Entrepreneurship

NetElixir: How to execute a digital marketing strategy

Podcast
image of Udayan Bose to support article on how to deliver a digital marketing strategy
May 31, 2021

In this podcast we talk with Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir, a digital marketing company.

What you will learn from this podcast

Udayan and Bhairav talk through:

  1. How you should approach a paid digital strategy
  2. How you can differentiate yourself through paid advertising, and
  3. What the changes to 3rd party cookies means for your marketing strategy

Why you should listen to this podcast

Udayan Bose founded NetElixir with a vision to provide online marketers worldwide with a paid search campaign optimization solution capable of delivering magical performance. He recognized the potential of search marketing as an essential advertising channel in 2004. Having experienced first-hand the complexity involved in running a profitable paid search campaign, he was driven to develop a system that delivers predictable and efficient campaign performance, allowing marketers to fully leverage the power of paid search as a high value sales generator.

Prior to starting NetElixir, Udayan was Director of Business Development for PartyGaming, the world’s largest online gaming company. In this role he was responsible for building a new business unit from scratch, PartyBingo that went on to become a major revenue generator for the Company.

Udayan regularly lectures the MBA classes at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University; Zicklin School of Business, Baruch, NY and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes and Time magazines.

Podcast Transcript: How to execute a digital marketing strategy

If you would prefer to read, rather than listen, here is the transcript.

Bhairav:

Welcome everybody. I’m here today with Udayan Bose from NetElixir. Say hello Udayan.

Udayan:

Hi Bhairav. Thanks for having me on this podcast.

Bhairav:

This is going to be an interesting podcast, because you have been involved in digital marketing, since 2004. So that’s huge, please tell us more about your experience in digital marketing.

Udayan:

So my first brush into digital marketing was with a company called Party Gaming, which was the world’s largest online gaming company. So I was lucky enough to be a part of the founding team. I was there for about a year and a half and then moved on to start NetElixir.

Bhairav:

So it’s an amazing story. I mean, with such experience, I think what I want to do on this podcast is really explore digital marketing and take it from a startup or a small business point of view, because there’s so much written and talked about digital marketing and how to make a difference and how to spend money, that it’s very, very confusing.

It’s a very confusing landscape and it’s hard for people to know what is the right advice or what is just a fluff that people talk about. And given the fact that you’ve been involved with this since 2004, you obviously have seen all the trends and you probably understand this better than almost anyone else, I would’ve come across.

Well. Before we get into the main story, now you touched on a little bit starting at NetElixir, can you tell us why you decided to start this in 2004? Because the landscape would have been very very different and quite barren. What gave you the idea to start in NetElixir then?

Udayan:

As I mentioned about Party Gaming, I ran Party Bingo for the company and back then, I think Google was still extremely small and I was also sort of leading the marketing initiatives of the company as well.

And then, that’s where we sort of saw that Pay Per Click advertising, was getting interesting because until that time you remember Bhairav, way back in 2003, it was more of an impression based or a view based advertising, essentially the CPM models. I think then, the advertiser has to pay only when someone clicks on an ad, which seemed to be a pretty direct expression of the intent effectively. So we just sort of took a plunge on that, thinking very simply on the fact that why should Bhairav click on an ad if he doesn’t want to, right? And people can click on an ad out of interest of finding out more as well, and this seemed to be an interesting business model for us. So with that in mind, we sort of moved on from Party Gaming to start this company.

And we really launched about eight months before Google did it’s IPO. So it was like July or August 2004. We just got the timing right. So like with most parts about startups, I think timing is critical.

Bhairav:

I was listening recently to a business daily, one of the BBC shows, and it was talking about the myth of online advertising. So there is a question that asked as to can we trust the analytics that we get from people at Google or Facebook. And do we really know what underlies that? So for example, we know we spend a lot of our marketing budget based on what we’re being told, but how accurate is the information that we’re being given about people, who they are, where they’re coming from, their age, et cetera, et cetera.

