Our USP is that we intend to be solution oriented: The Platform’s Sukrit Singh

Mumbai: The Platform is a collective of companies that collaborate to create incredible experiences across offline, web 2.0 and web 3.0, seamlessly weaving all of them together with their O2O2M model to create 360 degree solutions that are truly unforgettable.

In a confab with Indiantelevision.com, The Platform founder Sukrit Singh brings out how the six companies – Metaform, XP&D, XP&DLand, TCMP, Zoo Media and Spotlight – have carved a niche for themselves in the market with their roster of clients, the USP of The Platform and much more.

For starters, it is essential to have an understanding of The Platform that Singh runs as part of the six companies in his trench coat. Metaform is a company that pertains to all things web 3.0 in terms of IP rights, management, and the creation of new properties. Its goal is to serve as a thought leader in the web 3.0 space, talking about all things blockchain, cryptocurrency, metaverse, and NFT. Regarding its project portfolio, Metaform handles several ventures into the web 3.0 world, including MetaDevotion and Web 3.0 Dissect.

XP&D is an experiential marketing firm tailored to create experiences, activations, and on-ground activities for clients nationwide. It conceptualises, develops and creates incredible spectacles for worldwide audiences. XP&D has helmed projects like the IPL 2022 Closing Ceremony, the launch of the Kia Carens, and the Khelo India Opening Ceremony, amongst many others. 

XP&DLand serves as XP&D's foray into the web 3.0 world, focusing primarily on services for NFTs, blockchain-based business, metaverse spaces and developing digital assets. The company's primary goal is to service clients venturing into the world of web 3.0 by developing and executing comprehensive content strategies blending both web 2.0 and web 3.0.

TCMP is a joint venture between TCM, Zoo Media, and XP&D; TCM is a digital sports marketing team that manages activations and social profiles for clientele pertaining to sports. TCMP has managed portfolios for the ACC, BCCI, Pro Kabaddi League, FIFA, and most recently, the Formula E-Prix set to take place in Hyderabad.

Zoo Media is a media network of seven agencies providing integrated, specialised and customised solutions for new-age business problems, from social media management to website design to influencer marketing and tech-oriented solutions. Zoo Media's clientele includes Lucknow SuperGiants, Kingfisher, Star Sports, OLX, Mahindra and countless others.

Spotlight is a content and production house, with the purpose of scripting, directing, and producing different forms of content for clients, event grounds and more. With experience in AVs, anamorphics, projection mapping, presentations, and much more, their objective is to capture an audience's attention and hold it firm. Their clientele includes Asian Paints, Kia, Hyundai, KPMG, and many more.

Out of the six companies under The Platform's umbrella, XP&D and TCMP draw in the maximum clout and moolah.

Led by Singh, The Platform extends its reach with clients like Asian Paints, Gujarat Titans, Government Of India, IPL, SONY, Kinder Joy etc. to name a few.

Singh (aka Webzero) is a media and communications veteran. Having co-founded Encompass in 1999, he successfully led it for two decades making it a market leader in the experiential space. The company was acquired by WPP in 2009 after Singh worked as CEO for a decade.

Singh has led several mega events including 10 IPL opening ceremonies, South Asian Games, Khelo India, The BRICS Summit, India Africa Summit, mass rural outreach programs and several auto shows.

In 2019, Sukrit rebooted his entrepreneurial journey with the launch of The Platform. The Platform has interest in the spaces of brand marketing and activation, last mile digital and sports.

Singh believes, “The web 3.0 opportunity is a collision of the experiential and the internet where people have shared and social experiences as their avatars inside other 3D internet.”

Edited excerpts:

On the market gap that were you looking to bridge when you launched The Platform in 2019

When I came up with the idea for the platform, there were hundreds of service-based agencies in the market, each solving a different problem. However, the vision for The Platform was to become something more than that; it was to become an all-encompassing 360-degree service agency where we took people from online to offline back to online, building now as well with the metaverse.

On how the identity of each of the companies under the umbrella are unique in its own way, and are still inclusive of The Platform's single core idea

Digital, offline, broadcast, production, web3 and more are all intertwined in a multi-sensory, multi-screen world of ours. The Platform aims to leverage the same seamlessly across different mediums and in essence, offer a “platform” that is meant to house all these different companies with different areas of expertise, offering a complete 360 degree suite of offerings/services for any and all kinds of needs.

