The Age Of The Idea Is Immortal. **conditions apply

By Aniruddha Bhagwat, CEO, Ideosphere

The age of the idea is gasping for air as it finds it difficult to survive in the evolving market dynamics. Everyone has ideas, but how many of them can add to my bottom-line, how long will it take and what’s the probability of success? After strategically running away from these questions for many years, they have finally caught up. While some may scoff at these questions blaming this changing attitude for taking the excitement out of our industry, it is not really true. We are witnessing a transformation. The age of the idea is changing to the age of ideas that can mobilize inspiration. Inspiration to be part of a community, try a product and even, recommend it to others. Ideas leading to inspired customers can impact the bottom line, today, with a high probability of success.

The industry is evolving as per the audience. People have more choice, more money; more power of influence, and honestly, more expectations from brands vying for their attention. An idea, by itself, is just not good enough, they want to really be prodded, flattered and inspired to give their attention. It’s the difference between a child growing up with multiple siblings and an only child. As much as the parents may deny, a child with many siblings has to try slightly harder to get his parents attention.

The changing customers, consumers and environments are forcing a change on the way communications functions. Insights are passé, insights mobilizing business intelligence is the need of the hour. Today, brands can get consumer insights from multiple avenues, but they need help in decoding these insights. Mapping these insights to identify business challenges, and quickly, moving them to develop communications methodologies is a dire need of today’s customers. But how will this happen? Are the current industry structures geared to handle this change?

Frankly, no. This change will level the playing field, where even lean teams adapting to this new industry code can win. In fact, lean teams with multi faceted, sharp and flexible team members can have a clear advantage. Mobilization of ideas to inspiration cannot be bound to one method of communication, it needs to be agile, flexible to change, and adapt based on the impact it’s having. Marketing communication teams need to have the ability, acumen and freedom to toggle between mediums, focusing more on the message, business insights and inspired action. This freedom is not easy to gain, and brands may only give it, if there is a single source of truth. (read: a transparent, real time way to measure impact to justify the freedom of flexibility)

Business outcomes leading from inspired ideas will be lauded. With strong pressure on budgets, leaner teams on the customer side, and technology enabling real time measurability, ideas, by themselves, just wont work as clients are unable to carry the heft of just an idea to be different and possibly, lead to business. They need more surety, not to be mistaken with guarantee, and the teams who can unlock this code will be the leaders of the next phase of our industry.

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and may lead to a distinct divide on ‘thinking’ consultancies and ‘execution’ agencies, with neither being better or worse than the other as both need to co-exist. The teams who can bridge this gap will survive. Connecting thinking to execution, insights to logic, transparency to freedom, measurability to truth, and most importantly, ideas to mobilizing inspiration. The age of the idea will never truly die even as it gasps for air, but what it defines as ‘air’ is subject to change. Just like each of today’s campaigns:

The Age of the Idea is Immortal. ** conditions apply


Mergers and Partnerships

By Shoebahmed Shaikh, Director

“Mergers are like marriages. They are the bringing together of two individuals. If you wouldn’t marry someone for the ‘operational efficiencies’ they offer in the running of a household, then why would you combine two companies with unique cultures and identities for that reason?”

– Simon Sinek, motivational speaker and organization consultant

The communication services industry has entered the fray after playing a fringe role for a long time. As brands are tripping on each other to craft differentiated story narratives to engage consumers, communication and marketing professionals are in the driving seat to lead clients into a new customer-centric era of communication relevance.

This necessitates us to be able to understand and leverage various verticals, channels operating at the cusp of creativity and technology to paint the larger picture of long term engagement. But let’s face it, agencies acquire expertise and technical know-how in limited areas as business demands and market opportunities present themselves. Here’s where the old adage – 5 fingers individually, but a strong fist when they come together, applies.

In an era where digital and offline have enmeshed to a level where campaign elements are almost indistinguishable, partnerships between agencies with differentiated skill-sets is an increasingly common trend. PR firms are increasingly retain digital agencies to bring finesse and impact to digitally led campaigns. Luckily for us, our digital partner – Ourbit – has been by our side throughout our entire journey. Borrowing matrimonial parlance from the mercurial Simon Sinek, we had a chance to fall in love, live-in and eventually marry our digital partner.

