1. Please tell us more about Digiperform’s founding story and how you have built it up to where it is today?
Digiperform is India’s leading digital skill development network. Our vision is to create highly skilled manpower to support the digital economy in India by creating in-demand, job role specific curriculum, certification, and processes delivered through the network of our education partners, enabled with training and marketing technology.
In the past 5 years, we have trained about 20000 individuals across 12 states and 16 cities. Currently, we have 40 classroom centers operating in India, having state-of-the-art learning infrastructure to support digital skills.
The idea of Digiperform was born in Dec 2013 when me (Vaibhav Vats) and my co-founder, Manu Jolly, were working together on various projects for our digital marketing agency, Mobiz Digital.
While brainstorming, we realized that there would be an utter need of skilled digital marketers if businesses wanted to survive in this competitive digital world.
With my expertise in digital training and Manu’s entrepreneurial skills, we came to the inference that the market would need to overcome the requirement of skilled manpower through conceptualized training systems.
Thereafter, we decided to open our own chain of Digital Marketing Institutes all over the country to bridge out the gap between the market requirements and skilled digital marketers.
Manu Jolly, a serial entrepreneur, began his career by accomplishing many ventures like Complanet, KNM Services Private Limited and went on to become India-Head – Banking and Finance Services at Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd. He conceptualized the idea of a digital marketing agency, Mobiz Digital and later co-founded Digiperform.
Vaibhav Vats is a technology graduate with consulting background and one of the pioneers in digital marketing training industry in India. He has been consulting to various digital marketing agencies, US IT firms and Indian political parties on leveraging their digital presence.
2. What are your plans for this capital raised, and how have you been achieving your goals?
Vaibhav: First, it feels awesome to be in the league of Mult-Million Dollar Companies. We have been all focussed and set to penetrate into different geo. As we are already in 12 states; we are planning to make a mark in 2 more cities by the end of April.
Our motive is to cover up all the states in India to bring out the best talents of this country. We are planning to cover up every state and every district in India. With same determination, we are working closely with big internet aka Tech Giants to achieve this which you will soon see in our coming-up BIG Announcements. (Vaibhav winked)
3. How does Digital Marketing Industry specific ecosystem looking like at the moment and how does this compare to a few years ago?
Vaibhav: It’s Lit :D.
Internet usage has increased big time since last 10 years and the consumers are now more aware of online resources. They are becoming tech-savvy which has led more companies to adopt digital strategies. Even Non-metros are not lacking behind and equally competing with the metro’s today. You can find that there is a drastic change in the buying trends as well. Consumer prefers to buy products or services over online platforms rather than going out and struggling.
Even companies are making most of it. For example, Amazon is delivering to Ladakh via. air a place which is cut in winters via. roads. So it’s definitely amazing. The time will come when businesses won’t be able to breathe without digital marketing.
4. What are the biggest challenges facing the Digital Marketing Industry and what do you think it will look like in 5 years’ time?
Vaibhav: SME’s adopting digital platforms. The biggest challenge lies today that 63% are still not online, out of all online only 20% have a substantial presence. Also, Local skilled manpower is not available to support the transformation as agencies are very expensive.
To bridge out the requirement, we are working on the same lines to reach to every district and create local digitally skilled manpower to support local businesses.
Once there will be local support to these SME’s, they will feel more confident to grow and rise above the competition. With the pace we are growing digitally, the time will come when there will be more 80% transformed SME’s who will be using online platforms to sell their products and competing at international levels.
5. What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a founder?
Vaibhav: One should Adapt and stay Updated. Digital Marketing industry is changing every day; rather twice a day. If you want to go along with the trend and current requirement, you have to constantly adapt these changes. For businesses, feedbacks, operations and sheer visibility of the end users are very important and helpful to understand the current scenario.
6. What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
Vaibhav: As I have already shared we are reaching out to every district, village, town, and city in the country and have been partnered with few of the biggest names in the digital industry to create local digitally skilled manpower. This path will not only help businesses to avail digitally skilled manpower; it will help job seekers as well as freshers to work on their career and be the part of the most happening industry of this millennium.
7. Take me through the skills of your top team members. What is each person best at?
Each individual in our team has the best skill sets and help Digiperform to accomplish its goals. We can’t pin out the single candidate to address the best. We have the qualified and experienced members in our team who work with a go-getter attitude. I am very thankful to my whole team and sharing details of few won’t justify everyone’s efforts and hard work, given to us.
8. What’s the hardest decision you’ve made so far?
Vaibhav: Staying true to this business. It’s tough for people to accept it. People always think digital marketing training is a bubble, they do not understand that a $1 trillion digital economy will require a mammoth effort.
9. What does culture mean to you and how do you ensure this culture is maintained with everyone at the company?
Vaibhav: Being transparent and not over-committing. We have a flat organization with no hierarchies. Everyone knows what they are committing to and to whom and they have to own the outcome. So whether this commitment is to our end-users to our partners we try to stick to our culture.
10. How do you drive innovation and new product cycles?
Vaibhav: Regular Feedback is the ideal key to understand the success of your product. We have a constant system where we get feedback of everything whether it’s Advertising, Sales, Delivery, Recruiters hiring our trainees and market sentiment. This helps us to refine the things that can dismantle our goal.
11. What does your typical day look like?
Vaibhav: As we are still a startup and we do keep on getting unplanned situations. Hence, there is not a major structuring I’ve done, to my day. I simply have weekly goals and try to achieve them in the best possible way.
12. What are some industry trends that are driving the company’s strategies for future growth?
Vaibhav: Increasing Internet usage and acceptance of Digital Marketing pan India are driving the companies strategies for future growth. Internet users are expected to rapidly rise and reach 627 million by the end of 2019 covering up all the rural areas. It will increase the number of online buying as well as information sharing footfall; ultimately which will create the need to accept and adopt Digital Marketing Strategies to run businesses.
13. What is the company’s competitive advantage? Why will it be sustained?
Vaibhav: Creating localized digital skilled talent for local businesses is the biggest advantage. Local businesses need local support, and we are here to create as well as nurture that supports them.
The market is huge and I don’t see any reason why we won’t be able to sustain this. We are going to win this. 😀
14. What do you do when you’re not at work?
Vaibhav: Travel, Eat, & Create better Educational Product. As an Entrepreneur, you can’t stay out of work even if you are not doing it. Your mind or body might be somewhere else but your heart always pushes you to find a reason to connect it with your startup and see everything is going up to the mark.
15. Last but not least what would be your advice to all those budding entrepreneurs?
Vaibhav: Just stay true to your vision & live your startup.
Don’t get afraid of the outcome. Get into bad situations and failures but do not feel bad about it. These decisions will help you to bring out the best in you and your work.
If it was simple it would have been done already. There is a reason you choose it. Stick to it & Live it.