What do you get when you put Digital Marketing, Nonprofits, Startups, and passion in a box? That’s the question Abhinav Chetan asked us. And he seems to have the answer too! After 12 years at Google, he is building an offering that stands on expertise, and passion and seeks to empower what new India needs. Having spent over a decade as a product & digital marketer at Google working with top brands across the world, Abhinav decided it was time to put his knowledge to fill a critical need gap. He is now changing the way nonprofits & startup ecosystems use digital as a medium.
Walking us through his vision, Abhinav said, “I built Digital For Nonprofits as a service that aims to bridge the social divide digitally. We leverage technology grants, tools, and digital marketing to improve a nonprofit’s self-reliance. Through an adjacent lens, Digicated is a premier digital marketing advisory firm I set up that enables start-ups and digital-first brands to drive impact through digital marketing maturity.”
The nonprofit ecosystem doesn’t pay enough attention to digital and there are adoption challenges aplenty. India has an estimated 20,000 registered nonprofits across a variety of causes. Digital for Nonprofits conducted a survey of the top 150 Nonprofits and the findings showed that about 70% of these institutions ranked in the bottom 20 percentile on digital marketing maturity. This has a direct impact on a nonprofit’s awareness and ability to raise funds. This is where Digital for Nonprofits can act as an accelerator by helping qualified nonprofits apply and procure technology grants, use funding efficiently and build digital capability. They have already unlocked ~ $5 million in ad grants for nonprofits in the sectors across health, old age, women empowerment, and art in the past few years. “We recently worked with a Nonprofit from the health sector. As an enabler, we were able to help them shift entirely from offline to online with technology grants, digital marketing, and operational efficiency. With nine different technology grants and our expertise, this institution was able to increase its traffic by 300%. To date, over 1/4th of their fundraising is driven through the technology grant channels”
Abhinav is also passionate about digital-first businesses and works with early-stage start-ups. With digital set to surpass television advertising in 2022, this seems like an area set for growth. “Almost 50% of all VC funding is directed to user acquisition and retention through digital marketing engines. A critical need is to utilize this money efficiently to drive sustainable impact. This needs expertise and deep knowledge of platforms that have been developed over time. To add to this, most early-stage startups have a short runway to prove a successful business model. This is where Digicated comes in. We recently helped an e-commerce startup drive 5X revenue in 12 months with 70% + user retention. This led to this brand being able to bring in a million-dollar funding within one year of partnering with us.”
We have recently seen an encouraging trend where tech professionals quit their jobs, move out of their comfort zones and build for the country. We were keen to understand his motivation behind this. “The answer to unlocking India’s true potential relies on innovative thinking which is coming from startups and strengthening the social infrastructure which comes from nonprofits. My goal is to accelerate this very innovation and social infrastructure of the country” he says. Knowing Abhinav beyond work is interesting. He is a yoga teacher and has been studying the subject for over a decade and continues to train with different mentors. As an avid reader chances are he will end up recommending a book to you if you meet him. His personal belief is that growth comes from sharing which is why he teaches at the top IT and business schools in India. He also runs workshops and a personal engagement platform on abhinavchetan.com to educate and enable interested audiences.