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Soumik Mukherjee – Building the first-ever digital business networking community and platform focused on collaborative growth

Today we have selected Soumik Mukherjee to take his interview. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Marketing Launch Team OÜ.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

To be true, the challenges that businesses faced during this Covid-19 were one of the major boosts to our existence in the market. It was one of the key drivers for our innovations and remodeling of our business. So, our team has been doing well, though there have been many changes and slow and steady growth. We had anticipated this based on the market scenario, and we have adjusted our pace accordingly by focusing our time and efforts on innovating and building new products to answer the current market challenges.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

With 8+ years of experience before the start of my entrepreneurial journey, I had a mix of both technologies and marketing experience under my belt. Initially, I had started my career as an IT engineer at one of the biggest global IT MNCs, where I got opportunities to play diverse roles in BI analytics and automation testing. But it was this engineering stint that made me realize that to create sustainable solutions that fit the market needs perfectly and evolve with them; I need more than my engineering knowledge and experience; I needed insights into the business aspects. I soon pursued my MBA in Marketing from Symbiosis International University. I started my journey as a full-stack marketer and a growth hacker focused on building high-performing global marketing frameworks for SaaS, IT, and FMCG companies. I always had a knack for creating something new from the early days of my childhood, and that had helped me in my career and win awards to leading core team innovations.

During this experience, and while consulting other businesses leaders occasionally on their marketing strategies, I saw an inherent need in the market for disruption in marketing service models. There was a gap in the market between the need for flexibility and accessibility of marketing services and the existing marketing agency models; that needed to be filled, especially for small and medium scale businesses. This led to the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. That is when I co-founded Marketing Launch Team with the help of Estonia’s digital society, which eventually became Europe’s first subscription-based digital marketing agency. Our goal was simple: making digital marketing services highly flexible, accessible, and affordable for entrepreneurs with a dream and just starting or scaling up.

But Covid-19 and its challenges put the world through a lot of turmoil, and businesses started uncovering gaps in their systems more frequently than ever. This is when we also came across many business leaders who faced issues in their business growth journey apart from marketing, which in turn fuelled our evolution to enhance our vision of becoming the “ultimate growth launchpad for startups and SMEs.”By being a facilitator of the business growth avenues, we want to be the one-stop platform that new businesses today need for accelerating their growth in their target markets.

Thus, Marketing Launch Team 2.0 was born. Where we not only provide businesses with the best marketing services at the most innovative subscription-based model (Marketing Launch Team-The Agency) but provide them with a growth platform where you can share, learn, network, and grow (GrowNections App), and we are in the process of simplifying the way businesses find their perfect local market growth experts (Loxperts – The Marketplace of Local Freelancers) to help them achieve the growth goals they have always dreamt of. Together, we have formed the ultimate business growth launchpad for businesses of all sizes, where we believe dreams are not just seen but “they happen.”

How does your company innovate?

Due to the unprecedented challenges that the business world has been facing during the past few years, innovation has become a key factor in market survival and ensuring consistent businesses growth. And, for us to help those businesses in their growth journey, we must ensure an innovation-led business model at our end. Being a small but growing team, our innovation model is a simple 5-step process, i.e., Understand, Explore, Innovate, Simplify and Create. We believe that every innovation starts with understanding the challenges in the market; it reaches its clarity stage by exploring the root causes and issues with existing solutions. And, as the challenges and existing issues are defined, we need to streamline the ideas and innovate to solve them, but that is never enough as one needs to simplify the solution to ensure higher market adoption capability as users/consumers today love “simplicity” and “convenience” and last but not the least, create that solution with the global audience in mind.

During Covid19, many business leaders faced new challenges almost every day, many of them unprecedented and spread across various areas, not just marketing. They needed solutions to those but didn’t have the right platforms or tools at their disposal to help them out. But as seen in earlier crises and challenges, the business community is strongest when together, and even in this, we saw businesses coming along helping each other out through crisis. But as the whole world came to almost a standstill for over many months, and people’s main medium of interaction became the online modes, a new problem was seen creeping in. Even with various social media groups and networking platforms like LinkedIn, Meetups, etc., they felt there were a lot of disparate conversations happening across separate mediums which became disconnected, and even the so-called “networking” platforms were all filled with “too much noise” and lack the essence of making fruitful connections.

So, there was an inherent need for a social media platform void of these issues and one which can genuinely connect these business founders, leaders, experts, and investors all at once and create a “one and only” business networking platform for them.

Being a company focused on becoming the ultimate business-growth enabler for small and medium scale businesses, we used this learning to explore this issue further, understand their grievances and challenges, and realize it was time to innovate.

This led to creating the first-ever invitation-only and AI-powered social media appGrowNections focused on bringing the entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and business leaders together for a collaborative growth structure. A platform built for “pure networking” and designed for the users to give them the ultimate control, from privacy to personalization of their spaces to help them make relevant connections. A platform where business leaders can share, learn, network, and grow.

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Being a small location-independent and remote team has helped us adjust quite quickly to the ‘new normal’ of working, and hence we feel blessed in not having to face challenges in that area due to the pandemic. Our newly formed collaborations and relationships with clients had helped us to be consistent in the growth segment. But yes, we were prepared for an initial slowdown compared to the previously predicted accelerated growth, as most of our target audiences had been heavily affected due to these challenging times, and we wanted nothing more but to empathize with them and help them without any profit-based mindset. We managed our expectations accordingly and focused our time and efforts in reaching out to the communities, helping out in all possible ways, understanding their challenges, and most of all, evolving our business model by creating new and innovative products that the market is in dire need of.

What specific tools and softwares are you using to navigate this crisis?

Tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet have been quite a savior for us in this online era of team meetings and client meetups. One of the tools that helped us a lot in these times and are worth mentioning is Calendly; this scheduling platform made it easier for us to avoid conflicting business schedules and be more organized.

I have always been a fan of Trello due to its simplicity in uncomplicating all types of process flows. It has helped us a lot during these times to get a snapshot view and streamline our processes.

Also, given the challenging times, it has been pertinent of our times to ensure the wellness of the teams, so we had encouraged our team to participate in apps like Calm to help them get some necessary support in boosting their emotional wellbeing, reducing stress, ensuring well-balanced mindfulness in their journey, and also helping them streamline their thoughts.

Who are your competitors? And how are you different from them?

To be true, we have a unique business model that has not yet been replicated in the market or is currently available. So, in reality, we don’t have any direct competitors.

We are one of the pioneers in creating the subscription-based model for a marketing agency, thereby disrupting the marketing services space, making it more accessible, flexible, and affordable for businesses of all sizes.

And, in this current world of disparate networking communities, groups, and existing challenges of the “so-called” networking platforms, our invitation-only and AI-powered GrowNections mobile app is a one-of-a-kind business networking medium focused on the principle of “collaborative growth” and brings together the business community of entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors to network, share, learn and grow.

Your final thoughts

We feel that the world of business is advancing towards a more “collaborative growth” structure, and especially these challenging times have shown us that even more. Business challenges have always been a part of an entrepreneur’s journey, but these past 1.5 years of unprecedented challenges have shown everyone that you can never be “fully prepared.”

The only thing that is consistent in these times has the right people by your side to support you through it. These hard times have shown that the business communities are strongest when they are together. People need the right tools to get connected, and users are looking for more curated and meaningful connections and experiences.

We envision that future with our GrowNections app and move towards creating a highly thriving and collaborative digital business community prepared for the next big challenge that comes the way.

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