First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nirav Dave: My family and I have been extremely fortunate during these uncertain times, and I am profoundly grateful for it. It has been a tough year for sure, but working in the digital field made the transition of working remotely (from home) easy. As a company, we’ve been able to pull through together, even during moments of uncertainty and anxiety.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Capsicum Mediaworks.
Nirav Dave: I am the Co-founder and CTO at Capsicum Mediaworks. We offer a wide range of digital solutions in India and worldwide, including but not limited to web design and development, SEO, Social Media, eCommerce development, WordPress services, and Graphic design.
My background is in Graphic Designing, and I have a Master’s in it from UAL (University of the Arts, London). Previously, I had worked in established companies like Cinemax in India and Get Me In and Ticketmaster in the UK.
What started as a unique web design agency in Mumbai (India) by the name of Capsicum Mediaworks has today developed into a full-fledged digital marketing agency wherein we help businesses worldwide build brands digitally. Our journey began in 2010 with a team of 5 members, which has now grown into a much larger team and counting.
How Does Capsicum Mediaworks Innovate?
Nirav Dave: The secret that makes us a thought leader in our field is our creativity and inventiveness. I, along with my brother Shailendra Dave (Co-Founder & Strategy Head), have a collective experience of over 22 years, which has enabled us to bring in the right kind of leadership and expertise that is required to grow a company.
Our team of young and experienced professionals bring diverse skill-set and creative flair to the table and formulate & execute winning strategies for our clients. We are always up-to-date with the latest digital marketing practices and trends, thereby expanding our expertise. We also use advanced and innovative technology to deliver the best result to our clients that provide them with a competitive edge in their niche.
How the Ccoronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Nirav Dave: Fortunately, being a digital agency, we were not tremendously affected by the pandemic. As a company, we had ensured that most of our day-to-day work was streamlined online, even before the crisis. This ensured that the team could work from anywhere, any time.
However, there were moments of anxiety with organizing and implementing new measures like work-from-home policy, postponing & canceling client meeting, or doing it online via Skype or Zoom rather than in-person. There were a few hiccups with the flexibility of working remotely while ensuring that the interest of all stakeholders was managed efficiently and deadlines on project deliverables were upheld.
We are still fine-tuning our various processes so that even after the lockdown is lifted and we get back to the ‘new normal,’ our team could work efficiently and adapt to the new changes. Working from home was a new phenomenon for all, and there were times of uncertainty and stress. But, even during these times, we were able to foster our teamwork culture through weekly team meetings, virtual celebrations of birthdays and festivals, among others.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nirav Dave: While none of us was prepared for the impact COVID-19 had on different businesses, what I have learned from it is dedication, and hard work is the key to success, irrespective of where we are working from. Even before the lockdown was enforced, we started the work-from-home policy to ensure the good health of our team members.
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, we had to make some tough decisions, but we were fortunate enough not to lay-off any of our employees. In fact, during the pandemic, we have onboarded several new employees. We have always put our people first, and this has paid off rich dividends. So the one important takeaway from this entire experience has been that ‘together we can face numerous challenges that might come our away and emerge victorious from it,’ which is true and applicable even to the world at large.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety during this time, and how do you see yourself and Capsicum Mediaworks in the future?
Nirav Dave: I believe that ‘what doesn’t break us, only make us stronger.’ Throughout the lockdown, we took the initiative to consciously focus only on our work & goals and not to sweat about things out of our control. The virtual meetings and calls with the team helped to keep up everyone’s morale. It also kept the team apprised about the ups and downs in business.
We are grateful that we have managed to grow & succeed even during the pandemic. The future does seem brighter for Capsicum Mediaworks as this (COVID-19) disruption has accelerated the digital growth. Business owners who were reluctant to go digital with their business before have now woken-up to the many benefits that it can provide them with and the necessity for having a digital presence of their business. We are surely capitalizing on this opportunity while ensuring that our clients get their money’s worth and more.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nirav Dave: We believe that there are no two digital agencies that are alike. We each have our strength & expertise and how we utilize it to get the ball rolling for us is what sets us apart from our competitors. From day 1, our goal has been to provide quality services to our clients, regardless of whether it is a start-up, small and mid-sized business, or a big enterprise.
Moving forward, our goal is to work alongside more established brands, providing them with the right resources and expertise that can help them to take their business to the next level of growth.
Your final thoughts?
Nirav Dave: Unlike traditional agencies, we always strive to look beyond the obvious and find solutions that will stand the test of time. We understand that the digital world is changing rapidly, and the designs and marketing practices that work today might become obsolete tomorrow. Thus, our constant endeavor is to provide digital services that consider future scalability and make incorporating them into the existing system easy.
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