SOCIAL PROMA: Exclusive Interview:Prateek N. Kumar,MD & CEO -NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
An Industry veteran Prateek was in the startup team of Sercon India Pvt. Ltd and was instrumental in setting up company’s branch offices in Mumbai, Bangalore & Chennai, This success led to him being invited to join the core group of Shobiz a Stage management company at that time where he started the Integrated Event Marketing Services Division and converted it into the largest profit centre within the organization both in terms of headcount and revenues within 5 years. With more than 13 Years of Industry expertise Prateek also features as Industry Faculty and have been invited for Guest Lectures in IHM Mumbai, Welingkars, EMDI and other notable Institutions. An avid Blogger, Reader and self-proclaimed Social Media junkie Prateek is very passionate about Animal Rights and welfare and devotes his free time for the betterment of Stray Animals…He lives in Mumbai with his wife 2 Furkids and Twin Sons ….His motto to live this world a bit better than when he arrived here.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
The desire to create something new which was grossly missing in my earlier job, the desire for autonomy, The desire to create an Agency which served all its stakeholders be it Employee, Vendor Partners, Clients and Society and lastly the potent need to leave a legacy in the form of a profitable long-lasting business.
Tell us about the whole team and how do you manage the venture?
Every member of NeoNiche Team lives by the tenets of “Ideas. Innovation. Insight”…..To create something of value you have to first break all set rules ….Out here there is a reverse appraisals, Where subordinates grill their bosses ,No family members of the Directors are allowed to join the Organization which helps us in being rational and transparent at all times……You can understand or culture by the fact that our Directors are known by nicknames like ,”Milestone Man”, “The Firefighter”, “The Go To Guy”, ”Jack of all trades” , “Last Man Standing” and “Mr. Jugaad”… these nicknames came into being because of personal characteristics….I was largely lucky because of the kind of team that is there with me …..In essence very complementary.
Tell us about your three major challenges and how did you overcome them?
Our only major challenge was Money or rather the lack of it, We did not had any money in the beginning and barely pooled in money to form the Company ,To make the company profitable and to break-even faster we decided not to take any salaries for first 6 months ,Brought our Laptops, printers etc. from home to save money .However, we never for a moment doubted that we would not succeed …In retrospect that passion or foolhardiness more than made up for any challenges that we may have faced.
How do you see your business where you have so many big and small competitors in the market?
I believe competition is always good for the Industry and customers that we serve…It keeps you hungry and does not allow you to become complacent ….Moreover, If organization has a value to add it succeeds in a long run.
What is your differentiating factor?
NeoNiche provides services across different spectrum of “Marketing Mix” ….what our clients get is a single window for all their marketing needs ,like On ground Events, Online Digital campaigns ,etc. We understand that the era of rack listed services are gone and you need to first understand the “Brand” and then customize the offering to better suit the people who matter most to them.be it Customer, Channels or the Employees.
How has been response so far for the business?
It is always difficult to score your first win be it hiring the first employee, closing the first Vendor Partner or getting the first project after that if you have delivered it’s just a matter of time before people start trusting you with their “Brand” …..We have been fortunate enough to get clients who trusted us and then spoke about us which helped us in getting more clients.
What are your future plans?
To create more value for the ecosystem that we exist in ,drive more Innovation in the way that we are currently doing business and add more value to the society that we live in.