So from your perspective, having run this business for a number of years. I mean obviously what your business is doing is helping people optimize their, the paid ads and the campaign ads. What do you tell people when they’re looking to set something up and have questions like: How should they start gathering information? Should they rely solely on things like Google analytics, Facebook etc? Is there anything else that they can do? How do they, how do they start beginning to build up their campaigns?

Udayan:

I’ll try to answer this question on two parts.

So effectively, if you look at digital marketing and first of all, putting it in a relative context. You have the entire world of advertising and advertising for most parts was almost like throwing mud at the wall and hoping something sticks, but the measurability was not as high now with digital marketing, the measurability went onto a different level altogether, we can easily track measure and everything.

In certain cases, I would probably almost argue that it went a little too far, and that’s the reason all these companies hit that big privacy wall, essentially because of which now the world will be moving from a third party cookies into a first party. I think a lot of the companies went a little bit too far. So, but having said that if you really look at the situation, it’s still very measurable.

Now what we really have to put it in perspective is really leading to the desired outcome that you’re thinking of. So just think of it in this way. You’re spending X dollars or X pounds, and you are getting a certain amount of overall revenue in return. Is there a very clear match? Are you able to justify that? And if you’re able to justify that, I think that digital advertising is definitely working for you. So this is a very clear proof that explains that the model has been validated, because it works, it sort of leads to outcomes, and you can really quantify the revenue.

So in terms of just availability of all the data which Google and Facebook provides, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment too much on this part, but all the digital marketers whether it be us or any other company, we sort of work with that data. I guess, if we are focusing on the outcome, the single point that we ask is if we are investing X dollars and we are getting Y dollars in return, does it really make sense. If it makes sense, then digital marketing works in a very holistic sense.

These days, I think, digital marketing is something which we have been seeing a massive rush of people getting in. There’s a bit of a migration almost from traditional media advertising onto these level. It really has accelerated.

When it comes to the e-commerce space, we have really seen some abnormal spikes in how much people are investing and what not. So understandably, for someone new to the industry. It may seem a little bit too overwhelming. So I really want to just take maybe two minutes to simplify the entire process. And the first processes is, I mean, we, we use a framework which now has been tested over 17 years. Now we just call it the GOST model.

Start with a very specific Goal or an Objective, what exactly do we want to achieve in terms of a certain revenue number. If there is a secondary metric, let’s say return on investment or cost per acquisition, be very clear on that. And it has to be an absolute number. So it should not be a range of this or a percentage increase of that.

Let’s say that, I want $3 million from my digital marketing spend, and I am really willing to spend a cost per acquisition of this on a per click basis, et cetera, et cetera. We’ll be very specific on this thing. Then the second part, and this is something probably one of the things that we have been really sort of preaching out here and everywhere in the workshops that we are doing, do not dive into the channels at that point in time. Just ask yourself the question, how exactly will you get to that goal?

So, I’m talking about questions like: What are the Strategic initiatives that you would really need to follow to get to your goals? And strategic initiative is not starting off a campaign in Facebook, starting up a campaign in Google, that’s basically more of a tactic. So initiative can be, I will really increase maybe my market presence or my market share, and it can even be something like: I really want to go after several customer segments and win more from this particular segment. It can also be, introducing a new product in the market and maybe looking to increase the adoption rate up this month. So whatever it is, start with the bigger business goals. So if you start with a goal and then you come up with the strategic initiatives. then those initiatives have to add up to your overall goals, isn’t it?

So let us see, you’re targeting a particular market again, I’m just giving a simple example from the US, let’s take for example that you want to target New York and LA. What is the overall incremental business that you are expecting to get from these two markets? You would really have a definite number wouldn’t you?. What is the incremental revenue that you are able to probably expect by selling a certain category of product? Again, you have an incremental number, and once you have the initiative, then go onto the next one, we just call it Tactics. So how exactly are we going to increase the number of customers who shopped from your brand from your site in LA or in New York, this is when you get into the tactics. I’ll do Facebook advertising, but I’ll be very specifically geo-targeting, I’ll do Google advertising, either focusing on these zip codes and so on.

