First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vaishnav Thakur: Thanks for asking. We have had been Covid positive during July-August. With proper medication and personal attention, gracefully, we all recovered well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SocialNinjaz.
Vaishnav Thakur: I come from an engineering background. This goes back to 2010 when I joined an engineering college. I always had the curiosity to explore and learn. I was passionate about copywriting, content, and wanted to explore more in this segment. I started writing for many citizen journalist magazines and became quite popular among citizen journalist groups and peers. I was a 19-year-old young, energetic lad who was to keep on learning. “Give me anything and I would want to learn.”
During mid-2011, I got a mail from one of India’s biggest citizen journalist magazines called the viewspaper.net. They wanted me to work with them on a Twitter campaign for a leading beverage brand. The hashtag for the campaign trended all over the world for 72 hours, and the campaign became a case study in social media marketing. It was then that I realized that content, if not fed to the right audience, is a waste of time and effort. Social media is one such platform where one can reach the right kind of audience, willing to share, consume, and react to every content piece. That’s how I began my journey in the digital marketing industry. Before the foundation of SocialNinjaz Technologies & Creative Media in November 2013, I worked in different verticals to understand the industry’s functioning. That helped us to understand the process required to shape the digital ecosystem of India.
How does SocialNinjaz innovate?
Vaishnav Thakur: In the age where digital marketing agencies are coming up every day, we have always been among the creamy layer of the agency. We call ourselves a performance-based marketing agency. We get deep into data, analytics, and numbers to formulate the strategy. We at SocialNinjaz market the idea, or the concept we believe. It’s important for us to believe in our client’s product. We put ourselves every time in the place of a user, understand the persona of the audience, think like them, and then build a strategy around the product to market them to the right audience. This helps us to analyze what would work and what would not work for every product. That’s one big reason clients stick to us for years to provide them digital or technological support.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Vaishnav Thakur: Like other businesses, we were also hit by the pandemic situation. The business soared for a couple of months. But, we considered this as an opportunity to capture the market. Our government here in India has been supporting local businesses during this pandemic situation. Movements such as “Vocal for Local” or “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” focuses more on making individuals self-reliant and independent. We have been working with many upcoming local brands and startups during this tough phase and helping them make revenue from day-1 of inception.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vaishnav Thakur: Yes, like any other startup or company. We had to make tough choices. We stumbled and fumbled too often in our 7-year-old long journey but have been able to make a mark of our presence and existence in the industry.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and SocialNinjaz in the future?
Vaishnav Thakur: Stress and anxiety are part of an entrepreneur’s life. We deal with it every day and win over it every day. I travel, explore unheard places and corners of the country every month to rejuvenate. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case during this pandemic situation. I am still the chief strategist in my organization. I see myself still playing that role and executing every plan with my team in the future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vaishnav Thakur: We have big industry giants who give us tough competition. The list is never-ending. But for us, we are our own competition. We analyze ourselves every 3 months and realize that we have become a little better than we were 3 months back.
Your final thoughts?
Vaishnav Thakur: Final thoughts for every entrepreneur: Don’t give up! Things might be tough, not going the way you planned, but they shall fall at the place you want them to. A little patience can do wonders!