Friday, October 19, 2012

Shakir Ali is digital marketing man of the year 2012

Bangalore: Shakir Ali the founder CEO of E-merchant – one of India’s top digital marketing companies in India was awarded “Digital Marketing Man of the Year 2012” by D Venkatesh Murthy the new Mayor of Bangalore at the 69th Award Arch of Excellence Award function organised by All India Achievers Conference at Hotel at a star-studded ceremony attended by industry captains, film-stars and TV personalities last night.  Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. K.S. Eashwarappa was to be the Chief Guest but could not attend because of last minute preoccupations.

This takes the tally to two -- prestigious national Awards in the field of digital marketing from two different organisations– all within a week. The message is loud and clear, Shakir Ali has arrived as a new force to reckon with in the digital marketing scene.

Earlier on 13th October 2012 Shakir Ali was presented the “Best Online Marketing Service Provider Award” by former Indian Cricket Captain and Head of BCCI Selection Committee Kris Srikkanth at a ceremony Organized by Big Research at Hotel Lalit Ashok, Bangalore. Interestingly K. Srikkanth was himself an awardee at the last -- 68th All India Achievers Conference (AIAC) Awards for Individual achievement and nation building in Chennai. Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah inaugurated the conference and presented the Excellence Awards to prominent personalities.

Speaking to the media after the award, Shakir Ali said,Digital marketing is evolving faster than any other market on earth and influencing the world will live in right now. Many companies are shifting from traditional marketing to Internet marketing because it effective form of marketing with proven results.”

“Any business that does not have a strong website, and doesn’t use some sort of social media interaction and online advertising, you will be left behind. This new digital marketing era”, he added.

Digital Marketing is the practice of promoting products and services using digital distribution channels to reach consumers in a timely, relevant, personal and cost-effective manner. The best part of digital or Internet marketing is that it is relatively cheap to implement as compared to traditional marketing but has provided a plethora of opportunity to individuals and relatively small businesses to to do business and compete globally.

He is a living example of a person of how digital marketing can transform our lives. He set up E-merchant, with hardly any money but built it up to made a big impact in the digital world. Today E-merchant is one of the top six digital marketing companies handling some 1500-2000 clients worldwide in USA, UK, South Asia, UAE and Australia. It manages about 100-150 websites every month and is rated to be among top 30 SEO companies by an independent rating authority in India.

Son of a pharmacist (compounder) from Begusarai in Bihar otherwise came from a humble family background. As a child, he had to sleep hungry on many nights. Even while doing MBA he worked at a tea shop, because it offered the opportunity of a free breakfast. He could not afford to pay for the lunch and sold caps outside the masjid to pay for his education. As such he virtually had a zero bank balance when he started but then he had had the right ideas and knowledge of technology. And never looked back.

According to Abhishek Bachan, Executive Director of AIAC, “The AIAC award was instituted in 1989 by the All India Achievers Conference. It is conferred on a few and rare people who have really worked hard to achieve and excel in their field of activity.”

About The eMerchant

The eMerchant has evolved as one of the leading players in the digital media marketing sphere in India, USA, UK, South Asia, UAE and Australia over the last five years. It is providing its services in web designing, development, SEO, ecommerce solution, branding, and reputation management to many big, medium and small enterprises. In a relatively short span of time, it has been able to consolidate its position as a trusted and respected service provider known for meeting deadlines and offering tailor-made specific solutions at competitive costs.

For more information about the search engine optimization services of the company, visit

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Man from Begusarai who conquered Hyderabad

Son of a pharmacist (compounder) from Beghusarai in Bihar, he came from a humble family background. But even though he had virtually zero bank balance to speak of he never offered that as an excuse for not being able to do things.
What he did not have in his pockets he had in his brains and that made all the difference.
After completing class 12th in Begusarai he moved to Aligarh Muslim University which in a way cemented the roots of Islamic culture inside him.
In 1995 he moved to Delhi for doing MBA but being from a poor family he had to do odd jobs like working in a tea stall where the owner gave him free breakfast. He still could not afford the lunch so he stayed hungry and on Fridays sold caps outside the masjid to pay for his education. Scarcities are fact of life - either you live with it or challenge it. Those you dare to challenge are the one who can dream big and live better.
After a course in web designing he joined an Export house where for the first time he used his skills to procure international orders. This was the starting point. His next two jobs saw him working for a travel and tourism and IT Company. Both had elements of digital marketing-something he loved doing.
So with small savings in his pocket and big dreams in his eyes he moved to Hyderabad and set up E-merchant with a small capital investment. As they say fortune favours the brave... luck favoured him and the business kept growing.
As a result despite the overall recession in the IT industry - though the business volume took a dip, his profitability never declined.
Today e-merchant caters to some 1500-2000 clients worldwide and manages 100-150 websites every month.
He lives with his wife Abida and two daughters Mariam (8) and Khadija (6).
He attributes his success to his elders blessings and his wife's sacrifice, "She always stood by me. There were nights when I was working on the computer instead of sleeping at home with her and the children, but she never complained".

