Rammohan Sundaram partners Manish Vij to launch PlatformPlay

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | March 04, 2013
PlatformPlay will be the India-entry strategists for various digital publishers across the globe.

Rammohan Sundaram, erstwhile co-founder and CEO of digital advertising network Networkplay, has launched his new venture named PlatformPlay Media. According to the company, PlatformPlay will be the India-entry strategists for various digital publishers across the globe. The venture is backed by Manish Vij and Harish Bahl-led Smile Vun Group. The amount of investment was, however, not disclosed. Vij has joined the board of PlatformPlay as SVG Media's representative.

Rammohan Sundaram

Manish Vij

PlatformPlay's focus is to create more opportunities for advertisers through communication on the digital platform. It aims to bring various international digital publishers into India. "We will be the India-entry strategists for various big digital publishing brands across the globe. We have already signed a couple of brands, but can't reveal the names now, and the first announcement will be done on April 1. We can assure that we will not be fooling people around on All Fool's Day," smiles Sundaram, chairman and MD, PlatformPlay, in a conversation with afaqs!.

The company is looking at various models of partnership and is open to doing consulting, build-operate-transfer models, brand licensing, representation and even revenue sharing. "There are more ways in which the arrangements with various partners will happen. We are doing something new that has not been tried in the market earlier, and we can also look at equity infusions with our partners as well," Sundaram adds.

Speaking on what PlatformPlay can offer to a publisher, who can launch in India individually as well, Sundaram explains that the company is looking at any digital publisher that has enough traction from India and is looking at India as a growth market. "We know the market well and we can better execute the product's sale strategy in India. There are India-entry strategists in many other businesses as well, but none for digital publishers," he adds.

Sundaram's last venture, Networkplay, was acquired by Gruner+Jahr, a media company which is a part of Germany's Bertelsmann group. Networkplay was then a Capital18 and Webchutney-backed company which operated a digital ad network and published a digital marketing site, It also organised Ad:Tech in India in partnership with DMG events.

Sundaram has been a part of the digital media industry since 2003. Prior to Networkplay, he has worked in leadership roles with Yahoo India, Tribal DDB, Madison Communications, (a Monster company), Encore Events, Microland and The Indian Express.

Smile Vun Group is a joint venture between Manish Vij's Vun Network and Harish Bahl's Smile Group and operates four businesses that include performance advertising network Tyroo, targeted reach network Velocity, affiliate marketing network DGM and PrecisionMatch, a data provider for digital marketing in India, SEA and the UAE.

Explaining why the Smile Vun Group chose to invest in PlatformPlay, which is primarily not an advertising network, Vij says that SVG's strategy has been to develop the digital media ecosystem in the country and thus invest in entrepreneurs. "Besides, if you look at our acquisition of affiliate network DGM, all these have been made on the back of high-power entrepreneurs. What Ram is trying to do is very different from what we have in our bouquet of companies. There has been an advertiser and publisher side to most of our businesses, but with PlatformPlay, we will have an opportunity to work and handle international publishers who operate very differently," Vij adds.

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