January 13, 2019

Rajan Srinivasan is the Founder & CEO of Spiral Content Solutions. Being one of the pioneer content marketing specialists of India, he has donned the entrepreneurial hat only recently. His team launched India’s first platform driven content marketplace ‘Scatter’ with the goal of helping brands discover, curate and create content which results in engaging consumer experiences. He has been one of the keynote speakers in the recently held Digital Marketing Summit 2018. Rajan had an insightful conversation with Bangladesh Brand Forum during the summit, excerpts of which follow.

Bangladesh Brand Forum: Briefly tell us about your career journey.

Rajan Srinivasan: I worked in 7 companies before I started my own company. At the age of 20, I started off with the Indian express and spent almost 3 years, followed by a small tenure at Sony. The responsibilities I had at Indian Express and Sony, are now working as the foundation blocks for my business. I also worked at BBC, Dot Com, and MTV in different tenures. Finally, I joined Network18 where I spent 10 years of my career. During those years, I worked in Sales & Marketing, Profit & Loss, and eventually became the CEO of CNN India’s website.

What made you shift from Network18?

Actually, there were certain circumstances. I don’t think I was happy donning the hat of a CEO of a very large place with several more CEOs. Because, it doesn’t give the freedom to move and the complete control to handle the overall P&L activities. Also, after spending 10 years in a single company, I had the feeling that it could make more sense by figuring out what’s next. So all these things came together and I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was scared about it and I didn’t have that idea if I could be that strong enough to run my own business. However, I saw the content opportunity and I knew that the content, as an opportunity, will stay. And that’s the reason I started Scatter.

What were the immediate circumstances after starting scatter?

The first few months I was funding the whole business by myself. The major difficulty was to let people come in at much lesser salaries. Luckily, I was able to do it. The second difficulty I faced is that, almost everyone told me that my business will not work. So, building up the mentality to overlook such negativity was a great challenge.

You started like 20-25 years back when people weren’t much well-versed about content strategy. So, how would you define content with that notion?

Content is like the universe. What you started off yesterday, and what you will do tomorrow are a lot more different. Previously, people called content as an interview or as an advertisement. Today, almost everything is coming under this umbrella called content. This, however, keeps expanding along with the number of people talking about it. It’s no longer about the consumer. Content can be used to current and future target employees also. It can be considered for greater digital transformation as well. At present, it is miles ahead what advertisements can do.

As the consumers, who are at the receptor side of content, are changing, what do you think is the most important thing for developing an engaging content?

Content needs to be meaningful, timely, consistent – overall it needs to follow a journey. Say for example, if I have bought a house, and now you are giving me a home-loan content, I will not be interested in it. So, it needs to be on time. Content can play like a very defining role. It becomes excellent when it becomes able to answer the questions the consumers are asking. Besides these, content needs to have continuous engagement to be in the mind of the consumers.

Let’s talk about your company, Scatter. How is it helping its clients?

We are helping clients to do lot more meaningful conversations. In the past, maybe three or four advertising campaigns were run throughout a year. But now we are creating 10 blog posts a day to keep the engagement level high. There are 2 sides of it – service side and platform side. Both the sides work towards first level education for clients on why and how they need to use content, procure contents and measure them. We make sure content that starts with a line ends up being a movie or video.

How do you feel joining Digital Marketing Summit 2018?

I have been involved with Digital Summits for the last 12 years or so. I think these summits are extremely important. Unlike most other markets, digital market requires to have new conversation. Considering the fact, digital conferences need to be on regular basis. It was refreshing to see so much enthusiasm throughout the summit. I must say Digital Marketing Summit is quite like a world-class summit.

Do you have any advice for the future generation?

Today, there are so many more opportunities out there. They should look ahead 5/10 years from now to make themselves future-proof. As many things can suddenly go out of a window, they should start working in a digital manner from today.

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