Harnish Shah of 3 Minds Digital tell us about design development and digital marketing.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Harnish Shah: Like anyone, all we can do is find ways to cope with the times. Given the circumstances, I’d say the family is doing well – and that ensures I feel good as well. Taking a walk is as risky as any big business decision these days. So these are challenging times for sure, but we’re doing all we can to stay safe.
How does 3 Minds Digital innovate?
Harnish Shah: We’re always looking at the newest trends or innovative partnerships that help us broaden our own horizon. Identifying problems or gaps in the industry, both present, and future, also allows us to plan for solutions to fill those gaps. At the end of the day, any new ‘innovation’ is just a smart new answer to a problem, and it can come from anywhere. Feedback from clients, employee inputs, silly ideas – Innovation is everywhere. The trick is to never stop searching for it.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Harnish Shah: It did require an initial adjustment period, yes. But as the weeks turned to months and we adjusted to working from home, business was quick to stabilize and, in fact, grow. We’ve grown 2x during the pandemic, with no layoffs whatsoever. Competition shot up, and we weathered a pricing war – but trust in our services and offering saw us through. We also managed to win 1 international and 1 national award in this duration. Sailing into these winds hasn’t been easy, but there’s a lot left to do.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Harnish Shah: As a service, our employees are also our single most critical asset – the heartbeat of our agency. The pandemic is ruthless and all-encompassing, but we’ve made it a point to stick by our employees or not to impose major pay cuts. On the contrary, I believe it’s actually taught us more than it’s taken in a business sense.
We’ve had to learn how to be more efficient with reduced access to resources, open up new lines of communication, create new policies on the fly and conduct impromptu sessions to push through effective change. The pandemic has shown us that if running isn’t an option, maybe we could fly.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Harnish Shah: We use Basecamp as our project management system, with Hubstaff tracking time. With projects running smoothly internally, we can turn our focus back to some amazing clients who’ve backed and supported us during the pandemic. A few major retainers backed off a little as you’d expect in this environment – but that’s just business. Everyone understands that we are dealing with something new – and I can say that everyone from clients to team leaders have been understanding of this fact and in helping all parties involved cope.
Now, we’re cracking amazing deals with companies sitting across the globe over a video call. Mutual trust is key.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Harnish Shah: India doesn’t really provide major grants to start-ups or agencies. That being said, we did win a small grant from Facebook, being selected from a list of deserving start-ups across the world under their grants initiative.
Your final thoughts?
Harnish Shah: Covid has taught us to change, to evolve – and to do things we have never done before. It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey – but that’s most journeys. Ups, downs, and then, inevitably, the end, before you do it all again. I am positive about what the future has in store for us. Here’s to growth, change – and a whole new year ahead of us.
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