interview with S Gowtham Raj | Engineer | Enterprenuer | Founder at Branso
We always strive to bring meaningful and powerful stories from India and around the world to empower and motivate our growing community. As part of this endeavour, we invited Mr. S Gowtham Raj for an exclusive interview with us. Let’s learn more about his incredible journey, his background and his advice for our growing community.
Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
Hi , I’m S Gowtham Raj an Engineer turned Entrepreneur . I run a Digital branding agency called BRANSO which is based in Chennai . I have 4 years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing . Initially I was a freelancer , where I helped start-ups and also established Businesses in digital marketing . When I was a freelancing digital marketer I also started learning other skills like graphic designing and video editing which helped me completing the entire project on my own.
After freelancing , I wanted to gain corporate experience . This made work in many multimedia MNC’s including start-ups like Josh Talks . My career in Josh Talks gave me plethora of opportunities to find my hidden skills especially the art of story-telling. I was responsible to take the brand (Josh Talks) down south as I handled the Josh talks tamil . I took care of the content creation right from research, curation, production and distribution. This helped me in sharpening my technical skills as well as people management skills. I also pioneered a project at Josh talks where we dubbed talks from English and Hindi to Tamil. It was during my tenure in Josh Talks I came in contact with lot’s of entrepreneurs. This helped me to strengthen my networks. Entrepreneurs life stories inspired me a lot . This inspiration is one of the reason which made me to become an Entrepreneur.
After gaining lots of experience in the field of Digital Marketing and Branding I wanted to start something on my own . Eventhough , freelancing and jobs payed me more than I expected what I lacked was freedom. I think Entrepreneurship is one which gives you freedom . Financial freedom , freedom in your creativity and , freedom in time you work so on. On the whole to sum up Entrepreneurship will give you a chance to “Be Yourself” and live the lifestyle you wanted to live.
How did the idea for your business/ startup come about?
When I was a freelancer most of the clients I helped were small and medium scale enterprises (SME’s). They couldn’t have a inhouse digital marketing team as it was expensive for them . They just needed services to be provided . During my tenure at Josh Talks the entrepreneurs I met ,knew the power of digital transformation but were sceptical where to start and How to start? I wanted to solve this problem that entrepreneurs and business people faced. My solution is businesses should leverage the power of digital transformation and become a profitable brand. So I came up with an idea called Digitisation as a Service (DaaS). A one stop solution for businesses where they get logo designing , Website Development , Social media marketing services. This idea became my startup BRANSO.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
According to me, Entrepreneur is some one who can see opportunities in the challenges and give a solution that the society can use it for it’s betterment . A Government cannot create job opportunities for everyone in the country . Especially in country like India which has the youngest population cannot remain unemployed . However an entrepreneur can create lot’s of job opportunities using his creative ideas. As an entrepreneur my vision is to create job opportunities for digital India . This is my sole driving force to become an entrepreneur.
How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
That’s a great story . I was very much confused and thinked a lot to come up with a name for my start-up . I have been also making sure that the name I fix with has the domain name(for website) available . Also I made sure that the name should be small , trendy , SEO friendly and self-explanatory.
Keeping all these factors in my mind I brainstormed with my team for almost a month. And we came with the name BRANSO , Which means (BRANd Solutions) . Yes we are here to provide solutions to Brands . So this was the apt name that we came up with.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/ manufacture?
Services we provide are – Social Media Marketing , Content Marketing , Video Marketing , Graphic designing , Digital PR , lead generation, Studios for hire (for video production) , Branding , digital marketing trainings,
Why should people choose your product/services?
We are a young team who never misses the trend on social media because we are a data driven . The average age of our total team is 25 years , as I said earlier India has youngest population and we have young talents in our team . We come up with creative and innovative strategies which is customised to particular business which makes us unique from other digital agencies.
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Data and Analytics plays a very major role in our marketing strategy which helps us to optimise our marketing budgetData is the new Oil .We make sure that We run social media campaigns to reach wide audiences. We judiciously use the data and analyse them . Also Customer delight played a major role through which we gained lots of referrals.
What risks are you facing? Did pandemic (COVID 19) affect your business? if yes how?