Those are the things and breaking it down granularly would be very helpful. The last part probably is the most important one, measure each and everything. So really have a KPI for each one of the tactics, like when you’re running a Facebook ad, it would really be good to have a idea: I want to invest X dollars to get Y dollars in return. It is a very specific metric to see as how you’re competing and then really just focus on the execution constantly on this.

So that is one advice that I would have for anyone starting with digital advertising, break it down into minute plans and really sort of measure against the plan.

The second part is that, there are a lot of tools out there, in fact one of the sites that we launched way back almost 10 years back in 2012, was a site called nxrmarketplace.com.

This was just entirely, almost similar to that entire concept of giving back, essentially. So we said that we have been a startup for a very long time and effectively, we struggle to identify those right digital marketing tools, whether it is SEO, paid search, social media, we asked ourselves, why don’t we utilize our strengths in technology building as well as digital marketing. And so now, we have currently got about 35 digital marketing tools, and the best part is that all of them are free. There is no cost, no charge at all. So this is something that can be a very useful way of sort of getting into digital marketing and just to expand your presence without really having to spend.

Bhairav:

Yeah, so this is very interesting because, everything that you’ve mentioned here around goals, tactics and measuring is basic business, right? It’s something that you should be doing regardless. And I think what tends to happen is when you start talking about digital marketing and paid advertising, the conversation changes to click through rates and CPM, as you mentioned before, and everyone suddenly throws out the window all of the traditional business things like asking yourself if you’re getting return on investment, which is a key one, isn’t it? Everyone starts talking about, well, have you got your Facebook groups set up, Instagram channels set up and no one, and, this is one of the things I’ve had to constantly battle with people when I’ve been talking to them in Atom. For example, we’ve been doing our digital marketing and people say, why haven’t you got Instagram set up?

I reply to that asking, well what’s my return on investment in Instagram? Are my key target acquisitions there. If they are, how much are they spending? Where are they? What would I need to do to get in front of them? What’s the actual goal for this? And everyone says, well, no, you need to have it because everyone else is on it. And I think that’s where everyone is affected by FOMO, Fear of missing out.

Udayan:

I completely agree with you on that, so I think one of the struggles that we have now faced over 17 years is justproving to people that there is nothing scary about it. I think unfortunately there are not a lot of folks who just try to make it too difficult, but as you rightly mentioned, basic business fundamentals, there is nothing scary about it.

As long as you are in control of your goals and you have the control of how much money you are making for the amount you invest, that’s pretty much what it is. Like all of these channels have tactics and you can really find out many experts. I’m pretty sure if we can have someone of a different level of expertise, but where people get it wrong, is when they jump into tactics without really getting the goals, objectives, and the strategic initiatives right.

Bhairav:

I completely agree with you because I think it’s strange that you focus on the actual measurements. You concentrate on the conversion rate of 3.4%, or I’ve got a hundred visitors to my website and people tend to forget that you can have a conversion rate of 1%.

If 1% hits your targets, then that’s fine.

Udayan:

People have gotten too embroiled in the tactical part and tactical measurement, like 3.4 % for a campaign, but what is the context from that perspective, what is it you want to achieve? I don’t know whether it is good or bad, but if you really put in the context, maybe all of your other campaign ends up doing 10% percent, does it look great now?

And it can actually look even better if all of the other campaigns that you’re running is 0.5%. I think a lot of people get too mired in the outcomes rather than focusing on creating a process and a system which drives predictable revenue.

So if there was one message which I wanted to communicate to all of your listeners is it is possible in digital marketing and we have done it, or I have personally done it for 17 years at NetElixir – there is a system and method in which you can run predictably and consistently profitable digital marketing strategies.