As one amalgamated entity, our already seamless insights, content and amplification approach now even blurs the lines of culture and team collaboration. As our people fuse together PR, digital and offline strategies together, we see our clients enjoying a two pronged benefit. Firstly, there is a more robust strategy towards integrated communication which is more business outcomes oriented. And secondly, execution efficiency through teams wired towards message and audience while being medium agnostic.

As we embark on this journey, we realize that it will be equal parts bliss and blithe. Cultures, personalities of people and customer obsession show large spectrums of variations, irrespective of the size of the agencies. Merging companies should forecast challenges that might affect clients before-hand and ensure that the merge does not result in a purge of clients. We are already experiencing the highs of integrating cultures while jumping over process hurdles in a bid to marry our strengths together. Baaratiyon ka swaagat hain!


Digital Impetus in Insights to Understand the Butterfly Effect in Brand Marketing

By Bhushan Atulkar, Account Head- Insights

Insight is the capability of knowing and understanding the unknown facts by digging deeper through a systematic process of data gathering. Gaining insights into something is nothing new for us, as human species we start digging deeper into things in our surroundings to know more about them and adapt as per the information. Same is the case with brands, every brand under the sun is dependent on consumer insights which helps them in understanding the consumer behaviour, their desires, apprehensions, which ultimately helps the brand in adapting and growing itself as per the dynamic market conditions, leading to ground breaking innovation in products and processes. Insights are the sole reason that sets a brand apart from others by becoming a base of revolutionary customer experience.

 Brands start observing their consumers and gather insights since the first purchase. This process of observation and insights gathering is done through various methods viz. empathy interviews, observation of consumers in their natural environment, method of buying, gauging the competition.

These are some of the traditional ways of gathering insights from consumers which are more than valuable for a brand. For instance, Empathy interviews are very good in terms of gathering insights on the emotional and subconscious aspects of an audience’s action. This technique starts working where traditional QnA technique fails at getting deeper into a consumers’ mind. While these techniques are being used globally for collecting insights, times have changed. Introduction of digital mediums have opened a whole new world of opportunities for consumer insights.

 Over the time the techniques have improved and due to digital revolution insights as well as their gathering techniques have received a considerable impetus in the world of brand marketing. In today’s connected world, brands are constantly in touch with the consumers by putting them at the centre of their strategy more than ever. Meaning of constantly being in touch is, brands are gathering real time insights about their consumers’ activities through various digital platform viz. social media, smart phones, search engines etc. Social listening is helping brands in gathering real time insights about consumers’ preferences as well as the type of discourse which is happening on digital platforms about a brand.

 Consumers can be continuously monitored by brands with a right combination of data and tech. With the advent of big data this has become even easier to reach out to the farthest of the target audience. Arrival of big data has changed the game entirely for marketeers and brands; purely through interactions a huge amount of qualitative and quantitative data can be generated which can help brands take right decision at right time. It even helps in designing future strategies for the brand with the help of variations observed in consumer data.

 Big data gathered through digital medium is helping brands in customer acquisition and retention for a longer period as compared to last 10 years. Insights through digital mediums have provided speed and agility to brands in moving ahead of competition. A brand that is slow in understanding the needs and desires of consumers happen to deliver poor quality and ultimately perish with time. A good example of this would be efforts put by Coca Cola by using big data for customer retention. In an interview Justin De Graaf, Director of Data Strategy and Precision Marketing, Coca Cola specifically mentioned data is increasingly playing an important role in in marketing and product development, consumers have shared their opinions with Coca Cola through email, social media or social network that has allowed Coca Cola to hear their voices and adjust their strategy accordingly. Data through digital medium has helped Coca Cola in creating relevant content for diverse audience across the globe. He said, Coca Cola, wants to create different content for different audience across the world based on their interest and emotional inclination towards anything in their surroundings. Some love music or others love sports, this has helped the brand to present in these spaces without any efforts, thanks to digital insights and big data.

