Karthi is the Co-founder and CEO of Hippo Video – A Video Personalization & Distribution Platform. He is a Senior Product Strategist, Marketer, and Product Manager with 16 years of experience. In his tenure at Zoho he built several successful products like – Zoho Recruit, Zoho People, OpManager, Studio from scratch and nurtured them to multi-million dollar revenue
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Subhanjan: What was your go to market strategy? How are you finding them? Who are we going and pitching? How are we doing that part?
Karthi: So we started going behind a lot of enterprises through common contacts, that is how this education friend also came into connection. So we sort of contacted basically we were able to go initially because with the level of funding we did not have the field trails.
Subhanjan: How are these people finding you? And to why do you think they started using you and not used something like Loom or Vidyard or any of those other extensions which were already sort of spending a lot of investor money in publicizing and promoting and marketing?
Karthi: The thing has then multiple recordings in your scenario, like Loom, then Screencastify was there. So we had positioned ourselves as a screen recording for these green draconic and we pushed strongly on the chrome extension immediately within like 15 days we became the top flight, because of some good reviews. So what we did was whoever reviews it, we gave them free the premium version. So that kind of started increasing the reviews.
Subhanjan: What kind of pricing do you have?
Karthi: It was like we had a nod to pricing. One was monthly and they nearly monthly was around 5 dollars. Yearly was around 30 something.
Subhanjan: This is very reasonable. So at this point, what was happening with your competitors? I mean, so-called competitors, Vidyard or Bomb Bomb or any of these? So what was it? Was Vidyard your competitor then or that time or focused on some other?
Karthi: We did not want to place ourselves as a small tool or a feature on something existing. So we wanted to position ourselves as a platform for videos for business.
Subhanjan: How did you sort of decide to execute it? What was your solution?
Karthi: We are a tech company and also a product company. So we started building the product by interviewing people. Then we did some beta to a couple of our existing customers. Understood that it is fine for them that it is delivering value for them. Once we did. But then we announced the personalization launch by sending out emails, doing some of our own LinkedIn boards kind of thing. That’s how we started.
Subhanjan: And how does it actually show up in your product? What does the product do to personalize it? For example, if I want to send you a video, what would we do? Allow me to do?
Karthi: Okay, so we have different types of personalization. So when you want to send me a video, the video post will have your face, whatever it is, or if you’re sending an explainer video, you can include the text about me, the transaction I did with you earlier. If I could use some images, you can send some videos. Also, personally, to give you an example, we are working within the use cases. They want to do campaigns where someone has dropped off the funnel.
Subhanjan: What is the role of mentors in helping a startup become successful?
Karthi: Here I would like to talk about my mentor, Girish. So one thing I learned from him as a mentor was you did not provide us practical ideas. It was more of practical ideas and left us to find ourselves some answers.It’s not like giving answers to them, but giving some strategic boost. These are the things you will come across. These are the things you should take. So that was very helpful.
So play your own play, but still get some guidance.