As we have reported in the past months, Indian startups of every size are raising records amounts of funding and getting public exits. To hear more about the growth behind the numbers we caught up with Ayush Srivastava, a cofounder of growth marketing group Growth Folks (and a growth marketer at Zynga by day).
This organization is “India’s largest network of growth enthusiast”. It started as an in-person event for growth marketing professionals from major cities. However, it moved to the internet during the epidemic. It started an online speaker series, added more networking groups, virtual events and mentorship for the 1300-plus members.
The interview is part of our continuing series on growth marketers worldwide. He says that India’s startup community has become more focused on growth over recent years. High-quality user growth is now a team goal and companies are more inventive about how and where to find them. I am impressed by the focus startups have on India’s tier 2 and 3 cities. They are making it a priority to solve the rural Indian problem with the speed at which internet access is growing. I love that the proper solutions for each pain point are being found.
Editor’s Note: The interview was edited to be more concise and clear.
Growth Folks is described by you as India’s largest group of growth enthusiast, with over 1,300 members. How do you define “growth enthusiast”, and what does it mean for you?
In the Indian startup scene, the terms “growth” and “growth marketing” have gained a lot of popularity in the past five years. There are now more than one million people who want to join this group or have already joined it. As more people began to see their problems as a whole, and not just their businesses’ growth, this had an impact. Growth enthusiasts for us are anyone and everyone who’s even half-heartedly interested in growing a brand/service.
What was the impact of the epidemic for community engagement on the growth and focus of Growth Folks?
Growth Folks had a strong presence in the offline world before COVID. Although we managed and engaged the community online, most of our efforts were made offline. Our success was largely due to the activities that we organized. We organized over 80+ events offline in India between December 2018 and the end of 2019. These were events that included panel discussions, seminars or industry talks followed by networking.
However, when COVID was introduced, operations were completely shifted online. I have to say that the transition was smooth and exciting.
Bi-weekly webinars were hosted with industry experts. We tried to give our attendees (both new and old) the same experience as the actual event by hosting this virtual gathering. This helps them feel more connected.
Since lockdown started, over 25 events have been held and speakers have come from many companies, including Zynga and Indigo Airlines. Adjust and Myntra are just a few of the others. We also started many interesting threads in our Facebook group, which encouraged people to interact more. We also launched our website within the same time frame to provide information about our services.
After the webinars, we have dedicated networking sessions for participants to meet one another. We relaunched “Brunch Sessions”, the online version that we had in pre-COVID days, in October 2020. The brunch sessions allowed fellow members of the community to get together for a single day, interact with one another and have fun. This was a great way to add value and we started creating more content online.
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Growth Folks offers traditional growth marketing services, as well hosting “growth hackathons” and other community activities. How can startups expect to work with Growth Folks in the future? What makes it unique from other services?
It has been almost impossible for us to make connections with people, and we still do. We started something called “growth huddle” This is an intimate mentorship session that consists of a handful of top talent in the space. Book your session now and we’ll walk you through it.
The mentors that were hired varied in their experience and expertise. They provide guidance and support to individuals as well as startups looking to expand. To promote startups and businesses, we also collaborated with them for online events. This allowed us to reach the Growth Folks who are the most important to them. Our collaborations with Canva, Adjust, Rocketium and Microsoft have allowed us to help people understand the correct things.
Which startups are doing more now than ever? India All over the globe?
Businesses are now realizing how important it is to have a functional growth team. They have also started to recognize the one thing that really matters. Growth marketers are also experimenting and using data to solve problems. Many startups are now thinking outside the box, trying new methods of acquisition. You don’t see them limiting themselves to traditional methods of acquiring users. That’s why so many innovative ideas are so popular. All in different ways…
Many founders don’t limit themselves to just hiring a growth marketing professional for all their growth projects. Instead, they spent the time to understand its importance and built a whole force of growth people including PMs, developers, technologists, designers, etc. This is my favorite way to view any growth issue statement.
It is amazing to see how startups focus on Tier 2 cities in India. They are also making efforts to solve rural Indian problems with the speed at which internet access is growing. I love that the proper solutions for each pain point are being found.
Companies are now more conscious of how important the customer experience is to them than ever. These are helping companies to build strong brands and communities.
Publited Fri, 13 August 2021 at 22:01:03 +0000