India’s digital growth has become a focus for many U.S. companies lately. Google, for example, plans to invest about $10 billion in India in the next few years. About half of its 1.3 billion people have yet to get online.
Even before Google, DoubleVerify, a media measurement and data and analytics firm, began putting together a plan to support the market.
Then in mid-July, DoubleVerify announced the expansion of its business into the India market and appointed digital media veteran Nachiket Deole to lead business operations. Deole, based in Mumbai, is charged with setting up DoubleVerify’s operations in India to drive adoption.
Deole has spent many years in the advertising industry. He was previously an agency relationship lead at LinkedIn, where he helped to develop partnerships between LinkedIn and key communications agency partners in India. He also served as the Partner for Digital at Mindshare, where he spearheaded the digital business for Mindshare’s West India region.
Previously, he held senior leadership roles at IPG’s premiere media agency, Lintas Media Group.
Search & Performance Marketing Daily caught up with Deole to discuss his growth plans for DoubleVerify in India.
Search & Performance Marketing Daily: What do you bring from LinkedIn and Mindshare that supports your new role at DoubleVerify?
Deole: "People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. Be the solution they are looking for." This quote by Melonie Dodaro, founder and CEO of Top Dog Social Media, has left a lasting impression on me.
As stakeholders in the digital ecosystem, I firmly believe we need to build meaningful interactions between brands and consumers, and that’s what I strive to do. Mindshare has a special place in my professional and personal life. Customer-centricity, adaptability, and building business that scale is something I learned at Mindshare.
Over the years, LinkedIn has built a rock-solid culture ensuring that diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging are given the highest priority. I believe an organization with a strong culture delivers brilliant results. My focus at DoubleVerify will be to build a team with strong values and a similar ethos.
S&PMD: Did Google's decision to invest $10 billion in India during the next five to seven years prompt DoubleVerify's expansion plans?
Deole: DoubleVerify’s decision to invest in India came much earlier than Google’s recent Indian investment announcement.
That being said, Google’s announcement is really exciting. It will certainly help boost the digital industry in India. It will not only enable affordable internet access to Indians, but also help businesses transform digitally. Along with other industry stakeholders, the move will ensure businesses drive growth with their digital strategies and investments.
S&PMD: What is your goal for the year?
Deole: Ad verification is still in its nascent stages in India. We feel digital ad verification and creating a quality media environment should be the first step toward digital transformation and must be adopted by every single brand that wants to spend on digital media. We want to highlight this need gap, increase the awareness of ad verification, and establish the importance of digital media measurement, all backed by data.
S&PMD: What is your role as head of sales?
Deole: My ambition is to build a formidable team that will instill confidence in digital media investing. With an ever-changing business landscape, digital marketing adoption is bound to grow.
At the same time, brands will be extremely cautious of their investments and demand advanced measurement and transparency. DoubleVerify’s technology can help bridge this gap.
We want to build awareness, educate marketers and drive the adoption of DoubleVerify’s technology and tools in the Indian digital market
S&PMD What is the best piece of advice you received during your career and from whom?
Deole: Our heart and brain are always at loggerheads. I was in a similar situation during the early days of my career. I was discussing an issue with one of my professors and he said "whenever in doubt, however irrational it may sound at that moment, always follow your heart. In the long run it always pays." I still follow this credo.
S&PMD What book are you reading and do you see a connection with the theme of the book to your present position at DoubleVerify?
Deole: Currently, I am reading Ikigai by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia. The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai -- a reason to jump out of bed each morning. The book touches upon various aspects of life and helps you uncover your personal ikigai. It talks about finding joy in the journey, and imperfections, which is critical during these uncertain times.
S&PMD: How would you describe the industry today. What does it lack and where does it excel?
Deole: From display banners to ad blockers, I think no other industry has seen so many changes in such a short span of time. The pace with which technology has evolved and the way the industry has adapted to it is remarkable.
All the credit must be given to the sharpest minds who are working across the ecosystem to make it a better place for marketers. However, issues like data privacy, transparency and measurement still loom unresolved.
We as an industry must come together to address these pressing issues and help marketers gain more confidence in their investments. Building a better industry is the only way to grow.