How This Startup is Helping Brands to Acquire & Retain Customers Through Email Marketing
Founded in 2010, iCubes is a digital marketing solutions provider which helps brands to acquire and retain customers through web, mobile, email, videos, rich media and so on. It is a performance based online marketing expert that helps companies optimise their sales and providing personalised and behavioural re-targeting with split testing and real-time analysis.
"After college, I worked at NIIT for around 3 years in the Global E-learning business. It was a great start as I learned how an organisation works and how people work in a process. After that I got a break with Hong Kong Tourism Board in the Digital Marketing Division. Worked there for a couple of years and got a very deep exposure into Digital Marketing and that is when the Entrepreneur bug bit me," said Sahil Chopra, Co-Founder, iCubes.
Startup work with around 5000 customers globally and 200 customers in India including industry giants like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Jabong, Uninor, MTS, Taj Group, Titan, Oyo Rooms, India Mart, Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, ICICI, Standard Chartered, Kotak, Bharat Matrimony, NIIT, FoodPanda, Dominos, Fashionara, OlaCabs, Taxi for Sure, Vistaprint, Babyoye, Adlabs, Next etc.
With a headcount of 80 employees, iCubes has offices in Gurgaon, Bangalore and Cochin.
Entrepreneur India interacted with Chopra to get a better understanding of the sector and to know what their future scale-up plans are.
Conceptualization of Startup
Back in 2010, when I and Jacob thought about iCubes, the entire internet business in India was in a very nascent stage. Hardly anyone understood digital marketing and when we spoke about email marketing we always got a blank stare.
We had already seen a vision of the future and understood the potential so the substantial gap and therefore the need that existed was also fairly clear to us. In 2011, we launched Email Vidya to train the industry on email marketing and were able to run it successfully. And this laid the foundation and helped us to setup other products and services on top of it.
The story behind the name
At its core, iCubes is a digital marketing solutions provider which helps brands acquire and retain customers through web, mobile, email, videos, rich media and so on. Also, most importantly, whatever we do is performance based and measurable.
That is where the "I' standing for internet and Cubes for measurement comes for. We are about levaraging the internet for specific business goals, in a concrete, measurable way.
Bootstrapping since inception
Since our inception we have generated enough funds internally to grow at a very healthy rate. While so far we didn't require outside funds that might change in days to come.
We could feel the need for exponential or inorganic growth, or even adding on other services or expanding our presence further. We are in touch with investors and will look at it at the appropriate time.
The business fundamentals for us have been honesty, transparency and ethics. We have been very candid internally as well as externally.
A-ha Moment in the business
The launch of iCubeswire and its growth has been a good moment. From the time we went live on Mobile there has been an explosion in our growth.
A bumpy ride
I think the way Indian ecosystem works has always been a cause of worry. Many companies have suddenly grown and suddenly shut down too. In the process, service providers such as us face the heat, whether it is in the form of unrealistic expectations or uncleared dues. I have always taken up such issues head on, arrived at an acceptable solution and moved the focus quickly on to positivity.
Future scale-up plans
We are investing heavily in technology. Our ability to capture big data and apply analytics to throw out useful insights for our customers will be at the core of our value proposition. That of course combined with our ability to conduct effective and wide ranging campaigns to leverage those insights.
Getting older with experience
I have got a few grey hairs now. The journey has been fantastic – it has been an ocean of ups and downs – it has made me a lot more patient and given the strength to handle challenges which has helped me evolve, both personally and professionally.
This is what he does in his Leisure time
I am a fitness enthusiast, love to gym and very much passionate about cycling and driving. Also, I love to read and play with my son. What I believe is that whatever one does, one should do with a lot of passion and ethics.