I think this simplistic framework can really help you as a first step, but don’t get too mired with the outcomes because outcome just probably can help or hurt your blood pressure. Other than that, I don’t think it really have too much of a meaning.

Bhairav:

Yeah, I hundred percent agree. I think it’s a weird thing about technology, right? As soon as you start to put the word digital into something and suddenly everyone starts thinking completely differently. So can you talk through a bit around that, how do you engage with customers?

Because obviously if you go to your website, you can see some of the results that you’ve given to the likes of Lenovo and Kansas City state. You can see that you’ve really made an impact there, which looks like a dream, right? Anyone you’re looking at our website goes, Hey, I want a piece of this. So, what’s your magic formula? What do you do when you engage with clients?

Udayan:

I think the first part is, a pain point that I had observed, and it simultaneously became one of the key drivers of starting NetElixir. So at Party Gaming, for example, we used to spend a lot. I mean, we were one of the 10 top advertisers in Yahoo at that time.

So one of the things that I struggled with was, the marketing agency did not spend enough time trying to understand my business. They didn’t even ask me enough questions. So that is what has really led to the foundation of NetElixir. We start almost like that very experienced family physician that you seen while growing up, who will sit by your bedside when you are sick and really sort of feels your pulse and just patiently listens to what challenges you have.

The first part is as simple as that, understanding as to what Lenovo’s goals were. So we always start with a simple question, what do you want to achieve today? And where do you see really Lenovo’s growth in X years. So we were able to get that perspective. And then we asked ton of questions about who are the customers? What are some of the key differentiators you have? What is your overall product launch plan or pattern? What geographies or markets do you really want to spend? What is your strength? What is not your strength?

It’s a very open conversation, which took quite some time. It took us almost 2 days to go through all these questions. Getting a full dump and understanding of the business. Now, I think for any mid-sized or smaller business, it may not be two days, but at least it’d take you half a day to understand the business needs. And once you have done that, then we use the same GOST model, what I mentioned about goals, objectives, strategy and tactics.

What we do is, we do a collaborative workshop. Maybe lets say, what are your goals? The goals have to come from you. I mean, if you are a customer, you have to pinpoint the goals and objectives, and then for the strategic initiative, we can ask you further questions. But our contribution to the strategic initiative formulation is just asking questions, they have to be defined.

So the goals / objectives and strategic initiative, it’s extremely important for every business, in the world to really have a control on these two things, because if you depend on vendors or agencies or partners to define them, you are setting yourself up for failure. You really have to be in control of your goals and objectives. The agency should really have a process or a method in which they can really help you streamline and also think about those things.

And once you have done that, then our team we will go back and come up with an exact plan, which we call the operating plan. Which would be on the lines of: you should advertise in Facebook from X to Y, this is what the target segment is, this is what you can expect in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days, one year, this is why we believe that this is the right plan. I really wanted to emphasize the power of ‘Why’ in this case. And primarily because in most cases, I think the advertiser may not really know as much probably as a specialist agency like us, just because we have been around and it’s not that they don’t know. We have been around for a long time and we have multiple experiences work with a lot of customers.

And I really want to emphasize why it has to be explained in a simplistic manner, because an advertiser is a business person. They are not really a digital marketing specialist or a search marketing expert. So you really have to cut off all those digital marketing jargons and really get to the crux of the business. Once you’ve been able to do that, then essentially it’s just going at an execution and then kind of following through and coming up with a plan. We have also built our customer intelligence platform, which has really helped us a lot. Since we have been again in this space for a long time, and we specialize in the retail e-commerce and the direct to consumer segments, we found a very interesting statistic, for all of these e-commerce companies.

We found that about 10 – 15% of all the online shoppers for any retail e-commerce company, they account for anywhere between 40 to 50% of the revenues, these are the high value customers. Hence, we started building the customer intelligence platform about four years back where the idea was really in an anonymized manner. How can we really reverse engineer and find out the path to purchase for these high value customers?

