YourStory in conversation with Praveen Kumar, founder of Wild Creek Web Studio, a Chennai-based web development and SEO startup
If someone asked you to tell them about WildCreek Studio in about three sentences, what would you say?
Wild Creek Web Studio is a simple, no-nonsense website development & SEO agency that understands client requirements by putting itself in their shoes and delivers what is promised within the timelines to the utmost satisfaction of the client.
How is WildCreek Studio different from other digital/SEO agencies?
There are a lot of other companies that promise heaven and earth. At Wild Creek, we promise only what we can deliver and we will tell you upfront what is possible and what is not possible.
With close to 10 years of experience in building websites that work, we bring to the table the additional expertise that a client might not have. This helps us to streamline the workflow right from the word go without having to spend a lot of time understanding the requirements.
Also, we do not play the price game. We understand it is most important to have a satisfied client and that they get what they pay for. There are a lot of alternates in the current market scenario. So, having a satisfied client goes a long way in securing future leads and clients.
How did the idea for WildCreek Studio come about?
Wild Creek, according to me, can be seen as the sum of the parts “Wild” (being the Internet) and “Creek” (us being the small stream).
The idea of Wild Creek came in right after I finished college. I was not ready to work under someone where my ideas were stifled. But then as a newbie I felt that it was also very important to garner some experience. So after working for a while, I felt that the time was right to pursue my dreams and Wild Creek came into existence in April 2009.
Also, I found that clients were more at ease dealing with a company rather than with a freelancer. So even today, Wild Creek acts as a front end to the websites that are being operated.
Tell us about your background.
I have a post-graduate degree in Internet Technologies from University of Bedforshire, England along with B.A in economics and the usual NIIT and Arena Multimedia certifications.Professionally, I worked for a year with Sundaram Finance as part of their web team from 2001 to 2002. I came back from England in 2006 and till November 2006, I was with Broadspire India as their SEO Manager.
From late 2006 to mid 2008, I was with Sulekha.com as a Channel Manager handling their movies channel. I had the distinction of propelling Sulekha Movies from relative obscurity to the most talked about channel in Sulekha with 6 months of taking over. The foundations that my team laid holds good even to this day. Nothing much has changed apart from the look and feel. From a SEO prospective, the site in 2006 was barely visible but now it’s the channel to beat when it comes to Tamil movies. After the stint at Sulekha, I was with Sify for a year, handling Sify Food (Bawarchi) and I also launched Sify Videos. This was my last job before WildCreek.
Tell us about the sites that WildCreek operates.
Some of the sites that I operate are:
AwesomeCuisine.com – It was ranked number 3 in Comscore for India in its category when I checked last. I believe that it is more or less the same number even today.
TamilBrahmins.com – This was probably the only site of its kind in existence when it was started in 2006. But there are clones now. This was started as a place to learn more about the community that I was born into. To quote one of the members from this site, it’s a forum with a huge data base for music, sastras, prayers, songs and discussions.
PoetryofLife.com– I used to write poems in Sulekha. This is where I have continued publishing my poetry. My poems have been read on air in radio stations across England and Ireland. People have used my poems on some thesis articles, research studies etc.
ChennaiForums.com – As with TamilBrahmins.com, I am not aware of any dedicated discussion forum exclusively for Chennai.
Where do you see SEO, web development and WildCreek Studio five years from now?
Five years from now, Wild Creek would be a much bigger company than what it is now and hopefully, be in the top league.
While the jargons, technologies and the methods keep changing in both SEO and web development, the fundamentals are the key. And for us, that’s very simple - give the users what they want, without taking them around for a ride.
At a time when people have very short attention span, giving them something very complex is not going to work. It might for a while. But after sometime, they will be bored and they will leave you.
When I build a website, I see it as a user first. I ask myself questions like “will I visit this website if it is designed in a particular manner?”, “how do I get the information that I want?” etc. If as a user, I feel comfortable with it, then I go ahead and build it.
What is WildCreek Studio’s revenue model? Have you been funded or is it a bootstrapped venture?
Apart from offering SEO and web designing services, the primary revenue model is through advertising from the websites that are being operated.
During the initial stages (while I was still professionally employed), everything was self-funded and I got things running using my savings. After Wild Creek became a legal entity, the funding comes from the revenue of the websites that I own.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
As an entrepreneur, it was more about convincing my family about what I wanted to do. Even today, most people are pretty happy to work with someone and get a fixed monthly salary while still dreaming about their passions.
Pursuing one’s dream needs a lot of courage and self-confidence, in addition to the mandatory amount of sacrifice. As long as you do not doubt yourself, I do not think there are any other bigger challenges waiting for you. The moment you give up within is when it all comes down.
The joys are many. Right from receiving the first cheque and seeing the smile on the faces of your family members to proving other people wrong, entrepreneurship is a journey filled with joy.
We at YourStory wish Praveen all the best for his venture. To know more, check out http://www.wildcreekstudio.com/. Also, do let us know what you think of this story. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.