Interview

Exclusive Interview with Pradnya Kakade: Lets Explore Her Entrepreneurial Journey

WOMEN INTERVIEWS

Where does your interest in entrepreneurship come from – how did you start?

Working with brands thrills me. Branding is discipline and I like to maintain one. The process of building and working with brands keeps me going. Every brand is unique and so is the approach. The excitement of conceptualising to executing ideas and campaigns is a journey. I have worked for 10 years in marketing communication for various companies from software start-ups to KPIT Cummins and Tata BlueScope Steel. While it was great to work with Corporates I so wanted to strike the balance of working with brands and nurturing my 1-year-old son then. And that’s when after a lot of introspection and brainstorming with family I decided to march towards my entrepreneurial journey of interview.

Give us insights into the major offerings of the company. And, how does the company support people with its offerings?

The Brand March offers ‘Sustainable Branding Ecosystem’ for customer centric companies. We create ecosystem of trust, engagement and growth for the companies we work with by consistently working on building their brands. We believe every brand is unique and so should be the approach. The Brand March is a full-stack branding and digital marketing company that enables companies to build their sustainable branding ecosystem. Our services are results-driven and we have worked with industrial, manufacturing, retail, health & wellness, education & training, and professional segments. Our services expand across India, the USA, UAE, and Germany.

Our services Comprises of 

  1. Brand identity creation and positioning
  2. Social Media Strategy & Engagement
  3. Digital Marketing Strategy
  4. Online Ads Campaign Management
  5. Website and App Development
  6. Design collaterals

What makes your company stand out in the market?

We’re a Creative and Technology Driven Digital Branding Company. In the fast-paced world where from proposals making to project execution everything can be standardized and automated, we take a personalized approach. Our methodology is designed for you strategy. We invest our time in understanding and building rapport with our clients. Understanding the space from where our clients operate gives us an edge to align to their thought process, their products, or services to ultimately their target audience. Once we sync, we then gear up for delivering results.

How do women feel in the male-dominated industry? Have you experienced a different attitude because of gender?

I’m blessed to be born in a gender neutral family. I don’t recall instances where I was treated specially or differently than my brother for being a girl. I was always encouraged to communicate my thoughts openly with people I interacted. This upbringing created a belief of doing my best irrespective of gender, race or any demographic biases of people around me.
Having said that, we still experience and feel of male-dominated industry and world at large.
Specially, when it comes running your own business. For me my approach has always been working to the best of my capacity and knowledge and delivering results. Knowledge is power. The moment your client trusts your work and knowledge and you deliver or align to their desired results, gender bias fades away.
Focusing on my work, understanding the requirements, delivering your best, building connect and rapport with clients is the key for every woman to stand out in the male-dominated world.

What do you think is the toughest problem for businesswomen?

Women are good and sincere at their work. A smart woman is one who is comfortable with her finances. Gaining financial and investment knowledge is a must for every woman entrepreneur. Venture capitalists, policies, and programs will give an edge to women and their entrepreneurial journey. I have also learnt it along the way. Today, I am conscious about my balance sheet, my liquidity and investments. With assistance I now manage my funds, I know my ROI, and some basic financial aspects with really boosts my confidence.

Who are your clients? How do you keep your clients happy and satisfied?

Coming from a corporate communications field I have managed a lot of brand agencies. I exactly knew where the gap and expectations of the corporates from branding agencies. The first thought was to try to fill or reduce the gap of communication and setting clear expectations between the agency and company. That was on my radar when I founded The Brand March. With this approach, I started formulating my plans, upgraded myself to digital marketing platforms and certifications, enrolled for entrepreneurial development programs. My learning helped me create an approach, system and align my offering to client’s requirements.

Though the statistics of women entrepreneurs in India are rising, yet a woman’s ambitions are often doubted in our society. Is it difficult for women to start a business in India?

It’s all the mindset game. Whenever a car is parked wrongly or the driver is driving slowly, we often hear a comment “Ye to koi ladki hi challa rahi hogi!” That’s how the society have built their perceptions. Navigating through such basic mindset and overcoming it is essential. Women’s career has always been considered as secondary to her family priorities. If women are seeking on the entrepreneurial path, they need to be assertive communicator. They first need to know that its ok asking for help and support in managing household. They need to change their approach and build an ecosystem around that aligns with your thoughts.
Difficulties are there but need to be tackled if you want to climb that ladder of dreams.

After all this success and failure, what do you struggle with now?

Today, clients are expecting a lot from digital be it sales, lead generation, brand or engagement. At the same time, I see the level of patience, consistency and budgets required to meet these expectations doesn’t justify. This gives rise to either blaming that digital doesn’t work or it’s not a platform for us. To mitigate this, we work closely with our clients by first educating them, sharing knowledge, keeping them informed of the processes and approaches we are taking to arrive at the desired results. On the other hand, there are many companies and individuals in the branding and digital marketing. There is no standard format or cost structure, this further adds up to the challenge.

How do you achieve a balance between your personal and professional life?

I have chosen this path. When you love what you are doing it becomes a journey. I have always been fortunate to have my family stand by me. I do juggle between work-life, managing it all, unable to delegate, but what has helped me is a lot of introspection, asking for help whenever required and open to change. I do regular reading and meditation which keep me sane and allows me to pause and react. I am an early riser. Work starts at 8:30am once my son is at school. This gives me plenty of time to plan and manage my day. Daily team coordination, alignment of work and updates ensures we are on track.

List the awards and milestones won by the company.

    • Digital Women Award in the Marketing Category 2019 by SheThePeopleTV in association with Google
    • Certified Google Digital Unlock trainer

What is your future agenda to keep growing in the market?

The Brand March is working with clients across India, Middle East, German and US. Our approach going forward is to align our services as branding partner to MNCs in the automotive, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.

As a source of inspiration for many, what would your advice be for female entrepreneurs, who are planning to enter in the business world?

Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid of failure or what others might say. The best way is to START. Don’t procrastinate or delay your plans.

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