The Start-Up story in India; and What PR Does to it!

India is at the threshold of an accelerated growth and it is believed that this growth will be led by the new set of passionate entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial landscape has been a consistent contributor towards the development of the country and is amongst the most significant growth drivers. Start-up ecosystem seems to be growing exponentially. However, what it has done is that it has also led to a clutter; with the number of start-ups increasing exponentially!

This is where PR comes in!

In an era where consumers are bombarded with irrelevant information, success in young businesses will be had by those who can creatively sell their story. It is well-established that when an organization invests in a well thought-out, articulated and sustained PR effort, the return on investment can be incredibly valuable. For a start-up, it becomes even more important to ensure that the right communication is driven to highlight the brand’s imagery and thereby build preference. A well-structured PR strategy not only helps in increasing visibility for the brand, but also attracts the right talent, helps in raising employee morale and thereby in the process of next round of funding.

There are many testimonials in the recent past that prove how effective communication can completely transform a new inexperienced organization; into the one of the most trusted and spoken about companies. This transformation is a result of the change in perception that public relation companies in India bring about for a particular company.

It is thus important that every start-up in India dedicates resources towards creating an effective Public Relation strategy. It is necessary to consider PR as an integral part of the business while formulating a start-up idea. Start-ups being beginners are considered to be learners and not a reliable source of information. But with the help of PR one can position the spokesperson as an industry thought leader, thus adding credibility the company.

To quote an example, when IndiGo began operations, it wasn’t a pretty sight for the Aviation Industry. The entire industry was in gloom. Flights were rarely on time. There wasn’t any fun involved with flying. So they began a storyline of being a fun airline and being always ‘On Time’. This definitely aroused a lot of interest amongst the customers. Ever since, IndiGo has consistently maintained its image as a friendly, hip airline. Everything starting from their logo to external communication tells us something that make us smile. The vehicles it uses to carry luggage are labelled “CarGo”, in sync with the name “IndiGo”. The air-sickness bag says “Get Well Soon”. Instead of an in-flight magazine, it has a shopping catalogue with interesting IndiGo curios. IndiGo’s on-your-face creative communication has broken the clutter in the industry and grabbed everyone’s eye balls. In today’s turbulent airline industry this is perhaps what has kept IndiGo soaring high.

This focusses on the fact, that at the early stage itself, it is important to put heads together and dwell deeper into understanding how one wants their company to be perceived and scale it with time. This cannot be done without the help of experienced professionals who have been in the industry for a long duration and have been major contributors to the success of brands that once were start-ups. With perception, start-ups also need to clearly define the resources and time that can be delegated towards developing an effective communication model.

Here are some things to keep in mind when communicating about your product:

  • Focus on the positioning and branding of your product
  • Have a clear & consistent messaging
  • Simplify the story; help the audience relate to it
  • Be quick in response and acceptable to feedback
  • If you are not confident, you may seek help of a medium or industry expert who can communicate your message for you
Parekhit Bhattacharjee
Parekhit Bhattacharjee works in the capacity of Business Lead- North, StepUp; a brand new offering that he conceptualized and helped set up for Genesis B-M. StepUp is a new initiative empowering start-ups and young businesses to tell their story for future success. The offering caters exclusively to the communication needs of the two most important stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem; the start-ups and investor networks. After a successful run for StepUp in India, Parekhit went to Beijing to help the Chinese team set up the division for B-M, China.

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