Start-up Marketing Strategies in India

ISBN: 978-1-78756-756-6, eISBN: 978-1-78756-755-9

Publication date: 23 July 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Ramesh, M.A., Grover, P. and Dasgupta, S. (Ed.) Start-up Marketing Strategies in India, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Start-up Marketing Strategies in India

Title Page

Start-up Marketing Strategies in India

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh

Siva Sivani Institute of Management, India

Dr. Priya Grover

Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, NOIDA Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India

Dr. Sabyasachi Dasgupta

O. P. Jindal Global University, India

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-78756-756-6 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78756-755-9 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78756-757-3 (Epub)


List of Tables and Figures vii
About the Contributors ix
Acknowledgements xi
Introduction xiii
Foreword xv
Chapter 1 Who Will Wait: The Client or the Employees?
Sabyasachi Dasgupta
Chapter 2 Building Towers of Happy Clients: A Case of FinMen Advisors Private Ltd
Sabyasachi Dasgupta and Priyadarshani Jain
Chapter 3 A Road to Adventure with Happiness: From Students to Senior Citizens
Sabyasachi Dasgupta and Priya Grover
Chapter 4 Miles to Go But Which Road to Take: An Entrepreneurial Dilemma
Sabyasachi Dasgupta and Anirban Ganguly
Chapter 5 Loyalty Comes with a Price: A Strategic Up-scaling from USP Loyalty cards in India
Priya Grover and Sabyasachi Dasgupta
Chapter 6 From Green Schools to Green Universities: Going Green in a Soup!
Priya Grover and Rekha Verma
Chapter 7 Ajay’s: Big Story of a Small Town QSR!
Priya Grover and Nilesh Gokhale
Chapter 8 Raising Funds for Microenterprise: An Elusive Reality
Tanushree Sharma and Rama Krishna Mandan
Chapter 9 Restless to Relentless: Flowercycling® Success
Vinod Shastri
Chapter 10 The Growth Pains of an Innovative Product: A Case Study of Coco Tang India
M. Anil Ramesh and Madhusudan Kumar Kota
Chapter 11 Shugan Group in a Fix: Searching for a Sustainable Future
Meenakshi Tomar and Priya Grover
Index 233

List of Tables and Figures

Chapter 1

Fig. 1. SWOT Analysis. 7
Table 1. Annual Revenue Chart. 15
Table 2. Annual Investment Chart. 15

Chapter 2

Table 1. SWOT Analysis. 33

Chapter 4

Table 1. Annual Revenue Chart. 67
Table 2. SWOT Analysis. 71

Chapter 5

Fig. 1. SWOT Analysis. 84
Table A1: Financial Data of USP Loyalty Cards 95
Table A2: Financial Data of Survivor Event 95
Table A3: Financial Data of Digital Marketing 95

Chapter 6

Fig. 1. SWOT Analysis of the Company. 111

Chapter 7

Fig. 1. Growth Drivers. 121
Fig. 2. The Organisation Structure. 126
Fig. 3. Ajay’s Group – Revenue Composition. 135
Table 1. Ajay’s Group – Total Sales (Rs.). 134
Fig. A1: Ajay’s Advertisements: Cycle Advertisement. 139
Fig. A2: Sales Promotions. 139
Fig. A3: Print Ad. 140
Fig. A4: Ajay’s Menu. 140
Table A1: Financials (Ajay’s Group) 141

Chapter 8

Table A1(a): Gold Circle Orthokare – Projected Profitability Statement. 153
Table A1(b): Gold Circle Orthokare: Projected Balance Sheet. 154
Table A2: Indian Medical Device Industry Profile – Turnover Vis Percentage of Companies. 155
Table A3. Opportunity Areas for MSMEs in Healthcare Including Medical Devices. 155

Chapter 9

Table 1. Market Size. 169
Table 2. SWOT Analysis. 175

Chapter 10

Fig. 1. COCO TANG India Logo. 186
Fig. 2. Sales Contribution in Stand-Alone Format. 191
Fig. 3. Sales Contribution in Online Store Delivery Format. 192
Table 1. Model 1 Stand-Alone Store Format Performance (Per Month). 191
Table 2. Model 2 – Online Delivery Stores Format Performance (Per Month) 193
Table 3. Model 3 Performance. 194
Table 4. Tackling the Returns. 195
Table 5. Product Mix of COCO TANG India. 196

