|Roopesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO,
Bureau: When did you decide to take the path of ‘entrepreneurship’ as your
career? Do you remember any special incident?
Agarwal: For me,
starting and building my business is simply like a dream come true but I have
been fortunate enough to experience an exciting entrepreneurial journey so
far. In fact, I was compelled to work
while I was in college as my family was facing financial problems. However,
finding a job was difficult when I enrolled as a 21-year-old student of BSc (Chemistry)
at Lucknow University in 1993. So, I began to scout around for opportunities
that would let me earn enough to support myself, and eventually I realized that
I had to start something of my own.
different ideas, I stepped into the world of publishing advertisements for
clients in various newspapers. In Lucknow, I could well witness a growing
market in front of me followed by the glamour of the giant companies, SMEs and
even individuals flashing massive advertisements to bring out the true essence
of ‘Branding’. This marked the turning point in my life, and I never looked
back while walking on the path to success.
Bureau: Can you briefly tell us more about your startup?
is an initiative of the parent company ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG)
Advertising Pvt. Ltd. which has been breaking new grounds in advertising,
commercials, event management, business promotion and online marketing for over
last 20 years. The portal was launched to provide a convenient net-based
service so that small and medium advertisers do not have run to multiple
publication offices or search for an advertising agency to book ads. The portal
currently serves almost 25,000 registered members, including many NRIs, and
thousands of daily visitors.
secure payment options such as Credit Card, Debit Card, e-banking, Paypal or
Western Union besides cheques and demand drafts. It further lets its customers
avail ‘Cash and Pick-Up’ facility that marked a unique offline dimension for
the first time in India. Advertisers can book ads for multiple newspapers and
locations in a single order.
portal provides ‘Do It Yourself’ facility that further helps in media planning,
buying and creative execution. It also provides 24X7 toll free call and live
chat support. The portal provides tips on how to write an effective
advertisement or design own creative or select from ready templates.
Bureau: How big is your team at present? Are you planning to increase your team
Agarwal: We have a
team of dedicated, highly accredited and skilled group of professionals who
rule the area of expertise with years of experience. At present, we’re a team
of 16 members and looking forward to building a team that focuses exclusively
on tapping the small and medium enterprises for advertisements.
Bureau: Did you get any funding for your startup? What are your plans to
attract funding in the near future?
when I started, the first advertisement that I put up was, of course, my own. I
used Rs. 500, which included my pocket money and money borrowed from my father,
to carry advertisements in a local Hindi paper about my venture, Advertisement
India. The business model was, and remains, the same: for every ad that we get
published in the paper, the client pays us 15% of the fee.
venture, but the fact that I had been running the business successfully for
three years was a big boost to my confidence. I had further managed to widen my
network beyond the Hindi newspapers to the English ones as well as magazines
but I had to fund the expansion plans with my own money. However, as the
business has grown- with 15 employees and about 70 clients, matrimonial ads and
our exclusive doorstep cash pick-up facility apart from others began to
dominate the advertising market and formed the bulk of our revenue. I believe
this segment will emerge as the main source of revenue generation in the
Bureau: What challenges do you face in your daily professional life?
Agarwal: For any
business, challenges are a huge part of the success journey. When I started, I
mostly approached small shops to put up their ads along with matrimonial ads.
It took me one month to get my first client, a video parlour in Lucknow. I got
the ad printed in a local paper for Rs. 60 and earned a commission of Rs. 9.
Initially, I faced such kind of challenges which actually taught me how to
survive in the fast-paced world of business.
challenges that we face is keeping our business models up to date with current
marketing trends while exploring digital space for the proliferation of
Bureau: How do you see yourself in next 2 years from now?
Agarwal: Our business
has been growing in leaps and bounds since its very inception and is expected
to grow at an exponential rate in order to reach more milestones in the near
future. Our team is leaving no stone unturned in exploring diversified areas of
advertisements including real estate, small business, tenders, vacancy,
matrimonial, obituary & remembrances, thanks giving, legal or other
classifieds and small displays in order to emerge as India’s foremost
interactive advertisement booking e-platform.
transform itself into a complete 360-degree media, advertising and marketing
solutions company. It will primarily focus more on customer satisfaction and
brand recall to maintain credibility across the media-advertising fraternity.
Bureau: What are your hobbies in your personal life? Which is your favorite
Agarwal: My hobbies
include reading books, exploring what’s trending in the society and spending
some moments of peace with my family and friends. My favourite holiday
destinations are Nainital and Goa.
Interviewed by- Startup Terminal Bureau