“We will give as many holidays as the employees want…” Wait, what? I sat up alert and pushed the phone closer to my ear. “You will give the employees as many holidays as they ask for?” I asked with a twinge of jealousy. “Yeah, we will! As long as the employees understand their responsibilities and job requirements. We have always wanted to be one of the most casual offices in Ahmedabad.”
Which company is this, you ask? This is JetBro, an Ahmedabad-based creative digital agency that deals in mobile, web and branding consultancy. The ‘Jet’ for these ‘Bro’-thers took off in 2011, with the intent to change the way most businesses deal with the market. Ishit Jethwa and Sharva Jethwa are cousins and the Co-founders of JetBro. “We currently have 18-19 products in our portfolio with our ‘Ahmedabad BRTS’ and ‘Ahmedabad Otlo’ being the most popular apps.”
‘Ahmedabad Otlo’ is an app meant for the people of Ahmedabad which acts like a platform for discussions on topics, including civic issues, culture, events in the city, ratings of restaurants and an online localized market place.
“When we started off, one of our biggest challenges was to get potential clients on board with technology. I used to go on foot from business-to-business to understand how they function and offer them digital solutions,” recalls Ishit. “In fact, we even offered our services for free in the beginning because we didn’t want to underprice our services. We really hinged on the fact that the quality of our service and word-of-mouth would carry us through,” he adds.
Keeping with that trend, JetBro prides itself on restraining from spending any money on advertising. Nearly all of their marketing is covered by word-of-mouth, online newsletters to clients and social media. “We are extremely particular about keeping in touch with our clients. We call our clients at least once in three months to ask them about any developments and offer them solutions if possible,” says Ishit. They have clients in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, and in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
The crew on board the ‘Jet’
The company has 18 members as of today, including the co-founders. They initially had a philosophy of maintaining a crew of fresh undergraduates with no work experience. This was to maintain a certain ambience in the office. “However, with our reputation growing each day, we really had to start getting some experience among our ranks,” states Ishit. As a result, today they hire only experienced professionals, but still welcome college kids to work on projects. “We keep our doors open for college students to come in and hop on a project for about a month. It gives them the opportunity to learn and interact with IT professionals, which is important,” he adds.
JetBro has addressed over 350 domestic and international clients to date. Some of the clients that they have worked with are listed below:
RashmiBansal’s Bloody Good Books (due to be completed by the 10th May)
“We work very closely with event management firms in Ahmedabad. We’ve got a barter system sort of deal with them where we work for free for them, or with them, and they bring us clients,” says Ishit.
“We’re working on something really exciting at the moment; it’s called ‘Pollnion’. It works on the idea that everyone has an opinion. So we upload a topic to poll every morning and people can vote through the day and earn points every time they vote. They can then redeem these points to get vouchers or prizes. We’ve tied up with a few e-commerce websites,” explained Ishit.
The co-founders want to see JetBro grow into a product based agency while still maintaining its range of services. They have a goal of building at least two to three products with the potential to go viral, in the next five years.
Advice for budding youngsters
Despite their claim to have the most casual office environment in Ahmedabad, the cousins say that they’ve learnt that dedication, passion and working smart are important ideals when it comes to chasing success.