Anyone in the events space will know how difficult it is to get sponsors for events. Event managers are often stuck with not being able to go ahead with their events because of the lack of sponsors. Sometimes events don’t even end up taking place because of such constraints. That’s why Hitesh Gossain started OnSpon – an online marketplace which is accessed by multiple sponsors who are looking at the best events to partner / sponsor. As soon as one lists with OnSpon – their event is searchable and accessible to all these brands. This marketplace allows to bring wishful sponsors to connect with those events that are happening and fit the sponsors branding.
Hitesh looks to bridge the gap between these two key industries in this space. Formerly Percept’s CEO, he considered the business proposition first when he was managing sponsorships for the events at IIM Ahmedabad and realized that despite being from one of the most premier institutes of India – it was a challenge. When he took a job and was on other side – he realized sourcing of sponsorships is a equally big challenge. Hence, he used this perfect opportunity to create a responsive marketplace based on information arbitrage and knowledge enhancement.
His last salaried role was as the CEO of Percept, and that’s where he realized that this is a challenge even at the level of high value events and brands. He adds, “So here I was – coming across both sides of table – who were just separated by a thin line of information asymmetry – and that’s when I thought of Onspon.”
Team Misfits recently caught up with the enterprising founder for a small chat –
Team Misfits: Tell us a little bit about OnSpon’s beginning journey.
Hitesh: Within the first 6 months of launch, we were profitable. We had events lining up to get ‘listed’ when we didn’t even have a working website – these included the biggest ones in the country. The brands and their agencies have shown tremendous faith in us – in fact the first ones to come forward and use us were the biggest brands and agencies of the country. The matchmaking was partly automated but this immediate early traction gave us a lot of confidence in the impact we can make to the industry and growth we can achieve by driving revenues for events and effective audience engagement for the brands.
Team Misfits: What do you think of competition in this niche sphere?
Hitesh: There are multiple small time consulting companies who do it on project basis however there isn’t anyone who is doing that on a marketplace model. There are a few globalpeers like sponsormyevent.com , sponsorist.com, sponsorhub.com etc. On a product enhancement level, there is IEG which is the biggest consulting company for sponsorships globally.
However, India is a very different market where the average value per event is lower and the sheer numbers are massive. The brands also are keen on engagement matrices which can be established only at a certain scale hence we think we are poised to create a significant traction in this space.
Team Misfits: Whats coming up for OnSpon in 2017? Any more funding plans?
Hitesh: We are launching exclusive B2B sponsorhship marketplace for effective engagement opportunities for Launching a 24X7 call centre for events under our banner. We are also working on a Technology backbone creation for events to better coordinate on their technology needs – engagement with all event stakeholders in backend. This will be a rapid scaleup backed by tremendous traction on paying clients – we would definitely look for a second round once the gap starts coming between the cash outflow and projected revenues – we don’t see that happening for next 12 months atleast as our revenue pipeline growth is also very promising.
Team Misfits: Thanks Hitesh! Finally, three tips from you to hopeful entrepreneurs?
Hitesh: This applies to startups in media and experiential marketing space : Think scale before monetization. There is a temptation to work like an agency and create immediate monetization but hang on to the model – the size and sheer scale shall more than make up for it. Also, Do everything yourself won’t work. Delegate efficiently. And finally, customer thinks different from investors – remember that while dealing with both parties.
With over 13500 event managers and 450+ brands in their kitty, OnSpon are accelerating fast as one of India’s most foremost brands for events and event sponsorship aggregation.