The year couldn’t have started on a better note for Pinstorm. The Mumbai-headquartered digital brand management firm has been awarded the Red Herring Global Top 100 Award at a ceremony in San Diego, USA, on January 16, 2010. An elated Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstorm, shares his firms plans for the year ahead and the key focus areas in an exclusive conversation with exchange4media.
Pinstorm is naturally proud of the Red Herring Global Top 100 Award as the previous winners inchude Google, Yahoo!, Skype and YouTube. The Award is given by US-based magazine Red Herring to innovative technology-driven firms around the world and picked through their editorial process.
On winning the Award, Murthy said, “It’s our fourth Red Herring – but the biggest one – the Global 100 Award. It’s humbling to be in the same space as firms like Google and Yahoo were many years ago. I hope we can make as much an impact as them in the years ahead.”
Talking about the main criteria for selection of the Global Top 100 winner, Murthy said, “These are business success and technological innovation. And we have achieved quite a lot on these two fronts. Last year, even amid the global slowdown and cuts in spends, we have managed to achieve a growth of 31 per cent. Our turnover stood at Rs 29 crore in the last fiscal.”
“On the technology front, we have introduced quite a few innovations in search engine marketing and optimisation, digital display innovation, as well as social media management,” Murthy added.
Speaking about the key focus areas in 2010, he said, “Pinstorm aims to serve clients’ brand management needs better, grow into more geographies, and continue doing great work in the technology and creative spheres. Also, we intend to keep our growth momentum going.”
Despite the growth achieved, Pintorm has not been untouched by the slowdown. “We expected to grow more that 31 per cent. We did face some significant payment problems from a few clients. We don’t have VC funding or investors, in fact, the firm is owned 96.5 per cent by the employees, with the remaining 3.5 per cent held by friends and family,” Murthy added.
This, according to him, helped in coping with countering the slowdown effects as employees had a greater sense of belonging and some even opting for voluntary pay cuts. Murthy admitted that the firm was faced with a cash crunch a year back and then there were pay cuts across the board. However, things are now looking up.
Throughout the tough times, there has been no let up in investing in technology. Pinstorm has as many as 21 people in its tech team, whereas the average tech team in most companies stands at 5-6. Moreover, Murthy said, clients found the company’s pay-for-performance model a better way to find out about the impact of an ad and where the advertising monies were going.
Now, buoyed by the Red Herring Global Top 100 Award, Pinstorm is looking at bigger things ahead in 2010.