 It is not just limited to understanding consumer but also advertisers and promoters. It is common that businesses loose huge amount of money in advertising when it doesn’t have the desired effect on the audience. Big data has saved the day for many businesses out there. With systematic analysis of consumer movements, trends and purchasing behaviour brands have successfully got the right nerve of every type of target audience. This has helped brands in generating content which is more targeted and personalised. Netflix has aced this game quite well, when we open Netflix in our phones and PC browsers we get suggestions for movies and TV series based on our preference. These preferences are different for different audience. That’s how Netflix has successfully retained the position of one of the top online streaming services across the globe.

 Looking at current pace at which digital is boosting the power of consumer insights there is not stopping anywhere soon. In fact, this digital revolution in the domain of insights is going to get slowly transformed and fused with AI and ML which is even more effective. AI and ML could be the key to insights future. Any brand with a combination of AI, big data and digital mediums will be able to stand out of the crowd in terms of understanding the consumers and delivering the experience which every consumer desire from their favourite brand.

 While all the digital revolution in consumer insights are playing a bigger role in grating brands an edge over others and it is going to get bigger with time, it cannot come at the cost of traditional insights and strategies that helped brands in reaching out to millions of consumers and understand their needs and desires. After all, classic never goes out of style.


Are We 2020 Ready?

“But the best way is to get back on the horse as quickly as possible. Perhaps build a business that is a little bit more orientated to modern day developments.”

“Sky’s the limit” in terms of the ultimate scale of S4 Capital, though it “won’t be size for size’s sake”

Two seemingly mundane statements by one of the world’s leading advertising professionals, Sir Martin Sorrell. However, what’s critical is to look at the statements from the perspective of when they were made and in what context and it opens up a whole new Pandora’s box. Both the statements were made immediately post Sir Sorrell’s departure from WPP and pre-MediaMonks acquisition by S4 Capital. 

MediaMonks is currently a pure Digital play company which Sir Sorrell intends to transform into the world’s next big communications and advertising play. One of the key reasons, apart from the financial acquisitions, why Sir Sorrell left WPP is his fight with the company on the premise that they had got so used to their advertising Big Boy hegemony that they had failed to read the times and what Clients were increasingly wanting. He was of the view that if WPP could not change then they would be wiped out. Interestingly and ironically this is the very same charge he was accused of – not moving quickly enough to address the new digital marketplace.

What started with P&G cutting its budgets significantly and the invent of Facebook & Google dominance coupled with growing competition from consultancies such as Accenture & Deloitte, that had moved into advertising, led to several big Clients such as HSBC putting their business with WPP up for review and hat to as recently as in 2017 & 2018. 

As quoted in a Financial Times article dated 11 June 2018, a former executive said: “His business model has come under stress at a time when he is distant from the consumer trends that are putting it under pressure. You won’t learn what 16-year-old girls are thinking about when you hang out at Davos.” 

If this is a battle that was going on at one of the biggest communication conglomerate’s in the world, it really got us a budding boutique agency thinking. Are we doing the right thing? Are we reading the trends right? Do we really know what our Clients would be needing 2-3 years down the line say in 2020 and are we structured / equipped to deliver that?

While the writing on the wall is clear to all that data, technology and content will be the big play over the next decade, as is evident from Sir Sorrell’s acquisition of MediaMonks, his first big play at S4 Capital, there are many more subtler hints that are to be deciphered from his recent statements and all that has transpired between WPP and Sir Sorrell. There is a lot to analyse and learn but then that is a whole new blog on its own, and something that we would like to articulate. So look out for this space over the next fortnight. Till then happy pondering…


Cleaning the Closet: An inevitable habit

By Minal D’Rozario, Co-Founder and Director

A state of mind of multiple choices, decisions stack up to create layers of opinions and elements of confusions. After being part of many such casual discussions with my fellow colleagues and friends to possibly find solace or must I say looking for support, this is a natural behavior pattern for most of us. After every goal is achieved, there comes a phase of multiples. The question that lies is? do we keep adding up to these and increase the volatility of the situation to get to a point of clarity or start segmenting to accept and move forward of another journey towards a defined destination (Goal) or exploration (Purpose)? Where am I getting at? Possibly an answer even, I don’t have at this point in time. 

