The Inception of ThoughtBuzz – The Journey of Two GMBA Alumni

After graduating in 2004 with a Telecommunication Engineering degree and having worked on Mobile Softwares for about 4 years, I was very keen to grow my career and learn the business skills for the same.

Once I found out about the 1-year Global MBA program, there was no turning back. It has the best of both worlds – a great School and an international exposure. My experience during the Global MBA was much more than what I had expected. I got to learn from the 2 great economies in the world – Dubai & Singapore. The curriculum was comprehensive, and the faculty & staff showcased great dedication to make the course relevant for us. I also made some great friends from various backgrounds & experiences. SP Jain taught me not only what was there in the course, but also how to take calculative risks and make things happen.

It is during this time with SP Jain that I could take my Entrepreneurial plunge and create ThoughtBuzz with Anshul Jain (batch mate at SP Jain & co-founder of ThoughtBuzz). ThoughtBuzz was conceptualised and founded during the last few weeks of our course, in 2009, when Anshul and I started working on laying the foundation. By Apr ’09, we had secured a government grant and agreed on the terms with our first Angel investor.

ThoughtBuzz was officially launched with our first client in Singapore, in less than 3 months. In the next 2 years, we expanded our services to Malaysia and India. In 2012, we started our offices in Manila & Jakarta as well. From 2009 to 2012, we grew about 75% Year over Year in terms of revenue and we had a team of 20 people.

We wanted to expand our product and service offerings not only to new markets but also needed the right resources in terms of capital, people and network. Hence, we started discussing the possibilities of an acquisition. ThoughtBuzz was then acquired and became a part of TO THE NEW, a premium digital services company based in Singapore. Both Anshul and I joined the Sr. Management team of TTN.

While starting out with ThoughtBuzz, I could use all the skills I developed during my GMBA, such as making a business plan, raising funds, product management, business development, growing into new markets and a successful exit (through acquisition) for my company ThoughtBuzz. While growing the business at ThoughtBuzz, I could see and recall the relevance of topics like Organisation Behaviour, Financial Modelling, Analytics, Marketing & Product management that was covered during the course at SP Jain.

Today, I manage TO THE NEW services in South East Asia region. This includes ThoughtBuzz, Digital Analytics and Marketing services, and managing a team spread across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines & India. Today, I meet new clients to understand their needs & problems, and work with them for the execution of the right Digital strategy.

About the Author

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Global MBA from SP Jain (GMBA ’09), Ashok Patro has spent 4 years in Mobile Software Development and the last 8 years in Digital Marketing & Analytics. Having started as a co-founder of ThoughtBuzz, a Singapore based social analytics dashboard, he could see the full cycle of being an entrepreneur from start to a successful exit (acquisition by TO THE NEW). He has, since, worn multiple hats of a Problem Solver, Thought Leader, Coach & Salesman. A passionate Digital Marketer with a great analytical mind is what he considers himself to be, and Ashok is always ready for a challenge and eager to learn from people around him.


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