The lockdown gave rise to several innovative solutions to various problems daunting the society around us. Technology is an arena where the transformation has been phenomenal. We as a community have been quite successful in transforming the world, reconnecting the dots from the comfort of our homes to help our businesses. Here is an MBA graduate who saw potential in the new challenges thrown at him and rose to take it up and provide an affordable solution to technological problems; with his startup Cloud& Digital Solutions, he tries to bridge the gap between the retail brands ed-consultancies and the public. In conversation with Muhammed Sahil on his entrepreneurial journey.
Brief us about yourself, your background, and your previous ventures.
My name is Muhammed Salih N. I am a 2019-21 MBA graduate specialized in marketing and analytics from Rajagiri Centre for Business, Kochi. I completed my bachelor’s degree in BBA from the University of Kerala. I’m working as a freelance digital marketing consultant, and my start-up CLOUD7 DIGITAL SOLUTIONS. It is my dream venture which provides complete digital marketing solutions to the retail and ass, education consultancies, actors, as well as politicians.
How did you perceive the idea of starting your venture? What inspired you to start it? What is your vision?
From my undergraduate days, I had a keen interest in digital media and marketing platforms. My MBA gave me a lot of connections and networks with people associated with this field. I worked as a freelancer during my initial days and the actual idea of branding my services started during the initial period of pandemic lockdown days. I got several calls regarding the digitalization of retail shops during the lockdown period
Even though the covid pandemic made a huge impact on the economic system it literally accelerated the scope of digital marketing.
My vision is to support retail businesses with digital support in order to gain a competitive edge in the dynamic marketing and business environment.
What are the different services that you deliver?
We provide the following services
- Social media marketing
- Online branding
- Facebook ads
- Web designing and web development
- Celebrity page management
- Political page management
- Page verifications
- Graphic designing
- SEO & SEM
- Resume , CV designing
- YouTube, Facebook, Instagram reach engagements
What are the few challenges that you faced while setting up this venture and how did you overcome these?
Finding the best resources was not an easy task for me. As a beginner in the industry, mostly I preferred freelancers for my work.
I started cloud7 while I was pursuing my MBA. So it was hard to manage both business and academics at the same time. Time management was the major challenge that I faced during the initial stage of Cloud7. But as a business management student, time management is a part of our daily routine, and eventually, I succeeded with it.
With a lot of options available in the market right now, what makes you stand out? What are your unique selling points?
Pricing and quality of work are the key factors that differentiated Cloud7 from other digital marketing consultancies. Usually, we set the service charge based on the time and effort that we invest in the work.
Currently, there are a lot of options available in the digital marketing field. Right now, it is growing as a highly competitive market field. Quality and price make you stand out from the competitors. Also, it is important to deliver the service at the right time. Cloud 7 is a freelance model thus; we don’t generally make delays in our services.
The basic idea is to utilize each and every digital media to generate sales and to increase the marketing efficiency of our customers.
How do you reach out to your potential customers?
We reach out to potential customers mainly through my network connections. We generally use the WOM marketing strategy for our promotion. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn are also used for lead generation.
Could you brief us about the story of your venture so far, with the major milestones you have achieved?
Currently, Cloud7 is providing social media and digital assistance to several politicians and celebrities, and political candidates. Also, we are the digital supporters of several brands and retail businesses.
Do you have a team? Tell us about your support system.
Currently, I’m working in a freelance model. I hire the teammates according to the workload. Generally, provide pay for the work system. I’m using the scope online freelancer’s community groups to hire resources for the assignments. I have a strong network connection across these digital communities, so it is not that hard to find human resources for the assignments.
What are your plans for the venture? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Currently, Cloud 7 is in an expansion phase. We are shifting from the cloud space to an office setup. Also planning to offer more services aligned with the marketing field. Within 5 years, from a digital marketing plan, I plan to place cloud seven as he tops most business consultancies in India.
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