Switch Digital Network partners B2B tech firm Benepik to aid its Indonesia entry

Switch Digital Network, a content marketing agency founded by former Mediabrands Indonesia leads Pradeep Harikrishnan (pictured right) and Rohit Mallela, has partnered with India-based B2B tech firm Benepik to aid with the latter's expansion into Indonesia.

Benepik provides organisations with an engaging experience for employees and channel partners. Among the range of benefits and features include performance incentives, reward and recognition, internal communications, in-store activation, campaign management and sales planning. The company was founded by Saurabh Jain (pictured left) who previously worked in consulting and tech practices at Capgemini and Deloitte. It has over 100 clients across financial services, consumer appliances, automotive and manufacturing. They include Barclays, KPMG, Haier, and OLX.

Along with the Middle East, Indonesia is one of the two regions of top priority for Benepik and Harikrishnan told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that he used to work with the investors of Benepik. Hence, they decided to team up and have Switch Digital Network take the lead on the platform's launch locally.

"I felt comfortable with the team at Benepik. You need to find a match in working style and thinking and the people at Benepik are smart. Such a solution is needed in Indonesia because the market is so spread out and it helps employers reach their staff," he added. 

Tech development is done in India while marketing and customer service is carried out in Indonesia. As Benepik's partner in Indonesia, the revenue split will be 50-50 between Switch Digital Network and B2B tech firm. He added that most of Benepik's revenue is expected to come from user fee and additional revenue from platform customisation for clients will go to the team in India. Switch Digital Network also brought on board two individuals recently to handle marketing.

Benepik’s products include Benepik One, Benepik Plus and Benepik Multiply. Benepik One is a platform for CEOs and the leadership to connect and enables organisations to engage, recognise, and incentivise employees. Benepik Multiply is a tool for brands to track and forecast sales at the retailer level. It also has order management, influencer rewards and redemption, new product launch and training. Benepik Plus offers a wide catalogue of rewards and incentives to choose from including gift cards, electronics, dining and travel experiences and health and fitness packages. 

According to Harikrishnan, Switch Digital Network plans to bring on board five to six clients for Benepik in 2021 and is eyeing a revenue of US$2 million in the first year of Benepik's entry into Indonesia. He is currently in talks with his close contacts from sectors including FMCG, banking and insurance as well as large tech companies to onboard Benepik's solutions. "Switch Digital Network is largely doing advertising but we wanted to broaden our scope to include tech also," Harikrishnan explained.

"We are currently in a partnership with Benepik to help it enter the Indonesia market. In two years' time, for example, the plan would be to have Benepik officially establish an entity locally and Switch Digital Network will have a stake in the entity here," Harikrishnan said.

Meanwhile, Jain said the company believes that engagement is the most promising competitive advantage that organisations can create in today's world. "Be it employee engagement, channel engagement or engaging with consumers, clients today need a digital tool that allows them to personalise the engagement. We are happy to bring our successful products to Indonesia and look forward to continuing our growth journey," he added.

Switch Digital Network is raising US$1 million in funding from its close network of contacts for the next two years and Harikrishnan said 25% of that funding will go towards the marketing of its solutions, including Benepik. Harikrishnan and Mallela officially co-founded and registered Switch Digital Network in April this year alongside a local partner which the agency declined to reveal due to confidentiality reasons. The agency was informally set up in January and has been working with video as a service platform Idomoo and Malaysia-based ed tech firm Youthtopia ever since. 

Before starting up his own venture, Pradeep was CEO of Mediabrands in Indonesia. He was with the network since 2003, according to his LinkedIn, first starting out as director, research and technology at Initiative Indonesia before rising up the ranks to take on the GM role at the agency. In 2011, he was promoted to COO of Mediabrands Indonesia, his LinkedIn said.

Meanwhile, Mallela also has a wealth of experience in the agency scene, having worked at Ogilvy and J. Walter Thompson, and Digitas in India, before joining Mediabrands Indonesia in 2015. There, he rose up the ranks and eventually helmed the head of agency - strategy and creative role before leaving for Ambient Digital Indonesia where he was last GM - strategy and creative. Separately, Ambient Digital ceased operations in Indonesia as it was unable to maintain its position in the highly competitive Indonesia marketplace. Mallela's exit was unrelated to Ambient Digital winding down operations.