In an exclusive interview with Akshay Soni, Prabhakar Alok shares his views on building a business and the real reason why start-ups fail.
At a glance
Founder: Prabhakar Alok
The year it was founded: 2018
Originally from Patna, Bihar, Prabhakar Alok graduated from Vivekananda institute of technology, Jaipur in 2017. Alok’s true passion was cricket. He could always be spotted in his gear practising in school and college and had participated in all the state and national level matches.
Alok decided to launch an online app for cricketers that allowed players to play cricket on state and national level. My22Yards was officially launched in March 2017 and managed to attract a lot of players. However, players soon lost interest in it once the initial hype got over. Alok had failed at something he was passionate about.
In the summer of 2018, Alok was ready to get back on his feet and try his hand at Digital Marketing. He launched his company DigiwaleBabu that offered various services like web development, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, social media management, influencer marketing to name a few.
“The first thing you notice about my company is its name. I’ve been told on various occasions that it’s very unique and catchy. Digi stands for Digital and Babu stands for brother in Bihar. To combine the two, I used the lyrics of my favourite song i.e. DJ wale babu…”
Alok believes that digital marketing is empowering. It has the capability to make or break our brand. According to him, selling your product/service is tougher than ever before because there’s another product/service just like yours that’s waiting to replace your brand. With the availability of internet everywhere, advertisers leave no stone unturned to promote their brands. The only way to stand out from the crowd, in his opinion, is to have a strong digital presence which can be only achieved by following the correct digital marketing practices.
Having worked with established brands such as Uber and Amul, Alok feels that since each brand is unique, you also need to have a distinct never-heard-before type of digital marketing practices. You need to come up with actionable campaigns.
What is DigiwaleBabu’s USP?
DigiwaleBabu isn’t just any digital marketing company. From meeting deadlines to taking continuous feedback, their team ensures that their customers never leave unsatisfied. They also offer timely quality checks and share analytics.
Struggles and Challenges
Alok believes he was too naive when he launched My22Yards. He had the enthusiasm but never conducted any preliminary research which led to the failure of the app. He did not hail from a business-class background and didn’t know anything about how to run a business and he wasn’t aware of the rules and regulations, company norms, building a customer base, etc.
When he started DigiwaleBabu, he not only conducted preliminary research but also an in-depth plan with a full-proof SWOT analysis. According to him, SWOT analysis not only helps you when you’re facing an issue in business but is an effective way to tackle personal problems as well.
Even though Alok had his strategies in place, he struggled to find the right people to get on-board with his idea. Since he had decided to start his company with his own savings, his funds were limited. Hiring the right type of people that have the right set of skills was problematic. Once he had managed to hire the people with the right skill-set, a lot of them were offered jobs from his competitors and only a few loyal employees stayed with him. Today, he has managed to build a team of 7 members each an expert of their domain.
Other brands under his umbrella
“Failure is a part of success—you can either learn from it or run from it”
Alok says he could have never learnt how to set up a business properly or how to brand yourself if I hadn’t failed. His mistakes taught him valuable business lessons and he wanted others to learn from his mistakes so he launched stratupmedia.com. It’s a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories of success as well as failures. It helps entrepreneurs analyse strategies that work from the one’s that don’t.
Advice for students
Alok says every student should consider the following things before launching their start-up:
- Choose a field that interests you. If you choose a field that you don’t feel passionate about, you will run out of motivation very quickly.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis from time-to-time.
- Master the skill of perseverance. Don’t quit until you succeed (or fail).
- Stop giving excuses and procrastinating.
- Always over-deliver to your clients.
- Start taking responsibility early on and don’t let other people’s success demotivate you.
- Learn from the mistakes of fellow entrepreneurs.