Madhura Samarth of Ripple tells us about creating animated/stock footage marketing explainer videos for businesses.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Madhura Samarth: By God’s grace, my family and I are doing well. It’s been good to be able to spend time with each other as we are all schooling/working from home.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ripple.
Madhura Samarth: I completed my schooling in Mumbai and then got my Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Economics from Lawrence University in the US. I then worked on Wall Street in New York as an investment banker for a few years prior to moving back to Mumbai.
I always wanted to run my own company and started 2 other ventures before I found success with Ripple Animation. Venturing into creating videos happened organically! My first venture, Liquid Equity Capital, helped start-ups raise funds, my second venture Sharp Shooter Films, which was a joint venture with the WPP group, created TV commercials, and my third venture Ripple Animation is an amalgamation of my 2 core skill sets – understanding businesses and finding creative ways to tell their stories.
Ripple creates animated/stock footage marketing videos for businesses. Our sole purpose is to create marketing videos that drive business results. Studies have shown that as attention spans shrink, in today’s world of content overload, the most effective way to get a prospect’s attention is via well-crafted video narratives. Different videos can be used at different points in the buyer journey, from awareness to a purchase decision. These could include explainer videos, demos, ‘how to’ videos, festival greetings, and more. Our clients include Amazon, Vodafone, National Airlines, Johnson Controls, HP, Ernst & Young, and many more.
We were recently also awarded the top explainer animation company in India, 2020, by US-based Clutch, which is one of the best-known ratings and reviews platforms, and also by Corporate Vision – an independent UK-based group. You can view our reviews here.
How does Ripple innovate?
Madhura Samarth: We innovate at many levels –
1. Finding ways to improve our processes to maximize quality and turn around time
2. Figuring out how best to reach our prospective clients in terms of marketing
3. Working on strategies to break into large, untapped markets where we could make a difference.
We have to do a lot of research, talk to clients, understand gaps in our internal processes, figure out how we can cross-sell and up-sell.
My co-founder and I spend a lot of time thinking about what’s next. We experiment a lot to see what’s working and what’s not.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Madhura Samarth: The pandemic has been good for our business. We mainly work with B2B companies within tech, financial services, professional service, consulting, healthcare, and engineering…so, we’ve been fine. We had a better year than last year.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Madhura Samarth: The only choice we had to make was whether we should work from home or go back to the office. We decided to continue the work from home policy. It’s served us well because employees save a lot of time commuting and are far more productive than ever before. We learned that if you give responsibilities to people and trust that they will deliver, most do!
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Madhura Samarth: We use zoom a lot, we also schedule calls with our team every day (10 am, 3 pm, and a round-up call in the evening), we use a dynamic excel spreadsheet that’s updated regularly to track deliverables, and above all, we spend time talking to our clients and teams to see how we can serve clients better and how we can keep the employees happy, motivated and more productive.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Madhura Samarth: We have innumerable competitors, but we are the #1 in the Indian market as rated by Clutch.io, a well-known US-based review and rating platform, as well as by Corporate Vision in the UK and Design Rush, US.
We are well entrenched with our clients, most of which are large enterprises, funded startups, and unicorns. They need multiple videos every year, and they love what we do. It’s hard for them to find another video agency that understands complicated businesses can write great scripts, visualize well and execute as per expectations on time and within budget.
Having created IP in terms of customized video assets over the last 5 years, we have now launched a B2B SAAS offering for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) which need high-quality video narratives to showcase the benefits of their offering. India has 48 million SMEs, the USA has 30 million, and Europe has 25 million.
These SMEs don’t have the sorts of budgets that are required to create high-quality custom videos. They also don’t have the resources to make the videos in-house – to bring together a good scriptwriter, visualizer, animation director, and audio post engineer is a Herculean task.
Ripple has leveraged its experience in the explainer/demo video market to create engaging explainer/demo video templates at affordable prices. All the business owner has to do is enter the text within placeholders when prompted, upload the logo and/or screenshots, and the video self creates within minutes. We’ve done this by structuring templates into formats that work. For example, we begin by entering the problem statement, introducing the solution, uploading the logo and/or screenshots, summarizing the key benefits, and ending with a call to action.
Recognizing the need for brands to be present on social channels and engage via e-mail marketing, Ripple has also created festival greeting videos which brands can customize with the name of their business and the logo. The message in the videos can also be customized.
Your final thoughts?
Madhura Samarth: We are very excited about our templatized video offering for SMEs – we believe our affordable video templates will go a long way in helping them engage with prospects and converting them, thus increasing small businesses grow their top line. In our clients’ success lies our success too.