On The Platform's USP

The Platform intends to be solution oriented. With our partners, subsets, and vast bank of experience in all-things experiential, digital, and web3, we work with clients across verticals to create new and unique solutions to their marketing problems. In doing so, we built the O2O2M model. Offline 2 Online 2 Metaverse signifies the user journey, and we hope to create something that works across all realms of reality and caters to the broadest audience, ensuring that our clients get their point across to anyone and everyone.

On being the pioneer when it comes to utilising metaverse for an FMCG brand (Kinder Joy) in the country, and what the entire exercise entailed

The metaverse space is a relatively new idea in India, especially for brands to venture in. However, we must begin to take strides into the metaverse, with the latest technological innovations shaping the present in ways we couldn't have imagined a decade ago.

With Kinder Joy, the goal was simple, to draw attention to their new line of toys, for which we immediately set out to create a one-of-a-kind metaverse space where we brought the toys to life in a virtual natural park. Combining the metaverse space with an on-ground VR activation and promotion on digital, we fulfilled the O2O2M circle and built a holistic experience that led to a staggering amount of footfalls.

On getting the Gujarat Titans to be the first Indian sports team to enter the metaverse, and the thought and target behind the same

The foray of the Gujarat Titans into the metaverse stemmed from the need for more interactive and immersive fan interaction. With the limitations that covid had placed on holding physical events, the metaverse presented itself as a brilliant opportunity to bring technology and humanity together.

Developing the Gujarat Titans' dugout was an enriching experience where we picked up on the finer nuance of the metaverse and how we could use it—bringing cricket legends into the very same space as our audiences gave them a chance to meet, socialise and interact in a completely new manner, all while remaining in a virtual reality space.

On launching The Platform in 2019, which was almost at the onset of covid – and how it was impacted by the pandemic

The pandemic was a blow to everyone's business, with companies across the globe scaling down or cutting costs wherever they could. However, for The Platform, we did end up changing course slightly. Our original model, O2O2O (Online to Offline to Online), wouldn't cut it since the offline aspect had been disturbed quite thoroughly. So instead, we pivot to the O2O2M model, allowing for experiential marketing now told through digital means with the metaverse as our centrepiece. 

On the strategy used by The Platform to help sell brands to consumers

Here at The Platform, we want to create experiences that immerse, enthral and capture every target audience, no matter which brand we work with. In doing so, our multi-layered approach using O2O2M enables us to create immersive activities and social environments for every kind of audience, be they web1, web2, or web3 natives. 

On the 'immersive experience', and how can brands exploit its true potential

An 'immersive experience' inherently refers to capturing the undivided attention of an audience. It could be done through either the story told, the technology used, or how both are executed. Our job as experiential marketers is to create new and innovative experiences that do exactly that, using the latest technologies and methods to create an experience that sticks with people long after it's over. Truly immersing them in an alternate reality where they only see what we want them to see.

On how are web3, NFTs, metaverse, and blockchain going to simplify and shape our lives in their respective roles

Much like the revolution that web2 caused with instant messaging, social media, layers upon layers of interacting with new people over the internet, and much more, web3 basics like blockchains, NFTs, and the metaverse hold similar promises. Although it is difficult to predict exactly where this new internet will be in the next five years, we can look at some things that are taking place today to form our assumptions. The concepts of data ownership and privacy are becoming increasingly important to the average user, with immersive experiences and the use of new technology following close behind. We should all keep an eye on the new kind of 3D, creator-centric internet as it continues to grow. 

On the lessons and learnings that you look forward to implementing in the future

The world of web3 is fast evolving, and a new set of features get added every once in a while. One of our key learnings is that we need to constantly expand our suite of web3 services. For that, the critical task is to seek out more metaverse platforms that offer new forms of utilities and development tools that can help create even more immersive and interactive experiences for brands, as interactivity is a significant aspect, and gamification drives massive user stickiness.

On the trends you have noticed in the field of web3, NFTs, metaverse, and blockchain

Though the baseline of memes, viral trends, and influences doing silly things on the new internet will always be things that we're comfortable with, the next generation of Web3 native internet users will likely grow bored of it all. Instead, their focus will primarily lie on understanding and interacting with innovations. Be it the spaces, stories, or new forms of technology, the current generation's fascination with all things new will shape the way trends form in the Web3 universe.

On the significant innovations that took place in 2022, and the innovations that are expected to disrupt the market in 2023

Mixed Reality (MR) boomed in 2022 and became a crucial standout in many web3 projects. Hopefully, the same will evolve and help us develop new ways to visualise and interact with data, implement more IRL (in real life) visually embedded games and even help drive new medical and infrastructural innovations.

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