I had the pleasure of interviewing Sudheer Kiran, co-founder of a digital marketing agency Digital Vow, which offers digital marketing services to small and medium-sized enterprises. He also founded a volunteer-driven charity “WeHelpThePoor.Org” based out of Bangalore, India.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I love being an entrepreneur because I love helping companies to grow their businesses. I started blogging at the age of 20. When I was studying my Engineering, I used to gather books and information and upload into my blog to help people who needs more information about the topics they’re reading in Engineering. After my engineering graduation I started my career as a software engineer but couldn’t stay there because of I am so fond of blogging and digital marketing stuff. After few months I resigned to my software job and joined in another company as an SEO analyst. From that moment I never looked back and never regretted my decision. In fact, that was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have worked over 8 years in digital marketing in various positions with different companies. My entrepreneurial spirit drove me to start my own company “Digital Vow” to really solve the problems that companies are facing in the age of digital transformation.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
All my previous employers love me for the knowledge I have and the results I have delivered while working with them. Few months back I have received a call from one of my previous employers and expressed his interest to acquire my company. First, I told him that we are not interested and asked him what is the reason for the proposal? We want to scale the organization by increasing the sales and marketing performance, but it’s not happening with the current digital marketing team, he said. Then I smiled and said let’s work together, the reason I started my company is to help the other companies. We agreed to work together after few meetings, and my previous employer became one of our first 10 clients.
Can you share a story about the mistakes you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I started my company and I got our first client within a month. I was happy and hoped we’ll get few more. So, we hired 10 employees to work on the current project and for the future projects. But it was not so easy to get projects so quickly and it was taking more time than expected. As a startup it was a huge burden to manage a team without enough projects in hand. We got few more projects in the next quarter and it was all good again. I have learned that as a startup we shouldn’t have hired more people than needed. Our over excitements may hurt the entire business itself.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Most of the digital companies promise the number of submissions and the amount of traffic, etc. There is really lack of the trusted digital marketing companies who promises results. Our company motto is to help the companies to generate more revenue through digital channels. We co-create digital strategies with our clients and deliver results.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Experience in digital marketing industry only helps to understand the problems so quickly. But, don’t just carry your experience baggage while creating solutions for your clients. We have seen drastic changes in this industry, so keep updated yourself with the trends and create solutions for today and the future. Because of our experience we easily get carried away and don’t look at the problems from other angles. This is something every experienced digital marketing expert need to keep in mind that we are not working for ourselves, we are working to solve the customers’ problems.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Everything I know today is learned from the people around me and from the people I got inspired. I always welcome challenges in my job, so I was always given the responsibilities more than my experience. And, I always loved it because when I get challenged, I read, learn, and do so much. So, I looked for help to understand my new responsibilities and found an amazing person Mr. Nel Patel. I used to read each post on his blog and watch his videos to educate myself. Later, I started reading more blogs, joined digital marketing and inbound marketing communities to get updated myself and to help my fellow digital marketing people.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I always believe success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. When I was a kid, I used to feel so bad when I see a hungry child because of the extreme poverty and wanted to do something for them. Now I have my daily bread and I can feed some more. Recently I founded a volunteer-driven charity “WeHelpThePoor.Org” based out of Bangalore, India. My friends, colleagues, and neighbours are joining me to help the poor and feed the hungry child. What I learned from this is people are generally kind and willing to help others if you can convince them that together we can change the world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
If I can turn back the time, I would really appreciate if someone will give me the following tips:
- Thinking money solves everything: It’s true that startps struggle for funds. But just money doesn’t solve everything, but your team does. Take care of your team and they will take care of your business.
- Handling money incorrectly: Getting profits is only one side of the coin for your success, but handling that money is very crucial for the future of your company.
- Scaling too quickly: This is one my biggest mistake in my entire life. Never get too excited by the early projects. Scaling too quickly could make you bankrupt.
- Underestimating how long sales take: As I mentioned earlier, over excited by the first few projects, I hired more people than needed by hoping we can get more sales in the same month. But it didn’t happen and that makes the situation a little worse than expected.
- Having too much outside influence: As a stratup founder I was very keen to get an advice from others. At some point, these advices led me to forget the actual reason I started the company and started focusing on something else. A good advice is always good, but never forget the motto that why you started the company.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I spend 10% of my income on charity. I never ask anyone to do the same because I don’t know what problems they are going through, or some people are already helping people more than I do. But I always say that just feed one hungry child or spend some time with an orphan and see the smile on their face. Believe me you will filled with happiness and satisfaction of your life and you never want to lose that happiness.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Here are my social media profiles:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SudheerKiranOfficial
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
It’s a pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.