Happy workplace: echoVme, a digital marketing startup, builds a creative-happy team
Sorav Jain is very young, in his early twenties. The company founded by him echoVme is into the new lingo of marketing ever since social media, which was predominantly personal, intruded into organizational space. Companies found a new way to reach customers and engage with them online. Also social media became the rich site for campaigns. Sorav enrolled for biotechnology bachelors at Loyola College in Chennai and joined Contempo Technologies as a student intern in his second year of college. He continued to work with Contempo and later joined CMO Axis, a global digital marketing firm.On why he started echoVme, he says: “I found social media marketing more exciting than biotechnology. I went to UK for my masters [Masters in International Marketing Management from University of Leeds] and came back to India to set up echoVme.” A bunch of people from CMO Axis, his former colleagues, joined him. Karthika Priyadarshini, now a social media project manager, vouches for Sorav, and adds, “We just joined Sorav as he started.” Karthika manages projects at echoVme and has been with the company since its inception.
Digital marketing is a resource-heavy proposition. The more customers you acquire the more you expand your team. As a startup, many digital marketing firms face the resource problem. And the social media services space in marketing is overcrowded. Freelancers, people with low experience, and a host of other outsiders who know little about social media but carrying the tag of a consultant occupy this space, making credibility a huge issue with organizations that want to launch digital marketing campaigns. With return on investment metrics not firmly in place, digital marketing companies find it even more difficult to convince the customer of their validity in proportion to the investments made or to command a reasonable amount of investment. But Vernicia, who works with Sorav as echoVme’s creative director, says “compared to the traditional marketing, digital marketing is even more powerful.” Vernicia, an ad professional, took to digital marketing because of Sorav. That’s where his lecture sessions on social media have been helpful.
echoVme conducts SocialME, social media business workshops, that helps organizations and individuals understand how they can use social media effectively to promote their brand or expand their reach. This has helped echoVme get organizational signups but it is a high-resource proposition and without the financial muscle, it is difficult to scale. So Sorav has taken a slightly different route. echoVme is engaged in creating a course content for MBA in social media for Manipal University. The lecture sessions at workshops and his social media grasp have helped Sorav enter the academic space too.
One distinguishing feature of echoVme has been its work culture, captured in the video:
It’s a given that an employee spends one-third of his day (if he or she works for a minimum of eight hours) at the workplace, and that too in the brighter part of the day. Creating a vibrant atmosphere inside the office not only ensures workplace hygiene but also helps employees express themselves better and become creative.
On a Saturday afternoon, when I visited Sorav’s office, enthusiasm and energy were abuzz. Vernicia was gung-ho in explaining the highs of digital marketing being an ad professional and Karthika explained how new people are trained in different aspects of the work before they are placed in a particular position.
EchoVme has started with restaurant reviews on Saturdays. A two-member team pans out to different restaurants on Saturdays and don’t announce they are going to write reviews. They just gobble up the palette and put forward their forthright views.
Sorav Jain is an instinctive entrepreneur. Kishore Biyani talks about design as an integral part of business in It Was Made in India. Sorav’s design of the business is quite natural and follows his instincts, as he plays on his strengths of oration. A company need not be segmented into departments and functions in a traditional way. Sorav has shown that you can explore your strengths within the set confines of your business and create thought leadership through which you build credibility and your brand. Sorav strikes a chord with his colleagues, customers, and others through his candid approach and a gentle personality.
Tailpiece: Sorav just got married, blowing the myth that startup entrepreneurs find it difficult to find a match.
YourStory wishes Sorav Jain and his echoVme team humongous success!
—Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist