From the Inception of Hustle to the Power of Creation – The Story of Mohit Bansal and Owned Labs

Mohit Bansal - Owned Labs

Leading a profitable service unit in the heart of Mumbai city, visiting the biggest boardrooms of the city, I was living the dream of the ad world.

Mid last year, I quit a promising career in the ad world of Mumbai.

Let’s take a few steps back and see how I reached here.

Not long after my first stint post graduation from SP Jain, I moved to Mumbai. People had a lot to say about the city – most of them mentioned how it grows on you. I am not going to validate that advice if you are looking for that. I learned something else from the city that never sleeps. Because of the opportunity given by my employer, I reached multiple boardrooms wherein the conversations were centred around digital growth – what to do and what not to do. I got into a habit of forming a hypothesis at the end of my work day and validate them with people’s experiences around me. It was like an ongoing hypothesis testing experiment in my head. The birth of Owned Labs was one of the outcomes of this ongoing study. Let’s look at the micro-level conclusions that lead to the inception of Owned Labs.

1. First conclusion – Creativity is getting embedded at the product & business model level.

Back in the day when the innovation at product level was limited to industrial design, brands were heavily dependent on creativity in the communication. We all remember advertisement fights between Mountain Dew and Thumbs up. You may also remember Daag Ache Hai and Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye. Most of the products were very similar in the features and benefits they provided, and they were dependent on the creativity in the communication to bring in the differentiator. Now, with digital embedded in our life, the possibilities of design have brought in a differentiator in the form of creative products. The creativity is not limited to communication but is getting embedded at the product level itself.

Creativity is getting incorporated to create intuitive digital products.

2. Second conclusion – Digital Advocacy is defeating advertising

With the information accessibility, the gap between ad-creators and consumers has reduced and here is the day for Advocacy. With the whole digital wave, advocacy brought in much more value than advertisements. Due to information access, the consumers could distinguish between what is paid for and what is genuine. Advocacy was the new fuel that businesses wanted to drive. Amazon reviews, Facebook likes, Google Rating became the new hot cakes of the town. Yet, many businesses failed to understand that “the real advocacy is driven by delightful experiences created at the product level”

3. Third Conclusion – Productising a service offering leads to lower unpredictability of results

We, as humans, are hard to predict.
And business leaders hate uncertainty. I faced similar challenges when I was leading a service delivery team. To phrase it in the best way possible, there are a lot of uncertainties that are created in a services business due to different working styles. Business leaders love predictability, and it can come in any form. Establishing processes help us reduce unknowns that bring in more predictability. Delivering one service exceptionally well helps us look at services in a productised format. It also adds value in unique ways that neither a piece of software nor a freelancer is able to provide. You create processes around your service that reduce the chances of a regular visit from the queen of human unpredictability.
In a desire to solve the problems arising due to the above three tenets and with Moradian Sir’s word playing in the background:

“Don’t be the one who is in business just because the competition is lousy!”

India is becoming the heart of the action for digital products. There are over 100 crores of us who are lucrative for a lot of VCs, LPs & businesses. For a digital product to reach a product-market fit to scale users in this country, we need to create products that are intuitive to us – growth happens over digital channels. Proof of concept of digital products happens with the aid of offline channels. We obsess about digital growth utilising user journeys.

At Owned Labs, we help businesses create & improve digital assets that play an active role in online growth. We take ownership of conversion metrics for your user journeys and customer journeys. We are data-driven to the core. If you do not have analytics set up on your website, we do not touch your digital assets. Conversion metrics work as a better substitute to caffeine for us. Learning from our third conclusion, we have productised our service offering, leaving minimal room for uncertainty.

We could help Doodhwala get more Doodh!

For Doodhwala (India’s largest online milk delivery app), we setup up the customer journey for digital adoption. We were able to increase their basket size by 18%. By working on a very simple yet effective solution, we could improve the download to first order ratio. Today, Doodhwala is serving in three major Indian cities with over $10 million annual revenue.

After a strong start, we are working with high growth seeking businesses from e-learning to the e-commerce vertical. We are solving daunting, yet exciting problems.

Being a logic-over-anything person, I look back on how I landed here, it reminds me one of saying that I relate to a lot:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

My hustle started back on my SP Jain interview day when I started hustling to tackle Professor Rajesh Srivastava and his question – “How many Indian men may have French beard today?”

I had no idea how to answer that. But somehow, the answer I gave, managed to get me into the SP Jain Global MBA.

From that day to each course, assignment and presentation, to finally getting that job – I hustled to stand a chance to learn from my peers.

And that hustle to make it work is leading us to create. The act of creation has a multiplier effect.

About the Author: Mohit Bansal (GMBA’14 & Co-Founder, Owned Labs)

Mohit Bansal is a Global MBA (2014) graduate from SP Jain School of Global Management. From a marketing automation specialist to a go-to-market strategist, Mohit is a technology-driven full stack marketer. With experience in creating technology-driven marketing units, he loves solving user adoption problems by getting to the root cause of the context. A theatre enthusiast, Mohit is currently on a journey to create Owned Labs with his partners, with a purpose to design delightful experiences on digital assets.

Click here to read more success stories from SP Jain Alumni.

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