CEO | 27 Jul 2005
“We address brands’ requirements by strategising and developing communication tools that can be presented online through the year and help in building and sustaining online traffic for the brand. Essentially, we build online brand communities and ensure that these communities do not just consist of one-time visitors but of an active repeat visitor community.”
BC Web Wise was set up in March 2000 by Mumbai-based entrepreneur Chaya Brian Carvalho. Before venturing into the Internet media, Carvalho was assistant editor with the Business Today magazine. BC Web Wise, a part of Clearship Group of Companies, has a successful flagship portal Tips4me.com. Chaya Brian Carvalho, CEO, BC Web Wise in conversation with Preeti Jadhav speaks of winning the MSN India Cannes Cyber Lions Award and the company’s future plans. Excerpts:
Q. Tell us about the BC Web Wise and its operations.
BC Web Wise launched a community portal called Tips4me.com with 12 channels of surfer interest ranging from beauty to dating and homecare to car care. The content-intensive channel was promoted with a focused effort on encouraging signups to a free subscription of weekly tip-letters (email newsletters) in the users’ area(s) of interest. The site has a thriving community with close to half a million subscribers.
Our understanding of the Internet community and ability to build consumer loyalty for our channels aroused the interest of several marketers on the lookout for building communities for their respective brands. This led us to foray into the area of online communication strategies for various brands and corporations such as Hindustan Lever Ltd and its brands like Sunsilk, Close Up, Clinic All Clear, Surf Excel, Lifebuoy, Lipton, and Aviance, Crest Communications, PCS Technology, Kelloggs Chocos, Yahoo India, Yahoo Singapore, Pepsi India, Gillette, Xerox, and ITC brands (Sunfeast, Kitchen's of India, Candyman).
Recently we have started working with overseas clients like Bratzpack of the US, whose range of dolls recently toppled Barbie from the number one position in the US market. Today, BC Web Wise can claim to be India's No 1 agency in online communication with the largest portfolio and the most prestigious accounts in our kitty.
Q. What is the revenue generated by BC Web Wise?
We are a privately held company, generating profits and growing very rapidly at an impressive pace month on month. Over the last two years, we have been doubling our turnover every year and hope to keep up the growth pace in the next few years.
Q. Tell us about your clients and the work done with them.
I have mentioned briefly the clientele above. We develop websites, online communication tools and plans for a brand on effectively capitalising on the Internet media. The work includes website design and development, online campaigns, ad serving and reporting, web analytics, and related work in multimedia such as presentations and offline tools.
Q. Who are your competitors and how do you differentiate yourself?
Anyone operating in the ‘creative’ Internet space would be our primary competition. Our USP is in the fact that we are not website ‘vendors’ or ‘suppliers’, but behave like an online advertising agency.
We address brands’ requirements by strategising and developing communication tools that can be presented online through the year and help in building and sustaining online traffic for the brand. Essentially, we build online brand communities and ensure that these communities do not just consist of one-time visitors but of an active repeat visitor community.
Q. How do you market the company?
Fortunately for us, we have been getting business primarily through client references (word-of-mouth). We have been coping with a burst of business growth through the year and have focused on setting up systems to handle the growth in the last few months. We would now look at very specific marketing strategies to broaden our client base and boost all of our services to include critical Internet tools such as search engine marketing.
Q. How is Tips4me.com performing? What is the traffic on the site?
Tips4me.com has been steadily growing month-on-month. We have sustained a user base of close to half a million active registered users who get our mailers. We get close to 14,000 unique visitors to our site everyday.
Q. How did you decide to come up with such a portal?
Having worked with Business Today and having covered advertising, marketing, media and the consumer product industry, I had a lot of exposure to brands, advertising, and marketing strategies and found that one-to-one consumer relationship is getting increasing critical; and that brands today want to get closer to the consumer. Community building per se, and the Internet, was what I thought would be the future. All this led to the setting up of Tips4me.com.
Q. What has been the total investment for the site?
It’s a substantial family investment. Revenues on Tips4me.com initially were not easy to come by. But we have been able sustain advertisers like Peerless, who have seen results coming to them month-on-month. Even Mediaturf Worldwide and Mailing List India are companies that tap our databases regularly and get their monies’ worth. We have controlled the cost of operation of this site, and the revenues that come in are more than enough to sustain the portal today. However, we are seeing an increase in traffic and page views and user sessions in the last one year, and are now making the site robust. We should be marketing it very aggressively within the next six months.
Q. You had been nominated for Cannes Cyber Lions Award. For which initiative had the nomination come?
We got this award for our Xerox creative. This is not a nomination exactly. We have won the MSN India Cannes Cyber Lions Award, and with this win comes a free ticket to the Cannes Advertising festival.
Q. What made you win a nomination?
I think it was the creative execution, which not only was eye-catching but also put across the brand-message very effectively.
Q. Are there any expansion plans?
Yes, we are currently not only hiring people in the design, client serving and business development front, but would also be shifting to a bigger office space within the next quarter; we will also be setting up our Bangalore and Delhi offices as we already service clients in these cities.