I had a terrible day at work the other day, and with the above situation of multiples, it all came daunting on me with an element of overdose. This has been pretty much in a nutshell how things have been, it goes smoothly for some time and blows the earth beneath my feet all at once, at times in pleasant ways and at times not in such a good way. So, generally, I work it out, sorting it all out one by one. Over time, things have been better and life starts to move forward for the short term. Anyways going back to my bad day, I must admit I did not take it too well for the first half of the day. But thankfully something changed my thought process, that sinking feeling of it all disconnecting, turned into a feeling of positivity. While literally cleaning my closet, I sorted my clothes into various groups/stacks, trying so hard to keep the ones I have memories and get rid of the ones I don’t want or need. Some of them aced it in many ways, but some didn’t; a feeling of a little girl’s excitement came into me “That if I don’t let these go, there will be no place for new ones!” The colors and variants will be just the same, and I will not have that feeling of multiple choices and occasions, which make me, stand out for a party, conference, dinner or just a coffee. 

The next day at work, that learning took me a long way, as I identified the haves and have not, and as the day progressed; the feeling of multiples was not confusing anymore! We strive to grow in our career or things we like to do, but we tend to forget the immense value of things and thoughts which are new and old, as you have to make a place for something old to be replaced with something new to break the monotony and be relevant. We also have to keep some old habits to stick to our core and still make sense, as it will always be very new to you. Sometimes, the simplicity is in the basics which starts with cleaning the closet! 


Crisis Gives Best Opportunity

by Bhushan Astulkar

Crisis communication is a method of communication with people and organisations during a crisis situation with information that will be required to respond to the situation. Crisis situations in communication is all about preventing the bad from getting worse, make the most out of the situation through learning and creating opportunities. Yes, that’s right, crisis gives the best opportunities for a communication professional to grow professionally and personally. While handling the crisis mandate for one of our clients I realised it is not just about media relations and training your client what to speak during such times but, also about bringing the real you out and face the challenges which are not even anticipated on ground by anyone. That’s where you create the real magic turning every challenge into an opportunity.

When we talk about opportunities created by crisis, it is all about learning and developing yourself into a communications professional and being better as compared to what you were a couple of years back. During a client crisis situation, you tend to be always alert and ready to walk the rope to balance out the situation for the stakeholders involved viz. media, customers, and client. While handling on ground media during a crisis communication mandate we got to understand the real media situation on ground. The type of tonality and sentiments they have for the brand as well as the relationship they share with the brand. Being in a different territory it is very hard for an outsider to understand the psyche of the local media and during such situations you get to understand and learn about the media traits. Being a media professional, it is mandatory to keep track of every nerve of media from different regions. 

A crisis situation not only provides an opportunity to understand the ground reality of the media but also provides an immense scope in face to face interaction with the media publications. The experience of speaking with the heads and leaders of media houses is completely different from speaking with a journalist on call. You tend to learn the subtle art of convincing the editor about the “goodness of your brand” despite of it being in neck deep water of crisis. At this point of time you have to keep your facts and details right and need to understand what card needs to be shown. This is a situation where you must keep the most vital information related to crisis to yourself but at the same time get the job done through the publication with desired results. 

Communication crisis is the arena where you must expect the unexpected and always keep a plan-B ready. It teaches you to be great at anticipating things and situations where it can go wrong. Handling a crisis situation mandate teaches you the art of anticipation which is a must have when you are dealing with stakeholders who are as unpredictable as weather. While you have set the chords right with the publications and gave the required information to set things right for the brand, it may happen that the publications will print exactly opposite of what you expected them to publish for your brand. This is where the plan B comes into picture for you to get on your toes and start sprinting to fire fight the condition. While handling a crisis situation for my client, I learned a lesson which is not only useful for me in my professional but personal life also. During one of my meetings with editors I was assured that the information which I had shared will be published in the newspaper about my client’s launch program. As soon as I got out of the office of the editor the client which I was handling got a notification from government about a penalty which was going to be levied on them. This news turned the table entirely and I was on a run with my plan B. The launch plan was in danger as I had to keep the negative news out of media or at least share a counter release with the media which will neutralise the effect of the negative news. We immediately created a press release about the launch and mentioned about the aim and objective behind the launch. The next day both news stories were carried by publications across the city on same page adjacent to each other. This act neutralised the effect of negative news on fine by the government and the launch also received a great response from the media as well as from all the invitees. 

