"Don't get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets."
-Jas Bagniewski, Co-Founder of Eve Sleep
Seven years ago, at a time when the online space had just begun to explode and the phrase 'content is the king' started gaining currency, most organizations did not have a structured approach nor the in-house capability to produce content to gain the digital advantage.
At that time, Verbinden Communication Private Limited's CEO, Vinay Kumar J essentially approached one of his favourite motivational quotes' action-oriented ideas. He saw an opportunity for companies that specialize in developing high-quality content for corporates as well as non-profits. And he seized the opportunity by venturing into the market with a solid team on February 4, 2014, with Satish Chapparike- Co-founder and Managing Director and Girish Kerodi – Co-founder and COO to craft a brand which would create its unique space in the industry.
He shared his experience about the first step forward in a mile-long entrepreneurial journey and asserted, "We quickly realized that good content needs to be packaged well with digital marketing, creative presentation, better user experience and interfaces. We added digital marketing, UI/UX and web development teams to provide one-stop solutions to businesses."
Today, Verbinden Communication is part of the Best Emerging Companies To Watch In 2021 and Vinay Kumar leads a fierce leader and Chief Executive Officer. The CEO Magazine grabbed a chance to get an insight into the visionary's mind. Excerpts:
Vinay: I stand with considerable experience in a very process-driven corporate sector as well as the hustles of incredible growth achieving start-ups. While two of my colleagues have long-tenured experience in media and communication. Our combined experience, knowledge of the industry, and operational prowess form the company's top layer.
Each of Verbinden's execution teams – content, UI/UX, web development and digital marketing – is headed by experts in their domain. The top management also comprises marketing, HR and finance/accounts managers.
Vinay: Besides our team's professional delivery and management of projects, our clients especially appreciate our consultative approach to solving their problems. We travel the extra mile to understand what will truly empower them and we craft solutions accordingly.
It's the results-driven problem-solving approach that makes our solutions most valuable for our clientele.
Vinay: Planning and execution, I believe are the two areas of challenges. There is no dearth of ideas. But even great ideas fail if they lack the right context. Coming up with a clear problem statement and experimenting with ideas for the given context is a big challenge.
Scaling of the idea with right processes, teams and operational excellence is another set of challenges. We are in a very dynamic space where things keep changing with the advancements in technology and digital media. Bringing ideas to reality in the constantly evolving the industry is even a bigger challenge.
Vinay: A turning point in our journey has to be our decision to add UI/UX capability to our team. We very soon realized where the world was heading and made the right move.
Now, everything boils down to user experience, be it in the way the audience consumes content or people shop online. Since we have built this capability, we can deliver real value to customers.
Vinay: We, as the Verbinden team, aim at matching our actions with adding value, empower each other. The best is yet to come. There is no tomorrow.
I believe, "Focus on delivering value to the customers and not profits. The first will take care of the later", has to be the best advice I received.
Vinay: Success usually has more than one meaning and, for me, the current role is a synonymous means value addition for the clients and growth for our employees.
We started as a bootstrapped company with a strong belief in our abilities. We have always been cash-positive. So, when it comes to the current runway and sales pipeline, they look extremely good at this point.
Vinay: Absolutely, we have been a huge supporter of creating positive social impact. Our organisation has donated to several causes during the pandemic and we will continue to do the best we can.
Vinay: When the pandemic hit the world in 2020, it did disrupt our business and created uncertainty. But fortunately, things were not that bad as online presence and digital marketing became even more important for clients as it was no more business as usual.
They needed to ramp up their digital presence and figure out virtual ways of reaching out to their audience. So, two things happened. Existing customers continued to need our support. And traditional organizations which so far were reluctant to embrace and adopt the digital world needed our solution. This trend helped us stay in the business and emerge stronger with new capabilities.
Since virtual meetings and webinars became important, we started an 'online event' solution which became a big success. Now, we are experts in planning and executing online events for businesses.
The pandemic allowed us to relook at our customer strategy and operations. Client acquisition and management while having members of the team working from home were a big challenge. It highlighted the importance of having self-driven individuals in the team and the spirit of collaboration. Many in the team showed leadership qualities during difficult times. We optimized our processes and upgraded ourselves for the world which has drastically changed due to the pandemic.
Vinay: My advice for entrepreneurs is to ignore the hype of the start-ups that you see everywhere. Remember that an entrepreneur is a doer by nature. He sees a problem and solves it. If you only talk about what you want to do and never start, you would be called "wantrepreneur".
"The way to get started is to stop talking about it and getting started!"
– Vinay Kumar