As we all know, the affiliate marketing industry is flooded with publishers of the Indian descent, however not too many C-level folks. So when I met Rustam a few years ago and found out he was the COO for The Media Crew, I was very much pleased. His laissez-faire, can do attitude eventually won me over to start doing business with their team and have definitely been impressed with the whole outfit.
Rustam Irani is the COO of The Media Crew, LLC, RevenueStreet.com, and EFFECTUS. As COO, Rustam’sprimary focus is to oversee the continued success of the The Media Crew and its many assets. Since joining The Media Crew in 2008, the company has been recognized as a Inc. 500 company two years in a row and RevenueStreet.com (ad network) has been named a Top 20 Network by Revenue Performance magazine in 2009 and 2010. Rustam frequently attends industry conferences where he has presented and was recently asked to present for a second year at Ad-tech in London. Rustam earned his bachelor’s in Engineering from University of Florida and his M.B.A. in Marketing from Florida Atlantic University.
Q: It seems like people are just starting to really talk about mobile and I recall hearing TMC is launching a mobile network too correct? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A: We have decided to utilize our expertise and partnerships to build a performance based mobile ad network called: Mobile Maestros. Similar to an online ad network, we will help advertisers generate a positive ROI on a performance based CPA model.
Q: What was the reason for TMC to get into that market?
A: After Nick and I went to Adtech London last year, we were surprised with the number of mobile advertisers and made it a goal for 2011 to move into this emerging market. Since then we have been developing partnerships in the mobile space while developing the network site and resources to launch our network.
Q: TMC is also going to be showcasing their tracking solution at the Ad Tech in SF – can you tell us a bit about that and the initial feedback it has gotten?
A: We are excited about showcasing EFFECTUS at Adtech in San Francisco. EFFECTUS was developed by a design team with extensive industry knowledge and a detailed understanding of all of the existing platforms on the market. We basically built a software that would do everything we and our publishers and advertiser wanted in a platform.
We have received fantastic feedback from our current EFFECTUS users and every time we do a live demo.
Q: What are you guys doing as far as educational stuff to enable people to use your platform in a better way?
A: We have a robust Knowledge Base, where our programmers update any improvements and changes with detailed instructions and/or reasons about updates. In addition we do weekly webinars on how to get the most out of EFFECTUS and its plethora of features.
Q: Do you not think there is a fundamental/inherent issue/conflict of interest where on one side you have your own network and on the other you have a tracking platform which could invariably give you access to thousands of affiliates from your clients?
A: Here’s the bottom line for that: NO. We have very clear contracts that prohibit us from accessing client’s affiliates or advertisers. We have been in this space for over 10 years and we have never compromised our integrity or ethics. We understand that even if one client suspected this, we would be ruined.
Q: Why Effectus vs Cake or Hit Path or Link Trust or DT?
A: EFFECTUS provides the “best bang for the buck” out there. Here are some of the reasons our users have told us they switched or chose us: We have been told our Email features are fantastic with tons of preset templates and offer insertion options. Also, our interface is simple yet powerful. Another user told us that we have features that other platforms four times the price of ours don’t. A real quote from one of our users said “EFFECTUS support blows (one of the other companies) out of the water.”
Q: With so many different divisions to TMC – what is the long range plan? Exit strategy?
A: TMC has been blessed with 11 years of growth and a fantastic team. Our long range plan is quite simple. Maintain a business that will continue to grow slowly that we can manage and control. We have a very young team and our focus is to create a profitable company which will support the livelihood of our team members for many years to come. No Exit strategy, we are just getting started.
Q: We all know of the big players out there in your space – who are some of the up and comers in your mind? Why?
A: We have always believed in Co-Opetition and growing with select partners. We have seen some great strides and expansion with many companies in our space. It would be tough to name any in particular.
Q: What is the take-away you would like for my readers to come away with in reference to TMC and more importantly – the man himself, Rustam Irani? Tell us about him.
A: I believe the single most important take-away is that although we are not huge, we continue to strive to be an industry leader in technology and one of the most diverse companies in our industry.
I am a glass “half full” person and passionate about my life and our business. I have an incredible wife and 2 daughters. Both my parents are from India and I grew up in Florida where I spent most of my life. I am a huge Florida Gator fan. GO GATORS!
Q: This may be THE most important question of the interview – do you still have my corner office available should AVG head in a different direction? ;-)
A: We are proud to partner with AVG and will continue to grow together. You always have an office here. We actually only have one desk left in our office from our expansion last year and the window views are all taken. ;)
Thanks Rustam for taking the time to do this, I know you are a busy man and appreciate all your efforts not just with AVG but for all you have managed to accomplish. Oh and the fact that you are a GATORS fan, well I will not hold that against you.
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