For example, if Bhairav is a high value customer, and again, we don’t know your name, nothing about you, but for us, you are a particular number. But we know that Bhairav’s journey started with the first click on Facebook and then coming to the website, bounced back and then came back next day and finally made a purchase and we are able to track that and understand the overall channel mix, which in turn really helps us to do the media mix modeling in a lot more data driven manner.

Bhairav:

Yeah. It’s very interesting that you mentioned that actually, because I remember, when I was the CTO for a large e-commerce business in Norway back in 2008. We were doing obviously a lot. We were one of Google’s largest partners or customers in Scandinavia at the time. And one of the difficulties we had was attribution and that’s always been a key issue, but what we did was marry data that we could get from Google and other sources that we had, but also really spend some time looking at our customer base to understand how do they move through the system? What do they buy, when do they buy? And as you say, we found 20% of the customers gave 80% of the revenue. And if you can dig into those customers, understand what their motivations, where they’re coming from, you find more of them and that is what you really want at the end of the day. Which goes back to what you were saying before, which I think is if there’s anything that people should take from this podcast is that it really goes back to business fundamentals.

You don’t chase the rainbow. And you don’t think about things in the terms of getting email campaigns out or newsletters out, or pushing visitors to your site because you can push a million visitors to your site, but none of them are interested in your business. What’s the point. And I think that’s key.

But what I would like to concentrate now is, is the future, because you’ve seen everything right, all the ups and downs, a great deal. And you mentioned it before as well, the third party cookie piece. So could you explain this for people who may not understand or know it’s coming?

Udayan:

If I can just to give you a bit of a dump, third party cookies or cookies, essentially, help us to track the customer journey. Effectively, the third party cookies, is any cookie which is not your own. So not your own, hence it is not your own tracking system, but someone else’s and so it become third party, that’s what it is in a very simplistic sense. Now, if you look at advertising, what I just mentioned about Elixir Insights or any other such platform, the way that we are able to track these customer journeys are primarily because of using third party cookies. In this case, let’s say Elixir Insights may have a third party cookie or we can use Facebook’s third party cookie, and so on. Now what’s going to happen in Q1 2022 is that, Google has announced that Chrome would be blocking all these third party cookies, by essentially providing an option for users to block all third-party cookies.

Let us say for example you are Lenovo and you can use your own cookie to identify just because the customer is giving you permission to do that. And you can’t really share that information with others who are not really part of Lenovo.

As a result of it, there will be three things which will be, I think impacted: the first part is the attribution that you mentioned. It would be really difficult to attribute the entire sequence of a customer’s journey to the different channels very accurately. I mean, once they land on the website, you can really drop your own first party cookies, but tracking overall would become much more complex.

The second part would be more of an addressability issue, as in many cases, you would not be able to address as to what is the specific cause for this. Now if we are able to pinpoint a channel, this channel is not really performing really well and why don’t we switch out budgets for Channel X to Channel Y and so on.

The third part obviously is the end measurement. In many cases, the measurement part is more of the results, so people would see a quick decline in terms of the numbers they had last week, unless and until they are able to build their own system. So that’s what essentially happening, the addressability, measurement and acquisition.

On the positive side, though, I think what would happen is that people will be working with the first party cookies and with platforms like Elixir Insights (i.e. if you have a customer intelligence platform) we’d be able to utilize the first party cookie. And we literally will be able to work on overall rich data sets.

Bhairav:

So in many ways, do you think that we got lazy through third party cookies because basically what we did was that, you drop a cookie in and then you just do a whole bunch of remarketing and it didn’t really matter where that remarketing was, but you just do it and follow the people around.

Udayan:

Yeah. So we actually did that. And as a result of it, unfortunately, and I’m going to call it out, I know it’s a pretty strong statement I’m making, the quality of creatives became quite subpar in many cases.

