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MBA Entrepreneurs: Two Aston MBAs Launch Digital Marketing Agency In India

Jaidev Menon joined up with former Aston MBA colleague Mukesh Devanathan to launch his own digital marketing business

By  Marco De Novellis

Fri Jul 21 2017

Two MBA graduates from the UK’s Aston Business School have come together to launch their own digital marketing agency in their native India.

Jaidev Menon and Mukesh Devanathan met during a one-year MBA program at Aston – ranked among the best MBA programs in the world for Return On Investment (ROI) by the Economist.

At Aston, 90% of MBA students are international. Aston MBAs have access to a massive, 80,000-strong university alumni network.

After graduation, the two budding entrepreneurs went their separate ways. Jaidev took up a role at a major consumer goods company in Dubai. But two years after leaving Aston, they came together again to start their own business.

Based in Chennai, Codum Technologies creates bespoke digital marketing solutions for a growing customer base.

BusinessBecause caught up with Jaidev, one half of the Codum Technologies team, to find out more.

How did the idea to start Codum Technologies come about?

The initial idea was to create a unique lifestyle brand catering to a niche market which involved a personalized marketing wing. This made me analyze and understand the importance of an online presence required for a budding brand. It also made me realize the high potential in investing in digital marketing.

But, due to challenges and roadblocks in forming the lifestyle brand, I decided to temporarily shelve the idea and move ahead in forming a digital marketing firm which provides customized strategies and solutions for customer requirements. Thus, Codum Technologies was formed with help and support of my friend, colleague from Aston, and current business partner Mukesh Devanathan.

Where are you right now with your business? What do you hope to achieve?

Codum Technologies is currently in the setting up phase. But we already have quite a diverse client base for a firm which is just two months old. We are facing what we call a happy problem – when you have more clients than you have the time or resources to cope with!

Our aim is to carve a niche for ourselves among our peers in providing branding and bespoke digital marketing solutions. If we come to be known as the people who create solutions for all digital marketing needs, then that’ll be an indication that we’ve made it.

Why did you decide to pursue MBA at Aston Business School?

I realized I needed to pursue an MBA to understand business from different angles and climb the corporate ladder.

I found that MBAs offered in the UK are more structured and less time consuming compared to most other global MBA programs. Of all the business schools I applied to, Aston’s one-year MBA program had a clear edge – the university’s top ranking and the triple accreditation made it stand out.

Birmingham also has a dual quality of a bustling city and the calmness of a countryside which I found to be the perfect setting and a place to call home throughout the duration of the program.

What stands out from your Aston MBA experience?

The quality of the faculty at Aston was consistent throughout the course. The professors were experienced, friendly, and always accessible to the students. Despite the challenging academia, the faculty’s patience and personal care provided us with a wholesome experience.

The Aston MBA also provided a diverse and multicultural cohort. This helped me to meet people from different countries. Understanding their culture helped me gain exposure to their worlds and connect better with my own roots.

The icing on the cake was the opportunity to do my final project with one of the world’s most prestigious banks, Goldman Sachs. The project provided me with a platform to practice what I’d picked up from my MBA program.

How has the Aston MBA helped you in building your own business?

With the support of the Aston MBA, I’ve become more confident and more determined to etch a name for myself in a field of my choosing. I also learnt the art and strength of networking, connecting and maintaining relationships from my stint at Aston – something that has become very vital at this early stage of my business.

I’m confident and have clarity on where to go next with respect to generating new client enquiries or creating brand awareness for my business, all because of the connections I have made in my career post-Aston. I’m currently in Dubai where I’m meeting with potential clients for my business. Incidentally, Dubai is where I began my career after Aston and the years I’ve spent here, connecting with people, are all coming in handy.

The only challenge I face now is maintaining the right phone directory and calendar app on my phone to keep all my contacts in one place!