The man who finally defeated Hunger

He has had a longstanding relationship with hunger. Much as he hated it, hunger never missed an opportunity to torment him. As a child, he had to sleep hungry on many nights. Even while doing MBA he worked at a tea shop, because it offered the opportunity of a free breakfast. He could not afford to pay for the lunch and sold caps outside the masjid to pay for his education.
Deep inside, he promised to first and foremost fight hunger. Today he has enough to make his own family and 50 odd people who work for him and their dependent's comfortable and hunger free. That is besides providing prosperity and a reason to smile in the lives of 100s of franchise partners, vendors and associates indirectly linked with his business.
E-merchant is already one of the top six digital marketing companies and among top 30 SEO companies nominated by an independent authority on Search vendors in India.
Technology has not proved to be a great enabler but has also given him the means to do business worldwide. "Today you don't need deep pockets and a big establishment - but even small men and small companies can compete globally", he says. They don't call him an E-merchant, just like that. With his small hands but big dreams he is making a big impact in the digital world.

"Every company in the digital world is a global company'- Shakir Ali

He started at a time when hardly anyone was taking digital marketing seriously and is today heading E-merchant - an online marketing company with a strong presence in USA, UK, South Asia, UAE and Australia. Almost 70% of its clients are from USA, followed by 10% from India and Australia with UAE and other South Asian countries contributing to the other 10%.

New Delhi: This is the age of 'iConsumer' - who is always connected to the Smartphone, Tablet, FaceBook, Twitter, social networks, and other emerging media. Even those using internet are simultaneously plugged into more than 35 billion sensors, routers, cameras and other such devices using some form of smart technology for gaming, e-publishing, music or video playback. The past few years have also seen a proliferation of Internet-enabled game consoles, DVD players, DVRs, and TVs. In a few years Internet Protocol television (IPTV), will be offering video-on-demand.
"The consumers in the digital age are fully aware about what's happening globally. Marketing to this - digital generation of awakened consumers is not easy and will surely change the manner in which we interact, entertain, buy, advertise, sell and work" says Shakir Ali the founder of E-merchant who is set to rewrite history of digital marketing in India.
He started at a time when hardly anyone had started taking digital marketing seriously and is today heading E-merchant - an online marketing company with a strong presence in USA, UK, South Asia, UAE and Australia. Almost 70% of its clients are from USA, followed by 10% from India and Australia with UAE and other South Asian countries contributing to the other 10%. Riding from success to success E-merchant's future plans include penetrating the African and Korean as well as the booming domestic market in India.
Digital marketing is a growing $100 million (Rs 400 crores) industry in India, with a base of 81 million Internet users-- the fourth largest in the world and a steadily growing figure of 17 million mobile-Internet users. Already, more and more people are using use the Web-instead of yellow pages or trade directories to search for information, read reviews about new products and compare prices. An indicator or the growing popularity of digital media is the fact that already the maximum searches for products like laptops and mobile phones - on Google are from India! Online user reviews are influencing buying decisions making a big hole the bottom lines. Many companies are using web sites to experiment with selling in virtual world as well as provide sales and services to the customers. At this rate the day is not far when India will become the world's first truly mobile digital society.
An array of mobile, smartphones, social networks, Internet and other digital networks have opened up new possibilities for global communications and information sharing. Fusion of mobile and internet communications have created new opportunities to reach consumers. As a result digital advertising is proliferating. Already quite a few companies are spending over 10 percent of their advertising budgets online. Within a matter of 2-3 years the number of companies spending majority of their budgets online will increase significantly. According to a forecast by McKinsey the total number of Internet users will increase more than fivefold, to 450 million, by 2015. Accordingly the total revenues from digital consumption may rise to $20 billion (including access charges).
"Technology is altering lives and changing human behaviour- in a manner which seemed impossible till a few years ago. As a result of e-mail, text messaging and social networking, the Americans who traditionally were known to be poor readers are now spending more time reading or sending emails or SMS than a decade ago," says Shakir Ali.
"As a result every company-how so ever big or small is now a global company. Even an individual can now sell to his product or services to customers worldwide without even stocking a single item in the inventory", says Ali. The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that it helps brand to connect with its target and potential customers and build strong relationships with them through a variety of methods like market research, advertising, publicity, sales, merchandising and distribution.
An illustrative example of digital success is FaceBook which has a user base of 400 million -- enough to make up the world's third-largest country. Another example of the strength of digital marketing is More than half of its sales came from books that were not even stocked in any traditional book store. Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing helps to reach out to people and places even beyond where you could physically distribute your visiting card or printed product catalogue.
"As a result many companies are shifting money from traditional marketing to Internet marketing", says Ali. According to him some of the benefits of internet marketing include:
  1. Results are Measureable - Internet marketing allows you to see exactly what you are paying for, its impact on your bottom line and thus whether every penny was wisely spent?
  2. Decisions are based on facts -Internet marketing allows you to study every detail about your audience. This helps you to fine-tune and increase the effectiveness of your campaign, any time.
  3. Ideal for niche marketing: -Internet marketing can help to target a specific audience and ensure that your money is being spent in the most effective way.
  4. Promotes feedback - People normally trust word-of-mouth much more than traditional ads before forming an idea about a product or service. As an tool of internet marketing Social Media- helps to spread positive or negative feedback about your product or service like wild fire.
  5. There are no ifs and buts: far from a guessing game Internet marketing allows you to innovate, test new ideas and improve the campaign's performance.
  6. Permanent online address - What you see or hear on TV or radio is gone the next minute. Though you can turn the pages of a print newspaper or magazine, they too have a shelf life. Internet is like a permanent address that people can visit anytime online and get what they want. Even if someone does not know about your company, they can find you using a search engine.
These are the reasons for the growing popularity and effectiveness of Internet marketing.