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Let's Get It Started

Wednesday, August 02, 2017
By Parth Khatau

Exactly a year ago, Rehan Dadachanji and Kartik Khanna kicked off The Starter Labs at the former's flat in Cusrow Baug, Colaba with just two laptops and faith in their idea. Today, in the afterglow of their initial success, the duo have not just expanded into an office space but have also created tremendous goodwill with their clients.

"We started with the prime objective of helping small and medium scale organizations and start-ups essentially with their marketing, tech, business development and research requirements. We are working with a lot of companies who are at various stages in their lifecycle and some companies that haven't even been named yet! These are start-ups that come to us with ideas and we help them put those ideas into practise and turn them into successful businesses," said Rehan. "Research is a very important part of our marketing process," he added. "We try to make it a point to go out in the field and speak to people and get their view on things. Recently, a Spanish client came to us with the idea of initiating a brand of sunglasses and wanted to give it a Spanish name. His target market was somewhere between 16 to 23 year olds and we tried to help him with Spanish names which are not too difficult to pronounce and ended up with 'Siete Sunglasses'. It stuck the most with people."

Once done with research, tech is the next step and here website development comes into play. "Everyone needs a website in today's day and age," said Kartik. "We plan a road map for the website and what the needs of the client are. For many companies, especially those dealing in e-commerce, the website is a very important marketing tool as potential customers find out about products online before going out and purchasing them. The website is also the home of the company," he added. Besides that, clients are also helped with other branding tools like logo designing, taglines, etc.

Marketing is a space where the duo really feel they stand out from other digital agencies. "What makes us stand out is that as a new age consultancy we take a wee step back and try and see what is the best form of marketing for that particular client," said Rehan. "To give you an example, while working with the compay 'Snackboxwala' we did not just help them create the website but we helped with marketing too. We realised that digital marketing for this brand wouldn't yeild the results that it should. Instead of spending close to Rs 20,000 on digital marketing we realised that money was better spent on sampling of their products. Since it is a snack based subscription service, we approached CEOs and various executives working at different companies and let them give us their feedback."

Rehan and Kartik, aged 23 and 22 respectively are schoolmates and also play football together at Bombay Gymkhana. "We realised last year that there were a lot of entreprenuers and start-ups who had good business ideas but for some reason or the other they were unable scale and squeeze the juice out of them. We tried to figure out why many of them were not working and found out that they had one or two people handling pretty much everything. A fashion designer for example should focus on making clothes and not worry about getting a collection out on e-commerce websites. They can leave that to us and focus on bettering their products," said Rehan.

Having worked with 15-20 brands so far like BookMyShow, Mars Hospitality, First Mom's Club, Snackboxwala, Sieté,, the duo have exceeded the goals they set a year ago. Getting carried away, however, is not something they are doing. "You are not planning one step ahead if you get carried away, even though it is important to celebrate small successes from time to time. However, if you let success get to your head you can nosedive really quickly" said Rehan

The duo look to expand their own business by bringing in more partners who are singing off the same hymn sheet as them. "We want to become a bigger brand not just in the start-ups space but also digital marketing space," said Kartik. "We are looking to have more partners to increase creativity and bandwidth," he added.

Rehan Dadachanji: Before founding The Starter Labs, Rehan Dadachanji worked at companies like Coca-Cola, Times Now, and Tatas, using that experience to help spearhead The Starter Labs. A media and marketing graduate, he loves playing football, writing about digital marketing, and watching movies.

Kartik Khanna: Kartik Khanna is a 3rd generation entrepreneur and management Graduate, who worked with a variety of start ups before eventually going on to have his own. He is passionate about football, classic rock and the start up hustle!

We realised last year that there were a lot of entreprenuers and start-ups who had good business ideas but for some reason or the other they couldn't scale it and squeeze the juice out of it. .
- Rehan Dadachanji, Co-Founder, The Starter Labs

We want to become a bigger brand not just in the start-ups space but also digital marketing space. We are looking to have more partners to increase creativity and bandwidth.
 - Kartik Khanna, Co-Founder, The Starter Labs

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