Vikas Tiwari, founder of What a Story, tells us about video advertising and navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vikas Tiwari: Thank you for asking! By the grace of the almighty, it has been going well. We are safe and sound. That’s more than enough.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded What a Story.
Vikas Tiwari: We started “What a Story” back in 2015. The constant evolution of innovation and ideas emerged in the industry back then. Hence, many start-ups had the potential to grow. We realized that these innovations and ideas lacked the proper way and channel to communicate well. It goes without saying how much it is important to convey those ideas to the customers, partners, investors, teammates, and the mainstream market. That’s the skeleton of any business.
We thought that videos that can explain things in precise and interactive could solve their problems. At that time, most of the companies providing such services were into commercial videos. We saw how important and beneficial it would be to make explainer videos instead. That is how we started, and it brought a lot of advantages to the tech companies.
How does What a Story innovate?
Vikas Tiwari: We don’t innovate essentially but simplify the message instead. ‘What a Story’ is a creative solution service provider company. In simple ways, we want to convey big and effective messages.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Vikas Tiwari: Because of the obvious reasons, we were not able to shoot. Hence, the video production process was completely down. As it’s not the major part of the company, I will say that only 20% of the business was affected.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Vikas Tiwari: Definitely, it was. Everyone wanted to save money, and we, too, we’re figuring out our resources. We did sieve out some of the employees who were not performing as much. It was a difficult moment to take these harsh steps. Hiring is a process that is crucial yet full of hassle in any business. From a founder’s perspective, hiring is the most difficult job for me.
The major thing I learned from my experience, “don’t hire when you are in a hurry. Be patient and wait for the right candidate. They will come.” We wanted to be the number one company in India when it comes to b2b space and videos. If the other teammates don’t share a similar vision, they are not joining us. They might be having the essential skills in digital marketing and content writing, but that’s not enough; they must have as much passion for video creation as we do. Over time, it must match with the vision. To hire those people who are aligned with your values, goals, vision is important.” Hire fast, fire fast.” We don’t monitor our employees, as it might limit their creative freedom for experiments. They should ideally take advantage of such situations, but sometimes when they don’t, it’s concerning. Hence, you must be careful about the teammates and the employees you are choosing.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Vikas Tiwari: Yes, we were competing as an IT company till now, but we are trying and planning to be more organized since everything became more virtual than before. We are using multiple tools now like Hubspot, click up, loom.com, etc. Many tools came into the picture, and we are trying to take maximum advantage and help from them to communicate and deliver the best results possible.
Relationships did not affect much honestly but became stronger somehow. Now, we are meeting and engaging with more clients at the same time virtually, which earlier required physical meetings. It’s fine. I think it does not matter much as long as we are delivering our work on time and putting our best efforts in place.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Vikas Tiwari: We did not feel the need to apply for government grants. Although, we did a Facebook program to get some grants to put into use for our advertisement sector.
Your final thoughts?
Vikas Tiwari: Being an IT-focused company, ‘What a Story’ survived and thrived in this testing time. However, I do realize the impact it has left on many corporate and start-up companies. In the end, I would like to focus on the fact that any kind of business needs to learn the skill of being prepared for disasters and their management. Learn to survive right now as a company or business and thrive later, after learning from the advantages it has to offer.
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