Interview with Sayantan (Cyan) Mookherjee
Sayantan (Cyan) Mookherjee
Founder at 221 B Baker ST
Chapter President at AA-ISP
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey with us?
I completed my Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science in 2008. 2014 onwards, I was working on an idea about how to hyper customize marketing pitches which are sent across to target Decision Makers in a B2B scenario. The hyper customization is done by evaluating the persona of the decision-makers based on their social media posts on LinkedIn/ Twitter/ Blogs. Fast forward to 2020, we 221B Baker ST have been generating highly qualified sales opportunities for clients from 4 continents and different verticals like Niche SaaS-based Companies, IoT, Light Sports Aircraft, Real Estate Legal Advisory Solutions, etc. to name a few for almost 5 years.
Q2. What did attract you towards entrepreneurship instead of any corporate job?
I started my career as a Software Engineer in Wipro Technologies and later shifted to management overseeing revenue operations/ projections for a business vertical and then to Business Development and Account Management for organizations like ventures of Clarion Technologies etc. Although, I learned a great deal in those 7 years, one thing I wished I had more freedom for implementing my ideas and less knee jerk reactions from management.
The last nail in the coffin was a near-fatal car accident due to the rash driving by the office chauffeur which damaged my sciatic nerve that resulted in a 40% disability, however the employer simply washed their hands off it.
Q3. You are a founder at 221 B Baker ST. Such a unique name. Which kind of problem are you solving with the help of your venture?
Am sure you must have received today at least tens of marketing emails/ Cold Calls etc which are mostly useless coz either they don’t know what you do as a business or they are sending the same canned emails. 221 B Baker ST is an organization where curious minds have assembled to investigate and make B2B sales an intelligent profession.
We understand our client’s product thoroughly and find the exact keywords which map the features of the product. Using those keywords, we try to map the buying intent of the potential buyers of those products, triangulating companies, and relevant decision-makers.
Finally, we investigate what those decision-makers are thinking through their official social media posts on LinkedIn/ Blogs/ website and we customize every marketing message of our clients to them. This reduces the sales cycle by at least 38 percent.
Q4. Where do you want to see yourself and your venture after 10 years in career?
We have written nearly a million of customized marketing pitches based on the official social media posts by the target DVCXO of organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune Companies. We investigated and segregated the social media posts of LinkedIn into 25 -27 types (Awards/ New Product Launch etc). However, we are doing this manually and want to create an AI system that can write the customized marketing pitches simply by taking the LinkedIn profiles of the target decision-makers as input. We are already training an ML model using IBM Watson. The end-user of our product will also have the freedom of choosing which customized marketing pitch to use, which will act as a feedback to our ML Model. Hence, we want to move towards a Subscription-based SaaS model from the current Services model we offer.
Q5. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
One? I want to change multiple things in me, starting from taking my health more seriously, learning to say No more often, etc.
Q6. Which is more necessary according to you between an Idea and a Good Team for a Successful Startup?
The answer is both. An Idea without implementation is useless. That’s one of the reasons I spend substantial time in training new joiners and track their progress in understanding concepts.
Q7. Tell us about one of the moments which changed your perspective towards life?
I will share two special moments. It was the year 2008-09 and the recession was at its peak. Despite being hired as Engineers, Wipro Technology decided to either revoke our offer letters or join in the BPO division. We felt this was unjustified and rallied mass protests which ensured our offer letters are reinstated. This was a turning point in my life. But it was the same Wipro Technologies that gave me the big break to work in the management within 3 years of my service without a so called MBA degree and learnt the fundamentals of corporate man management from the brightest of minds.
The second one was when I adopted a little black cat on the road in the year 2013. Today we have 6 adopted pets at home and they have made me more compassionate and responsible in life.
Q8. How do you see the new Startup culture? Is it different from the old traditional business pattern?
The primary difference I see is technology evolving every two years (the advent of 5G will bring more changes) and that will make or break a company. This was not present in the old traditional business. Secondly, startups are extremely flexible and changes in strategies happen quite often than before. Last but not least, the workforce of traditional companies in comparison to startups are very different. Millennials have a different career aspiration than boomers/ GenY/ Z.
Q9. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?
It’s not a skill, but the thing I respect about myself is that I have never got attached to tangible things but have always focused on knowledge, creativity, compassion and the larger picture.
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