Actually , we see COVID as an opportunity rather than a challenge .Because many businesses digitised themselves . We helped businesses to go digital. Lot’s of businesses approached us to develop a website for them and we did it for them . Also we helped many businesses to start their social media presence . Now we are generating profitable leads for their businesses with the help of social media.
Have you considered any alliance/ partnership/ funding?
What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
My responsibilities are client handling , creating a marketing strategy for our clients , and delegating works to my team. I take care of clients onboarding process with us to give them a feel good moment on starting their journey with us. I also make sure that I pay my team on time and deliver the project to my clients on said date without compromising on the quality.
How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
Entrepreneurship is different from 9-5 job . I’m responsible for my team and accountable to my clients . So I don’t follow any specific schedule . I plan my day based on the days demand. I take help of technology to plan my day effectively . I block my calendar for the meetings which has been confirmed with our clients so that it goes in a smooth way. After my client meetings I spend time with my team. This is to create a good bond with my team. Mostly these meetings ends up as knowledge transfer sessions. I have learnt a lot from my team and my team learns from me. After this I update myself on the new things that has happened in digital marketing. Because in this field of digital marketing if you are not updating yourself on daily basis you will become outdated. This is how my typical looks like.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is my distraction. I get distracted often . To avoid this I write my goals and to-do lists in the planner which helps me manage the distractions.
What comes first for you money or emotions?
I don’t mix money with emotions however I certainly know that they have a causal effect . Yes, money is important to run a business and to pay bills. However I believe in humans and connections we make with them . I’m part of a Business Networking organisation called BNI . This helps me to build strong networks in business community. Once we are up the trust curve (emotions) money is just a by-product. That’s the power of networking.
Tell us about your early life & How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I’m was born in a village called Bhuvanagiri , Chidambaram Taluk in Tamilnadu. We were family of four and settled in Chennai . We led a normal middle class life . My father was working with Tamilnadu Electricity Board (TNEB) and he made sure that he gave us the best education to my sister and me. I completed my schooling and joined engineering college . I completed my graduation in the field of Electrical and Electronics Engineering . By the end of College I got placed . Parallelly I was trying my hands on freelancing . I found freelancing in digital marketing is where I found my heart. From there on I went to work to gain corporate experience after I’m here with my startup BRANSO. When I started this entrepreneur journey my family was little bit reluctant . Once they found me passionate and making money they started supporting me.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship requires a blend of skills like people management , communication skills , financial literacy , stay motivated and the list goes on . So a college graduate who wants to become entrepreneur , should continuously network and keep on upgrading their skills and the most important thing is should be a executor of his ideas and plans. Plans and ideas without execution is of no use. And they should build up their mind to take up failures . Because failures , burnouts , inconsistent incomes all are part of Entrepreneurs life. If college graduates are ready for this they can try their hands on entrepreneurship.
Please share with us a unique challenge you faced in your early career?
I faced lots of challenges as a freelancer . In the initial stages of career I had to give my service free of cost just to prove my skills . There were situations where clients receives the services and denies to pay . They published my work on their social media platform but were not ready to pay me.
How did you discover your passion?
I kept doing things and experimented a lot. Right from my young age I was a curious kid who tired to learn a lot of things. Also I love to explore new things and be updated. That’s how I discovered Digital Marketing as a emerging field and made a career out of it and now running a digital agency on my own.
With so much going on, how do you start the day to keep your passion alive?
I always start a day with a question Why? How? What? . I have answers for all these questions within me. I believe, Inspiration from within takes us for long distance. I have made physical activities and meditation as my morning routines. This helps me to boost my confidence and keep my passion alive.
We know that you are continuously engaged in helping others achieve their goals. Why do you do that?
I found my mentors after lots of struggles . I don’t want younger generation to face that. There are lots of people who ask me for suggestions on their career goals , financial goals. I take time to reply to each query which I receive. .
What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?
I wouldn’t say this as a advice , because I myself don’t like advices . Take this as tips for life. Find one thing that inspires you to be consistent even if it doesn’t give you results in short term. It will take you great heights in long run.
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