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Panel Discussion On Growth Hacking At TiEcon Delhi 2014

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Growth Hacking is not a new term anymore. Every company is trying one or the other hack to accelerate their growth. Not just companies but it has become very essential for every professional to work as a growth hacker so as to hack their individual growth as well as company’s growth. However, most of the time people are not aware of how to hack a growth and how to implement the same.

Hence, one of the panel discussions on growth hacking at TiEcon Delhi 2014 as part of TiE Institute track helped participants in developing an understanding about the same. This interactive workshop enriched participant’s knowledge about growth hacking from some great insights and live examples provided by panel of industry experts like Gaurav Bhatnagar, MD, TBOHolidays.com; Amit Jain, Car Dekho; Pradeep Chopra, Co Founder, Digital Vidya; and Amit Ranjan, Co Founder, Slideshare.

Amit Ranjan, Co Founder, Slideshare started this discussion on growth hacking and shared a lot of insightful moments during the session. As per Amit, ‘Growth hacking is not very different from marketing as marketing is about getting into its users. However, growth hacking is all about using hacks which can deliver very high impact.’ He called it almost a philosophy. He further explained that in traditional marketing, you have a product and you look at how people look for this product while in growth hacking, you build a product which people want. He shared some of his experiences of hack as well.

In 2007, Slideshare started when Facebook, Twitter etc. were not active as they are now. But in 2008, they used to create a nice email with some very good content placed nicely in it and started sending it to people. Later on, people started taking screenshots and sharing on twitter etc. For him, this was his hack.

Gaurav Bhatnagar, MD, TBOHolidays.com had different say altogether about growth hacking. He said that, ‘For me growth hacking means reaching huge numbers with almost zero marketing.’ As per him, in travel business, you need to collect cash from your clients for which Gaurav and his company created a hack of b2b2 solutions, where they allowed local entrepreneurs to become mini consolidation.

Another hurdle and example shared by Gaurav was that the travel agents are selling air ticket which has very less margin and their company wanted them to sell hotels as well. But they had no idea about it. So, here was another hack created by them on e-ticket. They chose specific hotels in the destination in which traveler was going and asked him/her that if he/she wish to book this good hotel and suggested the traveler to reach to his/her travel agent to book the same. This became an inbound lead for agents and it was again a zero cost innovation from their company.

On the other hand, Amit Jain, CEO, Car Dekho had a completely different story to narrate about growth hacking. His journey from 7 million to 14 million is very different all together. As per him, everyone is a growth hacker. He further shared some more stories of his success and hacks. He told that he had only innovation to play around as he had no money. He had 100 people in SEO team and emphasized it as a process. As per Amit, they had 5 lakh downloads from SEO team’s support in last three months so that was growth hack for him.

Another great example shared by him was his experience in his own native place. He is from Jaipur and in his base city; he was struggling and was giving all the ‘gyan’ to local people to become their clients but nothing happened. So that’s where an idea came up in his mind. He asked them that where they invest their money. So, his clients said that they get ads published in newspapers etc. and that was the time when he again implemented another hack. He said ‘Ok! Let’s have a Car Mela’, which actually worked for him.

However, he strongly feels that each one who is trying to hack growth should fail multiple times to become a growth hacker because growth hacker is the one who fails again and again and then get one success out of 10 attempts.

Pradeep Chopra, CEO, Digital Vidya; however, started by sharing some important aspects related to Growth Hacking:

  • He reinforced the point stated earlier by Amit Ranjan that ‘Growth Hacking is less about specific techniques or hacks but really about having the Attitude to disrupt growth’
  • He also highlighted the interesting reality about Growth Hacking that ‘By the time most of the Growth Hacks come in public, they lose their value’
  • Also, he emphasized that Growth Hack could also mean being the first/earlier one to leverage a technique in a vertical. He shared that BrickRed Software, a Software Development company started by his classmates from IIT leveraged SEM earlier than most of the other players in their industry to generate enormous about of B2B leads. Similarly, they hacked growth by leveraging SEO (though it was an accidental discovery) in year 2001 to create global brand for their first venture, Whizlabs Software.

He then shared two examples: a successful and failed attempt to hack growth:

  1. Success: For their earlier venture about Social Network on Cricket (NotJustScore), they leveraged the ability to automatedly mention socially active cricket enthusiasts on Twitter, who is using certain #tags to acquire new users without any cost.
  2. Failure: Again, for their earlier venture, they tried replicating the approach successfully leveraged by a competitor about generating email databases and targeting people for their technology trainings. While the same technique worked for their competitor, it ended up wasting huge amount of money and time for them. The key message of sharing this experience was that copying a technique of someone else even at the same time doesn’t guarantee success. Every business will have to find their own hack.

This session was; therefore, full of live examples shared by some great industry experts and helped lot of participants in getting an understanding on how to hack growth for them and their respective companies. Interestingly, Digital Vidya has just announced it’s 1st batch of Growth Hacking Coaching Program for those who are serious about learning and leveraging Growth Hacking to disrupt growth.

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