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Fireside chat with Vincent Chaglasyan, Founder of Expy

Who is Vincent Chaglasyan?

Vincent is a builder for the creator economy. Coming from a multicultural background (being Spanish/Armenian, living in Spain, Russia, UK and now the US), the rise and integration of the “creator” into all diverse digital cultures has certainly stood out and remained consistent. I truly believe the the first one person unicorn is not far fetched thanks to social media.

What’s the story behind Expy?

Expy’s story is two-fold. I have had a deep interest in India’s creator space for well over 1-1.5 years, starting in January of 2020. That’s when I met some of now Expy’s crucial team members (Sayan, Roy, Sayantan). We began studying the creator economy in India and building different products, seeing what would resonate with creators and their followers. We started with HelloStar (an AR-powered personalized video messaging service) to SkillPal (a micro-mentoring marketplace from notable experts). Simultaneously, I partnered with good friend and ex-BuzzFeed producer, Eric Tabach, to grow his online presence and in less than a year, we grew the YouTube channel to 300K subscribers as well as 150K on IG, 230K on TikTok. That’s when we started to receive many DMs from Indian creators, asking how we’d monetize beyond simple YouTube adsense. This along our findings with the different products led us to realize that creators in India need a Business-in-a-Box tool that would allow them to build digital empires with 1 link, while providing all possible services to their followers that have diverse interests – complex functionalities, yet with simple design/experience. With most creator startups in India focusing on discovery, we decided to turn our attention to reach, monetization and engagement, and create a homepage that acts complementary to a creator’s main content distribution platforms (e.g. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube), rather than replacing them. That was the birth of Expy!

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

Figuring out the best process flow for working across different continents. Our mission is to bring the best of the US creator economy to India’s emerging creator space. For this reason, we always knew we wanted to have presence in both the US and India to truly have that bridge. It didn’t come easy at first with the time zones as well as logistical and operational differences, yet now it is truly turning to one of our key differentiators and strengths!

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

Team and community. I think these are the two factors that really predict the value and future success of a business. One – if you’re able to get an extremely talented / dedicated team onboard to turn a vision into reality, you’re halfway there. Two – if you’re able to get groups of people backing and excited about a product and its mission, you’re there. So far with Expy, I am so grateful for the team we have working on it, an unbelievable mix of engineers, marketers and designers from ranging industries and experiences. At the same time, the early creator cohort already using Expy has truly been exciting and eye opening. Their excitement, passion and loyalty for what we’re building is what it’s all about and the creators at the end of the day will always be our key decision makers with anything we add or change on Expy!

What is your vision for the future of Expy?

Expy will become the digital home in the Metaverse for creators in India and further South Asia. 

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Build community with your product. If you’re able to build excitement and sense of belonging with your product, you form loyalty with your users/customers – this is essential to long-term sustainability and the BEST competitive advantage you can have. It is still very underrated.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

With Expy currently being a web app, the core web technologies of course; big shout-outs to Node.js (server), React JS (UI). For our MVP, for speed to market, a couple of APIs really helped along the way and truly believe APIs are still heavily underrated! 

What books do you have on your nightstand?

I’m currently reading ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon – can’t recommend it enough as an easy, yet insightful read into originality and creativity – things that everyone always seeks!

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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