Pop Quiz, Monday with Gaurav Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer at GirnarSoft

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Gaurav Mehta

What is your job role?

Chief Marketing Officer

Tell us about your company?

GirnarSoft is the mother company of leading consumer internet businesses like CarDekho, ZigWheels, PowerDrift, BikeDekho, Gaadi (India), oto.com (Indonesia). These are all automobile-focused businesses and help automobile buyers and enthusiasts with their car buying and content needs.
Girnar is backed by Blue Chip investors like Sequoia, Capital G, Hillhouse Capital, and Mr. Ratan Tata. More than 2,000 people strong; Girnar is a critical part of the automobile ecosystem in India and Indonesia.

What do you love most about your job?

We are a young company that is digitizing one of the most critical sectors in India. The auto sector contributes 7% of India’s GDP, and Girnar is digitizing the entire ecosystem; from car & two-wheelers buyers to OEMs to dealers. It’s an audacious task but one that challenges all of us continuously & positively. To see your work making a significant impact is pretty rewarding.
From a domain perspective; being in charge of editorial content has helped me understand content marketing in a comprehensive manner. I do believe this facet of my work helps me be a progressive marketer.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

1 — People I work with. I am working with some of the most driven people I have had the chance to work with.

2 — Opportunity we have created for ourselves. We find ourselves at the center of all conversations in the automobile ecosystem.

3 — From a personal perspective; opportunity to create another strong consumer internet brand from the ground up is something any CMO would love to have.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We are digitizing the entire automobile ecosystem. The pace of growth and challenges are unforeseen and insane. My colleagues are learning & un-learning on a daily basis and this openness to disrupt themselves and get out of their comfort zone is super motivating/inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

While there’s a structured approach that business heads and HR follows towards fun at work; more fun is the unstructured spirit that takes over the teams 🙂

It won’t be a rare sight to see jamming sessions late into the night after tough road tests/drives at the chief editor’s home; nor would it be rare to see Amit (Co-Founder & CEO) hosting impromptu parties at his place that will end with the sunrise. There are departmental teams that will take mini-breaks super zealously. And you will also have individuals getting 30 people to join on a cyclathon/marathons. Our colleague’s sense of fun is fairly broad-based 🙂

What are some of the challenges of your job?

1 — Getting the big calls right. As said earlier; we are fast-charging a big industry that’s already optimized majority of their GTM strategies. It’s essential that our forecasting of how things will pan out bangs on to get the stakeholders to share the same vision.

2 — Aligning People: Since things move so fast; it’s essential that colleagues understand and are aligned with what we are creating. Internal people, management & alignment is a critical part of creating value for the external ecosystem.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Through data analysis and research; we were able to find specific values that our group sites deliver to our consumers in a specific manner. We had to take hard calls to make sure that the specific sites were built on those values from a tech, product, content, marketing, ops perspective and we let go of short-term numbers to stand for the most important value. We see a tremendous upsurge in our engagement metrics since the CX has improved for our users due to us taking those hards calls. Would always sway to build long-term value by taking hard calls and not be deterred by short-term losses/pains. Most significant learning that I have had in the past 18 months.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

1 — Don’t straitjacket yourselves per your designation. Your designation/job role is hygiene from a deliverables perspective. Be curious to see how can you add more value to your organization upskilling yourselves. Be a part of conversations that are outside your job role. Best way to learn.

2 — Data centricity. Data helps you be more creative. Data enables you to be more creative; it doesn’t hamper creativity.

3 — Disrupt yourself every four years from a domain perspective.

4 — Be structured in your workday. Highly valuable & under-appreciated facet. It helps you get the most out of the least.

5 — People relations. At the end of the day; we all work with people. You can be a genius, but not a good people’s person and that reduces the probability of your success.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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