Influencer marketing in India is a new phenomenon – in its initial stages at the moment – but along with leading influencers in the country, few dominant influencer marketing platforms like Grynow are also soaring high for their result-oriented performance in the industry. Grynow, a two plus year-old company had its own share of turbulences and struggles in the initial days. Today, it is a top influencer marketing platform in India, chartering an impressive growth year on year.
The idea of forming a company that would work in the influencer marketing niche took shape in 2017. Mr. Washib Khan, current CEO of Grynow and a millennial college student then, always knew in his heart that computer science was his calling. He got an IIT-JEE ranking of 4579 and got a berth in the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi but was unable to get his choicest stream. Not one to be discouraged, Washib left IIT to join NSIT and pursue his dream course from here. Since Information technology and computer science was close to his heart, he soon realized the potential of social media platforms like YouTube as marketing and branding tool. While print and TV advertisements were effective, it hit him that these were too expensive and could only have regional audiences. Social media on the other hand, he realized had far better market reach and could be way more cost-effective. This gave him the idea to design a system that would enable brands to reach out to larger target markets at less than half the cost of what they were spending on advertisements at that moment.
Working on his design, he decided to meet two influential YouTubers who had substantial following to their name. On 1st August 2017 he met Amit Bhadana who had about 6 lakh followers by then. He explained his influencer marketing model to him and found that the idea interested him. His own college NSIT too liked his innovative model and showed their keenness to fund the model. Washib, however, was confident that he could make it on his own and refused help. He agreed, however, to NSIT’s offer of incubator office and started work on his ideas from an office space in the campus.
Joining hands with Co-founders
While Washib was busy with converting his model into a full-fledged business plan, he met Mr. Vaibhav Saini, who was pursuing his B. Tech degree from NSIT at the same time. They interacted, shared ideas and decided to start Grynow as an influencer marketing platform.
Mr. Aman Rawat soon joined hands with Washib and Vaibhav, as the third co-founder. Aman was from VIT and had similar passion towards integrating business with technology as the other two.
The first year
With the model in hand and a company to run, all the three partners approached the corporate sector in India using online and offline methods to explain Grynow’s potential and capabilities. They had few takers though initially – in fact none at the start. Those were difficult days as they faced rejection after rejection.
The partners, however, were not in a mood to give up so easily. So, they continued with their endeavour and finally got their first breakthrough within few months. It was a brand called Swadesi Merchandise. The company agreed to engage with a Youtuber and invested about INR 30000/- in the campaign. Within days the brand made sales worth INR 1.5 lakh that was a direct result of Grynow’s effective influencer marketing platform.
There has been no looking back after this. Post the Swadesi campaign, they received an order from Azar, an international brand worth USD 20,000. The rest, as they say is history, and Grynow became a name to reckon with, in the Indian influencer marketing marketplace within months of inception.
As business boomed, Grynow started to receive calls from interested investors like Start up India, SAFF partners who showed interest to invest in the company. Washib, however, declined all sorts of financial help because he was always sure of his model. Washib also rejected the offer of 1 Million dollars acquisition offer from one of the Investors.
Grynow has traversed long distances in a very short period of time. With more and more brands showing their inclination to work with them, the company went in for a major recruitment drive this year that saw it hiring experienced people across all departments. All aspects of influencer marketing are paid equal attention here – be it about the content quality, formation of systems and structures, marketing, lead generation and prospecting. Today, the company is working with the likes of Oyo, Paytm, TikTok, Spoil, Snapdeal and many such leading brands in the country. It is also now working with international brands in the US, UK, Singapore, Middle-east and Indonesia.
The evolvement of Grynow is an example of how persistence and focussed work pays off as a result of which today the owners of Grynow command immense respect from industry colleagues and experts.