Today we are introducing the very talented Khushbu Pandya, Founder, Konvophilia Communications. Khushbu belongs to a Brahmin family, based in Gujarat, India and loves to do everything that is creative. A trained classical vocal singer, plays sitar, and loves music. Soon after finishing M.B.A., at the start of her career with an MNC, she got the chance to study relationships between consumers and the Brand. This enabled her to develop a skill in understanding consumer behavior, how to foster new relations, build & maintaining existing ones, retain them and convert them into loyal customers.
The chance to work as an academician gave a new direction to her career path. The skill developed in her previous work, integrating it with social media, she attained expertise in understanding consumer’s behavior on social media platforms through her research for Ph.D. Her interest in social media field started long back in 2007 when she joined Facebook and realized the “Power of Relationships.”
She started her Facebook Page named Konvophilia to share her expertise and views on social media, business and customer relations, online marketing etc. Eventually the same was developed as a start-up called Konvophilia Communications in 2012, offering creative social media solutions to businesses and individuals and helping them to create their own ripples of influence.
She works into various projects like – Authoring, Researching in the field of management, Delivering talks at various institutes and forums, Conducting Corporate workshops and training sessions and helping small businesses benefit from social media. She has written and published research papers and also writes in different magazines and blogs. Her book “WEAVE Model: Global Strategy for Weaving Social Media into Your Business” published from Texas, U.S.A., is a social media model, developed by her. The model helps businesses use social media effectively and integrate it strategically into their business functions. The book is available at www.weavemodel.com
Here is the eChai with Khushbu where she shared insightful and candid answers about her perspective of doing business in India, her early years, entrepreneurial journey, how she manages sales, risks that she has taken in life, her vision for the company and many others. Join the conversation to ask any specific questions to Khushbu.
1. Early Years:
When did it first strike you to start Konvophilia Communication ?
Started during my research times. I was working as a lecturer and along with that researching in social media for my Ph.D. I used to be very active on almost all social platforms to ask questions to experts, share my views, collate research findings and networking. I started getting questions from lot of people, whom I used to help with whatever I knew. It fetched them good results through increased clarity on the subject and taking it more seriously for their business. Same time I realized there is a great need to educate individuals and businesses on how to effectively use social media. The Page I just started to share my views turned into a Start-Up.
2. Business Venture:
What is your business model and what problems does it solve?
Konvophilia solves a problem that many businesses face. Unlike other social media agencies, Konvophilia educates businesses about how can they connect to their target market through creative offline and online marketing strategies and weaving social businesses. It offers on-demand workshops & trainings, and consulting services.
How did you make your first sale and how much time it took you from starting up to closing the first sale ?
As everybody knows, social media works on WOM (Word of Mouth) principle, I got my first sale through Facebook. We usually get business queries organically through social platforms.
4. Company Culture:
What kind of culture exists in your organization?
At Konvophilia, nothing is stereotype or formal. We also do not have any office till now (soon it is coming up in Ankleshwar). We are a virtual team. This virtual organization framework works best for us because it gives freedom to creativity.
What are your views about finding the right Co-Founder ? According to you who is the ideal business partner ?
As of now I do not have any co-founder. I started as a proprietor because what I offer is something that is related to intellectual offerings. In future I definitely have thought to partner with teams who offer services in related fields and are like - minded with us. A perfect business partnerships works well when the thought process are in synergy and are transparent.
How did you hire your first employee ? And in general what's your hiring policy ?
I never hire employees. I feel I need a team so that I can work with them and even learn from them as learning has always been critical to me. That's how I have been moving ahead till today. Konvophilia looks out team members among which revenues are shared in proportion to their work. As and when we require any skill, we spread the news on social platforms and lot of references are shared.
How did you handle your disappointments and failures ?
As I said previously, Learning has always been a critical phase of life. Disappointments and criticisms, failures and downfalls are always good and I am jotting it down in to my "Not to follow List for success".
What's your vision for your venture. What do you want to accomplish in your life ? What are your future aspirations ?
Konvophilia's vision is to educate India creating and weave successful social business.
9. Work-Life Balance:
How do you find a balance between work family and social life ?
When you do what you love, you find a way to create synergy and balance everything.
Which was the boldest decision you ever made to have this venture work ?
To walk against wind. Konvophilia was started when social media was believed as a fad. To start something at which people frown or laugh or don't understand at all, is the boldest decision of that time. Time has changed now and that too very quickly but challenges are still there. So lot more to learn and lot more risks to take.
Here are some amazing photos from Khushbu's entrepreneurial journey.
Research paper presentation at IIM Bangalore in 2010, regarding social media usage among students
Talk delivered at SAM UTH 2014 - Chennai
Official Book Launch of my Book - WEAVE Model: Global Strategy for weaving social media into your business, published from Texas, U.S.A.
One of the speaker at InDigiNext 2013 Internet Marketing Summit
Session at Web Marketing Academy - Bangalore
Session at Social Media Week - Bangalore on "Beyond Facebook"
Invited by US Embassy Mumbai for luncheon with Embassy's digital heads and world renowned US Journalist - Mr. Richard Lui
Unconferencing at Social Media Week, Mumbai with passionate Bikers at India Bike Week
The Social Conclave 2014 (#TSC2014) - An event hosted by Konvophilia, with the support of various Partner companies was launched on the World Social Media Day, bringing together social media enthusiasts to share their knowledge & network