THE JOURNEY FROM CTO TO ENTREPRENEUR

SHABIR MOMIN, MD & CTO, Zenga TV talks about his love for technology which has helped enrich his journey from a CTO to an entrepreneur

30 Apr, 2018 by SHABIR MOMIN

BY SHABIR MOMIN
MD & CTO, Zenga TV

Technology is something that has always intrigued me and I made up my mind at an early age to follow a tech-related career path. I started my journey at age 16 and became a CTO at 21. I had stints with various tech organizations before the entrepreneur bug bit me. My ventures include OTT service Zenga TV, digital content company One Digital Entertainment, multi-platform distribution and monetization video ecosystem Oneaxcess.com, crowd-funding platforms Desired Wings and Catapoolt. Then there were Rastey Cabs, a corporate and retail cab service, SSN Solutions, a data science, prediction and AI company, and Creators Gurukul, a co-working company, among other companies I have created or helped build.

Apart from augmented reality, virtual reality and renewable energy, I am driven by data mining, artificial intelligence and contextual marketing. These are some of the core driving factors which keep me going. I believe that the world is evolving faster than we can keep up with, and this determines the way we interact, react, choose and engage with information and advertisements. I remember once visiting a town in rural India as a kid, where some big brands would drop leaflets from a helicopter and the kids would go running to collect them and bring them to their parents. We have now moved from an era of billboards, newspaper advertisements and leaflets, to a time of smart advertisements delivered through smart devices which are not only used to build engagement, but also to collect data, user behaviour, likes and dislikes and most importantly contextual marketing.

We live in an era where we think, eat, breathe, and sleep digitally. Marketers actively use this platform to leverage the opportunity to market the product to their respective TGs. With this comes the boom in the customer engagement space - contextual marketing. Indeed, this has become a catchphrase around the world and is quickly gaining momentum, with consumers’ shopping patterns, interests, requirements, etc, being a few key elements of contextual marketing. Consumers are well aware of their choices, and more engaging, customized marketing stands a better chance of grabbing eyeballs. The cultural shift from traditional marketing to contextual marketing shows the shifting consumer buying patterns.

Several brands have started using data mining, behaviour mapping, insight building, AI, prediction, and bots, to build user profiling, enabling them to pitch to the consumer at exactly the right time. For example, I purchased a drone from eBay a few months ago and ever since then, I am being re-targeted from multiple websites selling drones. Yes, I am a potential customer who might fit all the criteria; however, I have already bought a drone. Selling me accessories for the drone would probably be more effective than trying to sell me a drone yet again. While such marketing techniques are highly regarded as best industry practices, the effectiveness of it is not for every industry. If I donated to a cause once and am retargeted, it would still make sense. However, knowing the reason or circumstances owing to which I made a donation – say an emotional video, or a relatable story, is more important, Reaching out to me thereafter with the right contextual product or service is the ideal marketing scenario.

As part of my entrepreneurial journey, I love spending time with younger entrepreneurs who I help guide inspired by their energy.

@ FEEDBACK
Shabir@zengatv.com

Feedback: Category: Backbeat Volume No: 14 Issue No: 47

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