Aditya Bhelande -Founder and CEO Of Yukta Media
Q.About you (As an individual)
A. I’m a Product Manager by trade, with degrees in Industrial Engineering and Management. Had an opportunity to work in large corporates like Oracle and Yahoo in USA as well as startups like Dorado and PubMatic before starting YuktaMedia about 4 years ago. Traveled extensively around the world and engaged with top brands and small enterprises equally as part of my job first and then as part of building YuktaMedia. I’m extremely focused on understanding and addressing Customer needs and passion about building growth-oriented teams.
Q. Struggle & Success story. (Min. 500 words)
A. Building a bootstrapped company is hard. It’s one of the most difficult things that I have done so far. You are always running short of cash, good talent is hard to get, you have to be extremely frugal and so much more… Yet is one of the most fulfilling things that I believe one can do. We have had our share of challenges Managing overseas Customers – Most of our Customers are overseas, which means we have to work extra hard to ensure that we are not only meeting their current needs but also anticipating their future needs.Fighting Outsourced Stigma – As a company based out of India, we have to, at times, take extra efforts to prove that we are not only services company but a product company.
Small company drawbacks – As a small and lean startup, we have to do more in less resources and be very focused on what we deliver. We are not able to just get the best people or technologies all the time. Hence, we have to be creative in meeting our goals.
Finding the right talent – Given our size and the way we operate, it’s hard to find the right set of people who fit our fast-paced environment where ownership and commitment are the keys to survival.
But inspite of all the challenges, we have been able to grow year over year for the past 4 years. In this journey, we have serviced large Publishers and our platform has become a mission crucial system for our clients helping them manage millions of dollars’ worth of campaigns and inventory.
Q.What is your business into? / Brief introduction about your business
A. Started YuktaMedia about 4 years back doing basic reporting for Publisher, only to realize that manual reporting was time-consuming, error-prone and didn’t really solve the purpose for which they were being created. They were always too little too late. Hence, started exploring ways to automate the process to make it faster, accurate, yielding deeper insights. Over past 4 years, YuktaMedia has now integrated with hundreds of systems (SSPs, DSP, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing and CRM), using APIs, to create a network that helps Publishers, Brands, and Agencies collect their business data from all over the place into a single data repository.
As we started collecting and processing data, we realized that our Customers didn’t just want reports in MS-Excel but wanted visual clues that would help them spot the business issues and opportunities. Hence, we added dashboards to help our Customers meet their goals. With a strong combination of data and modular UI, we have been able to put together a robust platform and named it as YuktaOne.
Initially, YuktaOne was only used by Ad Operations team. But as we have continued to add data, other teams within Customer’s organization have started using our platform for their business needs. For example, Revenue Operations team started using our platform for billing and reconciliation purposes. YuktaOne shortened the time it took the Finance teams to do billing and reconciliation from months to near real-time, saving time and helping them accurately track revenue and profitability. Sales teams started using YuktaOne for identifying Brands they should be selling to with pricing and packing guidance coming from YuktaOne.
In the past two years, we have been able to build a number of mini-apps as part of the YuktaOne platform which addresses needs of various teams with Publishers, Brands and Agencies organization.
YuktaOne has now become the leading Media ERP for Publishers, Agencies, and Brands, who are able to manage their entire business activities such as Campaign delivery and performance management, Supply management, Engagement Tracking, Revenue and Profitability tracking, billing and reconciliation across Display, Mobile, Video, Social and IPTV.
In the next 12-18 months, we hope to open an app store for YuktaOne apps.
Q.Why did you choose to start this (specific) business?
A. Fundamentally there are two types of WHY…
Personal (aka philosophical)
1. Business (from Customer’s perspective)
One the personal front reasons for starting the business:
* Create a GLOBAL Indian brand
* Create a growth platform for professionals
* Create a positive social impact
Our platform is Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) deployed on the cloud. So, for us, there are no physical or geographical boundaries. This gives us the ability to service a GLOBAL customer base. Today, we have an international Customer base with most of our Customers in the USA, specifically in New York. Another benefit of being the industry we are in is that we don’t always need rocket scientists to do what we are doing. What we need is passion, commitment, and vision. That’s why we have been able to take recruits from average colleges and build a Platform and Service that manages millions of dollars of business. In the process we have been able to provide world class exposure to the team which they would not have gotten in regular run-of-the-mill MNC. For example, most of our team members work directly with international Customers and have visited them in countries like USA, UAE, Germany, and Indonesia. So, in a very short amount of time we are able to provide a great professional growth opportunity. Being a small company, team members get exposure to a variety of activities in their professional domain. They are not restricted to a siloed work environment. Hence the team is able to work on unstructured problems with minimal direction. Needless to say, this type of work environment is not for everyone.
Specifically, the reasons why we are in the business, we are in, is as follows:
1. In Ad Tech and Mar Tech, there’s a tremendous amount of data being generated in a fragmented manner. Hence there’s always going to be a need to aggregate data and make it useful for Publishers, Brands, and Agencies.
2. This gives a lot of flexibility to play with different types of technologies and be very creative in terms of what we can do with data and how we can put it to best use.
3. There’s a unique opportunity to create a platform with ecosystem play with different types of players in it. These types of opportunities are hard to come by.
Q. Do you feel is India been digitalized or its long way to go?
A. Digitization is not just every person having a mobile and is able to use Facebook, Google, and Whatsapp. Real digitization will happen when digital connectivity is used to leverage for addressing the most chronic problems issues faced by the common man in India every day. Digitization has to be a core part of Government schemes to ensure that Government benefits reach common man without the need for middlemen to deliver those benefits. Digitization should also help Government get real-time data regarding the effectiveness of their schemes and help forge better Public-Private Partnerships. We definitely have a very long way to go. It’s encouraging to see that the current Government has taken the first steps in the right direction.
Q.If you had one piece of advice to someone who is just starting his or her business, what would it be?
A. Any meaningful goal is going to take time and efforts so stay focused and persistent and above all … be human!