In the series of interviews with market leaders, change-makers, and innovators, we bring our next interview with Entrepreneur, & Influencer marketing professional, Mr. Vipul Agrawal, Co-Founder, Unlu.
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Our team member Smriti Sharma conducted this interview with Vipul. So let’s go through the interview.
Smriti: Congratulations on the recent funding you got for UNLU.
Vipul: Thank you
Smriti: you launched UNLU in June 2020. What led you to enter in Influencer Marketing Sector?
It’s been 5 years now since I am in this space, Have also worked with influencer marketing for 2 years For two years, I gained influencer marketing experience through the agency to know how things work. I built relationships with these influencers working here and there. Though unlu looks like a 6 months old company the process has taken a couple of years.
Smriti: How influencer marketing changed from 2016 to now? And what changes came in influencer marketing due to the covid pandemic?
Pandemic changed the business in different ways. The same idea on which we are working now, may not be that successful earlier. Pandemic forced these celebrities to sit at home. They want to utilize their free time. Just look at Airbnb’s success. Earlier people did not allow strangers in their homes. But now, they got an idea of how to earn money through Airbnb. Pandemic has brought difficulties, it is true. But it has also brought new opportunities. Everyone is shifting towards a digital environment.
Smriti: How you are managing so many celebrities on one platform?
Vipul: there is no human intervention in that. It is product-based. You can see the decline in the business of agencies that are handling celebrities manually, like one manager for one celebrity. It did not work much on the scale. We took a lesson from that and made our platform free from human intervention.
These celebrities have their own separate app where they can manage bookings and other activities. This model has helped us to bring 2k+ celebrities within a limited period.
Smriti: What are the best practices to get success in this field?
Vipul: understanding the market, understanding the behavior of those celebrities plays a crucial role in influencer marketing success. It is crucial to know the Celebrities’ mindset while approaching them for different assignments. We should understand that. Relationship building also plays a significant role in this sector. Everyone is there to earn money. A lot of research and industry experience will make things better for you. In every sector, relationship plays a key role if you want to get success. I learned this lesson from earlier startups.
Smriti: What changes you have found in yourself from your first startup to now?
Vipul: it is a tricky question. The main thing is the learning process in your journey. If you are not learning with time, you will not grow. Be strong, be focused, and having a mindset of pursuing the path even after good pay, and better life.
The risk-taking ability should be way higher than it seems from the outside world. If someone is saying that the entrepreneurship journey is risk-free, go back and re-ask the question. I think I have that risk-taking ability from the beginning.
You may find out 100 people who will say that your idea is not good. And you will also find 100 people who will say that your idea is right. Both of them are wrong. Only time will tell you the truth. At that time, you have to be ready with all possible weapons to change or improvise your future journey.
Smriti: how you started the UNLU Class concept and what you think about the whole online education environment post covid?
Vipul: Online education exists before Covid time. Now, it became the necessity of the time. The success of such education depends on how good it is. No one is forcing you to stay for 1 hour or 2-hour class. You should have an interest. In offline class, at least you stay in a classroom for 1 hour because people are around you. And in the end, you learn something. Pandemic has forced people to learn online without giving any other option.
Engagement and interaction play a key role in online learning all EdTech companies try to be interactive and engaging through different innovative ways. I have little bias related to this field. I found people who are happy with online learning, some who are not happy but still learning, and the third on- not at all interested in online learning. They believe in interaction and networking.
The idea of UNLU Class is different. It’s not completely technical. For example, if Manoj Bajpai is teaching acting, 50% of his class with being about acting technicalities but remaining, he will discuss his journey which may inspire you. In a two and half hour session, the story or journey of the celebrities plays a big role. In a binge-watch over Netflix, finally, we feel bad that we wasted those 3-4 hours but again the next day we continue binge-watching. Here in Unlu class, you will not regret it. You will at least learn something from the life of those celebrities. We are focusing on engagement, interaction, and inspiration at UNLU Class.
Smriti: I liked the way you structured the course like 50 percent learning and remaining storytelling.
Vipul: more technicality makes the course boring. We took care of this point while structuring the course. We are also focusing more on the creative aspect.
Smriti: What are your expectations when someone downloads your app the first time?
Vipul: we have a person who bought the UNLU Class for his 7-year-old son. We also have a 61-year-old lady who bought our course. Everyone is coming with a different mindset. Every Friday, we launch a new course. We make a lot of varieties in the stories to attract users. Celebrities will also share so many things which they never revealed on other platforms. We are bridging the gap between celebrities and fans.
Smriti: What are your future plans
Vipul: bridging the gap between celebrities and brands. Currently, we have around 50 brands that are interacting directly with celebrities without any human intervention. We are also bridging the gap between fans and celebrities. We are trying to make the whole process very easy so that celebrities, brands, fans can communicate easily without any difficulty.
Smriti: thank you so much
Vipul: thank you…