Eminent journalist Mini Menon and digital marketing expert Akshay Chavan have launched their new digital venture Live History India under their holding company LHI Digital Private Ltd. Aimed at making the subject of history more engaging with rich multimedia content, the company has already roped in Cyrus Guzder, Chairman and Managing Director of AFL logistics and Technology Consultancy and Dr Ganesh Natrajan, an Ex-Zensar CEO, who leads start-up platform 5F World as their investors, among others. Menon, Co-founder and Editor, mentioned of approaching strategic investors instead of seed fund. “We want this product to become a movement,” she said.
With this one-of-a-kind product, the company hopes to make a mark in the digital space. On what makes them stand out from Indian history TV channel Epic, Menon points out that the former is based more on mythology as she says, “It’s a great product but ours is more academic. Even the History Channel as a product is very different. We are a pioneering product. We really need to have a platform of our own to showcase our product when it comes to India. Today, there is nothing like that.” Menon hopes to facilitate tourism in a big way with Live History India.
She adds, “We aim to use innovative multimedia formats to create exciting content on India and bridge the gap by taking history outside text books. With more Indians spending money to travel across India, LHI believes that there is a huge need-based gap that needs to be filled. LHI has a rich multimedia content pipeline planned for this."
Do Indian digital users have the appetite for a platform like this? Chavan, Co-founder and Head of Research, certainly thinks so and attributes it to the success of its launch on social media platform on January 14. He says, “We have had over 500,000 likes in just a short time and data shows that it is the youth, those between 18-24, who have been our biggest supporters.”
The business model will be on the traditional lines. Menon says, “Our revenue model is on multiple levels: banner advertising, which we will generate because of the sheer numbers that will come in. We are counting more on brands to create really great products. We are working very closely with state governments to identify and develop the unseen aspect of their state. That’s a huge revenue model.”
The journalist is also looking to bring out products in a couple of months and ‘wants to go into multiple languages’. She adds, “We have a robust game plan for the next six months.”
On content end, the platform is working on 150 stories with contributions from 50 authors and historians from across country and discipline. Chavan, who is driving this initiative of reaching out to India experts across the world adds, “Each of these people has been selected for their deep insights and body of work. By the year end, we expect this number to cross 100.”
The technology platform is built by Quintype, a young start-up based in California/ Bangalore. Quintype's Audience Technology Platform and their experience in digital publishing, big data and analytics and hyper personalization will help LHI customise content.
Both the founders are confident of bringing in funds, given the content. “If you have great content and audience you will get partners. We are in the process of raising funds. Natarajan is helping us get investors on board. We are getting a lot of interest from potential investors. With all of that happening once the product is on, I am personally going and meeting the brands.”
They are also in the process of unveiling an ambitious digital campaign for which they are already in talks with a couple of digital agencies.