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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2011: Timeus Interactive, Delhi, India

Posted on Monday, Oct 31st 2011

Companies have different marketing and technology needs based on their sizes and the needs of their myriad customers and partners. That’s what makes companies like Timeus Interactive, based in Delhi, India, so valuable. Each client gets a solution as individual as a custom-made suit.

Founded in 2003, Timeus Interactive is a 100% self-funded boutique creative agency in the Internet professional services industry.  The company started as a Web development agency, primarily developing and maintaining websites. It has since evolved into a full-service agency that offers multi-platform user interface design and marketing services.

Timeus works with companies in India and overseas by developing experiences for brands to connect, engage and build sustained relationships with their consumers both online and offline.  Timeus’ key service offerings include website design and development; software applications development; content management of Intranet; development of e-commerce portals; social media marketing; email marketing; search engine marketing; and branding, collateral design and communication support.

Founder and CEO Amitesh Roy is one of the early digital entrepreneurs in India and a social media expert. He grew up in Delhi and graduated from Bhagat Singh College with a degree in economics. He went on to get his certification in executive business administration in foreign trade from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).  He spent five years working for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), helping the organization to develop research papers on European Union (EU) trade and white papers for the EU delegations to India. He also took care of EU countries, organizing joint business meetings between trade commissions and the Indian government.

Afterward, while managing MSN India’s Business & Finance portal, he recognized the potential of the Internet, seeing it as as something more than just a publishing platform. In 2002, he formed Timeus Communications. In 2003, Timeus Interactive Services Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated, and the team grew from four employees to nearly 40 today. As the Internet evolved, Timeus expanded its offerings to include media platforms and application development to make it a full-service interactive marketing firm.

Timeus differentiates itself from competitors like Wunderman, Tribal DDB, Interactive Avenues and BC Webwise by offering a combination of creativity and technology for its clients rather than leaning either more toward creative or more toward technology, as he believes the company’s competitors tend to do.

The market for digital increases day by day. According to an industry report, which was unveiled at the Confederation of Indian Indutries’ (CII) Best Online Marketing Practices event in February 2011, the market for online or digital marketing in India will go from its current $286 million to $408 million by 2013.

The company’s top target segments are big Indian houses that still have not touched digital or use it minimally; MNCs with multiple products, B2C and B2B audiences, which have stiff competition and need partners like Timeus for faster turnaround and good output; small and medium enterprises (SME) that need content development and creative work; and new entrants in the Indian market.

Timeus believes that “a happy customer gives repeat business as well as references.” For the first few years of the company’s existence, Roy relied on word-of-mouth marketing and spent no money on sales or marketing. Today, the company’s client list contains such heavy hitters as Microsoft, Novell, Reddington, Eicher Group, and Raymonds. Over the last two years, increased competition from both domestic and foreign companies led Timeus to create a full-fledged sales and marketing strategy that involves making heavy use of social media. A team of development managers help the company to curate new customers.

Consistently profitable and growing 30% year-over-year, Timeus has annual revenues in the $1 million range. In some cases, pricing is based on the scope of work the company does. A digital engagement could range from as low as $3,000 to as much as $100,000 or more. For example, to develop a 25-page website, with no Flash, could cost a client $200,000. An Intranet set up for an organization with 500 or more employees could cost $600,000. An e-commerce portal with 500 products could cost $300,000. For standard social media management, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube updates, the fee is approximately $100,000.

Pricing for standard services are $100 to $150 for a standard banner with concept, copy and design; $300 to $700 for an e-newsletter with concept, copy and design; $150 to $250 for standees; $1,000 and up (including print charges) for a theme-based event backdrop; and $130 to $250 for eDMs.

As a part of his growth strategy, Roy looks forward to building strategic partnerships with consulting firms that want to add digital or social media to their services portfolios. Another part of his strategy involves strengthening the skill base of his team and creating a second line of leadership to drive Timeus’ spirit of ownership and innovation.

The idea of acquisition by a larger organization appeals to Roy; however, he remains open minded to other alternatives, like bringing a private investor on board.

Recommended Reading
Deal Radar 2008: ON24
The 1M/1M Deal Radar 2010: Liferay

This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Deal Radar 2011

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