In Conversation With Rajiv Dingra

Interview With Rajiv Dingra,CEO of WAT at the #watsummit

Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO of WAT Media Pvt. Ltd. needs no introduction in the Indian Social Media world. Personally he has been an influencer to me and this time when we had been to #watsummit as the blogging partners, I wanted to get some time from his busy schedule to discuss a few things. Rajiv was finally able to make time for me on day two after the event had wrapped up. Even though he was literally tired, he was in full spirits for our talk. It’s quite rare to find such enthusiasm.

rajiv dingra
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Shared below is the full conversation that I had with Rajiv on areas such as social media, how does he see all the evolution of social media marketing and finally thoughts on SME’s using it.

1. At the age of 20 Rajiv you started something, which no one would have heard of in India - Social Media and today you run an organization that is setting industry benchmarks. Can you summarize it if you can quickly?

Honestly to summarize that it is going to be tough. I think the simplest way it could be put forward is hard work.

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_align”]You like doing something then you should keep doing it and you will get better at it.[/pullquote]

You will figure out how people will buy it and how to get to people eventually and that is what has worked for us. When I started nobody in India was aware what is social media and I think we made it because we were excited about it. We thought that we were behind something and when you get that feeling, pursue it don’t let it pass by. So that is what the insight I would like to give.

2. Last year it was “Inception point of Digital Media” and this year it is “Dawn of Digital Media”. How do you see the evolution in relation to markets?

The joke in my team is that are we going to call it a “Sunrise of the Digital Media.” I am not aware what we are calling it next year but I am hoping that the markets hold up. In the long term everyone is bullish and I have been bullish for the last five years and I am bullish because I have numbers to back today. But a caution is that one has to be at the top of the game because there is so much of competition and amazing amount of good work going on. I think the overall picture looks positive but then it is going to be very competitive.

3. One campaign that has touched your heart in 2011?

The “Indian Panga League”, a Virgin Mobile campaign we did last year was something close to my heart. The ahaa! campaigns if they are one in a year also then you are very lucky. Because lot of the work is driven by what the client demands while you still try and push whatever brilliance you can but eventually you need to work as per market requirement. In that sense sometimes as a creative agency you may end up feeling powerless but I think we have done some great work for Eureka Forbes, Gillette, etc. Saying that there are some more great work being done by others and overall social media will move away from the Old Spice campaign. Old Spice in its time was a great campaign but from how well are you engaging daily to how are you getting that spike is what needs to happen.

4.  There are two schools of thoughts. One who believe that social media is enough and others believe that social media is a part of the 360-degree campaign. What are your thoughts?

I think it is both and for social media it is more to do with the objective that you have. For example, today you might have x no of users on Facebook, tomorrow you might have more. So if my objective is to say reach a certain number of fans then I can do it via social media, so there is no need to do a 360-degree campaign.

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=center_pull]The objective drives the medium eventually in the future.[/pullquote]

5. What are your thoughts on the Clicks Vs Conversation debate?

I think when you are talking about measurement of digital media then it is purely driven by objective. If your objective is sales then may be clicks driving his fans to a landing page can induce him to buy the product. But then it becomes pure play advertising and kind of a media reach thing, more like the sales ad you see in the newspaper. On the other hand if it is more do with brand awareness and positioning then the creative engagement is more effective.

6.  Finally how do you see 2012 for SME’s?

Yes I do believe that social media will be a game changer for SME’s and I also believe that ones who have not been doing good for the last six months and still spamming people will get off the horse and will push themselves to do better along with the ones who are doing good.

Thanks Rajiv! I too am bullish about social media in India and I am confident enough to see some great work happening with more players jumping into the market to grab that pie.