Category Archives: Interviews

Manu Srikumar, Denture Capital

An exclusive interview with Manu Srikumar, Hustler at ‘denture Capital’

There is no doubt that startup ecosystem in India is buzzing like never before. Hence, we have seen various initiatives around entrepreneurship being nurtured across the country. Rightly so, these initiatives help both budding and established entrepreneurs to network, exchange thoughts and provide a helping hand to each other. Some of the major startup oriented initiatives are YourStory, NextBigWhat, TechCircle, TiE, The Startup Centre, Startup Saturday etc. The common elements that cuts across these initiatives are events, meetups, online publications, investor meetups etc. Its indeed a crowded space where every initiative is trying its best to build a strong network of entrepreneurs and support them.

Recently, I came across this new initiative called denture Capital floated by Manu Srikumar. I have known Manu for last couple of years. Once over a casual chat on one of the social networks, when he shared the news about him having quit Doctor’s Circle. However, he quickly added that, he would soon return with an exciting project. And weeks after, with no further surprise, it was denture Capital. Unlike other publication outlets, he has taken a very different route by creating short videos, featuring him, where he almost plays the role of a standup comedian, but conveys all recent updates from the entrepreneurship world. Manu through his videos has featured startups, shared updates about funding and lot more about startups in the country. Recently he did a crazy video with Shraddha Sharma, Founder & CEO at YourStory, which can’t be described, but has to be viewed!

Liked the video? Now, let’s move on to know more about denture Capital from the man himself

Explain what is denture Capital in 140 characters! ?

denture Capital is a weekly show on startups. The brain tonic for the upstart!

What is the vision of ‘denture Capital’?

To be the most loved show on startups.

What are three things that an entrepreneur can expect from ‘denture Capital’?

He/she can have a good time and laugh on a Friday evening, get featured if he/she is doing good work and keep updated on things happening around him/her.

How is ‘denture Capital’ differently positioned with respect to other startup/entrepreneurship oriented communities and initiatives?

While startups are different from the corporate, startup media still remains corporatish. We want to present it startupish.

What were your thoughts behind launching a series of video content for entrepreneurship space?

Content consumption patterns are changing. People are watching more and more video. We wanted to do a show around this that people love and look forward to. We also felt our audience will definitely have some takeaways from watching the show.

Tell us something about the jovial tone all ‘denture Capital’ videos are based so far. Will you continue to do so in future? Do you sense a challenge in sustaining this tone for long term?

denture Capital is a refreshing take on startup news and parody. More than jovial, we try to keep it simple and easy to comprehend. In the process, we add a lot of fun. Yes, we will continue the same tone for the show.

We are inherently funny people! I don’t think it will be difficult sustaining the tone.

Was it a conscious choice of not launching a website first? If yes, what’s your strategy behind it?

I think the goal for any company should be to do an MLP, a Minimum Lovable Product. Work on things that are your core. Though a website is definitely up on the cards, our initial goal was to see if our videos are loved by the audience. Now that we know they are, we will build a website.

Plus, since we are in distributed content, we exist where our audience hangs out. So, our focus will be more on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other forms of new media.

What’s the thought behind a lowercase ‘d’ and an uppercase ‘C’ in ‘denture Capital’?

To get people thinking! Look, we made you think because we did this differently.

Are you keen on hiring (or looking for contributors) and expanding the team? If yes, in what profiles?

We look for Hustlers. We believe skills can be taught. We don’t mind hiring Hustlers and then training them on video production, community engagement and other skills that we will need in the future as we grow.

Loved the concept? Go, now and subscribe ‘denture Capital’ on YouTube and don’t miss the next video from them! If you intend to join Manu’s gang and contribute, connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Thank you Manu, for your kind gesture to share details about ‘denture Capital’. I am sure ‘denture Capital’ would do wonders in the weeks to come. All the best!

