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Operating and promoting a writing competition online – Seeking ideas from Rodinhoods

Hello Rodinhoods,

I have worked as a an Internet industry entrepreneur and product manager in India but have been living and working in Australia for about 10 years. My knowledge of Indian online markets and practices has frayed on the edges after all these years of absence, and so am hoping to get some ideas from you for a project involving India.

I am helping an Australian philosopher and entrepreneur to expand an essay writing competition to take it global and her special focus is on India. Open to all, it entails writing an essay on a given topic and submitting it online. Raw material to write the essay (book as a pdf) will be provided in email. But there is a registration step before the material is provided and a registration fee. The reward to the writer of the winning essay is a significant cash prize. To make it more attractive to a broader audience, we have also introduced several levels of effort / commitment – like writing just a slogan, a 500 words piece or of course the essay, and obviously all have varying registration amount and reward levels.

The registration amount can vary from as low as Rs. 100 to a max of Rs.5000. We would create a website for information, registration, receive payment and entry submission. We want to operate and promote this contest at SCALE and therefore reach out to the offline audiences too.

We are struggling with deciding upon the right mix of techniques (technologies) and methods in

1. Receiving registrations and entry submissions

2. Receiving payment and handing out reward payment (to potentially dozens and of different amounts from very small to large)

3. Sending out raw material

4. Promotion

In Australia with its almost 100% broadband and credit card penetration, the mix, referring to above, was 1. registration form, 2. Paypal for entry fee, bank trfr for reward, 3. email with Dropbox links and finally 4. WordPress website, Facebook page and Facebook Ads.

We would be interested in knowing about what should be our solution in India – one that automates the process, allow scale and yet can be personalised. Although we are happy to implement one for India alone, it’s great if it can be globally applicable.

If you happen to pitch your own services, happy to listen, I just ask you to segregate the advice from the pitch in your post. 

Thanks for your patience.

Hasnain Zaheer


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1 Comment

  1. I’ll comment after the We would create a website for information, registration, receive payment and entry submission.” part is completed.

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