Wondrlab, Launched in 2020, comprises a power-packed mix of creativity, experience, and technology, with a deep understanding of human behavior, brands, and platforms. In December of the same year, Wondrlab acquired What’s Your Problem, India’s hottest and most-awarded independent creative agency. Wondrlab has acquired a series of platforms such as ‘Opportune’ – a data-driven influencer marketing platform in March and Neon in June. Neon, – A performance marketing agency, uses. data, creativity, and deep platform understanding to successfully deliver bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns. Wondrlab Technologies was launched on 9th August 2022, which aims to help businesses and brands adapt to the industry 4.0 digital landscape. On 25th August 2022 Wondrlab launched WISR, an open technology platform designed to empower schools through brand alliances.
At Wondrlab Rajesh is stringing together a solution stack across design, data, and technology in an outcome-driven ecosystem. Previously, he was the CEO of Indigo Consulting and PubHub. He was also the Chief Growth Officer (India) at Publicis Groupe. His 30 years of work experience include co-founding a digital-first brand activation agency (with a successful exit) and launching India’s first online training, certification, and employment platform for elder-care and baby-care caregivers.
In an exclusive interview with Ciol, Rajesh Ghatge, CEO, of Wondrlab Technologies, shared insights about the most exciting projects that Wondrlab Technologies is currently working on.
Wondrlab Technologies is a capability pillar of Wondrlab, and houses competencies to deliver end-to-end marketing transformation and digital business transformation solutions to our clients in India and Overseas. The team comprises digital strategists, solution architects, and certified engineers, who have deep expertise in CRM, Marketing and Sales Automation, DX, Commerce, Data Analytics, and Digital Product Engineering.
We are emerging as a technology partner who, together with the above world-class competencies, uniquely, leverages a deep and contextual understanding of digital marketing, brand transformation, and business transformation. We deliver at the convergence of data, media, content, and technology.
What are some of the biggest challenges in the martech space that clients face today?
At a certain level when we interact with the C suite across the marketing, digital, and technology domains – making the right choice of a future-ready stack, taking tough decisions on the tech debt, ensuring effective integrations with numerous platforms/products, and most importantly ensuring adoption internally across their teams and leadership – remain some of the biggest challenges that clients are facing today.
However at a fundamental level – clichéd as it may sound the CMO and the CTO/CIO organisation still operate in silos. A few of the clients who have made a concerted effort to address this fragmentation are winning. Interestingly the challenge is more about getting the right organisation & KPI structure to drive tech-driven transformation, than making accurate decisions related to tech.
How do you balance creativity, experiences, and technology in your work?
Our starting point is that ‘Wondr’ can be only delivered – when we focus on ‘what’ needs to be solved for and ‘whom’ it needs to be solved for. The ‘how’ i.e. components of the solution – fuelled by creativity, technology, and their interplay, fall intuitively in place. The work that needs to be done most, is in making the teams aware of all the capabilities that they have access to and use cases where they can leverage them.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a CEO, and how have you overcome them?
We are working on two tracks. One to keep building our platform-first technology expertise inorganically and organically. The second is to truly integrate these and make available a customised and adaptable end-to-end transformation ecosystem to our clients.
On the first track while we evaluate a multitude of companies with strong capabilities, coming across a company that has the right cultural and ambition fit is a challenge. The only way to address this challenge is to continue sourcing new prospects across the world and not dilute our evaluation parameters.
On the second track, the challenge is less internal. Other communication/consulting holding companies due to the old legacies have a difficult time trying to get their acquired companies (capabilities) to collaborate. Our network companies being relatively young are new-age and their founders are entrepreneurial – collaboration comes naturally and is further facilitated by a unique operating structure that we have put in place. For us to deliver an integrated solution is sorted to a large extent. The actual challenge is external- arriving at a ‘common language’ of ‘transformation’ across the client organisation, surprisingly still requires a lot of work. We are solving this by dedicating integration leads who work very closely with the cross-functional client teams to distill the ‘real’ brief, however, it is easier said than done.
What are some of the most exciting projects that Wondrlab Technologies is currently working on?
We have been in operations only for a few quarters, and we have already got significant mandates across CX, Marketing Automation and CRM in India, US, and Japan.
You have recently acquired Cymetrix, please tell us more about how you see Cymetrix and Wondrlab working together. How does this benefit clients?
As a part of the technology stack build-up, we have prioritised product and platform expertise that effectively combines data and CRM with our existing digital content, media, and influencer marketing competencies. This would enable us to start providing solutions that automate and increase the effectiveness of our client's marketing and business initiatives through the funnel.
Cymetrix is a leading CRM consulting and data analytics company. It is a Salesforce consulting partner. Its capabilities span across marketing automation, sales automation, commerce and data analytics, and visualisation. The company has implemented complex integration and implementation projects in multiple geographies and for varied industries.
Post-acquisition we work on a structured integration plan across, solutions, teams, and processes to very swiftly augment our existing offerings with the new capabilities that the acquisitions bring to the fold. As the integration is gathering momentum, our collective client base across geographies has started benefiting from the specialist CRM and Data Analytics capabilities of Cymetrix.
How do you see the Indian agency network evolving in the coming years, and what role do you see Wondrlab Technologies playing in that evolution?
Across geographies including India, we will continue to see disruption in the manner in which digital communication, digital content production, digital media, and technology solutions are configured and delivered. We will see brands getting obsessed with delivering frictionless and engaging omnichannel experiences through the consumer journey. AI will settle as a given, and its hype will be replaced by pragmatic applications. Data will become precious and access to customers getting their attention and keeping it, will become more and more difficult. Also, the generation and geographies that will comprise the top markets will be dramatically different from now. These are far too many changes that one may have seen and will see in a very short time. Given that the ‘agency’ represents more a communication organization – I foresee the ‘agency’ needing to transform itself into an ‘agile, ever-changing, multi-disciplinary – company’ to stay relevant to the ask of clients and consumers.
What are your growth priorities for 2023-24?
We have an ambitious but grounded plan. Since we launched, we have remained nimble and are navigating through the rapid changes across the technology landscape, especially AI. 2023-24 is going to be all about staying focused and continuing to execute on our plan to expand the width and depth of our technology stack and at the same time increase our presence in key markets overseas.