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How I Got Here

Tamanna Dhamija reflects on how growing a community of two million led her to found her own company

Written by Emily Fang Published on 

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Tamanna grew India’s largest parenting community to 2 million mothers, and productized her learnings to help communities become sustainable.

Convosight started after Tamanna’s own journey of organically building India’s largest parenting community, Baby Destination, with 2 million mothers across 28 communities. In 2020, she decided to productize her learnings and founded Convosight, which is a global community management and monetization platform.

It is now being used by more than 40,000 communities. In Asia alone, she has helped 700 communities to monetize. Tamanna strongly believes that communities can change lives and realized a huge opportunity and potential to help community admins and brands come together.

KrASIA (Kr): Your startup idea emerged from your experience of growing a community of 2 million mothers in India–how did that happen? 

Tamanna Dhamija (TD): Baby Destination started out of a personal need. My background is very different–I used to work in finance in New York. When I became a mother, I wanted to start a platform similar to “Reddit for moms.”

I realized there’s always a lot of information that was thrown at me, but there was no one I could talk to with the same pain points. I moved back to India and decided to build this Reddit-like platform.

After doing our initial research and talking to other parents, we decided to build these communities on Facebook. The core insight there was that communities are strongest when there’s trust. Trust is the biggest truth in a community and trust gets fostered by frequent meaningful interactions. We believed Facebook could enable that.

We started building and knew it’d be a network of communities because parenting is a very large subject. Within parenting, you could be concerned about your child’s nutrition, or how to breastfeed, or that your child is not gaining weight or getting sick too often. These are all sort of different pain points and at every life stage, there are a different set of questions. We had a structure in mind where we knew we would segment communities based on pain points and life stage. That is why we have 30 communities, and we actually also have hundreds of WhatsApp communities. That’s how the journey started with Baby Destination.

Convosight has team meetings where founders interact with the entire team. Courtesy of Convosight.

Kr: What is your personal definition of a community and why is it important for people to belong to one? 

TD: If we google the definition of community, it’s a tribe of people who are connected by a common purpose; it could be anything, like a hobby that connects us or a problem that we’re going through, or it could be a passion. What is fundamental in a community or a group of people is trust and connection.

When you connect with someone is when you can talk about what you really care about and how you feel. You can give your recommendation to someone, or advice, and it’s that connection that needs to happen for a group of people to be called a community or a tribe. We’ve been human beings in offline communities and the only difference is that now it’s come online. Connection is the most important thing in a community.

Kr: I know that Convosight came from your own experience growing the community Baby Destination. Tell me more about how that unraveled. 

TD: Our journey has been very interesting. While we were building Baby Destination, we bumped into different pain points. We started building tools just for day to day community management for tracking growth, tapping into insights, spam control, etc.

We started monetizing by partnering with certain brands that were relevant to our communities, where conversations related to those brands or products were already happening. We were experimenting with how we can add value to brands through insights, as well as engaging them meaningfully through these members and communities.

Then something very interesting happened: we got selected by Facebook for a community leadership program, where they selected 100 community leaders. As part of the program, we got grant funding, received a structured curriculum, and had several in-person interactions.

There were a lot of realizations that I had when I met these amazing individuals. The biggest one was that most were not in a position to sustain their communities. What hit me was that these were people whom Facebook considers the largest or most impactful community builders, and if they’re not able to monetize and sustain these communities, imagine the plight of millions of others who are building communities!

That was sort of the ‘aha’ moment.

We wanted to build a platform for communities to enable and empower these admins to build thriving communities and to monetize them. There was no looking back and lots of sleepless nights trying to figure out how to do it.

Convosight is the world’s first community management and marketing platform, which enables Facebook group admins to specifically build and monetize thriving communities.

The team celebrates their Diwali party on Zoom in 2020. Courtesy of Convosight.

Kr: How do you help admins manage their communities better?

TD: We wanted to help create a community creator economy and professionalize them because a number of them are individuals doing it full time or part time.

There’s a bunch of tools we have that helps with effective spam control. There’s a smart content scheduler where you get scheduling options, recommendations on what to post, when to post, with a tracking function.

The entire workflow is automated. You get a notification on WhatsApp and an email on tasks to do. It’s streamlining and prioritizing core actions based on the insights we get from their community. We do webinars and workshops to educate community admins.

Kr: Can you give an example of a community currently using Convosight successfully? 

TD: In the last quarter of 2019, we had a closed beta with a certain set of communities and a few brands. It’s a parenting community called Parenting Mom Style. They had 25,000 members that were very engaged, but it’s modest for India because of the population.

I’m just amazed to see how the growth has been, as well as the number of members in their community, which they’ve more than doubled in 12 months. They’ve launched another community, which is called Daddy Cool. They were trying hard to monetize and the income was very sporadic. It requires a lot of hard work and community engagement to be very high. Now, they have brand partnerships where the performance is good because it’s relevant to members.

An admin actually wrote us a letter saying she built her small empire with Convosight. Those moments make me feel like every ounce of effort we’re putting in is so gratifying. We’re seeing this behavior once they have success with one community growth engagement, and they understand the science of professionalizing. Then they manage, plan, and do it in less time; then, they also launch more communities.

Kr: When you monetize a community, how do you make sure to preserve the authenticity?

TD: I want to go back and mention the beginning of Baby Destination. I was amazed to see that about 40% of conversations happening in parenting communities were all about products and brands.

I was just very curious as to why a brand is not engaging meaningfully to answer these questions. That’s what really started the thought of reaching out to brands to ask them, where is it that you are interacting meaningfully with your consumer?

Community marketing is successful because the first and foremost principle is that it has to be relevant to the context of the community and members need to see value in it. Second, the communication has to be based on the concerns of the members and what members are talking about. It can’t be an ad or some sort of sales pitch.

We’ve seen tremendous response because brands are providing amazing value to communities. Community marketing definitely is like a long term ballgame. It’s instilling trust in the users and has a different impression than running an ad on Facebook.

Kr: Do you believe the passion economy will continue to grow with community management? Where do you foresee that going? 

TD: There was a whole shift from knowledge to passion economy. Over the last couple of years, it was happening at a faster pace. COVID-19 took it to the next level. We fundamentally believe that community creators are at the epicenter of the passion economy.

Many community managers have left their jobs; they start doing it full time without even thinking how it’ll be monetized or sustained. There’s a point where they realize that this is what they love doing. I feel like this type of persona is called an aspiring entrepreneur.

There has to be some sort of way to sustain it and have a means of income. It’s very different from an individual creator who is creating music, content, or a product. Their superpower is connecting people, and it’s a special superpower to have. That gratification they get from enabling people every single day just keeps them going. They understand that once they monetize it, then they can use their passion as part of their living.

WRITTEN BY

Emily Fang

Emily is a Community Lead based in Singapore, connecting SE Asia's tech scene to the rest of the world. Originally from Silicon Valley, she's worked in community building, event marketing, and developer relations for MNCs and startups. Most recently, she made the move to Asia to do her own self-guided global MBA.

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