According to Martha Whitley, Adjunct Professor at College of Communications and the Arts, Seton Hall University, crisis communication is like Olympics of public relations. It is a different type of public relations, but it is exciting, and it gets your adrenaline going”. True to the core, it provides you with an immense opportunity of showcasing your true talent and learning abilities. Along with providing you with an opportunity to be a good communications professional it helps you in becoming a keen observer, a great negotiator, impeccable planner and the one who can anticipate the future of the campaign. When you are in crisis communication you get your hands dirty, but the rewards are more than a trophy. It turns you into a PR powerhouse which is a requirement of the time


The One That Took 8 Years

By Aniruddha Bhagwat, CEO and Co-Founder

The first one is always special. It is special because of all the times we failed, the times we doubted ourselves, and the commitment we made to never to give up. It is an outcome of the struggle, fights and terribly hard work. In reality, its really only one recognition at one platform in one category, but for us, it means so much more. It’s our first gold, and while Ideosphere has been recognized at various times in our journey, this recognition just means a bit more. 

We have always taken pride in working together, working hard and ensuring we never give up. The launch of Balco Medical Centre stretched this ideology to the fullest. As we came closer to the launch, we found ourselves in between a bitter fight between the Government and the opposition on the launch of this hospital. We were receiving notices from the Government, criticism from the media, and a cloud of doubt on the actual launch of the hospital, even as close as a couple of weeks prior to the launch. In fact as I landed in Raipur a couple of days prior to the launch, my phone was filled with messages alerting me a crisis had broken out as I was in the air. 

 As my stress levels began to rise, I received a call of assurance from my co-founder back at our offices telling me not to worry and that she is on it. I knew the launch was going to be success, and this two-minute call with Minal further strengthened by intuition. From then on, our teams were on ground every minute until the launch ensuring the media was getting the right messages, keeping a look out for demonstrations from the opposition, and ensuring a positive image of the launch was demonstrated. We looked at every message, and even stayed up the night prior to the launch rewriting the entire anchor script to analyzing each word that was spoken. We took ownership of the launch, and treated the launch, not as a client, but as our own. 

 This launch was truly a team effort, and my intuition was right. It was a great success, and with the Hon Chief Minister stating on record this was a the best facility he had seen in Central India, we knew we had won. The team wasn’t only our own, but the Balco Medical team as well. It was a truly partnered launch, and a successful one at that. 

 The journey of not only this launch, but also all the learning we have had as a company over the last eight years, allowed us to make this launch a success. We truly believe that good things come to those who wait, and this Gold was truly worth the wait. I am sure we will win more golds in the future, but this one will always stand tall at the top of our war chest. 


The Emergence of Digital Citizens as Influencers

by Aashna Iyer, Ideosphere

Social media is a horrible place. There’s either someone ranting, someone’s rubbish poetry ridiculous FOMO-inducing photography, or unnecessary branded content. And to top it all off, there are trolls. More and more of them, hidden under every group notification, every icon, ready to jump in as soon as the comments section loads… What a terrible place to be in.

Remember when we sympathised with celebrities? For having their lives on show at all times, never having the luxury of having a “low day”, and going wherever they go with an ever-increasing army of trolls, we pitied them. Somewhere along the line, however, the sympathy has turned to empathy. In a social media world, where are you or I better off than a Deepika or Ranbir? Worse off, rather, because I don’t see a Ranveer or Alia around any of us, and we still have our trolls, without any of the cool branded stuff.

Jokes apart, the worlds of the celebrity and the common netizen have begun resembling each other a lot more lately. Not only are we capable of achieving a “shop window” that can mimic theirs, we can build rabid fans that are no less than celeb fandom. A regular social media update takes more strategy & copy edits for a digital citizen today, than updating a celebrity’s profile would take for their managers.

