GingerCup – Marketing through paper cups: An offline marketing agency

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GingerCup is a Bangalore based startup founded by Deepak and Devleena in 2015. It is a marketing agency which uses paper cups for marketing activity. They get the cups printed with the marketing message and then distribute them as a part of marketing campaign.


Paper cups as an advertising media helps brand engage with their potential customer for nearly 5-7 minutes. It is an innovative, creative, un-cluttered and unique way of advertising. Custom cup branding also stimulates discussion around the brand advertised on the paper cup, at the above mentioned touch points.


We got an opportunity to talk with Devleena, the co-founder of GingerCup and see what she has to say? I am sure her interview with us will inspire you.




Give a brief info about your startup?

GingerCup is an offline marketing agency offering paper cup advertising. We help brands engage with their target audience by branding on tea and coffee cups. Once we print marketing messages on the paper cups, we distribute them free of cost at high-demographic locations such as IT Parks, Corporate offices, colleges, schools, railways, airports, tea stalls etc.

Paper cups as an advertising media helps brand engage with their potential customer for nearly 5-7 minutes. It is an innovative, creative, un-cluttered and unique way of advertising. Custom cup branding also stimulates discussion around the brand advertised on the paper cup, at the above mentioned touch points.



What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?

We live in a country where paid-and-planted advertising is literally shoved down our throats. From LED displays to over-sized billboards, everything around us is screaming for attention and to be noticed. Also, the average attention span of a person has reduced to 10-20 seconds.

At this point, Deepak and I felt that there should be an advertising medium that is subtle and underrated. A medium that is cost-effective and compels the customer to take action.

That is when we discovered personalised disposable coffee cup advertising. Back in 2015, branding on paper cups was popular in United Kingdom, USA and Australia. Thus, we started GingerCup to help brands deliver their message in a concise, clear and systematic manner.The QR code, promo code, phone number or website address on a paper cup help consumers take immediate action and respond to the advertising message.



Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?

Deepak and I (Devleena) started the company in 2015.

Deepak was working in Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore as a ‘Tech Lead’ and spent almost 8 years in IT industry prior to the inception of GingerCup,

On the other hand, I was a HR professional who worked for companies like Wipro Technologies, iGate Global and Magna Infotech.



Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?

We are based out of Bangalore, Karnataka. Since Bangalore is the start-up and IT capital of India, it provides the best atmosphere for businesses to flourish. Our initial clients were from the city, and it was a pleasure working with them and educating them on this new advertising medium.

Apart from that, the large pool of talent makes Bangalore the best place for a start-up like GingerCup. Overall, doing business has been easy in Bangalore.



As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?

As a top cup marketing agency with an untraditional way of branding, we face stiff competition from the digital and traditional media of marketing. My constant thought process is to outshine in the market. With our hard work and determination, we are confident of crossing that milestone too. We are constantly looking at growth, expansion, collaborations and development to make paper cup branding a part of every marketer’s advertising strategy.



Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?

Google and Facebook are our biggest competition. In a world where digital marketing and social media marketing have a firm spot in advertising, we are still in the nascent stage of experimental marketing.

However, contrary to other advertising mediums such as billboards, hoardings, television commercials or radio spots, cinema ads, cup branding has a better chance to withhold the attention span of the consumer for a longer period of time. Subtly capturing the attention of the audience in nearly 5-7 minutes makes GingerCup better than our competitors.



How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?

Starting-up is definitely not easy. But it is indeed an exciting and fun journey. You get to learn a lot and overcome big hurdles. As a start-up founder, I give equal importance to work and my personal life. I think striking a balance between the two is vitally important to succeed. With the unconditional support of my family and near and dear ones, maintaining a work-life balance is a breeze.

I also follow a systematic and disciplined lifestyle and try to always sync up with the nature. I am a yoga enthusiast and a daily meditator and very particular about my morning rituals. That helps me feel refreshed and take on every new day with enthusiasm and confidence.



Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.

GingerCup has been seed funded by angel investors – Sanket Gupta, Programme Lead, Google USA and Rahul Shah, Technical Lead, Ola



What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?

People have a misconception that starting up your own venture at this stage is not a good idea after leaving a full time well-settled job. People are often worried about my work life balance. Many think that this is not the right time to risk your career, when you have a family responsibility. But I feel, if you have strong intension to make a difference in your life as well as to the business ecosystem, right time is always “NOW”.


What gets you excited about this company?

What excites me the most is the fact that I am part of a company that offers unique and innovative advertising. I am motivated every day to bring cup branding into the mainstream and tell more people and brands about it.

When brands come to us for repeat campaigns, our excitement nearly doubles.


GingerCup: Team


Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.

I am a person who lives every moment of life with excitement. That’s an inbuilt nature of mine. I wake up at 4:45 AM. A typical day starts with workout, Yoga and meditation. I am morning person and quite regular with my morning practices. Right after that I become a very busy bee ????. Sending daughter to school followed by breakfast, reaching office, work, meetings and team building. Once I am back from office, I make sure to spent some ‘WE’ time with my daughter. We play outdoor, then sit for her homework, dinner, walk and sleep. Before hitting the bed, I again sit for some time and recall every activity of the day and do a short planning of next day. I make sure that I should have a time for everything and everything at its time.



Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

We have a team size of 16 employees. We are looking at 3x growth of the team size within next 6 months. Hiring was a problem for us initially, but we were soon able to overcome it. The GingerCup team comprises of motivated and likeminded individuals who have the drive to achieve big.

Networking, references and LinkedIn played a vital role helping us meet these talented individuals who are now part of our team.



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