The co-founder and CCO of AnyMind Group shares the company’s expansion plans, leveraging the Indian market and more.
In today’s growing digital marketing landscape, direct-to-consumer (D2C), e-commerce, and influencer marketing are on a significant rise. A report by KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory services firm, states that the Indian D2C market value is worth approximately USD 12 billion in 2022. The same is projected to surpass USD 60 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 40%.
Dentsu India and Boomlet Group released a report called Impact Of Influencer Marketing In India on June 14, 2023. The report stated that 70% of Indians believe that influencer marketing has the highest rate of market penetration.
The rapid advancement of India's digital ecosystem and economy has attracted global companies to invest and expand their operations in the country. AnyMind Group, a Tokyo-based technology company provides end-to-end commerce enablement solutions to businesses. It entered the Indian market in March 2020.
Otohiko Kozutsumi, co-founder and chief commercial officer, AnyMind Group says that the reason behind acquiring POKKT, a mobile video advertising platform, in 2020 was because of the strong leadership management and the rapidly developing Indian market.
Our Indian office now has over 100 members and is focussing on growing the business with the acquired company.
“We wanted to enter the Indian market to start from scratch and it is better to have a partner or strong leadership in the country which is why we acquired POKKT. We also wanted to have a strong advertising platform across the market. Therefore, we thought of establishing AnyMind Group in India with the help of POKKT.”
Otohiko shares that AnyMind Group also offers influencer marketing and hence, works with online creators from YouTube and Instagram, and also with online media publications. “Before acquiring POKKT, we also worked on digital and gaming advertising and after acquiring it, we introduced influencer marketing and the brand commerce business,” he adds.
Since the company’s establishment in India in 2020, it has been appointing leaders for various verticals like gaming, D2C, business supply chain, influencer marketing, and also for managing the Indian office.
Talking about strengthening the Indian team, Otohiko explains, “Apart from the founders of POKKT - Rohit Sharma (COO and board member, AnyMind Group) and Vaibhav Odhekar (managing director, AnyMind Group), we have found and built a very strong leadership under Rubeena Singh (country manager - India and MENA, AnyMind Group). We also have this great synergy among departments that help provide end-to-end solutions to our consumers. Our Indian office now has over 100 members and is focussing on growing the business with the acquired company.”
We have our strong technology but at the same time, we need to localise some of our technology to each market.
The group has expanded its operations in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It recently entered Saudi Arabia and South Korean markets, to help businesses in the countries to expand into international markets while the company develops its domestic networks. Otohiko says that the strategies employed by AnyMind Group in other country markets are similar to what it is executing in India.
“A strong country manager in each country is important for us. We have our strong technology but at the same time, we need to localise some of our technology to each market. For example, Instagram in India is gaining popularity but short-video platforms like Josh and Moj are equally important platforms,” he says.
Otohiko notes a rapid increase in the number of influencers on AnyMind Group's influencer marketing platform, AnyTag, with a substantial influx of creators. He highlights the remarkable emergence of micro-influencers in the Indian market, indicating a significant trend. Additionally, he emphasises the substantial growth witnessed in the e-commerce sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, which persists in its expansion today.
The company currently works with e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra. It has also built a D2C business by launching its application called AnyLogi on a multi-channel commerce platform, Shopify.
AnyMind Group provides services like AnyX (e-commerce management), AnyTag (influencer marketing), AnyShop (e-commerce development), AnyManager (media and e-commerce growth), AnyCreator (creator growth), AnyLogi (International Shipping), AnyChat (conversational commerce), and AnyFactory (cloud manufacturing).
AnyMind Group is experiencing significant growth and actively expanding its presence across multiple countries. Of all the services the company offers, Otohiko shares that AnyX and AnyTag stand out as the primary focus areas for the company in India.
Our focus is more on generative AI and the tech team is building enhanced generative AI solutions for our platform.
This strategic focus is driven by the growing influencer marketing, D2C, and e-commerce sectors in the region. “We are also implementing performance influencer marketing. The reason behind this is the growth and development of these verticals in the country. We have always been ahead in the business,” he says.
AnyMind Group has established its presence in three Indian states: Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Otohiko notes that Delhi NCR and Mumbai hold significant business importance, while Bangalore hosts the tech team responsible for all technical management.
“We have our tech teams in India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Our focus is more on generative AI and the tech team is building enhanced generative AI solutions for our platform.”
Being tech-savvy, encouraging an entrepreneurship mindset, and a fast-moving ecosystem are some of the qualities the global markets should learn from India.
One thing that Otohiko loves about India is its seamless digital payment solutions. “In Japan, we do have online payments but it is a bit slow. On the other hand, we see India going cashless as everything is online, which is equally amazing. I do not have any payment applications installed in my phone but based on my team’s feedback and what I saw, I can say that India is tech savvy, as everything is done just with a smartphone.”
According to an article from the Press Information Bureau, India has topped the list for digital payments accounting for nearly 46% share in 2022. On February 21, 2023, India and Singapore launched the real-term linkage between the UPI and PayNow to facilitate instant and cost-effective cross-border fund transfers.
“With new-age startups being launched in India and turning into unicorns, the other global markets should also have the entrepreneurship mindset like India. Therefore, to sum up, being tech-savvy, encouraging an entrepreneurship mindset, and a fast-moving ecosystem are some of the qualities the global markets should learn from India.”
Interest from multiple global markets and Indian startups has spurred investment and expansion of operations within the sector, with concerted efforts to sustain growth and achieve profitability. With such competition, what sets AnyMind Group apart from others?
“Having a strong team leadership and synergy between the departments can bring higher value to a client. With a robust tech team in India and other nations, we also prioritise localisation efforts to a greater extent.”