By @Connectvj –Interview with Devleena Neogi, Co-founder at GingerCup – Coffee Cup Advertising agency.
We interviewed her to know in-depth about her & GINGERCUP. This is the 5th Interview of our Startup Showcase Series.
GingerCup takes marketing up-close and personal by advertising on paper cups. Custom Cup branding helps brands to engage with their customer for nearly 3–5 minutes which is not provided by any other media.
These branded paper cups are provided free of cost at various touch points which help them save a significant cost every month. GingerCup is tied up and made a distribution network of 800+ corporate companies, 1300+ Colleges, IT Parks, Premium Tea Joints, 7+ Airlines, Premium Railways, Shopping Malls etc across the country. GingerCup has distributed over 35 million ‘branded’ paper cups across 40 cities.
Through innovative approaches in targeted outdoor marketing, GingerCup is helping the leading brands succeed.
Explain your professional background briefly, how did you come up with the idea and what lead you to build the company?
I am coming from a Human Resource (Recruitment) background, with 6 Years of experience in recruitment, account management, client servicing.
Deepak is from a technical background and has a decade experience, been a technical lead in Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore
Though we worked in different work environments, our mind was always onto trying something new. We have worked in 2 more different ideas till execution level, fortunately, or unfortunately that didn’t work for us. One day while sitting and chatting over a tea, this idea popped up.
Without wasting much time, we started working on it, did market research and executed it fast. Since then there is no looking back. I sincerely wish to see GingerCup reach the peak of growth and we, along with my team are working hard to make it happen.
How was your first fundraising experience and what problems did you face?
For us, fundraising was quite easy. Both of our investors were observing us for a long time and they even helped us with their advice from time to time.
When we had the discussion for raising money, they both were like how much you are looking for.
After raising funds we have become more meticulous in our expenditure and as now more people are involved in decision making, which actually helps us in developing strategies in a right way.
What challenges do you face within the market and the company?
Innovation and uniqueness have their own challenges. It needs to travel through the pre-judgments of traditional mindsets, needs to break the concepts and if it is able to do so, the glory is with you.
We too had to face the initial jerks to convince the customers for a unique way of advertising. People were excited about this new concept at the same time they wanted others to try it first., we cracked our first deal and the second one and the count is on.
The second challenge which we face is very common and very important almost in every organisation is hiring. Hiring the best talents when you have a limited budget and limited resources. Finding a similar passion and entrepreneurial mind is not a cake walk. We are glad that we have a great team now.
Who are your ideal customers and what difference are you creating for them?
We find our ideal customers on Bill boards, TV, Newspaper, Radio Ads etc. Any company that has a budget for print media, they are our ideal customer segment. We have worked with Companies range from Star Group to bootstrapped start-ups in laundry domain.
Simply having a brand is not enough. We help our customer to constantly build their brand and strengthen its associations in the minds of their target audience at their own comfort places. Our media USP- ability to engage the customer in conversation/Discussion around the brand makes all the difference.
During Tea Break potential customers go on and on in discussion/debates around the topic you want them to discuss. You are getting undivided attention of your TG for 5-10 mins of time and that too in ads free zone like corporate offices, what else you want then.
How effective do you think is the personalized branding strategy and how has it impacted startup ecosystem?
Branding is ‘The Most’ important thing in marketing for all business, no matter how established, new or big or small. To attract new customers and retain existing ones, you need to make it clear why you are different from the rest. There are number of competitors who provide same product/services that you do.
You need to provide a different experience from the rest. It’s very important to create & develop a solid and unique brand identity. To address a unique market with unique agenda you simply cannot avoid a well-executed personalised brand.
We focus on a customised and much personalised branding for each client. For That, we have a strong distribution network through which we are able to cater client of different taste.
How has the company grown over the years?
We have started from zero and now we have a presence in 40 cities, partnered with 800+ Corporate companies, 1300+ Colleges, IT Parks, Premium Tea Joints, 7+ Airlines, Premium Railways, Shopping Malls. We have worked for — clients so far and distributed 35 million GingerCups across India.
We have raised 2 rounds of seed funding and we are profitable from day one.
What is your ultimate vision?
We want to see custom cup advertising as a popular and traditional media of advertising and It should be the first choice for every marketer for their branding & promotional activities.
What advice would you like to give the entrepreneurs who are planning to launch their own venture?
Start fast, move fast and decide fast. Focus on “are you really solving the problem? And “how you can create a ‘hassle-free experience’ for your customer”.
Don’t get hurry on fundraising. Focus on your product/service and focus on customer’s overall experience. Make a profitable business model, try not to be dependent on external funds to sustain.
Strictly stay away from mental pollution. Take a good care of your mental and physical health. Eat healthy and put fitness in your priority list for your mind, body and spirit.
A healthy leadership requires a healthy leader because, success is not much based on capital and revenues, but more upon the ability of the leaders, players and transformers of the society.This startup connects Brands with their customer with a unique product for advertising - via @bizztor_in Click To Tweet
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