The connectivity of the world over high-speed broadband has given rise to many opportunities. In this virtual world, everything is changing in the blink of an eye. The broadband technology has reached a tipping point where it allows a speed fast enough for every high value application. Thus, it offers a vast array of opportunities for both, economic growth and to improve the quality of life.
Being a mainstream, the internet has boosted the use of technologically smart devices. From various social media platforms to surfing on google to purchasing online, India has transformed into a full-fledged digital market. And, this has flourished into creating Digital Marketing as a prime sourcemethodology of bringing business through the internet. One such foremost digital marketing agency in India, Kinnect is simultaneously creative and media-driven and builds digital capabilities to match diverse business needs and create visible and lasting impact.
In an interview with Insights Success, Chandni Shah, the Co-Founder/COO has shared some insightful views and highlighted the influences made by her company—Kinnect.
Let’s hear it from her.
- Kindly brief us about the Company. Enlighten us with the foundation story and detail insights about the initial days of the company.
Kinnect, formerly known as Social Kinnect, is India’s foremost digital marketing agency with offices across Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. Initially started as a team of just 3, it now comprises 300+ employees across 3 cities.
Founded by Rohan Mehta and Chandni Shah in 2011, Kinnect originally started out with just a social media marketing service but now offers end-to-end digital marketing services that also include online media planning, building websites and applications, content marketing, search engine optimisation, video production, influencer outreach, as well as online reputation management. It is truly the agency of the future, and combines the best of Media and Creative under one roof.
Kinnect’s first client was the ice-cream brand Havmor, and the company now has an impressive clientele across domains spanning FMCG, Real Estate, Fashion, and Retail. Alongside, Kinnect has also designed a special program – KinnectEDGE – to create an ecosystem that provides a great balance of exposure, learning and all-round growth and development of the employees.
- Brief us about the Founder/CEO of the company? What kind of ethics, principles and manner of working does he/she observes while running the business. Please share with us the major contribution of him/her towards the development of the company.
About the COO, Chandni Shah
Having envisaged the great potential in the digital space at a very young age and armed with experience at leading marketing agencies, Chandni co-founded Kinnect at just 22. She is one of the youngest and most successful women achievers in the digital marketing space.
An ultimate people’s person, Chandni’s striking spirit and passionate belief has made Kinnect one of India’s largest independent Digital Marketing agencies. She leads a team of 300+ young, smart, dynamic Kinnectors working across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. Her knack for building large process-driven teams and scaling up capabilities has led her to single-handedly build new processes and streamline resources. She also firmly believes in the power of building solid and lasting relationships, and this belief has driven much of Kinnect’s growth and credibility in the market as a completely customer-driven agency.
Chandni is a solutions-driven marketer who ensures that Kinnect delivers the utmost quality to its clients, thereby building great relationships based on trust. She is a multi-faceted professional who dons various hats from Client Servicing, Strategy, Creative to Human Resources.
Equally in-tune with her personal growth, Chandni is an avid reader and a trained dancer who is very particular about fitness.
- Share with us the struggle or hardship story that worked as the strength behind the success of the company.
Rohan was working in the US in the IT industry. It was 2011, and social media was still nascent in India. But he had a sense that it would become a rapidly growing field, and it has!
He also always knew that he wanted to return to India and explore his entrepreneurial side. Around the same time, he connected with Chandni, who was right at the center of the advertising world at JWT India. They combined their capabilities, took a bet on the future and started Kinnect. Rohan came to know how an ad agency functioned only after starting one!
Rohan and Chandni have consistently held the view that learning and development is paramount for an organisation to succeed, and for its employees to transform into ‘intrapreneurs’. This emphasis on all-round development has been one of the factors behind the success of the company and its employees’ loyalty.
- Share with us the importance of ‘Digital Marketing’ in today’s world.
The online market place is exceptionally pervasive and equally lucrative, and hence every brand today feels the need to incorporate befitting digital marketing strategies in their business modules. Digital marketing is quickly developing power in today’s world of marketing and is slated to be the eventual fate of marketing. We all are aware that the world is quickly moving from traditional marketing methods. With people preferring to consume digital content, businesses that have not yet perceived digital marketing in their advertising systems are habituating quickly.
