Exclusive Conversation: Ankit Aggarwal, Founder-Dare2Compete.com
Ankit is an engineer with an MBA degree in Marketing and Finance.Prior to Dare2Compete.com he has worked as consultant with firms like Sapient and Deloitte Consulting. He also holds a certification in management from Harvard Business School. He loves playing badminton and watching movies on big screen. In an exclusive conversation with Ankit, he reveals the story of Dare2Compete.com a creation that will lead to a new era of competitions and ignite the spirit of competitiveness.
1) What was the idea behind starting Dare2Compete.com?
Idea came to me during my first year of MBA when I was looking to participate in competitions. I soon realized that there isn’t a platform that provides information real time on competitions organized in India and abroad, and the information about these competitions are hard to find. I wanted to participate in competition to give a practical angle to my knowledge and win prizes and PPIs. I opted out of my summer placements to give wings to my idea and incorporated Dare2Compete.com to solve this problem. What started off a just a infomediary service, has now grown into one-stop-shop for competition related services – Conceptualization, Execution and Promotion.
2) Please tell us about your business model and revenue model?
We offer various packages for online quizzes, online business simulation games, promotion of festivals and conceptualization, execution and promotion of brand properties for organizations/institutions to enable new dimensions of employer branding in campuses, competition led recruitment of future leaders, and employee engagement programs.
3) How many organisations do you have in your network now?
Our clients include Aditya Birla Group, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, MINT, Indian School of Business (ISB), IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIT Delhi, IIT BHU etc. Here is the list of our clientele (non-exhaustive).
Recently we conducted employee engagement activity for Deutsche Bank; helped MINT newspaper in executing their pan-India business quiz MINT Check Point; hosted online quizzes for IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Madras etc.; and executed an online strategy simulation game competition for Aditya Birla Group to identify high potential summer interns called “STRATOS” where 1381 students participated across 6 campuses in India – IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, IIM L, XLRI and ISB.
4) What is your user acquisition and marketing strategy?
We partner with some specific festivals to penetrate into our target audience. We regularly do competitions to ensure we engage with our audience. However, we’d like to create properties that are self sustainable and that vouch for our standards of excellence.
5) Tell us about your three major challenges and how did you overcome them?
Challenges are always there when you take an unconventional approach and develop a segment that doesn’t exist. It was really hard to convince people how competitions can help them in branding, recruitment and ideation. I still remember one of my first few calls when I was actually told by a very senior executive that “You have exactly 30 seconds to pitch me post which I’ll drop this call”.
6) From acquisition point of view, any merger or acquisition plans?
No plans as of now.
7) Are there are similar models existing. How do you plan to face the competition?
As a one-stop-shop, No. We do have websites that list and promote competitions but not any website in India that offers these many services. We’d like to grow the pie and not cut into the piece of our competitor.
8) What measures do you take in authenticating the user generated competition you get on the site?
We do that through our partner network. We are completely transparent about the registrations that any competition gets on Dare2Compete.com and share the same with the organizers. However, we recommand our advertisers to check the authenticity for the winners and runners up directly as well, if needed, through ID cards or Bonafide certificates. We now are the trusted partner for many organizations.
9)Are there any plans of having paid competitions on Dare2Compete.com?
We already have paid competitions on Dare2Compete.com. Listings are free and remain free but we’ll continue to charge for all the add on services like promotion, quizzes, simulations and creating brand properties.
10) What is your future plan?
Once we establish our strong foothold in Indian markets as I see a lot of potential there, we’ll slowly move into the international market as well.