Dhananjay Arora is a digital entrepreneur who started one of India’s earliest set up full-service Digital agencies, Kwebmaker in 1998.
Dhananjay embarked on this digital journey more than 20 years back when the industry was still at its most nascent stage in India. The entrepreneurship DNA that he possessed, along with a sharp inclination towards the then unexplored digital space gave birth to Kwebmaker. Under his guidance and supervision, Kwebmaker has today grown to a team of 100+ digital and web experts with global offices present in the USA, Denmark, Botswana, and South Africa.
With more than 2 decades of experience and has strong business acumen and astuteness and has witnessed the various waves of digital disruption and economic ups and downs. In the past few months, while the entire nation was in lockdown, and entrepreneurs were finding new ways to sustain, KWebmaker has upped their business and sales by approx. 25% Q on Q and have also They also expanded operations in Saudi Arabia and are seeing a greater trend in business growth in other geographical regions.
Passionate in Marketing caught up with Mr. Dhananjay to know how challenging the last 12 months have been for Indian tech companies and how they can work towards disrupting the tech and IoT business in India.
Kwebmaker started in 1998, 2 decades later where is your agency at? What is the work module?
Today, when I see my agency, that is two decades later, I see that what started as a one-person agency is now a 100+ team strong agency. What started from a small room, today has its head office in Mumbai and 4 offices internationally. What started as a pure web designing agency is today a 360-degree full-service agency which includes designing and development of websites, portals, e-commerce (front and UI, UX and backend technology), along with mobile app development for Android and iOS. In our Digital services, we offer SEO, SEM, media buying and social media, thus making us a hybrid agency model, with a combination of tech and marketing.
So, today what I started with an entrepreneurial vision, has turned into a global leading digital agency of India with a clientele of brands across sectors and industries like Reliance, TATA, HDFC, ICICI, amongst other global brands, we have also got a chance to work with government agencies. This has been our journey, and this is where we are 2 decades later.
And going forward, this is how we intend to grow in. We aim to be bigger, better, and stronger and continue striving for excellence and perpetually try to push our teams in providing quality of work and service, which is above others.
Your expectations from 2021, any upcoming plans? How will the digital industry grow, given the current situation?
My expectations from 2021 are high and optimistic for 2021. Though, unfortunately 2020 and even the first quarter of 2021 has not been good for the world in general, and obviously the pandemic hasn’t slowed down yet in India. We are still battling the second wave, so growth has been slow. From a digital perspective, only optimism is that it forces every business from small scale to big scale for a genuine digital transformation within their business for growing their business, using the available digital ecosystem.
With the world sitting at home and consuming content online, the customers are all online and that’s where brands and marketers should focus on. So, for the digital industry, there has been a substantial growth in this industry in 2020 and I am sure it will continue in 2021 also, give the current situation.
How has the Second Wave of Covid-19 had an impact on your business?
Not really. We have been working from home since last14-15 months and continue in the same manner. Though, while this is a pandemic and businesses are suffering, but from a digital perspective it is a very strong sector in terms of growth. I see this as an opportunity within the challenges present, so that is a positive thing.
The second wave does not have a substantial or a direct impact on the business, but rather it further strengthens the ability of digital and technology as a medium to further businesses.
Do you think that standalone agencies, like yours have had an upper hand at business development during the pandemic?
I don’t really think so. Whether it is a standalone agency or an agency within a larger group, there is equal and more than enough opportunity for everyone in the industry. There is a fair level playing field for all present in the market.
Is Digital Disruption an ongoing process according to you? If so, how has this digital shift been for Kwebmaker?
Going back to what I repeated, especially with the pandemic, everyone realised the importance of digital. There were a lot of companies that were using the power of digital but were not utilising it completely. We know of very old school and B2B companies, I mean, one of our clients is one of the oldest textile companies in India and they have evolved a lot. They have not included digital and digitisation as part of their process. So, truly yes, digital disruption is there, and it is taking place in 2 manners – not just as a marketing tool. It can be divided into IT/Tech and marketing.
The B2C companies were using it very heavily from a marketing perspective and they have only increased their spends, budgets and focus but now even B2B and other new companies in B2C, in the retail space are now using technology and marketing very aggressively, so that’s digital disruption which is happening.
This is the time and age for true digital transformation. This term that has been used for the couple of years and was thrown lightly, but what we mean is that you take your business and take it digital, and that is what is happening now with certain of our clients. We have clients who are clinics and they have taken everything from prescriptions to consultation online, education clients who have brick and mortar services and they too moved completely online.
So, lot of businesses are going digital and using marketing and well as technology.
Your views on Automation Marketing across Channels?
Automation Marketing is great tool as it helps in a better manner with lead generation and that is what companies look for these days. Leads that can convert into potential customers. Simply put, marketing automation is a cohesive tool that allows you to use lead generations, customer relationship management, increases ability to understand user behaviour on the websites or social media handles, respectively. It helps you break analysis on your users buying patterns and rebuild approachable strategies to communicate with them via email and other platforms. This process is significant and needs to be implemented in digital businesses for a better and more positively advanced customer establishment.
Thoughts on Hyperlocal Marketing? Any Examples?
Hyperlocal Marketing according to me has turned out to be really effective for all provisional businesses like grocery stores, home decor stores, local restaurants, etc. It is mostly local/ provisional businesses where Hyperlocal marketing can help and make a huge difference by reaching out to a more specific and apt prospect of customers. This process has been very much effective and a strong way to focus.
What different set of strategies does Kwebmakers Strategy use for client servicing?
As cliche as this may sound, Kwebmaker does not use any strategy for clients but prefers being a part of the team and working together to help build their brand. What is very critical in our strategy is to be aligned with the vision because if you are not on the same page with your client on their goals and set targets then whatever you do henceforth might not be satisfactory.
Whether we are working on providing them with a tech- solution like an E- Commerce or Mobile App that we are developing, SEO or social media marketing strategy or the media buying and planning execution strategy, our priority for it all is to stay aligned. Using the best tools, the best team of people and delivering exceptional results is our common goal as a team when it comes to client servicing.
Any views on cloud computing and its impact?
Everything ongoing in the digital industry could be considered to be a part of cloud computing. From Gmail to online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools like Hubspot, your servers and infrastructure like AWS (Amazon Web Services), loads and loads of SaaS based software to video conferencing platforms, everything is today cloud computing. In simple terms, cloud computing is computing today. It really helps people co-ordinate, collaborate with security and on a global scale for that matter. Cloud Computing has a very encompassing impact in the digital industry and is one of the most critical aspects of the digital world.
Any upcoming Plans for Kwebmaker?
Our plan going forward is to develop a more advanced servicing array for our clientele. Our plan is a two- fold strategy, one being to figure out how to improve our product, our service, our quality, and delivery for the clients that would give us an edge to stand out from all the other up and coming agencies out there. Our goal for 2021 is to up our game in the kind of work that we do and provide our clients with exceptional and quality services. We want our work to define our agency to both our clients and the industry. The second thing being, since we are a digital agency that broadly focuses on IT and Tech, we want to expand our vision in establishing ourselves as an agency that is superior in the tech piece of the digital industry. We are planning to increase our global footprint; 70 percent of our clientele is Indian and domestic but we look to go global real soon.