The only thing different, is that their celeb status makes them a part of this elite club: The Influencers.

The concept of the “Influencer” is not new.

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

But, when was the last time you saw a branded content update made by some ‘famous person’ you follow? Unless they’re bloggers who now seem to function almost like content platforms themselves, the chances are that you don’t remember.

Mostly, this is because, as marketers, we are getting smarter. We know about that troll army, remember? So we don’t want to take a risk of having someone market our product, but have it laughed down because it’s a branded push. So what we do is, we find the ‘famous person’ who fits our brand’s TG, personality, message, and all those other technicalities, and we send them stuff. We just keep sending them stuff we know they’ll like because they ARE our target audience. We speak to their managers once in a while, send them a few dozen emails, and one day, there will be an Instagram story, with a brand mention. And then, you rinse & repeat. Remember when I said we’re getting smarter? That’s because we have mastered this routine to an art, and do this with multiple people, for multiple brands, I don’t know how many times a month.

Has anyone ever wondered why this not-so-buff, basically funny person is getting all that merchandise that you secretly want? Simple.

He’s a normal, human, achievable person. He has the same problems you do, in fact, he’s probably updating his Insta-story about Mumbai rains right next to you in the traffic. He looks like you, or some friend, he eats like you, drinks like you, the only difference is that he’s achieved some fame. Best part is, these influencers are self-made, most of the time (yes, even that guy who’s famous because he dated someone famous for a while). You look at them, and you think “Hey, I’m kind of musical, maybe I can do this too.”

And that’s what brands want. They want to be a part of a life you aspire to live: “If my socks are funky, maybe I’ll also get an Amazon Prime Special to my name.”

And I think this is where the shift for most marketers will continue to happen. Just getting a few people to create a 30 second video about #FestiveCampaignWithBrandMention will soon be less impressive than getting your audience to buy into the brand’s belief system because you found the right guy to illustrate it for you.

Which brings me to my next question. What is your second reviewing authority, typically, when you aim to buy something? A friend, a relative, a partner, a colleague, your pet dog… It’s always someone you know. And the problem is, from influencer to aam aadmi, the same message may not resonate as loudly.

Coming back to my first statement about FOMO, the entire concept of FOMO exists because you feel envy about someone you know. And there’s not much as strong as envy (unless it’s a desire for revenge, but we don’t like negativity here). This means that it would probably be not a terrible idea for me to explore reaching out to the BFFs, BFs, mommies, daddies, bhai-behens and Sharmajis of the world. If I really want to sell a holiday package for senior citizens, and I give a free trip to Sharmaji’s beta for his folks, I’m sure a lot more kids would start sending their parents on vacation.

In all seriousness, the matter is simple. In certain ecosystems, the influencer is the person who shares your life & concerns. Colleges, Universities, Clubs, families, residential complexes, corporates, all of these ecosystems can be influenced by their own kind, rather than a celebrity of any stature. The reason is that most of the time, for these entities, bench-marking happens against a peer set. Which means that if one is benefiting from a branded initiative, it’s a good hook to use to convince another.

This is something that is a lot more prevalent in the B2B communication space, if you think about it. From all my experience in speaking B2B, the influencer is usually someone with something to offer: Insight, mentorship, access, investment, etc. These are individuals who are held in high regard because of who they are, not how many followers they have (I mean, nobody’s asking you NOT to tweet about my awesome initiative to your 10K followers, but still). There is a lot we have to learn from the B2B space, especially in terms of creating the right messages and sending them through the right channels.

The bottom line of this little ramble through the concept of influence is this. It’s time we start re-looking at what we consider as influencer marketing. With social media power in every hand today, a simple post is good enough to create a ripple effect, and the most branded content piece can fail against a personal negative experience. In a converging world, maybe it’s time to diversify.

(Hi, all brand managers who want to send me free stuff, I’m a shameless amplifier of content, please to feel free to leverage my influence.)


