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Building A Sponsorship Marketplace

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Hitesh Gossain, Founder & CEO of Onspon.com

Hitesh Gossain comes with 14 plus years of rich experience in P&L leadership, general management, strategic business expansion and M&A. An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, Hitesh was the recipient of the prestigious “IIM Ahmedabad Award of Academic Merit”.

Having worked across the globe; he has extensive experience in spearheading strategy in blue chip corporations in segments like IT, FMCG, Metals, consulting services, supply chain and consumer goods. He has worked in s SE Asia, Middle East and India with significant experience in strategic growth and development. Prior to starting Onspon.com, he was the Business Head with Percept Ltd and before that he worked at organizations like UTC (Singapore), Mars Inc. (EMEA/Asia), Infosys Technologies Limited (India/US). At Onspon, he is responsible for ownership of overall organization’s growth and development.

What drives you?
The ability to make a difference and question the status quo. We have built a phenomenal tool onspon.com which enables events of any shape and size to be able to get discovered by the topmost brands without any manual intervention. I guess what drives us, is when we receive notes from events from remote corners saying that they manage to secure sponsorships from a blue chip brands without even moving from their place - and our team is super charged to deliver that to every event that comes to our platform. Simply put, Onspon.com was founded with the objective of automating the process of making sponsorship decisions, and securing access to timely sponsorship.

How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any major customers that you now cater to? What kind of numbers do you expect from a business like yours? Any statistics to compare with international standards?
The global market (direct) for a business like ours is USD 56Bn as per IEG. The global extended market for us is almost USD 600 Bn (as per Cvent) We cater to 350+ top brands and have worked with a lot of them on active transactions for sponsorship decision making. We expect to hit a transaction facilitated value of USD 200-300Mn in 3 years with a significant automation and technology development. Globally sponsorship is the highest growing segment among the marketing segment globally. We expect to cater to this in a very effective way thereby creating significant cross-border sponsorship transactions too.

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
 We have been bootstrapped and due to immediate understanding and acceptance by market - have been able to generate significant transactions and internal accruals. In the next phase of hockey stick exponential growth - we will seek external funds and are already in active conversations. As we are doing fairly well on all metrices - we are very well equipped to deliver some phenomenal growth numbers.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
Our paying consumers are millions of events that happen. The buyer for the services offered in brands - hence it’s a true marketplace built on information and knowledge arbitrage being bridged by our platform. Our revenue stream is initiated by event listing and value added to them to enable them to raise funds.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We are on a high growth trajectory and we see ourselves in multiple countries enabling company headquarters to structure their sponsorship strategy using our platform. We want to work with multiple million events linking them to blue chip brands seamlessly. This scale has never been achieved by any platform earlier, hence our focus is a lot of beef up our core technology product and enable ancillary growth sub-products too. Our goal - we want to be the trip-advisor of event sponsorships.

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