We talked to Dinesh Agrawal of Global Ads Media on how the ad network is helping businesses reach a wide audience with their advertising campaigns.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dinesh Agrawal: Well, if I had to describe it in one word, I’d say it’s been something like a rollercoaster. Initially, we struggled to adjust to the uncertainty around us, but the new normal slowly started to sync in. While there have been challenging times, no doubt, the past few months have felt like a golden opportunity to dismiss the old and make room for the new. Not only in our business but with family as well.
To be honest, it’s been great to be able to sit down and have our morning tea together, play more board games, watch a little Netflix, and guess what, I’ve even discovered that I’m a great cook throughout this lockdown. While the number of cases has still been increasing, we as a family continue to support each other and all our loved ones and believe things will fall into place soon.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Global Ads Media.
Dinesh Agrawal: Like Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking back” – my journey as an entrepreneur was something I never planned, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.
All my life, I’ve always been a techie. I loved playing around with computers, software, all things internet. Soon, Orkut (yes Orkut) was introduced, and it was a game-changer. Everyone I knew was jumping onto it & before you knew it, there came another innovation the world had never seen before – Facebook.
I kept thinking to myself, why are these companies giving out such an innovative service for free? What’s the catch? How are they sustaining? After spending months on these platforms and seeing them evolve, I realized the power of digital advertising and how it is not only a powerful revenue model, but it’s the future of advertising and marketing.
This led me to explore the world of digital marketing as it began booming & I was instantly addicted. I met my partner & co-founder in 2012, and we set up Global Ads Media, which today has grown to become one of the world’s leading display advertising platforms.
How does Global Ads Media innovate?
Dinesh Agrawal: Every game-changing innovation first began as a simple idea. And today, there’s no lack of innovative ideas. In fact, I truly believe every single one of us is not only capable of an idea but actually has multiple million-dollar ideas every day. The magic is in being able to recognize those ideas and taking action.
As an organization, we recognize the ever-changing world, whether it’s drastic technological breakthroughs, shifts in customer needs, or global pandemics. Thus, we inculcate a culture of innovation in everything we do. We primarily do this by giving our workers a sense of freedom, providing our team with the resources to implement innovative ideas, and investing time in our workers’ creative nourishment.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dinesh Agrawal: 99% of the time, if any business faces a crisis – the first thing that is cut is the advertising budget. This has definitely been one of our biggest challenges in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. With COVID forcing a lot of businesses to rethink, this led to an immediate drop in adverting, affecting our bottom line.
However, as entrepreneurs, this is what we signed up for. And it is in these times when we show the true strength of our team and ideas to survive and thrive.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dinesh Agrawal: When dealing with falling revenue and a future of uncertainty, tough decisions are unavoidable. And in such turbulent times, ‘waiting’ is a decision as well. As an entrepreneur, deciding whether to furlough your people or not is one of the toughest decisions you can make. After a thorough analysis, we didn’t go ahead with it.
One of the biggest lessons learned is that nothing in this life is ever permanent and that sometimes, it’s important to just take a step back and see what others have to say.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Global Ads Media in the future?
Dinesh Agrawal: By dealing with it head-on. I realized that many entrepreneurs try to procrastinate dealing with stress & anxiety and continue to divert our attention to work or other factors. This is another big learning for me. I deal with it head-on by taking a breather and investing time into thinking about what is causing the emotional reaction and getting a handle on it. Meditation does wonders too.
If there’s one thing we learned, it’s that business cannot operate as usual anymore. It’s important for all organizations to be more mindful of their practices and invest in crisis management. In addition, remote work is definitely something that will become a part of our organization.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dinesh Agrawal: For us, staying in the game is all about understanding the ‘new’ customer. We live in the new normal, and being customer-centric is the only way to stay ahead of the curve.
Your final thoughts?
Dinesh Agrawal: Nothing in this world is permanent. It’s always important to see the situation for what it is, be flexible, and act fast. While many businesses and organizations have been hit really hard, we are still incredibly blessed to be here and have such a great team. Use this time to learn, strengthen your bottom line, and reinvent.