Technology brands can be complex and therefore brand identity is multifaceted. No matter how big an organisation is, regardless of what product or service it is selling, the brand needs to have a clear idea of what it represents and more importantly how that's communicated to the public. Public awareness, credibility and trust are huge aspects of business success. By virtue of the stories they run, the news media can develop awareness, extend credibility, generate trust and have a positive response from the audience towards a company, its products and services. Here is when a quality-driven PR agency like Interlock Marketing Consulting and Public Relations comes into the picture.
Interlock is here to help organisations flesh out their brand, develop their identity and more importantly communicate that in an intelligent manner to their target audience. When a brand partners Interlock, the consultancy instantly activates the team of brand and media experts to help give definition to the client's brand and relevant stakeholders with focus and direction.
The CEO Magazine's Editorial team spoke to Jayesh George (CEO & Founder) and Jaya Sara Varghese (Director) in line with the journey of Interlock Marketing Consultancy and Public Relations till now and future goals, here is the conversation:
TCM: What Solutions Does Interlock Marketing and PR Agency Offers?
Jayesh George: Interlock was launched into the market 4 years ago with the aim to offer marketing solutions to B2B technology companies. We offer marketing consultancy, marketing intelligence, social media services, content marketing, event management, lead generation programs and PR services, all under one umbrella. We also brought PR services into the market because of our vision of making Interlock a 360 degree marketing consultancy company and also due to the increasing demand for technology PR services from our clients.
Jaya Sara Varghese:
One of the reasons behind offering PR services to our existing clients is because a good number of them do not have a direct marketing department or headcount presence in India and they ask for a 360 degree approach for marketing and branding, so we become an extended arm for them to do their marketing in India.
TCM: How Do You Reach Out To Your End User?
Jayesh George: With my rich experience in the technology marketing space along with good support from my team members who are well equipped with the relevant professional skills we offer our marketing services mainly to technology companies. In PR services, almost 70 percent of our clients are from the technology sector and the rest of them are from other sectors like healthcare, education, etc. Majority of our PR work is done for our existing clients in marketing services, who also are looking for PR services. It is convenient for them to partner us, since we already have an established business relationship in place and we have a thorough understanding of their various marketing, branding and PR requirements.
How Does Interlock Fits Into The New Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Of India?
Jayesh George: According to WEF 2014, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India is the 3rd largest and the fastest growing in the world. We all have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of start-ups, mostly high value technology firms operating in niche spaces. At Interlock, a major chunk of our work comes from technology start-ups too and we have an added advantage with being based out of Bangalore, which is the start-up hub of India. We also offer through leadership programs to budding start-ups, besides marketing and branding services.
TCM: Any Competition From the Market? How Are You Handling Pressure?
Jayesh George: As of now, there is not much of competition in the market because we are a technology specialised marketing consultancy and PR company and there are only very few PR agencies which are working in the niche Tech PR space. Both Jaya and I have vast experience in technology and PR sectors respectively and are well equipped to handle the market requirements.
We had the vision of making this company a 360 degree marketing solution company for tech companies so it will be easy for clients to get all the marketing services under one roof. There are not many agencies that offer all these services in the domain.
What Are The Challenges Faced By Interlock And How Do You Tackle It?
Jayesh George: As for other players or businesses, the current economic slowdown is certainly a challenge to us too. We are no different. There is a delay in sign-ups due to budget constraints. The other tough situation we are facing is in the hiring or right talent with required technology expertise. However we are training our existing employees to acquire the much required skills and have succeeded to a good extent.
TCM: Why A Prospect Should Choose You Over Others?
Jayesh George: One major reason why most tech-companies choose us over others is because of the work expertise and experience founders have and we also get directly involved in building the strategy and operations as well and thereby more accountable. Interlock is one of the rare technology focused PR and marketing consulting companies in India and for the same reason clients are more inclined to hire and work with us.
How Do You Maintain The Corporate Culture And Motivate Everyone?
Jaya Sara Varghese: At Interlock, we believe and provide equal learning opportunities to all our employees. They are provided with cross-functional roles that help them develop holistically and stay motivated. 80% of our employees have stayed with us since Interlock's inception. "We make sure that the work is not affected but at the same time we also give time for their personal space."
Jayesh George: We treat our employees as responsible professionals who will do their work, irrespective of the location they are working from. We also provide ample opportunity to balance work and personal life
How Did You Innate Interlock?
Jayesh George: Having 2 decades of experience in the IT industry and IT media Industry, I started conceptualizing a company while working for Riverbed Inc. and I last worked at Micro Focus as a Marketing Director where I closed my career and started with Interlock. So the vision was to come up with a company based on my skill set and then develop from there rather than finding a novel idea, getting funded and making it like a typical start-up.
"The plan was to use the skills we have and develop it from there." – Jayesh George
TCM: What Are The Learnings You Want To Pass On To The Young Entrepreneurs?
Jayesh George: Don't start a company because of peer pressure or because it is a trend these days. Do it because of your passion and burning desire. If you are coming up with new and innovative technology or product then you need to have robust road map, knowledge and skill sets to develop a revenue model.
"You can always have a great idea but the practicality of that idea might not be that great. You may be able to execute it but you might not be able to develop that into a good revenue model, so it is wiser to choose your business carefully around your skills or skills sets you can develop along with the passion." – Jayesh George