Prateek N Kumar “THE MILESTONE MAN”, is the CEO & Managing Director of NeoNiche Integrated Solutions.
His first successful ‘campaign’ was back in the 7th standard for the ‘client’, his friend running a fire-cracker stall during Diwali. Their full return on investment was a staggering 800%. It has been almost 25 years to the day. And the young boy’s enthusiasm, passion and entrepreneurial bugs have only been biting harder.
After starting his career in hospitality and hotel management, he shared in the growth stories with a number of startup event agencies. These gave him tremendous on-ground exposure and hands-on learning. With a dream of creating an agency that would be loved by every stakeholder- clients, vendor partners and employees alike – was NeoNiche born. Idea-driven, Innovation-focused and Insightful- these core qualities became the DNA and driving force of the organization.
Breaking the mold and challenging the status quo is a daily ritual. With his head in the skies and feet firmly on the ground, Prateek is as Prateek does. Driven by passion, his versatility and adaptability, people-skills and big-picture view-point make him the leader he is. His greatest strength is the ability to pick the right person for the right job, create self-sustaining and profitable ventures and then stepping aside to let the new leaders take the baton forward. Then, he sets his eyes on the next target and begins the march forward- perhaps that’s why they call him ‘The Milestone Man’.
An avid blogger and voracious reader, he is a passionate activist for animal rights and related social causes.
Here he talks exclusively to www.corecommunique.com about his vision, the emerging integrated experimental marketing space and NeoNiche. Excerpts:
Q1. What is “integrated experiential marketing” – the space where NeoNiche is placing itself?
Ans :- We understand that any marketing campaign or events cannot exist in silos .There are different audiences who have different receptiveness and each of these demographics of audience have different triggers that different brands are trying to connect with by creating experience across different mediums both online and on ground….Era of social media and smart devises have blurred the lines between traditional Ad agencies and Event agencies …these is where NeoNiche comes in.
Q2. Who are your potential customers? What kind of numbers have you achieved so far?
Ans: Our clientele is spread across different Industry verticals right from IT, ITES, BFSI, Manufacturing, Media, Healthcare and lifestyle, many of these clients are spread across the globe. We have been able to keep the business profitable with a focus of bringing values to our stakeholders be it Clients, Partners, Employee or Society. From beginning our focus has been to create lasting relationship rather than always looking at the bottom-line.
Q3. Going ahead, what are your immediate plans for the future? Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
Ans: Our immediate plan for the future is to create a value based solutions for Startups and SMB segment, who have either limited or non-existent marketing budget. A performance driven model with profit sharing as we think that lot of innovations can be created in this untapped segment. It’s difficult to outline the specifics 5 year down the line, what I can truly say is that in 5 years NeoNiche will be creating more values for its Stakeholders be it our Clients, our ecosystem partners, our employees and society in general.
Q4. How did you move into the world of BTL? What promise does it hold for a market like India?
Ans: Honestly its providence, My parents wanted me to become a doctor I chose hotel management instead as my preferred career .However, I was more interested in abstract ideas and organizing Rose Days, Prom Nights and many of those events that you see in any campuses rather than making and serving delicacies. BTL was still largely unorganized space and I landed up here .On a lighter vain I always blame it on “Road Less travelled” by Robert Frost. I frankly believe that the line is blurring between traditional “Above The Line” (ATL) and “Below The Line” (BTL) agencies .Digital and social media advancement has given rise to another form “Beyond The Line” where it is all about experiences ….for a country like ours which has diaspora of culture ,demographics and geographies lot is yet to happen as we advance in places beyond Metros and Tier I cities and as more and more smaller cities and villages are connected by better roads and amenities ,electricity and internet connectivity creating level playing field a new and almost untapped set of target audiences will create opportunities’ for Brand and Marketers.
Q5. What are the specific areas that you want to concentrate immediately? Which domains have warmed up to BTL already?
Ans: “Campaign in a Box” as a offering for SMB is our immediate focus .Almost all B2C brands and quite a few B2B brands have embraced a more robust Marketing Mix with ATL, BTL and Digital as part of their strategies.
Q6. What is your advice to the fence sitters?
Ans: The moment you think you have got the answers someone comes along the way and changes the very question, Customer is truly a Queen / king with so many information and options ,to win the trust and to connect with her or him constantly in a very user driven non-intrusive way.
Q7. As a self professed “Social Media Junkie” what are your views on social media integration so that your expertise can be made to go viral using the social media space?
Ans: Social media is still a very untapped domain where marketing a brand is concerned ,However, utilizing the right mix of Social handles starts from understanding your TG as it helps in establishing relevance, grab eyeballs, raise awareness, build relationships at a personal level, create memories, increase loyalty, encourage interactions and stimulate positive WOM.
Q8. Anything that you would like to communicate to our readers.
Ans: We do live in exiting times where many of us have evolved from using Trunk Calls to STD Booths to Smart phones ,From Super Mario to Temple Run on our Smart Phones, from Pager to Smart Phones, From Camera to Smart Phones, From DVD to Smart Phones ,,From Remote to Smart phones From Branch banking to ATMs to Smart Phone Banking …….My wild guess is as good as yours after the invention of Wheel possibly we are standing at the cusp of another devise which is bound to change the human race.