My childhood dream was to own an ice-cream truck business like the Jolly-Olly Man in Hey Arnold. Judging from the many food truck businesses in Klang Valley; there may not be any ice-cream truck businesses yet because maybe I was destined to turn my dream into a reality instead of waiting around for someone to fulfill it. HA.
With the presence of gung-ho entrepreneurs, the startup scene in Malaysia is growing rapidly with business ideas/services that are wonderfully innovative.
Last week, Joyce told me about Wrapla as she met its founder, Dinesh Karunamuti, at a Bespoke buka puasa dinner. Having majored in Business Management and holding a certificate in Animation and Multimedia Production, Dinesh aspired to be an entrepreneur as soon as he graduated but he knew he needed some work experience before venturing out on his own. The middle child of an engineer and homemaker worked as an employee for 12 years before leaving his most recent position as Vice President of E-commerce for Astro Go Shop... to work full time on Wrapla.
Wrapla is a new service in Malaysia that allows drivers to earn while making their daily commutes. I got in touch with Dinesh find out more about him and the story behind Wrapla.
KBF: So what is the story behind Wrapla?
DK: A bunch of us caught up over coffee and this module was brought up. I went home, did my research and realized this would work perfectly with our current state of economy, thus I decided to give it a shot and Wrapla was born.
KBF: How did you come about the name of Wrapla?
DK: Friends were clowning around helping me pick a name and when one of them kept ending his sentence with “Lah” it rang well to my ears, thus I decided on Wrapla.
KBF: How does Wrapla work?
DK: Wrapla is a crowd-sourced advertising platform that connects brands looking for more targeted and effective outdoor advertising with people looking to generate income from their weekly commute. Brands get to tailor their campaigns by area and gain greater flexibility, higher impressions and quicker turnarounds compared to conventional outdoor advertising, and drivers get to choose which campaigns they want to participate in, and their degree of participation.
Once you're on board as a driver, you are required to drive 900km per month (roughly 30km per day), for 30 days to qualify for payment. Drivers will get paid at the end of every 30 days. Those that don’t hit the 900km mark earn a pro-rated rate based on their mileage.
KBF: Would the drivers be able to choose the type of advertisement they prefer to advertise on their cars?
DK: Absolutely. While we do source for specific driver profiles for our clients’ campaigns, the decision to participate is ultimately in the hands of drivers. We want our drivers to be comfortable with the brands and campaigns they have on their cars.
KBF: How often do drivers get their advertisements changed and re-wrapped on their cars?
DK: Drivers can only participate in a single campaign at any one time. At the end of each 30-day period, drivers are required to come in for an inspection (for multi-month campaigns) or removal and mileage verification. Technically, they could carry a new advertisement every 30 days, if they choose to do so.
KBF: If a driver decides to stop having his car wrapped, will there be any penalty imposed?
DK: Not so much a penalty as a pro-rated rate that offsets production costs against the mileage that she/ he has already driven versus the 900km requirement.
KBF: What are the mechanics for advertisers should they be interested in advertising with Wrapla?
DK: Advertisers can get in touch with us by registering their interest on our website, www.wrapla.com. We follow up every request with a call and a meeting to find out more about their needs, and tailor a driver profile and a solution that works for their campaigns and their budgets.
KBF: What are the rates like to advertise with Wrapla?
DK: As our campaigns are largely tailored to individual brand and campaign needs, we don’t have a “rate” per se. We do offer brands the choice of fixed monthly rates, or per-km driven charges. What we can say is we are competitively priced, and much, much more flexible than conventional outdoor advertising.
KBF: How do you determine “the right drivers” to run an advertiser’s campaign on?
DK: Our normal starting point is the brand/ product’s core consumers i.e. to find drivers that are most similar to the target audience of a brand. Other criteria (that follow suit) include make, model and color of the vehicle; and where they live, work and drive on their weekly commute.
KBF: How will the advertiser’s brand/campaign awareness be measured?
DK: We currently report estimated impressions based on drivers’ mileage. We are working on an exciting new impression-tracking solution, but that’s still under development and testing.
KBF: What are the competitive advantages for advertisers who advertise with Wrapla?
DK: Geo-targeting, flexibility (we operate on a 30-day model), quicker turnarounds, closer collaboration and much higher impressions delivered versus conventional outdoor advertising mediums. Wrapla is a platform that is ultimately a branded consumer that drives alongside other consumers and goes where they work, where they live, where they shop etc.
KBF: Any big plans for yourself and Wrapla in 2016/2017?
DK: The plan for me and Wrapla are aligned. I would like to expand Wrapla as fast as possible and watch it grow.
Founder, Dinesh Karunamuti
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I chatted up with some of my friends shortly after I was introduced to Wrapla and easy, simple, convenient were keywords that most of them mentioned. I guess we millennials tend to sway towards anything that is convenient and straightforward.