There are a dime- a- dozen stories of start-ups and yet we never tire of hearing them. That’s because each brand is as unique as the people running it and there’s always something new to learn from another’s journey. Keeping this in mind, we at The Spaceship Design hope that this story of our journey gives you some insights into lifting off a start-up advertising agency.
The advertising world of the rapidly growing city of Pune has always focused on real estate. And whilst there were a number of good agencies to market developers, other sectors in the city were grossly neglected. Two youngsters decided to venture into these neglected sectors. Thus in 2017, The Spaceship Design, a new advertising agency in Pune was born.
Abhishek Agarwal was a serial entrepreneur and Business Management professional. Surbhi Mittal was a Marketing professional with an advertising background. Together this duo began work with the total team strength of four. While there seemed to be a need in the market for the kind of work they were offering, the first challenge for this duo and their team was to change mindsets.
Most companies didn’t feel they needed any external help with their advertising, as they had established a loyal customer-base over the years. Others felt that an agency with ‘creative’ people would not be able to convey their business message clearly. And there were some who felt they were doing enough on their own. It took The Spaceship Design months of knocking on peoples doors, speaking to them, showing them current market trends, before they could finally land their first non-real estate client, a chain of tea cafés.
This was an exciting challenge for the team, which had now grown, to an approximate strength of 10 people. With this growth however, the responsibilities of the management also grew. Suddenly, they were dealing with more internal issues than they would have liked, resulting in less energy spent on productive outputs. The only way for them to get out of this situation was to take a step back and re-evaluate. Instead of hiring an HR manager to do the job for them, the management at The Spaceship Design faced their challenges head- on.
Problems always seem to appear together and that is especially true for a start-up. The market was low and many clients delayed their payments. Some still haven’t paid. They say you can only earn by spending and though the company was short on funds, they always managed to pay their employees on time.
Gradually, things started turning around. When the employees saw the management take a personal interest in their issues, they too began respecting the company. The efforts of branding the company right at the start also paid off. No longer was The Spaceship Design knocking at peoples doors to get work, work started knocking on our doors.
Today just 2 years after their inception, The Spaceship Design is one of the design partners for Merkle Sokrati, a data-driven digital advertising company by the Dentsu Aegis Network. With over 700 employees, Merkle Sokrati manages over 3000 of the biggest names in the e-Commerce and BFSI sectors.
We are also the official marketing partner for a number of companies. One such company, Fronius India has 4,500 employees worldwide. It is one of the 28 subsidiaries of Fronius International GmbH. Fronius is active in the fields of battery charging systems, welding technology and solar energy.
Another company Divgi Torque Transfer Systems has over 50 years of manufacturing experience in automotive transmission solutions and is today the only company to position itself as an end-to-end supplier of specialized and highly engineered solutions tailored to Indian and international customer requirements. The Spaceship Design helps them with all their marketing collaterals.
In this short time-span, The Spaceship Design has also had the opportunity to launch a Japanese augmented reality game for the first time in India called Play Portz.
Working with these diverse clients has not only exposed us to an international work ethic but also encouraged us as individuals to start thinking differently.
As a company, we still have a long way to go. One lesson we have learnt so far is that exposure & collaboration are extremely crucial to the expansion of a start-up. And with that in mind, we’d love to hear your experiences as a start-up advertising agency.