How WeMove Solutions set the stage for theatre science in corporate learning

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If all the world’s a stage as William Shakespeare puts it, entrepreneurs Rangaraj Bhattacharya and Abhishek Iyenagar are probably playing the roles they were always destined to.

As theatre actors who had experienced how demanding corporate jobs could be, they saw how the existing learning methods weren't helping professionals upskill or reskill.

Their belief laid the foundation of WeMove Solutions that combines theatre science and learning development to make skilling more impactful for professionals with customised workshops. If they are not producing or acting in plays, Rangaraj and Abhishek are challenging corporate professionals to explore new roles and skills with their workshops.

These workshops cover an interesting mix of disciplines that include programming, data visualisation, JAVA, clean code practices, cloud architecture, time management, POSH awareness and, respecting diversity and inclusivity in workplace.

Talking about how their entrepreneurial journey started, Rangaraj says that the two had been exploring new ideas in learning development for some time before they launched WeMove in 2013.

“Our experience in theatre helped us create a sustainable business model. There are many similarities between the skills that one needs to make a successful show as an actor/writer/producer and have a productive corporate career. We started by drawing such parallels, did a few experiments with the companies that we worked in and the companies that our friends worked in,” he adds.

Eight years on, the Bengaluru-based company is catering to a clientele that spans across sectors like e-commerce, insurance, IT, life sciences and biopharmaceuticals, among others. The company registered an annual revenue of Rs 80 lakh in 2020-21 despite how COVID-19 impacted India’s business landscape.

How to script a success story

Busting the myth that theatre is not limited to acting, Abhishek and Rangaraj say that their workshops explore other elements of the art such as character analysis, scripting and backstage production. “In one of our workshops on data visualisation, we made a company’s employees solve a crime story. We told them that they're criminal investigators, gave them some clues and asked them to investigate by interrogating the suspects,” explains Rangaraj.

The suspects were actors from the WeMove team. “So, the employees were not actually acting, but going about doing the task using a natural thought process. They are driving the sessions and our actors are reacting based on the questions they're asked,” he adds.

While taking a risk of launching a business in a niche space like theatre science, the two entrepreneurs decided to opt for a .in domain name for their company’s official website. Given their IT backgrounds, they knew the importance of having a website. Plus, having a .in domain name helped them build an identity and state significantly where they came from.

Citing their reasons for choosing a .in domain name, Abhishek says, “We wanted to emphasise that WeMove was an Indian company that was leveraging an art form that has been used in the country as a learning method for a long time.”

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has helped hundreds of businesses across sectors and sizes distinguish themselves as a brand with its .in or .Bharat domain — which is India’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). It’s among the only internet exchanges in the world to offer a ccTLD in multiple languages. By opting for a .in and .Bharat, one can choose between 22 languages for a domain name.

The decision has also helped the country ramp up their audience reach by boosting their SEO presence. Abhishek notes, “Indians are everywhere. We have one of the largest workforces that is spread across the world and corporations. Going for a .in domain name did away the notion that we are adapting western models to train Indian workforces. Our clients would search on Google for learning intervention solutions for their Indian employees and our domain name helped us land in their radar.”

Now, companies know that our content is customised for one of the largest workforces in the world and understands the sentiments of the Indian workforce, he adds.

While many entrepreneurs may attach more importance to having social media presence, the two feel that websites are like a mirror to a company. "A company’s website showcases what it is all about. Today, social media platforms are loaded with content and small companies often get lost amidst the surge of new brands. They fail to make a mark for themselves. However, a website is your own property, there is no question of getting lost."

Why a domain name matters

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, WeMove Solutions did not escape unscathed, but the founders of the company didn’t give up hope. They started with conducting workshops online. When their clients weren’t sure of what needed to be done during the initial 5-6 months of the pandemic, they kept in touch with them as a friend would do.

“During our conversations, we discovered that the employees were feeling left out and they weren't enjoying the regular online and video-based learning methods. One of our clients told us that 90 percent of his company’s employees didn’t even bother opening the portal and less than 10 percent bothered completing the training,” recounts Rangaraja.

The two founders sat down and figured out how they could turn the situation around. They launched new solutions, so that people could have the same fun and learn while sitting in their homes as they would have in a regular WeMove workshop.

Having an India-based domain name also enabled WeMove to expand its international clientele as the pandemic rendered usual learning methods ineffective. “During the pandemic, around 60 percent of our clients came via online searches who were looking for an India-based learning intervention startup.”

Over time, their efforts did pay off and the company continues to address different areas with a culture of relentless innovation.

Would they suggest aspiring entrepreneurs to opt for a .in domain name? “If a .in domain name doesn't stamp your identity as an Indian brand, nothing else can. A .in domain shows your aspiration that you want to make India great,” says Rangaraja.

“If someone is looking for a product or service provider in India, a .in domain is likely to get a higher search ranking as the most likely keyword to be used is India. So, that's an added advantage.”

Agreeing with his co-founder, Abhishek says that choosing a .in domain name can help smaller brands compete with bigger players given how the Indian government is espousing homegrown companies with campaigns like ‘vocal for local’ and initiatives like ‘Make in India’.

“We feel a .in domain can help new companies establish an identity irrespective of how big or small they are.”

The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.


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