Starting up is a challenge in itself, and it gets all the more complicated when you choose a sector that is already full of competition. Undaunted, 26-year-old media professional Pooja Jain teamed up with a colleague to set up an ad agency and took on the challenge of doing things differently.
A Bombay girl, Pooja secured a bachelor’s degree in accounts and finance from Lala Lajpat Rai College and went on to work first as a brand manager with Zee and then with multiple digital agencies. It was during one of her digital agency stints that she met her co-founder Abhijeet Chandan, discovering that they shared similar interests. The duo decided to turn their idea into reality and together founded Thought Pot Media, a full service digital agency with an aim to revolutionise the way the industry looked at the digital landscape, in January 2013.
Onboarding the first client was relatively easily owing to their previous contacts, but coming from an agency background they knew that to stand out from the crowd they needed to follow a different approach.
Working out of a bedroom, we started working 24/7 at doing the same thing every other agency was doing, differently.
Right from the start, Pooja and her co-founder made sure that they developed a process wherein the client feels really comfortable and both parties are on the same page at any given point. They also put together a flexible approach that could accommodate the latest trends and changes at any given point.
After setting up processes, the duo focused on onboarding the right people. Pooja and Abhijeet realised that although the two of them had industry experience, they could not do everything on their own. Hence, they set out to hire people who could think on their feet.
Recognising talent and delegating effectively is something we aim to achieve even today. One wrong decision can lead to a lot of problems and corrective measures have to be taken immediately. So we hired people who could align themselves with the vision of the company.
Thought Pot was started with a small team of five people and as work started pouring in, the team grew too and has 36 people as of today.
A full service digital agency, Though Pot Media devotes their time to quality storytelling by amalgamating creativity with technical innovation for each of their clients to build engaging conversations. Some of the agency’s best-known campaigns include
- Launching three of Hollywood’s highest grossing movies in India in 2013
- A Twitter-powered battle called #IamTheWolverine as a pre-promotional activity for the release of The Wolverine 3D in India which received 75k tweets in three days’ time with the hashtag trending nationally. As a result, the movie’s official website got more than 25,000 unique visitors who spent an average of five minutes each on the website.
The biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur and running a company is the belief in yourself and your vision. That is quite difficult sometimes when there are so many things to achieve simultaneously. This is a challenge you have to overcome personally, wherever you may be working.
According to EY’s Social Media Marketing India Trends Report, today, 41.5 percent of social media-savvy organisations say that around one–five percent of their marketing budget in spent on social media. Three-fourths of the organisations surveyed have social media budgets under Rs 10 crore, while a little above a quarter of the organisations surveyed have social media budgets exceeding Rs 20 crore. However, social media budgets were in excess of Rs 1 crore per annum and 14 percent of the brands spent Rs 10-20 crore on social media in 2014. There was a decline in the number of brands that spent in excess of Rs 20 crore to 14.3 percent in 2014 from 17.1 percent in 2013, indicating that brands are exceedingly cautious on the returns and are optimising spends.
The bootstrapped venture headquartered in Mumbai is growing fast, with a year-on-year growth of 75 percent. Thought Pot’s illustrious clientele includes big names such as Oakley, Truecaller, Nimbuzz, 20th Century Fox, Sony Entertainment, and Dharma Productions, among others.
Over the years, we have made sure that our content is very topical. This coupled with an internally well-structured team helps us get all these big brands on board.
For us, it’s very important to give the audiences a memorable experience and it is what we aim to achieve with every campaign we carry out.
Technology and innovation
Thought Pot was responsible for the release of The Wolverine for 20th Century Fox. “The Wolverine Experience” featured 19 big-screen kiosks that immersed passersby in a key fight scene from the film. With the help of a Kinect sensor, people took the role of the hero and could literally experience slashing away at the enemy with their own adamantium claws. The kiosks were placed all over the world, from Brazil to India and at Comic-Con.
Another interesting campaign the agency carried out was the Dark Room Activity for the movie Don’t Breathe. A whole setup where the user could go in and experience a dark room with hurdles and props was created in PVR theatres.
The users had to go in and find a hidden bag. There was also an old man with a gun inside the room to add a shock element. The entire room had hidden and go-pro cameras so we could capture the reactions. The room was also sound-engineered to create the vibe. We had influencers and Bollywood celebs take the experience.
The agency has also recently made its foray into the production space with a campaign called #CelebrateHer for the brand Friends Adult Diapers, a subsidiary brand of Nobel Hygiene which went live around Daughter’s Day. With plenty of productions in the pipeline, the agency is now looking at newer ways to connect with consumers, present brands, and redefine what digital marketing.
You are the peon and you are the founder as well. That’s part and parcel of starting a company. If you can sweep your own office floor and take care of everything at the same time, then you will be able to achieve what you want. If not, then entrepreneurship may not be your cup of tea.