Last Saturday, I got a chance to interact with Mr. Anirudh Narayan, the man who was the speaker at the very first offline event of Growth Folks. The event was all about growth hacking, myths and misconception & finding your #1 growth hack and who could have been a better person then Anirudh, who has worked immensely in the field of growth hacking.

Anirudh, who has worked with Shutterstock as a growth hacker, has also worked with Javelin as Growth Manager. He has recently launched a marvelous book- Scale Smart: How To Get Your First 1,000 Customers In India.

Scale Smart is an actionable guide to start and scale a startup in India in the digital age. With hundreds of examples, live case studies and marketing breakdowns, it gives a startup the road map to get their first 1,000 customers in India. It was created after interviewing close to 25 founders (Ex: Founders of Bharat Matrimony, Practo, FusionCharts, Freshworks, Freecharge, and others).

Anirudh during Growth Folks's Event in Bangalore
Anirudh during Growth Folk’s Event in Bangalore

Anirudh has also helped over 1000 aspiring entrepreneurs and 25 startups in the US, Latin America, Africa, and Asia with launching their idea, reaching product-market fit and scale.

I got an opportunity to have a quick chat with Anirudh on everything related to Growth Hacking and a few basic things which every budding growth hacker has in his minds. Here’s a highlight of how it went:

Ayush: As always I’m here with a special guest for a fireside chat, and this time its Anirudh. We have just done an event right now and I have Anirudh who is the author of Scale Smart. He has done a lot of growth hacking for a lot of startups, not only in India but around the world as well. He is used to working with Shutterstock, Javelin, & so instead of me introducing him let’s ask him to introduce himself.

Anirudh: Ayush, thank you so much for having me by the way. You guys actually just put up a fantastic event. That was awesome. And so I’ve been in the group hacking space, digital marketing space for like the last eight-nine years and worked with a lot of companies in the US like Shutterstock and scalable path and done some work with companies in Latin America. I also did some work with Rocket Internet which is who is setting up something like Jabong but in Nigeria. So that was awesome. And I think I’ve come a full circle with the book(Scale Smart) which is, A lot of learnings that I had I was hoping I could give back. So it was in the form of workshops and courses that I’ve created and then finally put something together for the Indian ecosystem.

So since you know that Growth hacking is such a fascinating word today, People may or may not be knowing the actual definition of Growth Hacking, right. So how do you feel, calling yourself a growth hacker?

Anirudh: Right. I think it’s funny you say that in 2015 to literally, I would tell you from 2013 to almost 16, there was a huge buzz in the US about almost every second person was like I do growth hacking for a startup. And I think a lot of it’s picked up in India as well. And. It became another word for, “Hey, I do a lot of marketing for startups and I do some cross-functional stuff. And I think there’s a huge growth hacking community that’s picked up around the world. Like if you have which is huge and they kind of make sure a lot of content is aggregated. But I’m excited to see as a lot of the Indian ecosystem also kind of embracing this concept and picking up skills across the board not just like, Hey I am going to do just traditional marketing but I am going to look into things beyond that.

So, guys, I’m like really happy to announce this, Anirudh is now a part of Growth Folks. You can get in touch with him on growth folks as well. So Anirudh, How do you feel being a part of such growing community and one of its kind community, like, as I told you that Growth Folks is one such community in which a person who is starting as a naive to a person who is a highly experienced like you, can come together and learn and grow together. How do you feel about being a part of such a community?

Anirudh: First of all, Thank you for having me as a part of this community. I think anything which is of value to people in terms of where they can learn from across collaboration standpoint I think that’s great. And the fact that you doing not just online building but you building offline communities, that’s one of the events I think that’s really cool. So yeah I mean happy to answer questions.

So if you have to describe “Growth Hackers” in just one word, what it would be?

Anirudh: “Experimental”.

Crazy! What are the best channels for 2019 that you feel that all the growth hackers out there, can get benefited out of?

Anirudh: Consistent content on YouTube. Okay. I would say Instagram for B2C because they have now stories, they have IGTV, so you can actually dominate just one of those channels. Podcast in the form of Spotify and iTunes on other platforms.

So since you have been working a lot with startups and it’s been quite some years you are into this industry, what is that one growth hack that you feel very proud of? What was it? What did you do to scale it up?

Anirudh: So this was back in the day when I said back in the day this was in 2016 when the Quora’s platform was a little different so right now actually undergone a lot of iterations and getting a sense but I did some work for a company called scalable path. So they were there was already 2.5–3 Million dollar company. They are a premium Marketplace with developers and designers that you can hire on demand & they were trying to get Leads online. So we answered questions from a primary, secondary, tertiary standpoint like, ‘What do you look for when hiring a great CTO?’ Okay. Right, to questions which are very design specific or tech specific. And we would answer two questions a day across nine months. OK. And we were able to get approximately 250 leads a month(Oh that’s great) with five conversions a month with each conversion being a $100-$1000.

So do you suggest any resources or probably can you share some of the resources that the budding Growth Hackers out there can go & search something & read something out of those places?

Anirudh: Sure. I think the best way to learn is, you read a concept & then you learn by doing it. So I would definitely recommend checking out Brian Dean for an SEO, check out, obviously, Sujan Patel for content marketing. Then Avinash Kaushik for analytics and Google and stuff.

Anirudh, Any last word or probably a tip/suggestion for the budding growth hackers or for the people who are just starting of there career in this growth sector? What would you like to tell them?

Anirudh: Be curious! If you feel like you’ve learned a certain concept you’re like OK what’s the next thing I want to learn. And I think. If you want to hit a place where — I have a holistic understanding of marketing across the board, the first thing you do is, ‘OK I learned about, let’s say AdWords, I got the sense of AdWords does & actually I know how to get conversions, let me do Facebook ads. Let me go through the site. Let me do SEO. Let me create the content and create landing pages. I think once you come full circle of what we’re doing after years of experience all of this, then becomes so much easier for you to have a first conversation, like how can I help in your business.

So just one fun question. I just wanted to ask you this thing. So being a growth hacker, I have come across many people and they have this weird question that they ask me, ‘Tell me one Growth Hack for my company?’ So did you came across something such weird in your whole career.

Anirudh: Yeah I think this is very common because people are looking for, give me a quick fix on something. And I think the first thing that’s extremely important to kind of verify or clarify that, Hey, by the way, a lot of it’s about running experiments, a lot of it’s about the research and then putting a lot of principles of design and tech and marketing together.

So thanks Anirudh for giving us your time and being on this fire chat. Thank you, guys. Will see you next time.

It was nice interacting with him in the event and regarding everything else related to growth. I will be back with some interesting conversation with another talented person. Till then, Keep Growing! 🙂