The modes of communication and marketing on digital are more adaptable, quicker, quantifiable and result-driven. Both marketers and consumers are experiencing the benefits of digital marketing. It also offers equal opportunities for all kinds of businesses.
- Please tell us about the business model you follow and the service you provide that makes the company unique and helps it to withstand the cut-throat competition.
In the beginning, the objective was to just survive, to make it to the next day, week and month. We aspired to be a larger agency, handling bigger brands. While our objectives and vision have now evolved, one has remained the same since our inception. As an agency, we want to be someone who the client can come to with their business objectives and be rest assured that we have the digital solution to match it. So, we have always evolved and built out new capabilities based on the client’s requirements.
Also, a key objective has been to impact businesses. Creative campaigns are celebrated, but effective communication is what actually drives ROI. This belief is at our core, and we’ve built a company out of it. We have been instrumental in building several vertical capabilities that place the client at the centre and understand what their business requirements are.
- Tell us about the exclusive services the company offers.
A lot of digital agencies are either creative focused or media focused. We marry old-school branding principles with new-age solutions. Solutions that simultaneously employ creativity and data-driven insights. Solutions that produce real-time, relevant and reportable results for our brands. We are an agency that always places business impact above all else. Real business impact that makes a difference to brand awareness, sales and visibility, every single time.
- Is your company part of any philanthropic service?
On the community front, Kinnect has introduced an initiative called #KinnectorsGiveBack. Through this program, we empower Kinnectors to make their contribution to society, with respect to the Health and Education needs of the underprivileged. Essentially, any Kinnector can nominate a person in need of financial aid, which will be provided by us. This helps inculcate a sense of responsibility and serves as a platform to make a difference in society.
- What sets the company apart from its competitors?
What gives a smaller agency an edge is the same thing that drives Kinnect today – it is the constant desire to push the limits. Being the underdog is integral to the Kinnect spirit, no matter how much we grow. If we find ourselves in a room where we are the larger agency, we’ll leave that room and choose another room where we feel small. It is that drive and level of competitive spirit that gives us an edge.
- Brief us about the future of the company or the goal it has set to mark its exceptionality in the future.
The vision is to be one of the largest agencies in the APAC region. Not too many agencies have expanded from India to the APAC, though a lot of agencies have moved from APAC to India. So, our aspiration is to branch out to other international locations and see how we can grow our operations there.
Over the next 5 years, we aim to be the dominant force in the Indian digital marketing industry. The vision for this continues to be creating award-winning brand campaigns and cutting edge data or tech-enabled solutions, with the singular aim to drive business results for our clients.
Alongside, we also want to build a culture that is timeless, so building a great company culture is a major goal for the next 5 years. One that integrates our core values and centres around creating business impact with an emphasis on ROI. From a skillset standpoint, we want to be at the confluence of a really creative company and a digitally-driven one. We want to understand what the business insights are, manage data as well as suggest path-breaking solutions. Our vertical building has therefore been in this particular direction.
- Advice for the budding entrepreneurs who are trying to embark in the same field.
- Make friends with the most knowledgeable person in the world – Google! Google has (most of) the answers you are searching for. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and be willing to learn and absorb!
- Eat brownies – Always strive to earn brownie points at work with small things. The smallest things often have the biggest impact! For example, something as simple as being on time for a meeting can go a long way.
- Get dirty – Get into the nitty-gritty of things, whatever your position at work is. Get into execution, and see the big picture as well as the details!
- Be a yes man…or woman – Say yes to experiences, to adventure, to challenges. Don’t hesitate to take on what you know you can handle!
- Sharpen your axe – Always be better and do better. Learning, training and re-learning are key to getting ahead in both your professional and personal lives!
- Screw up…and laugh it off – This is exactly what you think it is. Make mistakes, learn from them, move on and do better next time!
- The accomplishments and acknowledgements of the company.
Kinnect is India’s foremost digital marketing agency, and has won many awards and accolades for campaigns, as well as for the company and its culture. One of our biggest accomplishments has been winning the South Asia’s Independent Agency of The Year, and also winning gold for Indian Agency Award – Independent.