From Rs 50K to Rs 7 Cr – how this small-town woman entrepreneur aced the image consultancy business
With most of her family members working in the Army or in government jobs, Geeta Singh turned out to be an outlier in most aspects.
As she always wanted to do something different while pursuing her dreams, this 33-year-old entrepreneur from Meerut went on to pursue a diploma in Mass Communication & Journalism from JIMMC, Noida, after completing her bachelor's in Political Science from Delhi University.
She then worked with reputed media houses, PR agencies, advertising, creative, and branding agencies that she believes helped her enhance her interpersonal skills and communication.
“Working with these companies, I learned a lot about the communication industry, and it gave me a foundation to start my own company. It helped me learn about strategies, creativity, event management, brand management, and the requirements of any organisation. Also, my early experience with different communities and people has helped me to establish a good network,” she recalls.
Geeta startedas a proprietorship firm in the field of translation and content development in the year 2012 from a ramshackle room with just Rs 50,000.
In 2014, TYC Communication developed into a private limited company with a bigger communication and brand image perception gamut, offline and online landscapes.
“I collected the Rs 50K from friends and family and had a room of 8x10 feet for the office. The beginning was quite bumpy and besides me, there was only one other employee, and we only had one client to serve. Then the word started spreading about our work and we started getting more clients and the business began to bloom,” she recalls.
Geeta hired more employees to handle the workload and things were going fine until someone from the inside decided to betray the company.
“So, they left and took away most of the workforce with them. This was a major setback, but we persevered and prospered. But I hold no grudges now; life’s too short for that. I only look back at that incident as a part of the journey and if anything, it has made me even stronger,” she adds.
Serving different domains
Despite the initial setback, TYC Communication has grown rapidly and has served more than 200 clie from different domains. Led by a team of 50, TYC communication offers a gamut of services including media management, content research and creation, media training, client servicing and crisis management.
Geeta says the average tenure of each client has been an impressive four years and the list includes big names like Mobile.com, Patanjali Yogpeeth, IIIT Delhi, Xebia Academy Global, Mitsubishi Electric India, Pioneer India, The Judge Group, Pearson Group, FENA, Acreaty, Steelbird International, Aks Clothing, PayMe India, and others.
“Some of these startups have been with us from day one and we have been instrumental in effectively handling the media messaging on their behalf – which is the reason they’ve stuck with us for so long. Watching them grow in front of our eyes and being able to contribute to their success is a very rewarding experience,” she says.
The company’s annual revenue now stands at Rs 7 crore.
A different direction
While COVID-19 has not really changed communications per se, operations have now taken a different turn.
“After the lockdown was imposed, we adopted the work-from-home model. In marketing terms, the demand for promotional content has gone down during the lockdown and that for value-based content has skyrocketed. We are consulting with our clients and working out strategies to leverage this opportunity. These are tough times for people and by providing them valuable content, we can create trust and goodwill, which are crucial for running a successful business,” she says.
Running a business comes with its own set of challenges, and Geeta’s was no different.
She explains, “Firstly, it is very difficult to run a business in India if you do not have a business background. Secondly, if you are a woman and individually handling things, sometimes people don’t take you seriously. From hiring a good candidate to retaining good employees in the organisation; and similarly, getting a good client onboard to retaining those clients, we need to put in 200 percent as compared to big agencies. Even after seven years in the industry, we get rejections because we are new and someone else takes the deal because they are an MNC.”
As for future plans, Geeta is optimistic about their first overseas project in Estonia. “My long-term goal is to make TYC Communication one of the top five digital and PR agencies in the world, and I have no doubt that we will accomplish it,” she says.