Shardul Pandey Talks To Gayathri Rajesh, Founder Of SearchnScore & By The Startups

I welcome you at, please tell our netizens about yourself? With quality experience in SEO, SEM, Content development & editing, Online reputation management and Digital Marketing in my kitty, I am a mother of two daughters, founded my own web design & development & digital marketing agency – SearchnScore, in 2011, that caters to a range of local, national and global clients. Based in Coimbatore, SearchnScore is completely bootstrapped and boasts of a crop of talented Web, Software professionals, Digital marketing analysts & Video production team. In an effort to buoy up Startups in the region, I started the initiative ‘By The Startups’ with a dream to translate all my efforts into a one-stop collaborative platform for Startups, Small Businesses and related Social Initiatives.

What is the story behind your startups ‘SearchnScore’ & ‘By The Startups’? I have a great passion for SEO and Online Marketing. My experience with a UK based company laid the foundation required for SEO. This was the time when the technique of SEO was still nascent in India. I realized at that point that India would have a big scope for online shopping down the years and I felt I can utilise it to the fullest if I could start an Online marketing agency, taking stock of the demand for online marketing solutions back then. It took another couple of years for me to leave my job and start my dream venture “SearchnScore”.

As a Startup, I faced a lot of hurdles. I had the idea to start my own business, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. My husband Rajesh, an MBA graduate, proved really supportive and he provided me with strong business fundamentals. I was pretty much cynical of the support that any Startup would receive at the onset. I felt I should start a one stop platform for Startups offering all the services right from its registration through to mentoring and funding in due course. Ultimately, any business should provide solutions for problems, and soon ‘By The Startups’ became a reality with the support of Shameer, a branding analyst and my long time mentee. Its objective is to garner the entire Startup ecosystem under a single platform so as to augment value and visibility to the Startup, SME & Early stage venture community.

As for the expansion of the Startup mentor ecosystem, we were able to rope in quality mentor partners and associates across the globe in no time. Currently, we are associated with Startups Club, The Mentorpreneurs, Shine ADA (Singapore), Be a Change, Finance Mentor and KS Legal & Associates. Our eco-partners and their pool of mentors help steer Startups towards the right direction in a gamut of areas including validation of startup ideas, vetting, honing marketing strategy, identifying and reaching target customers (B2C) as well as other businesses (B2B), establishing Fundraising channels and sources to Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy, et al. We are receiving a lot of applicants for eco-partnership and mentors at the technical and managerial levels, and I am pretty much confident that our platform will expand to meet the ever-growing demands of the Startup eco-sytem.

What problems are you solving? And how you are solving? By The Startups is gradually turning out to be a one-stop collaborative platform to connect Startups, SME/SMBs, Early stage ventures, and aspiring Student Startups with Mentors, Angel Investors, VCs, Startup/Business Consultants, Early Adopters, Seed Funds, Incubators, Accelerators, Trainers, Academicians and Startup Communities that will both empower and aid collaboration, thereby creating meaningful relationships with those around/within the community.

Our platform is completely free for all Startups, SMEs & early stage ventures, as we are essentially a free Startup community. Any Startup looking for mentoring, incubation, accelerators, startup consulting, or investment sources can get connected to us, and we’d put them through to these mentors. If you’re a Startup founder on the hunt for a co-founder or a co-working space, we help him or her with that too. We also help Startups with firm registration, resolve legal issues confronting their day-to-day operations, offer basic to advanced financial training (as most Startup founders are techies by nature). One can also post Startup events and related job offers on our platform for free. We cover stories of unique Startups, Startup founders, leaders and share expertise of management consultants. SearchnScore, being the web partner for By The Startups, helps build website, software and digital branding at affordable costs for Startups & SMEs as they are pressed for budget. All you need to do is drop in a mail or get in touch with us and we will be more than excited to connect with you.

Why should people choose you over your competition? With a few platforms already in place online to connect Startups and Early stage ventures with mentors and investment sources, By The Startups, through a strategic tie-up with quality non-academic Startup education firms, also helps produce quality mentors and even successful Startup entrepreneurs. This I feel is a certain selling point. Recently, we launched an exclusive All Women Entrepreneurship Cell (AWEC) with sound action plan and execution mechanism backed by endorse. Our Branding/SEO team working on our platform has proven experience of working with several major local, national and offshore brands. Furthermore, our Web User Interface (UI) helps getting our message clearly across various stake holders and targeted audience. We also have an appropriate tracking & monitoring system that allows any campaign performance to be measured, tracked, and reported on request.

Our business philosophy is pretty much simple – to build visibility and coverage for Startups & SMEs with unique ideas, and those that go on to develop innovative products and solutions; to connect entrepreneurial & Startup aspiration with quality mentoring, education, training, investment and funding resources; to serve as an ideal platform for Startup mentoring, training and consulting firms that make a positive impact on Startup entrepreneurship, business growth and community development; and to cover those ‘special’ Startups, which, in spite of socio-economic hurdles and challenges, strive for the betterment of community.

What is your business strategy? After launching the ‘All Women Entrepreneur Cell’ (AWEC) last month, I wanted to rope in the student Startup community into our scheme of things and subsequently, we tied up with Startup Conclave 2016, a popular Startup event for aspiring student entrepreneurs, as an event eco-partner hosted by the Karpagam Innovation Centre, an Incubator in Coimbatore, TamilNadu. We are also in talks with several women entrepreneurs’ cell across the country so that we can tap the required expertise and business education required for the development of quality women entrepreneurship skills. We are also helping independent business owners to set up franchises and build channel partner chain across the region. We are looking to partner with several technical Startups and tech service providers for SMEs for meeting out the requirements of the ever-growing Startup community. We are also in talks with a few educational institutions to develop a robust student – Industrial Entrepreneurship interface and development of solid incubation units within the institution’s premises.

What is your ultimate message for netizens? Be passionate. Think big, achieve big. Learn from your failures and leave a legacy for life. Keep it going. Don’t stop when you are tired, stop when you are done.

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