If the swiftness of the rabbit were to coalesce with the resilience of the tortoise in the race to the finish, the story would have been the apropos metaphor for DigiStreet. Somewhere during the year 2013, while the country was still coming to grips with the euphoria of startups and entrepreneurism that was about to become the centerpiece in the Indian business model for the years to come, CEO and Founder: Darpan Sharma (a veteran-in-the-making of the advertising industry) set out to explore the digital domain, hinged on it’s prospective future and development in the country. And while the startup journey has never been without it’s own set of speed-bumps, it didn’t stop DigiStreet from pressing the pedal of diversification, as the organization took the creative highway on its drive to become a completely equipped by-the-book advertising agency. 4 years down the line, DigiStreet’s formula of speedy-resilience success seems to be paying off with a large kitty of the versatile client desk, including a few listed under the Fortune 500 banner (as of December 2016). Surprisingly unencumbered by the growth scale, the core team members prefer to keep their feet on the ground rather than to keep their head in the clouds; after all the “startup attitude” is hard to shrug off for the true entrepreneur!
Going organic in the digital space
While the startup boom in India was followed closely behind by a platoon of angel investors in their immaculate three piece suits, offering candies to the gullible talent that started sprouting everywhere, DigiStreet had a very different agenda on its cards. Instead of raising money from external sources, like most startups do, the organization instead put the focus on developing its own greenhouse to grow and nurture talent. Purely organic! Naturally, hardships had to be endured as growth was frustrating slow at first, but as has been the crux of the words spoken often by Jack Welch and John Kotter; putting faith in people is more lasting and rewarding than putting trust in money.
DigiStreet has a solid digital and online backbone with its offering ranging from an industry housekeeping set of jobs like SEO, Website Development, Mobile Application to the very cornerstone of the entire digital presence and experience: Online Reputation Management. Kavish Arora, co-founder, and CDO, being the proverbial Google certified nerd spearheads the entire digital experience with his seemingly endless list of offerings and services when it comes to anything and everything you see on social screen nowadays.
Humble and hardworking to the core: Darpan doesn’t believe in standing alone on top of the ladder. His open-door policy and a strong belief in the abilities of his team members has abstained him from the only one taking the pains and pleasures of the business, as he has over the time instilled the sense of ownership within every team member of DigiStreet. And that was what saw DigiStreet through its biggest challenge thus far.
The Big Challenge
While most in the advertisement fraternity argues that the client throws the biggest challenges, it was the year 2016 which turned out to be the biggest challenge for DigiStreet. Clients fell like flies for DigiStreet at the beginning of the year and anybody who knows about agency life knows how horrifying that can be.
When the setback in-terms of revenue were at its lowest for DigiStreet, Darpan made it his sole goal to cushion his people financially and buoy their spirits, while at the same time he encouraged an operational overhaul of the company’s way of doing things. Instrumental in this process was the Creative Head: Sushant Sharma, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands and with his most able and like-minded team to develop concepts before briefs.
“Develop an idea, and I will find the client for it” is what Darpan encouraged Sushant to do. Although not brothers in blood, but brothers in the work, they exceeded their own expectations as they refloated the seemingly sinking boat of DigiStreet to convert a dark challenge into a golden opportunity. It almost seems providence, as this fateful year comes to a close, that DigiStreet has established its presence in Mumbai as well. Again, all organically! Seems like the greenhouse is thriving after all.
It will always be about the people
Having bounced back and multiplied substantially, team DigiStreet doesn’t believe the worst times are behind. They keep themselves sharp and resilient to the fluctuating industry trends and the challenges that come along when one steps into bigger shoes. While DigiStreet is constantly snaring clients (both local and global) away from the big guns of advertisement industry, it is practicing experimental diversification into greener pastures of consultation in corporate restructuring and new business development through the innovative product development. In closing, what has been and what will always be are the people you rub your shoulders with and as Darpan and his team chimes: “Whether clients, team members or target audience, advertising is all about people, and if you understand them, then the possibilities are endless!”
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