Chapter 11

Fig. 1. Initial Organisational Structure. 206
Fig. 2. Existing Organisational Structure. 207
Table 1. Research Analysis. 214
Fig. A1: Service Person at the Counter. 218
Fig. A2: Staff Extending Services Ensuring Utmost Hygiene. 218
Fig. A3: Compliment Received on the Facebook Page of the Group. 219
Fig. A4: Glimpse of a Canteen. 219
Fig. A5: The Cooking Operations. 220
Fig. A6: Comment Received on the Facebook Page. 220
Fig. A7: Glimpses from the Food Festival. 221
Fig. A8: Promotion of the Food Festival. 221
Fig. A9: Promotion done on Facebook Page. 221
Table A1: Reference Menu Card. 222

About the Contributors

Dr Sabyasachi Dasgupta: Assistant Professor (Marketing) in O. P. Jindal Global University, India and Director of Centre for Unique Branding Experience. He is the first Doctorate Fellow from MICA. He has written number of books with publications in reputed journals. He has also worked in corporate with brands such as Airtel and Future Group.

Dr Anirban Ganguly: Associate Professor at O. P. Jindal Global University (Jindal Business School), Haryana, India, holds BSc and MBA degrees from the University of Calcutta, MS and PhD from Stevens Institute of Technology, USA. His research interest includes operations and supply chain management, technology and innovation management, and knowledge management.

Dr Nilesh Gokhale: Engineer with a Postgraduate in Management, he has done his PhD from University of Pune, India, related to ‘Online Buying’. He is currently working with Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (constituent of Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune) as Faculty and Mentor for Brand Communication Practice with total experience of 17 years in industry and academics. Dr Nilesh has authored three text books and research papers to his credit including.

Dr Priya Grover has expertise in the areas of Marketing, Consumer Behavior and Brand Management. With an enriched experience of 15 years, she has written papers and cases that have been published in journals of international repute some of which are Scopus indexed. She is an Associate Professor at the Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, NOIDA, Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India.

Ms Priyadarshini Jain: Masters in Public Relations from Mumbai University with over seven years of experience in analysis, research, client servicing and strategy making, with a specialized acumen in marketing services to medium and large corporates, planning and executing corporate events of diverse knowledge in various sectors.

Madhusudan Kota: Management graduate with over 16 years of experience in various fields like FMCG, Banking, Education and Training. He is presently Director of The Placementor, a training institute that caters to the needs of advanced training programmes for management professionals.

Rama Krishna Mandan: Graduate of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta, PMP Credential Holder, and a Certified Executive Coach, is currently employed as Head, EPC Academy at Tata Projects Ltd., Hyderabad. He has a rich industry, entrepreneurial, and teaching experience of 48 years. As an entrepreneur he has wide experience of the problems faced by new ventures in raising finance.

Dr M. Anil Ramesh: Experienced Professor of Marketing with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Over 32 years of experience, skilled in Advertising, Sales, Communication, Lecturing and Customer Relationship Management. Strong education professional with a PhD focussed in Consumer Behaviour from Osmania University. Presently, working as a Professor in Marketing & Strategy of a leading B-school in Hyderabad, India.

Dr Tanushree Sharma: Associate Professor and Assistant Dean Executive Education at Jindal Global Business School. She has over 18 years of experience ranging from industry, consulting to academics in the domain of human resources. She has worked at Tata Projects Limited as Consultant – Learning and Development. She was the Program Head – BBA Retail and Associate Professor at University of Petroleum and Energy Studies.

Dr Vinod Shastri: Head Academics & Research of Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Bennett University. Having launched pioneering academic programmes in Innovation, Intrapreneurship & Entrepreneurship in the past, he is an Educator who practices what he preaches. He has conceived and co-founded a chain of innovative egg-specialty restaurants named Yolkshire. He is an avid blogger, contributing his ‘Vinnovative Thoughts’ on ToI Blogs.

Dr Meenakshi Tomar: MBA degree from ICFAI Business School, double masters in European Masters of Business Administration from University of Bordeaux, France, and PhD in Management from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. Her research lies in the area of integrated marketing communications with special focus on adoption of social media in marketing strategies. She has won awards like Dr Indira Parikh Women in Education Leaders Citation and AIMS Ramaswamy P. Iyer Best Youngest Faculty Runners Up award.

Prof Rekha Verma: Faculty in Department of Humanities, School of Business, University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun. Pursuing Ph.D. from Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Mahal Jagtpura, Jaipur (Accredited by NAAC with ‘A’ Grade). Her research interest focuses on green schools, sustainability, educational leadership, HBO and communication mosaics. Published a chapter ‘Role of Tablets as Mood Elevators in the Perception Towards Green Schools: An Exploratory Research on the Students of Green Schools in Gujarat’ published by IGI Global `Optimizing Millennial Consumer Engagement with Mood Analysis’.


