Women 2.0 spoke with Ankita Gaba, who has a handful of successful startups under her belt and is now helping her latest, iGenero, expand to Mumbai, India. She has four words she thinks every entrepreneur should live by.
What inspired you to start iGenero?
I have been part of the creation of a couple of startups in the past 8 years. The first was SuperChooha in 2007, which was one of the first social media agencies in India. The second was Social Samosa, a social media repository, which I founded with Aditya Gupta in the latter half of 2011. Aditya also co-founded iGenero in 2009 in the technological environment of Hyderabad. iGenero’s expansion to Mumbai is where I come in.
In the past 7 years of iGenero’s evolutionary existence, the agency has become one of the leading digital agencies in India, specializing in design and tech. The founders entrusted Manveer Malhi, one of India’s leading digital experts and me to set up iGenero, Mumbai. This team will be solely responsible for disruptive digital marketing solutions in India with the strong backbone of tech and design provided by Hyderabad. A kind of diversification for iGenero, the main inspiration for me to set up the agency in Mumbai is to provide end-to-end solutions to large corporates and startups alike. The digital realm is still nascent in India, and we aim to help our clients tap its vast potential in its entirety, through our expertise.
Why is what you’re doing important now?
An organization is like a Swiss watch. Every employee is an important cog to ensure that the business is working smoothly. Thanks to the past decade of entrepreneurial experience, I have learnt the savoir-faire of running a business successfully. I play multiple roles in multiple departments including marketing, operations, HR, accounts and sometimes moonlight as a content manager also.
I feel that my skills most come in handy when projects move from implementation to automation. After the management and I finalize the strategy, I help in setting up processes for seamless transition from concept to execution. Through these processes, every employee knows what his KRA is, and hence creates a production line of creative strategy and flawless execution.
Biggest tech trend we should watch out for?
In 2016 we witnessed a rise in Live Streaming, AR/ VR, Big Data, Everything OnDemand and IoT/ Wearables. In 2017, the biggest trend we will witness is the persistence of digital automation. AI has been on the cusp of emerging for a few years now, 2016 has seen strides in this direction, and 2017 is only going leaps in that direction. From semi-autonomous chat bots, auto-replying emails and digital assistants (Siri, Alexa, Cortana) whose capabilities are only getting smarter, better and more accurate, this could be the year where we see a lot of advancement in this field.
Based on your experience, what’s the best advice you can give to other founders?
This is what my entrepreneurial journey has taught me till now. I treat them as the gospel truth and implement them day in and out. Patience, hard work, smart work and networking; four words which every entrepreneur should get tattooed on their mind. Ideas are dime a dozen in the market, especially in India. However, what makes a startup truly successful are these four words.
Ankita Gaba is on Twitter @ankitagaba.