We talked to Abhimanyu Chavan, Founder Director of Manufactur3D Magazine, India’s First-Ever Online Media Company dedicated to the 3D Printing Industry, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Abhimanyu Chavan: The past year has truly put us all through testing times, but fortunately, I, my family, and everyone I know are unscathed by the pandemic. Being an optimist, I have taken this opportunity to learn and enhance my skills, so overall, I have managed to make good of the time the pandemic put in my lap.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Manufactur3D.
Abhimanyu Chavan: By education, I am a mechanical engineer with Masters in Business Administration in Operations. Though I have always been an average student my entire life, I cherish extra-curricular activities and hobbies especially reading. The obsession is such that I read 20+ books per year.
After my MBA, I joined Future Group, India’s largest Retail, in 2013 and worked for close to three years before leaving the job in 2016 to pursue my entrepreneurial aspirations. I spent the next year learning and understanding the 3D printing technology (which was introduced to me by my close friend). We bought a 3D printer, experimented on it, and learned a lot about the technology. To start my own business, I studied the Industry closely, had long discussions with some key players, and found a key problem that the Indian Industry was facing – Advertising and Marketing.
As there was no formal media platform for 3D Printing in India, there was a clear need for having one so that all the 3D printing companies can use this online platform to showcase and promote their brands, product offerings and reach their target clients. We decided to add value further wherein they can have the latest and updated news along with insights and analysis on 3D Printing, which will help the community to know the latest news, trends, and happenings in 3D Printing in India and across the world.
With the idea in place, towards the end of 2017, I, along with my co-founder (Siddhesh Chaukekar), who has a background in Journalism and brand building, started our media organization aimed at will helping existing 3D printing companies (primarily Indian) to advertise and promote their products and services online efficiently and affordably.
This way, we ended up starting India’s First-Ever Online Media Company dedicated to the 3D Printing Industry.
How does Manufactur3D innovate?
Abhimanyu Chavan: Since the very beginning, we have focused on bringing the most innovative services and offerings to our clients. We have been the pioneers in the online media space for 3D Printing in India. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we have been a silent catalyst for the Industry to share news and stories. We published stories so that these stories can help budding engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, and Startups feel confident about the huge scope for the 3D printing industry.
We started India’s First Online Advertising service, the First Online Magazine on 3D Printing, and even the First Customized Press Offerings to deliver a larger reach to our customers. We still have a lot many firsts to achieve this year.
Over the past three and a half years in this business, we have managed to connect with more than 25K+ decision-makers across Automotive, Aerospace, Engineering, Oil & Gas, Power, Government &Defense, Tooling, Medical & Healthcare, and Jewelry industry segments in India and globe. We have developed strategic business relationships with leading global brands and Indian business houses in the 3D Printing industry. To cater to the student and next-generation entrepreneurs, we have formed strategic associations with leading Academic and Engineering Institutes across India.
Additionally, during the pandemic, we built a strategic alliance with Fast Track Management Consultants – one of India’s leading Management Consulting and HR Recruitment Company having a dedicated division for hiring the right talent for the additive manufacturing Industry. The purpose of this alliance is to serve as a catalyst in building the 3D printing ecosystem in India.
This alliance also adds a new dimension of hiring and recruitment in the 3D Printing industry. We also have alliances to deliver certified and professional education in Metal and Polymer 3D Printing. This education caters to both the students and professionals.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Abhimanyu Chavan: Initially, it was a shock to the business as our business directly depends on the business of our customers. If they are healthy, then we are healthy. It is a symbiotic relationship, and we pride ourselves on that since we believe in building relations so that we not only deliver value to our paying customers but also the entire community.
We had numerous offline/outdoor plans lined up in 2020, but the pandemic disturbed them all. But we are always positive, and we decided to leverage only our online presence to boost our business. During the pandemic, we saw a whopping 3X rise in our readership, 2x rise in time spent on our website, and readers came from more than 150 countries to read our unique content. International companies eager to work and partner with us for their online activities. This was surely a huge positive for us and was a testament to our efforts.
Since we are a completely online business, we have been coping very well, and we expect to grow much faster than earlier in 2021 and ahead.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Abhimanyu Chavan: Yes, we had to take a few difficult decisions. As I mentioned, we had to drop all the offline efforts that we were counting on for our growth in 2020. To support our customers, we also had to drop our prices without compromising on our services. It takes a hit when yearly plans are not achieved, but we learned that not everything will always go as planned. We need to be flexible enough to absorb those shocks and continue moving ahead stronger and with improved vigor.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Abhimanyu Chavan: More than software tools, we rely heavily on a personal connection. We decided that we will use this time to connect with the 3D printing community – Business owners, Decision-makers, and leaders from the Industry to understand their point of view on the crisis and also work together in building a strong ecosystem for the Indian 3D Printing industry.
We also connected with a majority of the local or small entrepreneurs to understand how they were doing and sustaining during the pandemic and also helping them with our online platform to promote themselves, their good work, products, and services and helping them navigate during this challenging time. This had given us a lot of insights and ground reality.
On Management skills, we always believe that one can achieve goals with knowledge, skills, and capability, but if you have attitude and passion, you can achieve much more than normal goals. We are very passionate and work every day with a positive attitude. We learn to be more focused, more cost-conscious, and closer to the clients during this time.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Abhimanyu Chavan: We always consider our biggest competitor to be TCT Magazine. While being a competitor, they are also our inspiration. One of my aim while starting my Startup was to be like TCT Magazine one day. That is where we want to reach in the next 3-4 years. We aspire to be like them but still aim to deliver a unique value proposition to our customers. We cannot disclose all the plans we have in our kitty, but our readers and customers will surely see a lot more new offerings coming this year and ahead.
All I can say is that we are a pretty young company, but we have plans to expand and improve our global presence and deliver a 360-degree solution for all the stakeholders of the 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Industry in India and across the globe.
Your final thoughts?
Abhimanyu Chavan: As a Startup operating in a niche industry, we have always aimed at delivering value more than generating money. We are passionate and believe in quality work and leaving our indelible mark on all things we do. We have successfully managed to create a valuable product.
I can proudly say that Manufactur3D serves as a catalyst in building a robust 3D printing ecosystem and accelerate the 3D printing industry growth in India.
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