In God We Trust

By Aniruddha Atul Bhagwat, CEO and Co-Founder

Entrepreneurs cannot be atheists. Young businesses go through so many business cycles, and looking back a dip in business a few years ago may seem easy as every curve, positive and negative, in the cycle exaggerates itself with every passing year. It is a series of challenges, and as soon as you overcome one challenge, the next one starts to presents itself. The most difficult part about entrepreneurship is the ability of many things, outside of the entrepreneur’s control, which affect the solution to each presented challenge. And to think, the entrepreneur took the dive into starting a business to be in control of his or her own destiny.

Completely counter-intuitive of the known definition of entrepreneurship is having the ability to give up control. As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly important for the founding team to reinstate their control of the company, and while it is important to ensure you have the business by the reigns, it also means controlling a series of constituents which one has no control of such as the clients, economies, political instability, reforms and taxation, etc. The list, which the entrepreneur does not have control over, far outweighs the aspects of control by manifold. For a young business, which has been through multiple business cycles, the founding team starts to understand that the team can only do what is in their hands, and leave the rest to fate. Sometimes in business, there is no choice but to keep you head down and work hard without having complete confidence of the end outcome. This is what makes it exciting. Exciting maybe, but what keeps the entrepreneur sane in this insane environment?

After meeting many successful entrepreneurs, there is an under-riding sense of optimism no matter what state there business is in. They laugh in the face of challenges, know that the end outcome cannot be controlled, but still go out there everyday with the confidence that if the business sticks to its core, works hard and keeps focus, it will ‘all work out’. This is the same message that we tell ourselves even in our personal trials and tribulations; starting with our parents telling us the same when we were kids to us, as entrepreneurs, reminding ourselves of the same when things just don’t seem to move. It’s a faith in our idea, our co-founders, teams and the business that keeps us going in the face unrelenting, immobile, and rigid challenges the business throws at us.

Entrepreneurship is not possible without faith. It’s just not possible to be in control of a situation of uncontrollable elements, and still be confident in your ability to control it without a belief in a power outside of yourself. It does not necessarily have to be faith in God, but it is a faith in something that keeps entrepreneurs going. And if you put ten entrepreneurs in a room to discuss miracles in their business; things that happened in the face of failure, which were completely unexpected, one story will follow another, and the number of stories will be unending. How can this be possible without some force outside of the one in the realm of control ensuring that things ‘work out’?

Again, the faith doesn’t need to be in God, but it needs to be in something. It’s just not possible to face such a situation for any human being without having a crazy, unrealistic faith and optimism that the business will survive, grow and prosper. If money is the central score board of any business underneath all the passion, culture, and aspirations, then it makes sense that the world’s largest economy, at least currently, inscribes the words ‘In God We Trust’ on its currency. As the business grows, one can start connecting these dots, breadcrumbs left by our entrepreneurial predecessors, giving more hope and optimism to not just think, but know. Know that it will all work out in the end


The Journey that Actually Matters

by Nandita Sharma, Senior Associate

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

Being honest, the journey towards accomplishing any deliverables or working towards that overall
goal is long but worthwhile. Right from the moment you take on the mandate you share the same
excitement what your client felt when they started their company and the passion that still exist.
You slowly lay the foundation by understanding their vision and weave your own plan and lay down the path for them. You guide them, sometimes the journey is smooth but quite often few hiccups truly define the longevity and play a crucial role in strengthening your relationship with the client and every problem and challenges soon become milestones.

The entire journey, this past year, was a huge learning curve for me. Working on high-intensity
clients, at the same time, and going through multiple iterations and repetition, really taught me the power of patience and staying committed to your understanding of what is right for your client. I have faced several challenges on my way here, but each one of them has only strengthened me. Through my experience, I realized it is important to face failures sometimes this helps you to push more or understand that a certain change is required. Hence, failure became an important defining moment for me.

The last year was great cause of my mentors, Vaidehi and Shoeb. They invested a great deal of
expertise and energy in my growth and allowed me a space to grow and learn at my own pace and most important explore new areas. Without mentors, the world would be a very bleak place. Some of the greatest pioneers of all time once looked up to a mentor to help guide them and shape them into the leader they eventually became. From creating my first pitch presentation to closing a mandate or signing a long-term client basis my performance on another client, amongst others. The journey till this award has been crazy and unexpected but I loved every moment of it.