The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Who Needs Tech?

Friday, June 1, 2001

In the summer of 1997, Raj Kaushal approached young record producers Shabbir Ahmed and Jay Kumar with an idea for a free student entertainment publication. They called their creation Snoop and set out to tap into the sudden rise in edgy youthful magazine journalism typified by mainstream publications like FHM and Maxim, hoping to duplicate the phenomenon for the UK’s large South Asian market.
Kaushal explains that more traditional Asian media, targeted at first generation South Asians, was completely lost on the growing numbers of young second and third generation consumers in the market. Snoop grew in phases. After a year, the editors charged a token 25 pence to keep away people outside the target audience who were picking up copies just because they were free. But marquee advertisers weren’t coming aboard. So, after another year, Snoop’s founders made a leap of faith, adopted a glossy A4 magazine format, and began charging £1.50. Kaushal remembers wondering if people would pay.

At every stage, the founders bootstrapped the company and were, in Kaushal’s words, “flying by the seat of our pants,” always investing everything back into the development of the product.

Still, the biggest advertisers weren’t ready to go for Snoop, so the magazine doubled in size and took on an appearance much closer to Vogue or Cosmopolitan than would ever have been imagined from its humble debut. Snoop, which now sells for £2.50, outsources the fashion photography that is the centerpiece of every issue to India.

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