afaqs!

SureWaves: Building branches

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | January 17, 2014
As SureWaves raises Rs 35 crore in the second round of funding, founder and CMD Rajendra Khare talks about its expansion plans and focus.

SureWaves MediaTech, a media convergence company, recently announced that it has secured Rs 35 crore in the second round of funding from Canaan Partners. The round also saw participation from existing investors Accel Partners India and India Innovation Fund.

Rajendra Khare

Talking about the focus areas, the founder and CMD of the company, Rajendra Khare, tells afaqs! that the company has built the base platform and is now ready to build branches around it. "SureWaves is a small team of 60 people right now and there are certain functional areas where we are not stacked well. We have not built enough on the marketing and sales front. We need more people who can reach out to the market partners."

According to Khare, in Phase I, the company that was launched in 2006, was able to establish a compelling network and has been able to educate people on the technology and offering that SureWaves has to offer. "Now the idea is about getting steep. We need to create a better awareness, education. We also need to have a bigger sales team so we get better coverage in the market."

The Bengaluru-headquartered company is also looking at strengthening the finance team to handle volumes better. Khare believes that with the focus on these "critical" areas, the company will be able to generate better growth.

Being technology-dependent, SureWaves also has plans to invest heavily on the innovations. "There is a lot more on the technology front that we have done in the past and we have to do in future. We need to raise the bar higher. We need to achieve the scale, fine-tune it so we offer better services to our clients. And, there is a lot more being planned on the technology front," he further adds.

As far as the expansion in India goes, SureWaves claims to cover 28 states and seven Union Territories of the country. "The company has a tie up with large multi-system operators (MSOs) who reach out to around 80-90 per cent of the households. We will be filling the distribution gaps and will be penetrating deeper into the country. We also plan to expand beyond India. These are the strategic areas where we will be utilising the fire power. We could not execute these plans earlier or think of them because of financial constraints," he explains.

The company aims at delivering value proposition to the clientele which is far beyond geo-targeting and offers mass viewership. "For the clients what matters is the size of the audience that we are reaching out to as they want to maximise their reach. Large numbers of viewership base combined with geo-targeting is what we offer," Khare adds.

On the impact of digitisation on the company, Khare mentions, "Digitisation has been a boon. Currently we have been addressing the cable TV channels. With digitisation, the quality of signal that goes out has improved drastically. The number of channels that are being aired now, that are localised is far more than what was possible earlier - reason being the increased bandwidth. This is resulting in expansion of our offerings. Also, in terms of measurement, households post-digitisation are becoming more scientific than they were before."

Capitalising on India's extensive cable television network, SureWaves promises to deliver growth by taking brands straight to the target consumer. Currently, SureWaves' fast expanding network penetrates more than 100 different markets across the country. Through partnerships with over 250 local channels, it reaches more than 80 million households. More than 50 large advertisers are using its services, including HUL, GSK, L'Oreal, Dabur, Airtel, Aircel, Tata Motors, Honda and Nestle.

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