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Name: Upasna Kakroo
Business: Brandanew, content marketing agency
Industry: Design, Marketing & PR
Location: Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Reason for starting: With the proliferation of social media platforms, gurus, experts, hackers, and commentators, the space became crowded. I saw every blog with cynicism. Many sponsored posts from Bloggers came with zero commercial information for the reader. To reach Google’s page one people copied and plagiarized content. Originality of thought was somehow replaced with who is the fastest to use the latest scandals to get some viral shares piggybacking on an existing news report. One could argue a Google rank is not all that there is, but on the other hand, it was the single biggest source of reach. The internet had democratized content creation and sharing but these came with their own problems. This disturbed me endlessly.
Then I found the real issues with original content when I started working with a couple of smaller companies and startups, the issues started appearing. Whether you were a large company, a small business, a startup or an individual looking for original content ideas and strategy, where could you go? What was the resource? Finding new ghost writers and being unauthentic? Or hiring new interns? Or agencies which outsourced the pieces further on?
My solution was to create a firm that allowed companies interested exactly in not hiring inexperience and tardy agency relationships but going to one with experience, ideas and the right attitude. I decided to quit complaining that the world was dying with content thieves, and instead provide a service that allowed people to have an alternative to stealing; original content that was relevant to their target groups and connected to their brand tonality and positioning. Content that didn’t come across as a copy paste from a robot but from real people.
Related: Read about another female entrepreneur helping businesses create strong Marketing campaigns here.
How do you define success? Being able to create original textured content experiences for readers. Bringing forth not only the brands they know, but those that are smaller, unknown and make a difference. Bringing out opinions and ideas that make people happy, and create a new narrative online- of voices that are meaningful.
Biggest Success: To feel confident about going out there and saying, we’re live. This is Brandanew. It was the greatest moment of vulnerability being open to so many eyes, and leaving a well paying full-time job for a self-funded startup. But what are the odds of getting the opportunity that makes your hobby and passion your daily work? I feel great that I am able to take this risk and not be 70 wishing I had done it!
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Hiring the right talent to work with in my startup and getting discovered by a million other Startups/ clients who can work with me. I am slowly working at it. I am creating more and finding new ways to showcase my work, I am trying to engage with other founders, inspirational women, startups and learn from them and share / talk about these challenges. I am networking and reaching out like there’s no end! Through my social outreach that I began from April (mostly driven by Twitter) I have been able to identify many people that I can connect with and in the process also found people who I can work with! I am living a dream and finding a way to make it tangible.
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I got married a couple of months after I started piloting the company. To be able to stay with my husband, my startup became global from day one. He lived in Germany (where I decided to continue living and working) while my co-founder and rest of the staff were based in India at that time. I saw it as an opportunity to drive a global company, where the location, personal circumstances should not matter as long as the company values of high quality delivery were upheld. Overnight, we became a remote, global and delivery focused Startup serving clients from anywhere!
Who is your most important role model? My parents! I get my ambition and drive from my dad and my creativity and quality focus from my mom. It’s a combination that really pushes me to create quality in most things. My parents had to leave their hometowns due to militant activities in a terrorist prone conflict zone with two kids: 5 and 8 and create a totally new life in a new city. Their cash investment at that time was just $40 (although they did have jobs!) and yet they never let us feel that we could not achieve anything we set over eyes on. They taught me the greatest work ethic I know: work hard and create quality content, the results will follow. There have been plenty ups and downs we’ve seen in our life, and I know that no matter what, I will see the end of the rainbow, because my family stands there strong, grounded for support.
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Edited by The Story Exchange