'QYOU & Chtrbox share similar outlooks when it comes to team culture, values & the future'

Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swarup and COO Julie Kriegshaber talk about gearing up for the company's next phase of spontaneous growth in association with QYOU

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Updated: Jun 22, 2021 9:58 AM
Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swarup and COO Julie Kriegshaber

The Indian influencer-marketing scene is flaming up quite vigorously, and that has enabled the young agencies in the field to achieve not only success but also great international recognition too. The fact became more evident recently when Canada-based media company QYOU Media, which operates a free-to-air channel ‘The Q’ in India, entered into a definitive share purchase agreement with data-driven influencer marketing agency Chtrbox. 

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Pranay Swarup, who also founded the popular platform to seek internship opportunities - LetsIntern.com, along with The Glitch founder Rohit Raj, Chtrbox has been powering hundreds of brands, and thousands of influencers and is now gearing up for the next phase of spontaneous growth under QYOU.

Chtrbox CEO & Founder Pranay Swarup tells exchange4media, “Five years in, we believe Chtrbox’s story has just about begun. The future of content, marketing and commerce will be led by creators, and all of us at Chtrbox and QYOU couldn’t be more excited about leading the way.” 

Swarup shared that Chtrbox’s association with QYOU goes far back to 2019 when they had collaborated for an influencer marketing campaign. “Once we connected with QYOU’s CEO, Curt Marvis and Chairman, Scott Paterson, and spoke about growth plans in India, it became quite apparent to us that this could be a significantly larger, more meaningful partnership. The synergy between QYOU and Chtrbox would manifest not only in its businesses, but we also shared similar outlooks on team culture, values and the future. All these aspects are what got us both convinced on joining forces, and creating what we call a ‘1+1 = 11’ blueprint. 

Elaborating more on how this partnership will pan out, Swarup highlights, “Outside of multiple benefits getting unlocked for our clients, influencers and teams, not much will change with the way we operate. Chtrbox will continue to operate under its current entity, Julie Kriegshaber, Chtrbox COO, and I will continue to lead Chtrbox as an independently positioned brand.” 

The primary benefits for the stakeholders, according to him, will include advancement of capabilities for both, Indian and the US, markets with the integration of business’s best practices across technology, data analytics, creative brand strategy, and content production between the two. The new entity will now be able to offer 360-degree influencer-driven ad campaigns across TV, OTT, digital and app-based platforms. 

He continues, “Deeper access for The Q to hundreds of thousands of influencers for programming and content, including over 30 top and emerging influencers exclusively represented by Chtrbox and the opportunity to drive the more rapid development of social commerce business opportunities, which are influencer-driven at their core are some of the immediate benefits we are looking at.” 

COO Julie Kriegshaber adds, “We will be able to plan much larger branded IPs across digital, TV & OTT which will be powered by creators, which would provide a platform for visibility to the 100 million households QYOU reaches. Outside of our brand marketing offerings, we will also expand on our talent representation unit to include opportunities across QYOU properties including TV and digital apps.” 

The acquisition also says a lot about how the Indian influencer marketing industry is being seen abroad. 

Kriegshaber elucidates, “As US & European markets begin to mature, it’s very clear that the opportunity lies in India. With only half the population online and less than that on social media, India is poised to have a strong growth story for innovative brands and services for years to come.

“I think that Indian firms are going to continue to be strong acquisition targets for large international companies for many reasons, but mostly due to the fact that India is a tough market to crack without proven local expertise, and an acquisition powers faster growth in a market where many want to take aggressive bets to leverage future growth.”

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