Journey of an Entrepreneur: In conversation with Lokendra Ranawat, CognusTechnology.com
Faith in one’s idea and the passion to make it happen are the keys to making everything else work out. Lokendra Ranawat, Founder & Global Business Head and his younger brother Virendra Ranawat, Co-founder and Global Operations Head at Cognus Technology – a full service digital marketing company
From L: Lokendra Ranawat and Virendra Ranawat
Faith in one’s idea and the passion to make it happen are the keys to making everything else work out. Lokendra Ranawat, Founder & Global Business Head and his younger brother Virendra Ranawat, Co-founder and Global Operations Head at Cognus Technology – a full service digital marketing company, have made things work out for their company by standing strong and tall for what they have believed in.
Headquartered in London, with an offshore development center in Udaipur, Cognus Technology is a young and innovative digital marketing company that plans, produces and manages digital marketing campaigns focused on rapid and quantifiable return on investment (ROI).
Listening to clients and delivering trustworthy, impartial opinions and advice to meet their goals is central to everything they do.They work with companies globally to develop marketing strategies to help them achieve their goals.
UT spoke with Founder & Managing Director, Lokendra Ranawat on what motivated him to quit his lucrative, well-paid IT job in London and startup on his own and how the decision has fared so far.
Lokendra studied electronics & communication engineering and has worked with large multinational IT companies in India and UK. “I love studying new market trends, building and implementing marketing strategies and Birlasoft gave me tremendous opportunities to work on these areas right after completing my MBA from IMT” says Lokendra.
The story continued, with his three years at Birlasoft being a huge learning experience, where he was exposed to different areas of business including marketing, brand building, business relationship management and new business development. This is where he gradually developed a passion for marketing and brand creation.
6 years into marketing & business development with IT companies, he felt, he had spent a considerable number of years away from home and was looking at moving back to India and doing something on his own.
“I knew it had to be something related to “Marketing” since that is what I had learnt with various IT companies I have worked with (Birlasoft, Keane and IT &T) and it was also one of my favorite subjects in university days during my MBA,” says Lokendra.
Speaking of the business, Virendra Ranawat ( Co-founder and Head of Operations) reminds us that Cognus is not an online marketing company but a consulting organization that guides, manages and monitors digital marketing initiatives and efforts towards creating the right marketing strategy for the client in this competitive web environment. In a short period of just eight months they have grown from a team of 3 to 50 marketing consultants.With multiple offices in UK and a dedicated offshore development center in India, the company has grown to INR 500 million with rapidly expanding team of 50 consultants including 35 MBAs, 15 BTechs and 5 interns.
The foundation History
While starting up was a conscious effort, they soon realized that the learning curve was steep. Lokendra says, “In the initial phase, business was small but we believed in its bright future. We had a small group of customers that we looked after and we still have their support today. We did a very basic break-even analysis and modest cash flow forecast before we made the plunge. We kept our overheads low and grew the business slowly and dumped the ideas that didn’t work.”
“We grabbed our first project from Sweden and business quickly grew from there. Now we have healthy client base across Europe and few parts of US & Australia. With smart networking and aggressive sales & marketing strategy, it wasn’t long before Cognus added several large customers across Europe.”
Our People: Without them, we’d literally be nothing.
Cognus was founded by people who were passionate about marketing and business. According to Lokendra, they have used the best technology available in the marketplace, and believe their competitive edge comes from the knowledge and insight of their team.
“Our team of over 50 specialists is made up of the best in business. Although we share a common approach, each of us brings our own set of skills and experiences”, he explains.
He further added that, “We know our future depends upon attracting and nurturing great individual talent and providing an environment where people can flourish. Work with us and you’ll enjoy the energy, excitement and downright obsession that we all share.”
“Visit our work place and you will experience a vibrant atmosphere, charged with discussion and debate about how to do the best for our clients and their customers. If you like to do either of these things we would love to hear from you!”
What Next ?
Talking about the way forward for Cognus, Lokendra says, “Our real weapon is exceptional customer service and innovative approach. Customers appreciate the fact we spend time answering their questions either by phone or emails. It takes time, but it pays off.”
“We are aiming to build one of the best digital marketing agencies across the globe. So, if Cognus continues to grow, our team will be at the very heart of that growth. We can’t do it alone. So, we are continually rewarding and motivating the team to strive for success.”