Excerpts from my interview published with CareerBuilder

In the cut-throat competitive industry of job-boards in the country CareerBuilder is the new entrant. Each of the player in the industry Naukri (still enjoys the market leader position), Monster, Shine, Timesjobs etc. have come up with unique marketing campaigns. Specially the famous Hari Sadu TVC by Naukri has been talked at length and wide cited. In recent times, Shine has come up with few interesting TVCs. CareerBuilder is a very strong brand in the US, very similar to Monster. However, they have joined the party late in India. Recently, they came up with a content driven campaign – #KnowTheProfession. As part of this campaign they interviewed experts from various professions to highlight the details about the particular profession, recent trends, skill sets required for the profession etc. The various professional skills covered as of this blogpost was written were – Hospitality Consultant, Modeling, PR and Events, Data Analytics, Shooting, Singing, Journalism, Theatre, Photography, Entrepreneurship and Car Racing etc. CareerBuilder conducted my interview for Social Media as a Career section. A few excerpts of the interview is mentioned below, while the complete interview can be found here.

     How can a fresher kick off with your career option?

     Ok, I would here address 4 different avenues that would help every fresher to make a kick start. These are:

  • Understand the functionality of each platform
  • Understand how users interact with each platform
  • Have some empathy towards users be it any product category you deal with
  • Treat human beings as ‘human beings’ and not just as customers, who pay few bucks for your products/services.

      What advice would you like to give to the newbie who wants to make a mark in this domain?

      My advice would be:

  • Respect fellow human beings as ‘human being’ and not as my client’s customer or my end customer
  • Empathize with the end customer and you will be able to deliver the best
  • Invest your efforts to learn the functionality of the platforms to the best
  • Try to map the functionality of the platform with the human behavior
  • Tie the marketing objectives with the social media objectives

     Would you like to share some thoughts on the pros and cons of social media/digital media censorship?

     Pros:

  • It will help in avoiding certain crimes and will seed further confidence in people to participate in this medium
  • The ecosystem will have good quality content
  • Communication can happen in a seamless manner and with much better reliability

      Cons:

  • It might curtail the basic motivation (and Right!) that users have to share information
  • The digital divide might increase to a greater extent, hence harming the social ecosystem at large

      Any funny/memorable/fandom moment you encountered? Would you please like to share?

      Two of my last three jobs were due to my presence on Twitter. I can share both memorable moments –

      a) I am approached by the HR team of an organization for a vacancy at their place and I end up having unfavourable experience with them. I tweeted about it and was surprised to get a call from the co-founder of the organization. I am invited for a talk and I end up joining that organization.

       b) I participated in #CoolestInterviewEver Twitter recruitment exercise conducted by HCL Technologies. Over 88,000 candidates across the World participated in this two month long recruitment process which was held on Twitter and I managed to emerge as the only winner with a package of USD 75,000 and a year, long contract with HCL.

I hope youngsters who are aiming this profession as their career choice would find this interview useful. In case you have any further doubts or queries, feel free to interact with me here or on Twitter!

Interview on ‘Why Businesses Must Consider Social Media?’ with Vyapaari.in

It is always fun and a proud moment to be interviewed by someone. Recently I was interviewed (by email) by Vyapaari.in an online media property that publishes various informative news, discussions, blogposts, product reviews etc. that are helpful for startups, and small & medium businesses.

The theme of interview was Why Businesses Must Consider Social Media? In this interview I shared my views on following topics:

  1. Relevance of social media for startup and SME businesses in India
  2. Differential advantage that brands can reap from social meia viz-a-viz traditional media channels
  3. Importance of specific social media channels for SME businesses
  4. Effectiveness of social media for B2C vs B2B businesses
  5. Metrics to measure effectiveness of social media campaigns
  6. Crucial role that content plays in social media strategy
  7. Proportion of social media in the overall marketing budget

Read the interview here, and I hope the thoughts expressed by me in the interview are helpful.