#298 - Aditya Varanasi, CEO Awarity - on democratizing marketing

A story about a corporate branding expert taking it up for the small ones: making world-class marketing affordable for everyone.

This podcast interview focuses on the entrepreneurial journey and critical choices that were required to sustainably enable small businesses to compete with the big ones. My guest is Aditya Varanasi, CEO of Awarity.

Aditya VaranasiAditya Varanasi is a tech entrepreneur on a mission. He started his career at Frito-Lay as an engineer but quickly grew into a brand manager. After 8 years, he then moved to PepsiCo, where he worked for 14 years pioneering new ways to amplify the power of digital media across brands including Cheetos, Cracker Jack, and Lays Stax.

He never dreamed of being an entrepreneur until he was faced with a choice: take a risk or sink back into Corporate America. 

This sparked the idea and the courage to found Awarity in 2016. 

Their mission: World-class marketing should be affordable to everyone. 

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Aditya to my podcast. We explore the journey to realize the mission to help small businesses compete with the big brands when it comes to marketing. Aditya elaborates on the initial struggles he experienced to get traction, and what he did differently to fix that. He also shares a framework for making conscious product strategy decisions so that value, stickiness, and differentiation increase. And last but not least, he shares his principles for aligning everyone and growing in a responsible way. 

Here’s one of his quotes

I spoke to the co-founder of a large electronic medical records company in the US. And he gave me some feedback. He said, hey, look, if you can price this at $299 a month and guarantee what they’re going to get, I think you’ve got something. 

So I took that feedback very seriously. By the second week of December, we updated the website with a new pricing and value proposition. By the middle of December, we had signed up our first two doctors; by the end of January, we had about 25 doctors signed up. I said, Okay, there may be something here. We still had the same idea. But it was productizing it to something that was a value proposition that was overwhelming. That ultimately helped us get some traction.


During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How to gain traction in a market that wants what you offer badly but can’t afford it?
  2. What principles Aditya uses to continue to bootstrap the business for as long as possible.
  3. The four attributes he is using to score everything on his product roadmap.
  4. The pragmatic approach he’s using to keep everyone in the company aligned on the voice of the customer


For more information about the guest from this week:


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