Walking around in Hyderabad, one can find colourful ads on cycles and rickshaws. No, don't mistake them for boring political banners. The idea behind these ads comes from three men who had the creativity to think out of the box.
With the aim of generating employment in India in a novel way, 24-year-old engineer Mohammad Imran and his two friends Pruthvi and Prabhu who were NIT graduates decided to quit their jobs in UK and returned to India to start their own start-up company called Adwagons in India.
L-R Prabhu Gajawada,Mohammad Imran and Pruthvi Raj Reddy
Mohammad Imran from Mehboobnagar, who is the co-founder of Adwagons told The News Minute, “When I was a kid, I always observed ads on rickshaws for movies and other announcements in my village, so this idea was always there in my mind, and when we three were thinking of a business plan, this idea struck me and that is how we started Adwagons.”
The start-up was launched on August 29, 2015 with five employees. Now, they have around 80 employees out of which 60 are permanent while 20 are on daily wages. You only need to know how to ride a cycle in order to work with Adwagons.
Forty-two-year-old Yadgiri, a daily wage worker from Kukatpally said, “I am working here for the past 6 months and we get Rs 500 per day. Earlier I was a daily wage labour in Kukatpally where I used to earn Rs 200 per day, which was very less to run our family. Now I am very happy to work with Adwagons.”
"We earn enough and our work is also very comfortable. After me, 20 of my friends joined here and all of them are very happy because this job is very comfortable as compared to labour work which we used to do earlier,” he added.
Though it was a little difficult for the company to get clients in the beginning, but later this outdoor advertising service attracted many clients.
Adwagons has worked with many popular clients like Quikr, Ola, Akshara schools, Unibic, Zoom cars and for GHMC election campaign, TRS party besides many more.
In the recent GHMC elections, Adwagons got a good response from many political parties as they felt that through this medium, their campaign could be run for a short period in various places, and it would also enable them to reach a wider audience by accessing remote areas.
Imran said, “Exposure is our golden rule in this business. With this innovative, high impact, mobile advertising solution, clients can obtain a powerful and cost effective brand exposure.”
Adwagons offers a smart and convenient alternative to ho-hum advertising by developing targeted, high-visibility routes, thereby getting the message across effectively to the customer. The result is cost-effective, eco-friendly and useful.
Twenty-six-year-old Pruthvi Raj Reddy from Mehboobnagar, another co-founder of Adwagons told TNM, “When we three were studying in NIT Warangal,I was the student council president of NIT- Warangal 2010-11batch and we used to conduct National level College fests, and in one of the fests when sponsers expressed a wish to promote their brands, we got this idea of advertisements in motion, as we can't have hoardings in the campus.”
"Moving ads gets more attention is what we felt, we carried the idea at the campus which really worked and after college we got really busy with our careers. So we couldn't start our project immediately, but later we came back from UK and in March 2015, we finalized the idea and started this company in August 2015.”
On the clients’ demand, Adwagons has started night campaigning of ads with lights, on cycles and a GPS facility has also been provided to track their exact location.
Speaking about the challenges they faced, Prabhu said, we used to face many hurdles from the big players of the ad industry as some clients directed a few of their campaigns to our domain which made them pretty angry and which later created a lot of difficulties for us.
"We choose not to fight with them but when we communicated with them and thrashed it out, it was a win-win situation for both of us,” he added.
The trio plans to expand their business within three months to cities like Bengaluru, Pune and Vizag besides a few others.