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Our content strategy is a powerful medium of acquisition: Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets 360

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Our content strategy is a powerful medium of acquisition: Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets 360

NDTV’s e-commerce portal Gadgets 360 is about everything related to technology, be it news, latest products reviews and even opinions and analyses. Talking about their recently launched campaign, the Indian search engine for shopping, Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets 360, revealed how with the help of Google, they built it on the basis of machine data and learning and how it has already secured 4 million successful searches and also talked about the challenges they faced. Excerpts:

What are the challenges you typically face while keeping up with technology?
One of the biggest challenges today is that technology is itself pacing up and one should constantly keep it up with it. One must stay on top of the game with regard to advancement in technology. Especially in today’s competitive world it is said, “The newer it is, the better it is.” Predicting a transition from a start-up to a pure-play scale up model and deciphering what kind of talent, what kind of changes is required is again very challenging for the DNA of an organisation like us, which has a growth mindset.
If we look at a future scenario, anticipating about the 'what’s next' wave of major opportunity and what value can be created for clients is also taken into consideration. If we talk about creating value for our customers, we need to build that in the future with our products.
We are a company that believes in developing a business that is sustainable and scalable but we also do it in a more responsible and creative way, which is what makes it challenging but exciting too.

How much do you think the digital picture has changed since the time Gadgets 360 began its journey?
Digital is constantly growing. There has been a steady increase in user penetration. I think the debate is now moving on from internet penetration to the newer type of businesses which are completely changing the game.
Talking about our journey, there has been a lot of development, not only within the company, but also outside the ecosystem. I will call it a good change because people now know about what to buy in gadgets, what’s really happening in drones, in computer technology etc.
Earlier people didn’t understand Augmented Reality but now times have changed.
Each single day is presenting a lot of challenges as well as opportunities for us to do something new and different, and that led us to completely reinvent ourselves every month. From that prospective, the space in which we are working has completely changed from when we began.

How much do you think Gadgets 360 has had an impact in terms of viewership under the label of NDTV?
I personally think that we were really fortunate to get some really good investors. When we started off, I think the NDTV name really helped us in building credibility and trust about us.
Earlier it was called NDTV Gadget but then we underwent a re-branding exercise. So that name and credibility helped us so much in re-branding Gadget 360 and we were able to clearly differentiate ourselves in terms of being the most credible platform for tech lovers in India.
We as a company also took many initiatives and taking leverage of that, 70-80% of our traffic is completely organic because we have a very powerful content strategy. As a brand it is a very powerful medium of acquisition and that means we rely less on spending money.
When we started we were ranked in the top 50 and now we come in top 11 leaving behind many popular tech platforms.

Do you see any change in the traffic on your site due to the interference of social media platforms?
Today everybody is on social media. It has become part of everybody’s growth strategy because people right now first like to discuss things before they move on to the platform be it a shopping site or a news site.
Good thing is, we have millions of fans and followers on social media. Social media is such a powerful tool for engaging consumers.
For us it is very important to update everything on social media platforms because it is a very important contributor to our success and it generates rather robust visits for us. We clearly see that traffic increasing even more. 

What will be the assets for Gadgets 360 in 2018?
We are neither an e-commerce nor a content company. We consider ourselves as the best platform for Indians looking for their technology needs. We are a niche gadget and tech vertical company unlike anybody else in the world. We would definitely want our platform to be the preferred destination for consumers in India and abroad related to anything and everything to do with gadgets and tech. I think our understanding of consumers, the reach that we have, the credibility that we have built will help us in entering different geographical locations.
We are also coming up with a new product that will be all about machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, but it’s too early to talk about that. But yes we will be aggressively working towards it.
We are also working on the edge in terms of content and tech to empower our consumers with more knowledge.

What is your winning mantra to ensure a successful brand name in this very cluttered digital market?
I think it’s very-very cluttered. Our clear winning mantra is the further expansion of our hybrid model. We have 3Cs policy in our company that denotes Content, Community and Commerce and engagement around all three. So we are going to expand
I think it’s very important for any brand to successfully scale up and to understand the territory you are working in. Playing to our strengths and differentiating ourselves makes us successful.

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