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Why a 29-year old Angel Investor is Interested in People and not Their Company's Valuation Zaveri, without a formal university degree, is building his business since his teenage days

By Vanita D'souza

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Entrepreneur India

With the ecosystem developing, there is an increasing focus among businesses to get their content right. As they say, content strategy can make or break the company's brand perception and new age media has a huge role to play here.

Hardik Zaveri is a believer of this ideology. The 29-year old college dropout has been building businesses since his teenage days. Today, the serial entrepreneur has climbed the ladder up as an angel investor and is running his investment company 8finity Global from Los Angeles and Mumbai.

In a chat with Entrepreneur India, Zaveri says his investment mantra is simple - he believes in investing in the youth and wants to build companies around them. So every company that 8finity has invested is run by group young individuals who he has met through on day to day basis.

"I always like to take few risks against no rewards and see the courage that entrepreneurs have to actually go through and push what they believe in strongly. So, it can be any project that they really love, which coincides with my passion i.e. digital media," he shared.

India – The Market Place

India is home to more than 135 crore people and more than a quarter of the population are smartphone users. The numbers are only expected to improve and the internet is linking every one of us with brands, new technologies, etc.

In other words, Zaveri says India is set to become a big market place.

"I see our country is getting converted into a marketplace and every person will have a need or want (for services and goods) and would have something to do with the internet. I'm just looking to fit somewhere in the middle of the needs and wants of people and this can be done through brands, or businesses or influencers," he noted.

Influencing the Right Way

Even though influencer marketing is picking pace in India, the industry is not in great position. With the growing number of social media platforms, anyone who can take decent pictures has started to believe that they are influencers. While on the other side, genuine influencers are scattered and are not very sure of what they are doing.

It is only a matter of time where brands would realise that neither people listen to these influencers nor the engagements are converting into sales. Zaveri says people follow influencers because of who they are and not what they are selling. So, if influencers do not amalgamate this right, followers are going to stop believing in them.

"There is hardly anyone who understands influencing and it's just a matter of a year or so where this entire thing blows up in everyone's faces. The industry is likely to consolidate and the first generation of influencers will lose traction. While on the other side, the next generation will be able to figure this out and how the industry works."

The Opportunity

To tap on this opportunity, 8Finity has invested in a company called NoFilter, which takes care of human empowerment by education, content creation, etc. for all social media platforms. It has also invested in CollabTribe which helps influencers to develop organic approach strategies and @social to help them with micro social media marketing.

"These companies are primarily focused on influencers. We actively use people to market products in an organic way so that the brand also gets good engagement. With these three companies in our portfolio, we have covered every element of social media marketing for B2B, B2C, and everything in the middle," he concluded.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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