March - 2013 - issue > Cover Story

India's New Media Poster-boy

Rachita Sharma
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Rachita Sharma
There are some who complain about the lack of opportunities and then there are those who create opportunities for themselves and are often referred to as the 'visionaries'. Vineet Bajpai, Founder & CEO, MagnonTBWA and MagnonDAN, is one such man. A sincere entrepreneur, he built a highly successful digital media company from the ground up with a starting capital of a mere Rs. 14,000 or $ 300. Without succumbing to the hardships on the way, he created his own opportunities and today is referred to as one of the finest young CEOs and entrepreneurs in India.

Magnon, a full service digital media company provides a host of web based services to over 1200 client organizations across 15 countries. Founded in 2000 as a pure-play entrepreneurial venture, Magnon today has reached a new epitome of success. TBWA, one of the world's largest advertising and media companies, has acquired a majority stake in the Magnon Group to bolster its digital capabilities. Magnon is now a part of the much esteemed Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), a Fortune 500 global marketing and corporate communications giant. Magnon Solutions, the Indian arm of Magnon has now been rebranded as MagnonTBWA, and Magnon International. The Group's specialized offshore digital delivery agency will now be rechristened as MagnonDAN and will be a part of TBWA's Digital Arts Network.

The Magnon Story

Any budding entrepreneur's curiosity is bound to rise on hearing this 'rags to riches' story and would be curious to know how Bajpai managed to pull this feat of enormous measures. The story began when Bajpai was working for GE, after he finished his management degree from a reputed college. The job was great and so was the organization, but Bajpai always knew that something was amiss. He felt that his contribution to the mammoth organization was relatively minuscule. His undying desire of value creation made him feel like 'a small ball bearing in a huge steel plant' ie: insignificant. To satisfy his need to create real value and to personify his personality’s zest and zeal he decided to create an independent entity.

The problem facing the company then was the lack of any seed capital and financial backing. Not giving a second thought to the obstacles, he initiated the company in a tiny boiling generator room with two rented computers, one phone line and a vision to create an exceptional company. He braved all odds, be it the hostile outlook of prospective clients, their shoestring budget or the heat in the generator room. His hard work paid off well and soon Magnon started cracking deals and slowly and steadily grew their client list. "A major breakthrough in Magnon's journey came in 2003, when we bagged the critical contract to develop the Indian Finance Ministry's official website," says Bajpai. The agency maintained this website successfully for three years.

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