The second day of the inaugural Facebook Fuel for India event started with a keynote session on how Facebook is partnering with businesses in India, large and small.
The keynote at Facebook Fuel for India saw sessions by small, medium, and large businesses such as White Hat Jr. Maruti Suzuki, Mondelez, The Moms Co., Licious, Karagiri, Wingreens Farms, and Vasthram Silk.
Discussing the subject, Ajit Mohan, MD and VP at Facebook India said, “Even as India locked down in response to the pandemic, the Internet remained open, enabling businesses to reach their customers, sell, and even grow. Amidst these remarkable shifts, it has been exciting to see the creation of new economic opportunities, and humbling to see the Facebook family of apps play a central role in enabling many businesses to make a new start by moving online.”
Facebook unveiled a new campaign film, Nayi Shuruaat, as an ode to the resilience of the small businesses of India through the pandemic.
Apprising about the state of her business through the pandemic, Malika Sadani, Co-founder, The Moms Co shares “We turned to our Facebook and Instagram communities to grow in these times. Over the last few months, we’ve done regular engagements, interactions, and Lives to engage, learn, and even institute new product development processes. As a result, we have seen triple the traffic on our website and our business has grown 200% pre-Covid levels”.
The Growth Of Smal Businesses
Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses, Facebook India led a fireside chat talking to four women-led small businesses that have managed to leverage digital to grow their businesses during these times.
“Facebook’s goal has always been to enable new opportunities for businesses, especially for the more than 60 million small businesses across India. Every day we see amazing examples of SMBs using the Facebook family of apps to pivot, and make a new start, and grow through this particularly challenging time. Through the ‘Facebook Fuel for India’ event, we hope to tell stories that inspire millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to navigate through this crisis,” said Archana Vohra.
During the fireside chat Pallavi Mohadikar, CEO and Founder, Karagiri spoke of how they supported their weaver community and launched their Diwali collection first on Instagram before rolling it out on their website.
Sunitha Sivakumar, Proprietor and Designer, Vasthram Silk said, “As people had a lot of free time and were spending their leisure hours on social media – we believed that pushing our budget-friendly collection and posting daily advertisements across Facebook and Instagram was of great help to us and made us grow throughout the crucial period of the pandemic. With Whatsapp, we were able to connect personally with our customers – which also led to a huge surge in sales.”
Meghna Apparao, Chief Business Officer, Licious spoke about how they introduced a ‘Notify Me’ feature on the app. This feature was integrated with WhatsApp, which enabled real-time messages to consumers when products became available.
Innovative Businesses Models
Karan Bajaj, Founder & CEO, Whitehat Jr shares the experience of scaling the company through Facebook apps, “I am very excited to be here because Whitehat Jr.’s entire fuel for growth was Facebook and I wanted to share that with the broader audience. Whitehat Jr. started with a very singular mission that kids should be builders and creators of technology. The company got tremendous traction in India and over 18 months we went from basically 0 to a $150 million run rate”.
He adds, “A lot of people know about the WhiteHat Jr. growth story but what’s not been discussed very often is that we grew to 5 million students and 11,000 teachers, growth seen on both sides of the platform, was driven entirely by Facebook. We didn’t use any other digital medium or go on to television till August of this year. Therefore, for the first 18 months of our growth, the entire journey happened on Facebook”.
The Pivot Of Large Businesses
Day 2 of the event also saw large businesses take center stage to share how they’ve grown using digital. Here are two stories from Maruti Suzuki and Mondelez.
Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India said, “Our research shows that 37% of brand salience and 45% of brand consideration is influenced by digital, and for both more than half is influenced by social media. Maruti has partnered with Facebook for building one of the largest digital retail networks with our 1000+ outlets as part of the hyperlocal program that was started in 2018. The program has become quite big and effective in driving quality offline retail experience and conversion. In the last six months alone, through Facebook Maruti has got more than 1.3 million enquiries.”
Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Insights & Analytics, Mondelez India said, “The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on small businesses because of falling footfalls. This Diwali, we wanted to do something special for small businesses and launched the ‘not just a Cadbury ad’, which went beyond being just an ad. This customized hyperlocal ad also included all those small retailers who sell multiple kinds of products that people give to their family members during Diwali. Through Facebook’s suite of capabilities, this hyperlocal ad featured close to 1800 retailers across six cities where viewers from different locations would see the local neighborhood retailers in hyperlocal ads. This triggered a lot of sharing within the local communities, generated positive buzz, and drove great business results.”