most of them.
Idea of digiperform came from “Injustice”. I remember few classrooms I lead where I was told that “You have to teach 25 participants”
But when I entered classroom, It looked like…
50+ Students struggling to sit properly in a tiny classroom and waiting to understand from me
“ Why care for Digital Marketing. ”
And guess what …These people were made to believe that
- They are having one of the rare opportunities of their lifetime.
- An opportunity to attend a sermon that will change their future
- It will Grow their businesses 10X and
- Will make them earn 4 X from their current salaries
So they were not supposed to complain about experience.
Pheeewww…Instead of a marketing faculty I felt like a “ MLM Guru” who was there to give them motivational speech on
“How to get super rich in 2 months”.
That day I decided that I would create a company that will educate & empower people to “Perform on Digital Platforms & Products” and name it DIGIperform (Luckily I got a .com as well) and got a logo made in green and yellow.
How I met My Partner
I met Manu during one of my trainings.
(Manu is a serial entrepreneur ,experienced in creating and selling over 3 successful startups and a failed one 😛 in past)
Our visions got aligned; Shared ladoos with lord Ganesha
and since then we at Digiperform are trying to build “A Training Experience”.
What Kind of experience we planned to create?
An experience that’s not only valuable but also affordable,experience that focuses on enabling rather than just educating participants. Initially we did lots of experiments with our product, content, delivery, fee & course offerings to find their perfect mix, till we created DMCC.
Digiperform 2.0 was born
Entering into 2015 & Birth of DMCC
Trust me, first 3 months were a lot of struggle.
Though we were not doing too bad financially but fight was to stand out. Team of 6 people looking to find answer to
How to do it differently?
While reviewing monthly numbers needed to survive for next month (we started on a bootstrap) and going through reviews & inputs given by our past students we created DMCC on Fool’s day (1st April 2015).
In fact, DMCC just evolved on Whiteboard from its posh cousin DMIP (DM-Integrated Program priced at Rs. 50,000) & 10 other individual courses that we offered earlier for different industries.
Our earlier courses were focused to cater only a specific set of audience.
But with DMCC we were able to target & benefit bigger market.
Success of DMCC
Participants loved it beyond our expectations.
Around middle of year for the first time we crossed 50 admissions in one month.
(Catch me: Photo bombing a student selfie)
Along with that came pressure to successfully meet the expectations of students and we expanded our team to over 10 employees.
Hiring 5 new people in 36 Hours.
We got Funded
Yay!!! (Excited …for those who believe that only funding can create a successful startup)
We received our first trench of investment in August and we dint cared to put a press release for it. In fact, it’s the first time we are putting this in public.
Here is how our funding process was different from general fund raising campaign these days:
- We never attended startup conferences/meetups /events
- We never wrote mails/linkedin messages to VCs
- We never even bothered about creating our pitch to VC
- We didn’t hired a PR Firm.
Why we din’t approached VCs at start?
Because we were so busy creating an experience for our students, for which they were paying us nicely that we dint feel need to approach investors.
#Startup Tip 1: If you have an idea and buyers in market, enough money to create & deliver it. Then why go and find VC for getting marketing funds to make it a “Huge Success”. Instead of Investors go reach to prospects? First Make it a “Success” and try to make it “Huge” over time.
Then…How we Got Funded ?
One day my partner called me up and told me that
-We have few investors. Do we need money?
-I said not for operations, But only if it can save us our time. We need investments for technology.
-He said “ That’s what I wanted to hear”.
Next day we met our investor,
We showed our sales numbers and projections,
We told him what technology do we need for delivery,
What can we offer and what amount are we expecting.
And a week later… We 3 were sitting together having Ladoos again.
#Startup Tip 2: (Choose a partner who complements you. It’s good if he is more experienced than you, Its a myth that they always bite. That’s the reason I chose a partner/mentor who had sold companies earlier. He had option from day 1 to dial a VC that too on speed dial but he wanted a strong reason to call them and first get convinced himself)
5 Other Reasons we will remember 2015 for:
That was not all. In fact I am taking this opportunity to write myself after a long time because a genuinely felt like writing a piece for this year.
#Reason 1: Two New Centers
We opened two offices in heart of capital of India CP & Another Franchise center in Navi Mumbai in June & November respectively and all of these centers have already achieved initial success.
#Reason 2: Digital India Week Launch
In partnership with Intel we launched an web app for training students under Digital India Week inaugurated by PM Sh. Narendra Modi in July this year.
#Reason 3: Built a beautiful team:
We are also aimed towards building great experience for our employees. Digiperform’s team is a great family that works and parties together
#Reason 4: Exclusive Joint partnership with Snapdeal
Launched Certified Course for Ecommerce Sales Professionals in exclusive partnership with Snapdeal.
#Reason 5: Over 100 Students Placed
There is no better experience then improving lives of people who trusted in our programs. Over 100 people got new jobs through our exclusive partnerships with companies looking for digital marketing candidates.
Resolutions for 2016?
We are not yet the best Digital Marketing Training Institute in all terms. But
“We are already the best Value-for-Money”
So here is a list. That we pledge to work on:
As per our own benchmark I would say we are only 75% there. Our delivery technology is still improving. Corporate Tie-ups are going on and our centers don’t look that swanky.
We want to reach 90% Mark. Being Head-Delivery (my role) that’s my aim for March 2016.
- We still encourage students to write to me directly.
- I still take classes time to time to interact with students.
- I still take sales calls in between to gauge market Needs & Trends
We don’t have a standard customer feedback process for a reason (debatable)
because I have felt feedback forms are just formality in Indian training culture of “Guru and Shishya”.
Where bringing out loopholes in training process is considered to be an offence on whole learning process. 😀 and they only bring 60% of the true picture.
Hence, we communicate formally to all our students that I (Head-delivery) am accessible and I want to listen from them on their concerns,
Whenever they have one, they should reach out to me directly.
Online visibility: You might not see us across all platforms because we just market ourselves enough to get business that we can handle properly and sponsor operations. We are building processes and will be there as soon we can support bigger numbers.
Online Content Team: We have struggled with that part you can very well see. Need & Capacity challenges trade-offs are part of startup culture. But you will see us on search engines & social media a lot this year. I think probably it’s a nice time to subscribe to our blog. 😀 . I will write a post once a week.
Website: A lot will change about it. A lighter and more mobile friendly version is coming soon.
We are open for any kind of partnerships from
- Digital marketing product companies
- Digital marketing or Ecommerce Platforms
- Digital Consultants
- Digital Marketing Agencies
or probably anyone where we can help each other. You can write to me
to manu at: manujolly [at]digiperform.com
Right now we are not looking for liquidating our equity. But we would love to share our projections with you if you think
“Your money can help us grow X times in 1/X time. “
Where X is a positive integer, Greater then or equal to 2
At the end would like to wish you all a very happy new year 2016 and thanking 2015 again with my last post for the year.
Don’t forget to share it with your friends and network.If you Hated/Loved me for writing this I await your comments.
-Party Hard Tonight