Sunday, January 22, 2012

Inflection point.

Whatever one does there comes a time when things change completely such as relationships, perspective towards life, ones' passions or the most important thing called oneself. Though the comfort of routine, set pattern and predictable outcomes makes one secured, the change brings in with itself a new direction and vigour to all the things. We at Shack started out as a Digital Development Agency in the year 2007. With every passing year we have stopped doing what was comfortably coming to us and moved to the more exciting things. Our focus has changed from design to content to strategy to product to all the above combined into one. Now we want to establish Shack as one of the premier Digital Co. in the country. We at Shack are also excited about education in the sense that it should be everything what a kid is not able to get from the learning platforms today. We plan to open a school which keeps the fire of inquiry, inquisitiveness and wonder alive in the kids. We are also excited to open a cafe in the office itself where we will serve freshly roasted coffee along with home made food items for our employees and friends. The idea is to create an environment of collaboration in real sense, a shack where people meet each other in an informal manner and magic happens. In all these years of me closely watching digital sector in the country I have realised that it is full of possibilities as things are haphazard , confused and demand for a shift the way brands use it, agencies serve the clients and the manner it is measured for the impact . We need to realise that it is Indians who are accessing Internet in India and not Americans. Therefore, the media consumption patterns and their activities, interests, attributes, opinions, product usage and the way they connect is way different than the global benchmark which is Americans . This very basic fact changes the approach towards digital engagement with the brands. It is also a fact that it is these very people who buy brands here and wants to engage with them. For example traditionally we love going to fairs where we love checking out new things and as a result on ground activities attract a lot of engagement for the brands. Similarly Indian consumers love a little extra in everything. Academics like C K Prahalad and Rama Bijapurkar have provided us with a lot of insights about Indian consumers. Now we need to know Indian Digital Citizens as well in entirety. The American description of an online user will not be of use to Indian digital scene. This is another area where Shack is making an effort and we strive to apply this understanding in all our projects. Lastly I have realised that office has to be an extension of one's life and not a separate part of it. Therefore, I am constantly trying to figure out how can we make the whole experience of coming to office working hard for hours and meeting deadlines something which does not overwhelm employees and they start seeing work as a burden. Parents work so hard to bring up their kids and they do not see it as a burden. Farmers toil so much and they do not see it as a burden and not at all if the government stops filing their coffers and help them to be one financially strong. In that case the first step we have taken as of now is to have no hierarchy in the office. There is no designation assigned to anyone and there are no cubicles assigned to any senior member. Also I envision a time when we will have people from different locations of the world and four days week. But as they say ther are plans and there are plans. I am looking forward to exciting times ahead.

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