From the sales department in HP to managing social media campaigns for over 60 US-based companies and governments across the world, Raghavendra Hunasgi has come a long way and seen a lot. Founder of ThoughtFolks Media Group, Hunasgi talked about the power of social media and how he has used it efficiently to run successful campaigns, in an interview with the Entrepreneur India.
Riding The Digital Wave
While it all began with sales, it did not take Hunasgi long to understand the power of digital media. “After my stint with HP, I did an executive management programme from IIM-Bangalore. Post that, I was placed with the Google India and was a part of their first 25-member product team. During my tenure there, I worked in Hyderabad, Mountain View, US, and New Zealand. Later, I enrolled for a leadership programme on product positioning and marketing from Harvard. Post that, I was inducted into Infosys, where my tryst with digital started,” he said.
Hunasgi started using digital media extensively for the launch of products and went on to do a PhD from a premium institution on measuring the social media Return Of Investment (ROI).
While he started working with a public listed company Cigniti, it wasn’t too late before the entrepreneur bug bit him. “I had learnt enough about digital media to start off on my own. So, I founded my own company H&B Consulting and came up with a framework by which you can measure social media ROI. One of my first clients was Coca Cola, for whom I did a pilot project for three months. Soon after, brands like Harley Davidson, Starbucks, Nike followed,” added Hunasgi.
With products like Xtract Social (it helps you extract specific information from social media by applying various filters and get a precise answer), Social Listening (helps you listen, measure and monitor your brand on any digital media platform) and DigiViral (based on the information and usernames extracted through Xtract Social, it helps you connect with the right audience), Hunasgi has now expanded his company from H&B consulting to Thoughtfolks digital, media and institute of digital information.
Working with UN
Hunasgi started volunteering as a social media advisor with the UN and UN organizations like ICRISAT and worked on multiple programmes with them. “I was a part of the team that worked on the social media policy guidelines for the members of the South East Asia chapter. Then I expressed my interest to volunteer on campaigns from scratch for the UN and its member organizations. Through my work with the UN, I got introduced to multiple international organizations and key government officials across the world,” Hunasgi pointed out.
Running Political Social Media Campaigns
At this juncture of his career, Raghavendra Hunasgi started working on ways to accelerate political campaigns through social media. “I also ran important campaigns for a leader of an Eastern African country from India. So while we had three members, who monitored the ground reality and identified the top issues that had to be taken up, the project was executed from India,” he said.
“Currently, we are working with Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office and are dealing with projects like threat management and social listening. We have also worked with the Assam government and multiple central government ministries to create social impact through digital transformation,” he stressed.
Making Social Media A Safer Place
Hunasgi made a startling revelation in course of his conversation with the Entrepreneur India. “90 per cent of terrorist recruitments happen on social media and 94 per cent of their activities are planned here. The way ahead is to come up with methods to combat these activities and make sure that social media is a safer place,” Hunasgi said and added, “The idea is to use social media and make everything customized or tailored for brands.”