The fascinating entrepreneurial journey of Baskar Subramanian, a visionary leader who has significantly impacted the technology and media industries, is a story to be told. He shares his ventures, from the self-funded Impulsesoft to his recent groundbreaking business venture, Amagi. With a focus on disruption, diversity, and embracing the journey, Baskar’s story exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and the power of determination. Let us delve into the details of Baskar’s ventures, highlighting the challenges, successes, and valuable lessons he learned along the way.
Impulsesoft: A Journey of Recognition and Transition
In 1999, Baskar Subramanian embarked on his entrepreneurial journey with Impulsesoft, a technology production company specializing in wireless multimedia headsets and watches. Impulsesoft quickly gained recognition, attracting interest from three companies in 2005. However, Baskar and his team quickly recognized that the business model had reached its saturation point, prompting them to make the courageous decision to exit the market in 2009. This marked the first phase of what Baskar called “unconscious entrepreneurship,” where the visionary instinctively understands when it is time to pivot.
The Birth of Amagi: Disrupting the Media Market
Baskar Subramanian then shifted the focus to his current venture, Amagi, which he describes as a lasting institution driven by disruptive innovation. In its early days, Amagi did not have a formal business plan but instead focused on defining the value system and vision for the institution. Baskar emphasized the significance of targeting the proper market segment. Recognizing the untapped potential in local advertising for Indian TV in 2010, Amagi introduced its first service in Hyderabad, offering localized ads and splicing signals. While the concept received a positive reception from the public, effectively selling the idea posed a challenge.
To overcome this hurdle, Amagi embarked on an ambitious mission to build media planning and measurement systems in hundreds of cities. They also assembled massive ad sales teams, laying the foundation for their future success. Baskar’s resilience and determination shone through as he and his team relentlessly pursued their vision.
Challenges and Transformations: The Journey Continues
During this period, Impulsesoft faced financial difficulties, prompting Baskar to seek support from NSRCEL. With a much-needed injection of funds, Baskar adopted a model that involved buying advertisements for specific regions. The team approached TV channels, purchased inventory, and then strategically split and sold it to different areas. However, a fundamental problem arose when Unilever realized they were spending more on Amagi than their own sales team, negatively impacting their revenues. Unilever’s sales team responded by increasing prices, eventually reaching a saturation point that required a pivot in their business approach.
Baskar’s keen eye for emerging trends led him to explore the potential of the streaming TV industry. Leveraging the power of cloud computing, the internet, and the virtual world, Baskar boldly decided to shut down Impulsesoft entirely and rebuild from scratch. This marked a significant turning point in his entrepreneurial journey. Amagi’s remarkable growth from two channels to a staggering 250 channels is a testament to the team’s resilience, adaptability, and unwavering determination. The company’s operations expanded worldwide, and by 2020, Amagi employed over 1,000 individuals across 40 countries. Baskar’s decision to focus on the journey rather than obsessing over the destination proved crucial in overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
Lessons Learned: The Power of Vision, Diversity, and Starting Small
Throughout his lecture, Baskar emphasized the importance of having a clear vision and taking the first step, regardless of the destination. He highlighted the need to embrace the journey, stressing that work and life are inseparable parts of the process. Baskar’s success story underscores the significance of luck and hard work in achieving entrepreneurial goals. According to Baskar, diversity is not limited to educational backgrounds but extends to behaviours, thought processes, and ideas. He described the three cofounders of Amagi- himself as the optimist, Srividhya Srinivasan as the pessimist, and KA Srinivasan as the “numbers guy.” This diversity of perspectives and approaches contributes to a well-rounded and innovative team. Baskar also advised aspiring entrepreneurs to focus on predicting the impact of future trends rather than obsessing over precise outcomes. Entrepreneurs can build a solid foundation for sustainable growth by starting with smaller customers and gradually expanding.
Baskar Subramanian’s entrepreneurial journey embodies passion, resilience, and the pursuit of innovation. From the early days of Impulsesoft to the groundbreaking success of Amagi, Baskar’s story inspires us to dream big, embrace challenges, and constantly adapt to the ever-changing business landscape. Through his experiences, we learn that entrepreneurial success is not solely defined by reaching a destination but rather by our transformational journey. Baskar’s emphasis on the power of diversity, the importance of vision, and the need to stay excited every day resonate deeply with aspiring entrepreneurs. As we conclude, let Baskar Subramanian’s remarkable journey serve as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging us all to chase our entrepreneurial dreams, think big, and positively impact the world around us. Remember, success lies not only in achieving goals but also in relishing the journey itself. So, let us dare to dream, dare to disrupt, and embark on our entrepreneurial adventures!