In 2010, after a career in Marketing & Business Development, Aparna Vedapuri Singh decided to return to her first interest: the business of words, and started Women’s Web, perceiving a need in the Indian market, for an authentic market that served all of women’s interests, beyond classically ‘feminine’ subjects alone. Anju Jayaram joined Women’s Web on the Marketing function in 2014 and quickly rose to become Partner and CMO at the organization. We chat with Aparna about the venture.
An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture, Women’s Web?
I spotted the opportunity to cater to a very large market of urban Indian women, who were having a sameness of content served to them. Conventional publishing for women has always assumed that women have a very narrow range of interests, i.e. fashion and beauty. I believed that women in India are going through a crucial transitional phase, and needed a platform that would support them through this journey and offer them a place to share their voice with others.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Our major challenges are that we work in a business (Publishing/Online Media) that is highly competitive, and where the fundamental product, i.e. content, has moved towards being free. Women’s Web needed to, therefore, be creative around monetization, and we work towards this by building innovative products that help brands reach out to our community in an authentic fashion.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advice you on matters of the business?
I don’t have a mentor personally but we have business advisors to advise us on specific aspects such as Technology & Growth.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
WordPress, Quickbooks, and Mailchimp are the three technology products that have helped us grow our business.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
As far as our first customers, our readers are concerned, we adopt a strategy of deep diving into their needs as women – as women at work and as women navigating change for instance. This focus on their lives helps us bring out reads that are highly relevant and appealing to them. Our next customers are organizations that seek to reach out to our community, and with this audience, our strategy is again based on a deep understanding of their needs, the results and metrics they want to drive, and using the strengths of the digital medium to creatively drive those results.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
For me, the top three skills would be Strong customer/consumer understanding, and an ability to stay updated on the same Ability to iterate product based on changing requirements Ability to build and inspire a strong team, aligned to the business vision and goals.