I hope that this would really provide the big opportunity for companies which have a very strong creative content development background to really sort of produce that authentic creative, which can be a massive differentiator.

Bhairav:

I think also, as I mentioned before, with the e-commerce company I worked with, it was very hard to do a lot of the attribution and following the customers as they move around and figuring out, which was the last click that, that gave that made the sale and we had to get very creative.

And as you say, you had to get very creative, but we also have to do a lot of analysis, a lot of work on our own business to understand things and that served them in good stead ever since, simply because I could see that business is growing. What you find is that, I keep going back to this, there’s a set of people that will only look at click through rates, but because we’re only looking at the tactics and those kinds of vanity measurements.

Where do you think it will go in the future now, I mean, obviously you’ve seen many trends over the years. What do you see as the next three, four years? What do you see is going to be the, the main things coming through?

Udayan:

If you keep track of the things just in the world of search marketing in this sense, when you look back at the world in the half G’s, bookmark era. Essentially, I think at that point in time, Google came in and introduced the class type search word, and in many cases, the search results, which it will show were fairly inaccurate. They were like all over the place, I am talking about 2002 – 2003 timeline here.

Then they got a lot better, as they started collecting data and then slowly as it really evolved, they started putting in the context part as well. They got better in terms of accuracy. The overall, almost like a tipping point came sometime in 2013 – 14 when they started applying the AI part to it, as it became a lot more accurate and so on and so forth. As we see moving forward, we are very clearly going to be moving into more of an anticipatory search, almost like predictive search. So, I mean, I am able to predict as to what would Bhairav be typing in, and these days, voice search is pretty much popular as well.

In this entire 17 years, I think we have seen two other very interesting developments. The first development is that of the discovery part of search. Who could have thought that Facebook can even become a paid media channel. And honestly, I can admit that I’m among the people who got it completely wrong. I never thought that people can really engage in so much of transactional discussions and there can be even a social page. I was completely wrong because I was focused always on intent of the search, I didn’t really focus as much on what I call the serendipitous search or the discovery search – suddenly something sort of comes up and causes those impulse purchases.

To an extent, that was a very important trend which came in and now what we are seeing in the search is obviously with the rise of Amazon advertising, especially over the last two years now. We are very clearly seeing a very different level of search, a much deeper product lens search. And with every search conducted on Amazon, their engine becomes only better. AI is into that.

So in terms of future, I will call out three things. The first part is the importance of the anticipatory search. The second part is that, there can be a search without any intent, it can be serendipitous, it can be almost like walking in a shopping model or the model of Amazon or Walmart, more like browsing and buying. And the last part, which I think I am also fairly bullish about is we would see a tremendous emergence now of essentially the impact of social commerce and AR/VR. Let’s say we go out with a bunch of friends to shop physically, with the advent of AR/VR essentially, there may be a possibility that we are most likely to be transported to a second light that is the virtual light where we can really engage on those shopping modes in this virtual shopping patterns, we all have maybe our own personas attached essentially on that card. And AI will sort of make that experience a lot more predictive as well.

So those are the three things that I would probably call out.

Bhairav:

It is very interesting actually, because from the ideas I saw over the last probably almost 10 years, I’ve seen similar ideas that you’re talking about being pushed out but the technology probably wasn’t there. And I think now the technology is there for a lot of the, as you say, Augmented Reality or even kind of AI driven social commerce.

So now we’re moving on to do the end, but it’s the shameless plug, a shameless promotion piece. For NetElixir, you’ve been in the US for 14 years now and you’re moving out into Europe. Tell us a little bit about that and how you’re expanding out into Europe and what kind of businesses you’d like to engage with.

