“As a marketer, it made sense to try to construct a $1 billion model with Meesho”: Fortunate Saini


We profile social buying platform Meesho’s newly appointed VP and head of name advertising, who moved from Vedantu.

Few folks have had the chance to work throughout totally different sectors. Fortunate Saini is one such particular person. It may very well be attributed to good timing, his arduous work and a wholesome dose of being ‘fortunate’.

Simply final week, Saini introduced that he can be becoming a member of Meesho as VP and head of name advertising. In his new position, he can be answerable for main all brand-building efforts to assist customers familiarise themselves with the app. It is part of the quickly evolving social commerce class.

That is Saini’s second stint within the e-commerce sector. Earlier, he spent over 4 years at Flipkart in varied roles, from advertising to model technique.

Previous to becoming a member of Meesho, Saini was the model head at Vedantu, from September 2020 onwards. From April 2019 to June 2020, he labored at Dentsu Slingshot, the place he led the digital and advertising options unit of Dentsu India.

Earlier than becoming a member of Dentsu, he labored at Manipal World Training as assistant model supervisor. Previous to that, he labored at Ogilvy and Mather as an account supervisor, from October 2012 to August 2014.

An Indian social commerce platform, Meesho was co-founded in 2015 by two IIT Delhi graduates. Its mannequin allows sellers to listing their companies and wares on the platform. They will then begin on-line shops over social channels like WhatsApp, Fb and Instagram, which in time period permits them to make gross sales.

Meesho follows a zero-commission mannequin in a bid to get micro, small and medium companies on to the platform.

Once we caught up with Saini over a name, he stated that Meesho isn’t totally different from his previous work within the e-commerce house.

“There are only a few corporations in India which are attempting to unravel India-specific issues and construct distinctive fashions that are tailored for these issues. Meesho will assist broaden my studying canvas to construct a model for the Indian lots.”

In accordance with Saini, probably the most fascinating a part of Meesho is that it’s attempting to construct a mannequin which is appropriate for a really particular Indian use case. It intends to democratise commerce for a big part of customers in addition to sellers.

“A really giant part of Indian sellers belongs to the small and medium enterprises class. These micro, small and medium enterprises don’t actually get a lot focus from main e-commerce gamers within the nation. They might not have the ability to make earnings in the event that they attempt to promote their gadgets on e-commerce websites.”

“Well-liked e-commerce platforms are inclined to give attention to giant companies as a result of that’s the place they will get gross sales and commissions from.”

He explains that Meesho takes particular use instances, the place it may construct infrastructure for the sellers and join them with enterprise house owners from Tier-II and III cities. They need to arrange their very own companies, however don’t have the capital to take action. Firms like Fb and Softbank at the moment are backing Meesho.

“I’m excited to hitch the workforce as a result of it’s formidable and grounded, when it comes to understanding India’s three aspiration pillars. Personally, as a marketer, it made sense to try to construct a $1 billion model. Not often do you get the chance to create a model like Meesho. The Meesho mannequin has no additional fee. There is no such thing as a price of warehousing and I see it as a unbelievable alternative to unlock development.”

Saini’s first stint within the e-commerce house was with Flipkart for nearly 5 years, from 2014 to 2018. “It was a particularly satisfying place for me work-wise as a result of we centered on setting the tone for opening up of e-commerce, creating habits and, in a method, democratising e-commerce in India.”

He gained publicity to numerous model experiences, together with engaged on the model repositioning/refresh in 2018. His duties additionally included advertising and making a buzz across the cell class. It was a low-budget train, however an enormous studying expertise for him.

“The size of the Large Billion Days is big. In a matter of 10 days, it’s a must to attain all of India, create a number of property, play the personalisation sport, and many others. We crafted a singular advertising playbook throughout a excessive competitors festive season. It was a giant excessive for us at that time of time.”

Saini provides that the expertise taught him tips on how to deal with excessive price range advertising (upwards of Rs 100 crore) and low price range advertising too.

“It made me a really rounded marketer. It gave me energy in buyer acquisition, model technique, advertising, and so forth. It additionally helped me collect expertise – from gross sales and tactical giant spike occasions.”

A glimpse of his time within the edtech sector

Vedantu was a brief stint, filled with learnings for Saini. The distinction between edtech and e-commerce is within the stage of buyer involvement. Edtech is a excessive involvement class. The stakes are excessive stakes, and so is the competitors.

Saini states that Vedantu’s enterprise mannequin is predicated on fixing issues for the training wants of kids. It covers early studying, all the way in which to medical, or IIT teaching.

In accordance with him, model constructing was essential as a result of training is one class the place the model itself performs a giant position.

“Individuals pay a better premium for an training model – consider the likes of IIT, Harvard, and so forth. Some huge cash goes into selecting credible manufacturers that service studying wants. With Vedantu, we had the chance to kind of set the tone for the model. We had the chance to work on the early campaigns once I joined within the first few months.”

“The factor is, folks don’t consider promoting with regards to training manufacturers. So, we needed to ensure that our advert didn’t sound like an advert and was conversational in nature. That’s how the marketing campaign with (Bollywood star) Aamir Khan took place.”

“I’ve had the possibility to dabble in entrepreneurship, because of my stint at Dentsu Slingshot. From a studying perspective, I felt like I used to be sort of plateauing. That’s when Kunal (Dubey) and I ventured out and began our personal advertising options firm, known as Dentsu India Slingshot.”

Saini claims it made sense, versus beginning a separate enterprise. Slingshot was the primary company to supply holistic options – from artistic to technique, and extra.

“We scaled it up fairly far, taking it from a zero to a 25-member workforce. Inside a 12 months, we had shoppers like JBL, Flipkart and Myntra.”

Throughout considered one of his earlier stints, Saini labored at Star TV as an space supervisor in Mumbai. He was answerable for gross sales, income, and managing commerce on floor.

“I learnt loads, when it comes to managing folks, gross sales, income on a big scale foundation. I used to be contemporary out of faculty, and getting an expertise like that goes a great distance. Nonetheless, I used to be clear from the start that I needed to construct a profession in client advertising – that’s what fascinated me.”

He determined to construct a profession in advertising, and realised that he wanted to study the ropes of promoting, client behaviour and pondering. That is when he joined a small company, known as Autumn Worldwide.

“Ultimately, the entity was purchased by the Gray group. Once I made the choice to work there, everybody was stunned… They informed me it was not a good suggestion, however I used to be clear on what I needed to do. I knew that it might repay in the long term.”

It was when he was working with Autumn in Bangalore that the chance to work at Ogilvy took place.

“Ogilvy is to promoting what Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is to advertising. It’s like a faculty the place folks study communication methods, client behaviour and promoting. It launched me to a structured, but thrilling world of constructing manufacturers via promoting. We realized about manufacturers, their downside statements and tried to know how they might get solved through promoting options.”

Saini calls working with Dubey an essential a part of his profession.

“He’s the left mind to my proper mind. We take a look at issues from totally different views. We actually grew after we had been with one another. Working collectively actually helped us develop as entrepreneurs. He’s like my sparring accomplice, in that sense. We maintain bouncing concepts off one another, brainstorming, discussing information and so forth. We grew collectively on this journey.”

Dubey joined Flipkart concurrently Saini did – in 2014.

“We had been capable of convey totally different ability units to the desk. I introduced in new concepts from a artistic and a model perspective, and he introduced in concepts from a brand new media and enterprise understanding perspective. That’s why we work so effectively collectively,” Saini indicators off.


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