This book, ‘Start-up Marketing Strategies in India’ would not have been possible without the able support of a lot of people, Institutes and Universities.

First, we would like to thank the managements of O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune, and Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Secunderabad, Telangana, for providing a space for research and nourishing an academic culture conducive to conducting research in India and abroad.

We would cordially like to thank all the corporate organizations who came forward and shared their stories of their journey and their plans and supported us in writing this book. Without their help and support, this book would not have been possible.

We would like to specially thank the protagonists of the respective cases in the book for their contributions in supporting the cause of this book. We also express our heartfelt gratitude to the authors of the different cases in this book.

We would also like to thank the management and editorial team of Emerald Group Publishing for all the support and helping us realize our dream of publishing a book on marketing problems faced by Indian start-ups. Last but not the least, we would like to thank our friends and family members who have given us the strength and inspiration to write this book.


India has economic openness, large domestic market and skilled workforce which is helping in developing billion dollar Start-ups but at the same time it is struggling with its institutional variables. Many of the new Start-ups in India fail in the first few years of their inception.

Lack of innovation is the prime reason for the failure apart from several other reasons like lack of focus, lack of proper funding, hiring unskilled workforce, lack of proper consultation, improper or incomplete knowledge about general or domain specific business. So, innovation and marketing strategies in a company have to be robust to succeed and this applies to Start-ups as well.

To be specific in terms of marketing, the broad range of marketing challenges faced by Indian Start-ups can be put into the 4 P’s of marketing mix : Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Dealing strategically with these issues will guide the Start-ups to attain sustainable development and growth. Therefore, these issues need to be addressed and analysed on priority basis by Start-ups across a range of sectors in India to exploit the attractive entrepreneurial opportunities.

The book “Start-up Marketing Strategies in India” comprehensively covers a variety of real life cases of Start-ups across various sectors in India, currently facing dilemma on different marketing mix issues. It will highlight the challenges and dilemma faced by Start-ups, analyse the problems faced and the tentative solutions attempted.

The book will be imparting real time hands-on-experience to the students/readers/ practitioners/entrepreneurs giving them a comprehensive idea of how entrepreneurs face the different marketing challenges while either setting up their enterprises or operating and managing them in a sustainable manner.

India is an attractive market for Start-ups and this book will provide insights into the marketing challenges faced by actual entrepreneurs and recommend the best strategies to overcome them.

Some of the Unique points of this book include:

  • A comprehensive book on real time marketing challenges faced by Indian Start-ups in terms of the marketing mix: Product, Price, Place & Promotion.

  • The book has eleven cases across a variety of sectors in India ranging from Health Tech, Fintech, Media, entertainment to FMCG.

  • The book will stress upon dilemmas faced by Indian Start-ups on marketing mix issues and ways to resolve it through different marketing strategies.

  • Quotes by the protagonists at relevant touching points in the cases are added to provide connections with the cases and the protagonists.

Health-Tech, Fintech, Enterprise, Edu-tech and Media & entertainment sectors are seen as sunrise sectors in terms of Start-up activity. Keeping this trend in mind, the book caters to real cases of Start-ups across these sectors but at the same time includes cases from other sectors too, that seem promising. Cases from FMCG also are featured as FMCG products are very popular and are always in the limelight.

The cases in the book are all primary cases and data was collected using the primary field research method. This involved interviewing the owners of the Start-up (protagonists) and other people in the organization to understand the dilemma and other challenges faced by the companies.

This book would be useful for academic researchers, undergraduate and post graduate students in management, commerce and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs, prospecting entrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs who have been in the business. Policy makers, Government elected representatives, heads of respective entrepreneurial departments of government departments would also find this book very useful.

All the cases are written in a clear lucid flowing style. They are like stories. Statistics, exhibits and annexures are provided to analyze the issues and come to a conclusion.

We, the editors have thoroughly enjoyed the journey undertaken in placing the book into your hands. We feel, we have learnt a lot and it was humbling to see the passion and the eagerness with which the entrepreneurs shared their experiences including all their glorious highs and painful lows.

We would like to thank all the entrepreneurs who gracefully agreed to allow us to write and publish their company cases. We would like to thank the managements of the educational institutes where the editors are working/or have worked. We would also like to thank the management and editorial team of Emerald Group Publishing for all the support and help in achieving our dream of publishing a book on marketing problems faced by Indian Start-ups.

Happy reading!

Dr. M. Anil Ramesh

Dr. Priya Grover

Dr. Sabyasachi Dasgupta