2010 – July 2018
It was the summer of 2010, working as a Business Analyst at Oracle India, Pune was severely frustrating. To keep my brain cells alive I started reviewing apps and did guest posts on technology. Nothing great but kept me going. Looking back I can say from writing love letters in school for friends, to eagerly waiting for my poems getting published in the school magazine; I never dreamt that I would be a blogger and run a startup.
During this time my go-to site was Rediff which acquainted me with the world of social media. I realised that this is the future for business as the consumer was spending time on the Internet. I decided to sell social media to small and medium businesses. Did for four months. The experience was fascinating but the local businesses had a genuine question – where is the ROI? Obviously Facebook Likes was not the answer.
So I landed at a social media conference in Mumbai. These were the days no one had a clue but it was a shiny object to lap on. I asked where is the ROI and no one had an answer. The event gave me an insight that no one knows anything and we are just talking things in the air. The industry needed a platform that could ask the hard questions and provide answers with insights. That’s how Lighthouse Insights was born on Blogger.com(2010) with a simple objective to create content that provided insights to readers.
In 2011 I decided to quit my job to chase the fancy dream of running Lighthouse Insights full time along with Vinaya Gopal(@oldfox004). I must thank her for the relentless support that she provided as a cofounder over the years and pushing me to achieve the startup dream. She was the backbone of LI and I was the face doing all the talking. From a blog covering campaigns, we started covering social media marketing and then finally shifted focus on original content. Over the last 7 years did in numerous experiments, failed in almost all of them but kept the belief that valuable content survives and makes a business.
In addition, LI did online digital marketing and content marketing awards, case study ebook, and few close door events.
The dream lasted till July 2018, when I finally decided that running LI anymore wasn’t making a business sense. The digital publication wasn’t a cash positive business and I also failed in raising money for my next level of vision. Hence decided to close down.
Initially, I wanted to kill it but I kept the site alive.
July 2019 – to present
Everything has a reason and timing. I once again start working on LI. It isn’t a startup anymore and I don’t intend to do so. I am on my own and I am excited to share my thoughts.
I need to figure out the business model. Advertising and sponsored articles don’t pay your bills and I am not doing industry awards or events. The model is pretty much abused and it is a complete ego trip. I don’t want to be one of them
Can a subscription model be the road forward? (I will update on how I am making money once I have clarity.)
For now, the goal is to keep writing content that gives value to my readers. I do 3 stories in a week with a focus on Brand Campaigns, Platform stories, and Reports that will help you to make better decisions. The objective is to do stories that give value to your time and enhances your knowledge in Indian Digital Marketing.
1. Brand Campaigns: I keep a close eye on almost all the work that is being shared by press releases. I pick a campaign to review based on my hunch. A habit that has been built over the last 8 years and is growing. Eg: Is belief enough for smokers to quit and buy Nicotex
2. Platform Stories: Understanding how platforms are evolving is crucial for a marketer. Eg: Why is TikTok investing in #EduTok program in India
3. Reports: Nobody wants to read a boring report but the need comes when a planner has to work on a pitch. I love reading reports and crunching the facts that will make sense in your work life. Eg: Mobile gaming the driving force of Indian online gaming
The focus will be on digital its impact on marketing. Stories will be in-depth and opinionated. You won’t find any news, press releases, interviews, and all that fuss.
Prasant Naidu, Founder
When I was growing up, I would ask myself what I am good at. I was an average in studies, sports and everything in life. Nothing interested me more than a week. I use to wonder what passion is all about and how does it happen. I got my answer when LI happened. It wasn’t the startup but that feeling when your thoughts have created value into someone’s life. It can’t be measured.
Before starting up, I worked as a Business Analyst (Banking and IT) for more than seven years. After closing LI(Sept 2018-Apr 2019), I joined a network-based creative agency as Digital Strategy and Transformation Head in Bangalore. My job was to help the agency think digital first when required, work on new business pitches, build a digital road map for existing clients and bring the agency up to speed on digital. The exposure of working with an agency was enlightening as I was good as a Digital Strategy.
Apart from being a Digital Strategy and Publisher; I workout 5 days a week, go for my runs, spend time reading non-fiction and binge watch series and films on Netflix.
Things you should know
* Lighthouse Insights is an independent blog
* I don’t make any money from Lighthouse Insights as of now. (Google ads that are running, for now, are pennies.)
* I don’t get paid for the stories in any form
* No sponsored/native articles
* No more Industry awards
* No news, press releases, and interviews
* I value my readers time and data
You can hire me as an Independent Digital Consultant
You can hire me for:
* Consultation on digital strategy & audit
* Training on digital and content marketing
* Speaking opportunities at events and institutions
And if you have any feedback on Lighthouse Insights, please do so via an email([email protected]). You will get a reply within 24 hours.