Voiro & The Doors of Perception

I love music so most of my thoughts begin with a tune. In 1967 Newsweek published an article about the Doors titled “This Way to the Egress”. “There are things you know about,” said Ray Manzarek, whose specialty is playing the organ with one hand and the bass piano with the other, “and things you don’t, the known and the unknown, and in between are the doors – that’s us.”

Many famous quotes are controversial, so is this one. But what matters is how much depth and power it has. Why the references to Blake, Huxley, Manzarek & Morrison? Because life usually comes full circle and you walk through doors – known and unknown. 

In 2014, I worked with a company called The SpotLight Plan, in the business of content creation and analytics that became Voiro in 2015. Our paths converged again and I joined Voiro Technologies in 2019. It was a homecoming of sorts, returning to Bangalore and joining a team I had worked with before. At Voiro, new doors open every day and every door leads to another. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, in the best possible way.  (Voiro is a play on the French word “Voir” – to see, observe, perceive and understand) How data is  perceived, understood and  revenue decisions made is the  essence of Voiro’s proprietary algorithms.

There are many untold stories at Voiro and in my role as CMO, I often grapple with which door to open and which story to lead with. There is the story of the startup, the woman founder & CEO in tech (~ < 10% of tech companies globally are founded & run by women CEO’s, FYI) and that makes me proud of our CEO, Kavita Shenoy. We have to break the glass ceiling or die trying. 

There is the India AVOD story, the SaaS growth story, the data is magic story, the investment race, the customer success and product design story and Film Noir –  the dark Trainspotting story where failure becomes our best guide. All of these are true for us, and all of them must be told at some point.

For now, this narrative is about the team I have worked beside for over  6 months, a tightly knit team that gets the job done, despite the daily challenges of business as usual. Of personalities that are chalk and cheese, yet get a sprint completed at 100%. The story of not just surviving, but thriving as a startup in an extremely complex digital advertising tech world.  This incredible young team keeps me on my feet and sets my brain on fire. We spend so much of our lives at work and I am glad to be part of a company that I enjoy working at. I have begun to learn how engineers think and work – something I did not have too much exposure to in my previous sales or marketing roles. Yes, at work, the word stack now means something other than things piled on one another! I hear words like Goldilocks and Celery (not in a salad, but distributed tasks in Python. No, thank you –  no snakes or celery for me!) 

There is a scientific approach to problem solving that is inherent in a product company that builds and breaks code every day. Though I do not know how to code,I see a product that pirouettes like a ballerina with years of practice and an agile, dextrous grace. While this might seem effortless, the truth is that it has taken years of perseverance, grit and determination to achieve and I respect this team, because now I view technology with new eyes. The doors of perception, remember? 

There’s a lot to be said for a team that pushes each other beyond a comfort zone and expects more than the best you can give, because that drives you to discover and delve into unknown depths. There is a competitive streak between teams that drives all of us because winning matters. This directly  reflects the brand and culture built and nurtured through the years. And GeekTrust agrees with me.

What does Voiro do?

We power unparalleled intelligence to publishers for revenue growth. Our product has been designed and built  collectively by:

Anand, COO (a perfectionist with a deep love for basketball) 

Anil, CTO (a polymath with a deep love for trains) 

Jithin, Head of Development, who has turned problem solving into a fine art. (He would argue with me here and say it is scientific!)

Kavita, CEO, who has been Charlie to the 3 technologist ‘angels’, and held everyone together!

So, I observe how perceptions are formed, shaped and reimagined. I dice my day into pieces – I tackle tactics and I plan ahead. The vision is to partner with leading publishers and have one marquee client in every continent. I’m swimming in the deep sea and enjoying the tides. My mission is to market a product that has taken over 5 years to build. I know that  the only way to win is to start small and create a snowball effect. To market tech, design, analytics, live sport, reality TV, ad exchanges, content and revenue growth – all in one product is a marketer’s dream come true. 

I’ve fallen in love (not blindly) with Marc Benioff’s maverick approach to business, and admire SalesForce’s marketing vision and success. (though there is a dichotomy and inherent dilemma to accepting his ‘inclusive capitalism’ philosophy)

Anyone who has watched Shark Tank knows what investors look for and “an elevator pitch” is something every founder can recite in their sleep. I’m creating my own version of the Voiro pitch and looking for opportunities to perfect it.  I read about growth hacking, strategic and product led marketing, lumascapes, SaaS, PaaS, DaaS, B2B, B2C, B2B2C, D2C, automation, ad stacks, martech stacks, SSP, DFP, GAM, CMS, ERP, SAP, ROI on content, on digital spends, displays, mastheads, banners, pre rolls, mid rolls, native advertising, ad trafficking, programmatic and real time bidding, IO’s, RO’s, revenue reconciliation, QBR’s , CSM, deployment, QA, the demise of 3P cookies (no, thankfully, not Oreo) how ML, AI and bots are taking over the world and about raw logs (not to light a fire, but terrabytes of historic data that can be queried to build the greatest reports in the world). Exciting, isn’t it? 

Voiro –  India’s first homegrown revenue management product suite and a force to reckon with in the ad led world. We empower making data driven decisions, our customers use our product and refer us to others. I see how our product makes people better at their jobs, I study how we power ad sales, how we propel revenue growth for some of the leading publishers in the world, watching the show from behind the scenes; from under the hood; the Ferrari of business intelligence.

How could one resist telling these stories? 

Stay tuned.