Today's #FoundersInAhmedabad story is about Digital Upstarts.

Digital Upstarts is a full-service digital marketing agency helping brands evolve digitally.

Here's an insightful and candid conversation with Nikhil Talreja, Co-Founder, Digital Upstarts.

How would you describe Digital Upstarts in 1 Sentence?

Digital Upstarts is a full-service digital marketing agency helping brands evolve digitally by managing their online presence effectively.

How did you meet your co-founder?

I have been fortunate enough to be in the core founding team of eChai and had been very active since the inception. 

I met Nitin at one of the eChai events, exchanged ideas, discussed a lot of topics related to digital marketing & entrepreneurship and finally decided to join hands together to take Digital Upstarts further.

What are the interesting numbers about Digital Upstarts that you would want to share with the community?

A startup which began its journey as a social media marketing agency has now scaled up into a full-service digital marketing agency.

Having served more than 150 satisfied clients in a span of more than 7 years, we have extended our wings and are facing the market upfront today. 

We have successfully delivered solutions for a wide range of industries which include Retail, Education, Foods & Beverages, Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment, Real Estate, FMCG, etc.

We have made an immense contribution in Gujarati film industry which saw a turnaround in 2014 with the new wave of urban Gujarati films and digital marketing was the go-to medium for filmmakers to effectively reach out to masses with their limited budgets. 

We have been associated as Digital Marketing Partners with blockbusters like Bey Yaar (2014), the film that ran successfully for more than 25 weeks and was a game changer in the industry, Wrong Side Raju (2016), the national award winner in Regional films category and Love Ni Bhavai (2017), another silver jubilee film which has won hearts of millions of audiences and is considered to be the epitome of love stories. 

For one of our clients in the furniture industry, we managed to increase their online sales by 5 times in less than 12 months from digital channels and the traction is increasing day by day adding to their profitability.

Which is the most recent challenge you faced and how did you overcome that?

One of the most difficult challenges that we have faced in last 7 years is managing the cash flows. Typically, a digital media agency not only provides services to the clients but most of the times, it also invests in media on client campaigns and spends on their behalf which is obviously reimbursed later. 

In such a case, if your company’s more than 50% revenue comes from 1-2 key clients and the credit cycle of payments from these clients keep increasing, it disturbs the liquidity. 

There have been instances in the past when we as promoters have delayed our withdrawal by a month or two but have paid salaries of the team & vendors always on time. 

In such a scenario, it is advisable to push your clients to directly invest in the media campaigns or you should ask for advance payments.

What are your growth plans for the next 1 year? 

With the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, brands will have to continuously invest on technology in the coming years and the overall performance of social media campaigns will be augmented. 

At the same time, customers will prefer to receive customized brand communication which will be challenging for a brand which has scores of following. 

For the next 1 year, we will be investing in developing an AI product which would be an enabler to our campaigns and will also open a new source of revenue for the company. 

We are also looking at catering our services to overseas clients and are urgently hiring skilled & polished business development executives to increase the revenue of our international business division. Interested candidates can send their updated CV on cvbhejo@digitalupstarts.com.

What was that key moment of Digital Upstarts's journey that put Digital Upstarts in a high growth trajectory? 

The key moment of our journey that put Digital Upstarts in a high growth trajectory was when we fully evolved from a social media agency to a full-service digital marketing agency providing all the services under one roof with in-house capabilities. It helped us increase our retainers from our clients and also became their go-to agency for all their marketing needs. 

You can ask more questions to Nikhil in the comments section.
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