Udayan:

Overall, I think we have been very fortunate and lucky as we have been around in the U S market for about 14 – 15 years now. And we recently set up an office in Stockholm, Sweden. That is the first focus for us right now since we are seeing the overall global markets have different sort of adoption curve. Compared to some of markets, US maybe a little ahead in terms of the overall adoption of new technologies. Hence, we asked ourselves a simple question when we have been so successful in the US can some of these parts that we have learned be customize for some of the European markets and even the Middle Eastern markets? Big focus for us moving forward, will be expanding into Europe, with Nordics as the base, and then also trying to really get a foothold in the Middle Eastern market as well.

The second part is with the first party cookie, and now we have sort of tested out our own technology in existing sites. We are pretty excited because our customers really have a solution whereby they don’t need to be concerned about what will happen in the first party cookie world. And as a company, which has taken a lot of time in taking pride in terms of being a problem solver, I believe we have a solution, so they don’t need to be scared. If you are working with us, we can really manage you through this transition because of our robust technology platform. That’s the second part and the third part is that we are and we will always be an obsessively culture focused company where we really sort of cherish being in a joyful and happy culture.

Overall, we are really looking at expanding our team globally with diverse folks everywhere in the world. Those are the three things which we are extremely excited.

Bhairav:

One thing I wanted to ask you was the point you talked about giving back in the five questions podcast we did. So anyone who has listened to the original trailer, you talk about some of the work you did, giving back to the society. Can you talk a little bit about that, because I see there’s a university that you run and you also sponsor children.

Udayan:

Talking about the foundation, there is a bit of a story around that as well. In 2015, during Christmas, we were in India. Me and my wife, we walked into one of the government run schools in Hyderabad, a city in South India. Government run schools in India are extremely underfunded. And just to give you an example, a school of about 800 girls has only one bathroom. It’s an absolute state of mess.

So we walk into this class of 10th grade class, and we asked the students in the classroom, which had 108 girls and these girls are mostly from the neighborhood slums. We asked them a simple question, how many of you think you can score 80% in the 10th grade exam? They were not very comfortable with us suddenly walking in, and the girls were obviously very shy as well. The three girls raised their hand.

Then I said, suppose we were to select about three of you based on your 10th grade exam marks and sponsor your entire education costs for the 11th and the 12th grade, that’s the high school in India and four years of college anywhere in India, and then offer you a job in our company. About 14 girls raised their hand and finally, when the results came out in 2016, 21 girls worked hard and got more than 80%. Nine girls got more than 90%.

One particular girl I really wanted to call out of these initial batch of 2 girls that we selected. Her name is Swati, her mother break stones, and she makes about maybe 10 to 15 dollars a month. Swati’s dad passed away when she was four and there was no way for her mother to really support her on education.

Her mother had decided to get her married by June, 2016. And this was a girl, just for all of the listeners, who is 13 years of age. So we are talking about some absolute crazy stuff over here, but that’s what it looks like. She got into the program and very proud to say that now she has completed second year of engineering in one of the top engineering schools in the country. And last year she sent me a text, she has really become the valedictorian of the entire college out of a group of about 4,000 engineering students. This was a girl, who if she had not really gotten into our program would have been married and with at least one or two kids.

So it really sort of feels good. And we have now extended the program to about 12 girls. The name of our foundation is Udaan. And you can see through our website that the work we are doing is to really fight this terrible evil of child marriage through a division.

Bhairav:

That sounds fantastic. Sounds amazing. So before we end how do people get in contact with you? How did they get in contact with NetElixir?

Udayan:

You can find me on LinkedIn. I think I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, or you can directly email me, probably the best way to get in touch with me.

Bhairav:

It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I think we’ve really unmasked a lot and really reinforced the fact that if you are looking to get into digital marketing, don’t get carried away by numbers. Think of it more as a business in return on investment. And I truly think what you guys are doing with the foundation is truly amazing work. Obviously there are more and more people who needs to do that and I’ve been looking at something similar with Atom, but hopefully we can get there at some point.

Udayan:

Absolutely, it was a pleasure. Thank you.

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