Brief Profile of Mr. Marc Kaplan
The Big-Brain Leader. The Passionate Connector.
Marc is a visionary and began the ChekMarc journey with a vision for a free, positive and uplifting community where people could connect and drive change. He is beyond excited and energized to see his vision come to fruition. Marc has often commented that he wished ChekMarc existed prior to the business being launched because he would have benefited
immensely from other experts in the field. He will most surely have Explorer requests, as he knows the power of tapping into the right expertise and knowledge. Marc is also looking forward to give back to the community and act as a Catalyst in areas of professional development, travel advice, and other expert areas that allow him to draw on his own experiences.
ChekMarc is a first of its kind global, social community that nurtures impactful one-on-one connections across the globe. This is a platform that connects like-minded people under one roof in a more safe and secure manner and unites humanity for a positive purpose. The platform has recently launched in India and on a global scale. In the initial stage, the platform is accessible in three languages in India including Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. It is accessible to Indian members via both the website and application version, available on both the iOS and Android operating systems.
Prior to founding ChekMarc, Marc was a Partner at Deloitte where he held several executive roles, including P&L responsibility for a large business, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer for one of the four business areas of Deloitte, and was a member of one the firm’s Board subcommittees. Over the course of his career at Deloitte and before, Marc has a track record of leading, growing and transforming businesses.
In his time away from ChekMarc, Marc enjoys Raw Rev Glo bars (too many a day), enjoys time with his wife and two kids while only understanding one of the three languages spoken in his home, and exercises daily so that he can eat the Raw Rev Glo bars.
Passionate in Marketing caught up with Mr. Marc Kaplan to discuss about the launch of a unique platform, future plans, expectations from the Indian audience, etc.
How communities like ChekMarc are creating more safe, secure platform for people to communicate and interact digitally
The biggest issue we see on other platforms is the negativity and toxicity of the interactions. These leaves people feeling attacked, unsafe and unsupported. On top of that, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation on these platforms and people hiding behind anonymous and fake identities. And of course the business model of the major online social platforms is essentially advertising driven by behavioral marketing. They watch what you do on their platform and off your platform and they sell that information to third parties and advertisers. None of these creates a safe and secure platform.
ChekMarc believes this needs to change and that it will take a Social Revolution to change that. We want to usher that era in. To start with, our purpose, to connect people all around the globe to uplift each other and give and get guidance, is fundamentally different. And this purpose orients people in our community toward having a positive interaction. We are not a place to be “heard”, we are a place to be helpful and get help. People are helping each other think through issues around fitness and health, career challenges, new hobbies, dealing with a difficult parenting issue, figuring out how to travel in a safe way during the pandemic, and so much more.
We also. employ different technology solutions to moderate our content and we ask that the community be active in flagging anything they see inappropriate. For anyone who wants to be positive and respectful it is quite easy to engage on ChekMarc. But for those who do not, ChekMarc will not be the place for you. And we enable all members to have their identity verified, not just the rich and famous. We believe that having a community with verified members will increase the trust and safety in the community. It is something relatively new and over time more people will get comfortable being verified.
And we made a decision to not allow popularity contests such as “likes” and “retweets” because those reinforce the wrong behavior at times. We simply want people to be on ChekMarc to do good for others and for themselves, not to see how popular they can be.
Our community guidelines are clear and they are not just in writing. We live them.
What are your views on the changing landscape of social media, globally and in India?
I just described the unfortunate nature of the current landscape of social media. These issues are not just in India but they are all around the world. And they are getting worse over time, not better. These issues are dividing societies and damaging the well-being of the people on the platforms.
There are some differences between countries in terms of how the governments influence the direction of the social media platforms but the real power sits with the people who use social media and the choices they make for how they behave and interact online. This is actually the biggest challenge. So many people across the world have learned to accept a certain pattern of online behavior. ChekMarc is doing its part to try and change that.
How would you define the uniqueness of ChekMarc?
As I mentioned earlier we are unique in both what we offer and how we offer it. Our purpose is solely focused on people helping each other for free. And the choices we made around our platform reinforce a unique community culture based on positivity, privacy, safety, security, and trust.
We also have no advertisements because we are focused on your privacy and not selling your data to a third-party. But this also means our app and website is created just for you with none of the noise or distraction of ads.
On most platforms people are treated like “users”. On our platform everyone is a “member” of our community. Our members are our #1 business priority, not dollars.
We just launched our first true market ready version of ChekMarc. Prior to that we were using our release as an extended beta. We have seen tremendous pickup from all around the world and a good number from India. We do not discuss our specific numbers. We remain very focused on evolving the product and we hope people go to the platform to experience the power of it themselves.
Please shed some light on the launch of a unique platform like ChekMarc in India.
ChekMarc is focused on building our community throughout the world and India is a very important part of that. There are communities and individual connections around raising kids, getting advice on where to travel, seeking help on how to stay motivated and energized during the pandemic, how to make a complete career change, and how to maintain a healthy and spiritual emotional and physical balance. These are just a few of the topics being discussed and they are agnostic of geographic boundaries, city size and cultural differences.
Staying committed to make ChekMarc available for all, we are focused on building our brand awareness through multiple channels including press releases and articles in local publications, traditional promotion including papers and magazines, online digital marketing and word of mouth. This allows us to spread our focus across many different geographies that cut across a wide range of cities, across tiers. It takes time but we believe that if we make our members our #1 priority and continue to focus on maintaining a positive platform, the members on our platform will spread the word to their families, colleagues and friends living across many parts of India.
What are the expectations from the Indian audience?
We see India really being able to lead the global adoption of ChekMarc. There are many people from India already on the platform actively engaging with others. We not only want India on the platform but we want feedback from the Indian community. So much of what we have built and will build will come from people telling us what they want to see. India is a large contributor on social platforms and we hope that people spend some time to be part of our community. We would like India to really drive the global grassroots marketing. Of ChekMarc.
What are your investment and expansion plans?
We continue to invest in our product development and in our marketing to help us reach new audiences and new markets. The ongoing feedback from our members will shape the direction we take ChekMarc. Investment and expansion will be ongoing themes for us.
How digital communities are shaping up the online communications across the globe?
For many years now, digital communities have been breaking down geographic and time barriers and have been connecting people. This is a very good thing. While this trend has been going on for a long time, the pandemic accelerated the importance of digital communities. People have also been learning how to use digital communities more effectively for personal and professional purposes. Unfortunately, the lack of regulation and rapid growth of the digital communities has us at a tipping point where one needs to question whether the good outweighs the bad. This is why there is a need for alternatives like ChekMarc that support positive digital communities.
Are you planning to introduce any new features?
Yes most definitely. We have a policy to not reveal our plans for new features before we launch them. That being said, most of the ideas will come from our community members. Follow us on all social platforms @chekmarcunites to stay up to date on all of our new updates and features!
Can you share some of the funding details?
Our initial investment round was private and self-funded. Vrinda and I are starting put together our thoughts for our future funding plans.