The art of storytelling is intricate but not tricky. It’s a form of communication that could enable organizations to reach a greater audience, which proves to be a great marketing tool. However, companies haven’t tapped into this segment, and few companies out there are trying to equip the organization with a vocal voice that portrays clarity, confidence, and effective communication.
We-storytellers is a company that thrives in providing organizations with marking communication to business in a storytelling methodology. The company caters to a global audience with complete ownership of the outcome. Speaking with the founder of We-storytellers, Nidhi Mahesh, the excerpts are provided below from our short interview.
Give a brief info about your startup?
We are business storytellers.
We bring the art of business storytelling in Organization and Marketing Communication. Our purpose is to equip organizations to build a voice, inside out and communicate with confidence, clarity and conviction, during and beyond these challenging times. We have StartUp Marketing Kit, specially designed for young startups to get market ready. We consult and support executives in amplifying their voice through our Bespoke Thought Leadership program. We also do customized workshops for companies, equipping their teams to be better business storytellers and confident communicators.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
I have been a marketer for almost 15 years. Before that I was a television journalist with some of the top news channels in the country, reporting on politics and business across the country. Communication has been the underlying force in my entire career and the affair with the written word only got deeper with time. As a marketer I understood the pain of not being able to create quality content, consistently. Content is a crucial part of marketing strategy, it is the engine that drives not just customer engagement but brand positioning and trust in leadership. However, most of the time marketers struggle to find content partners who can speak their language with deep understanding of the domain and flourish in the art of storytelling. I started We-Storytellers to fill this need.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
As I mentioned earlier, I am passionate about the written word. Business storytelling drives me. I started writing for newspapers while in high school and was freelancing with Doordarshan and AIR (All India Radio) in Kolkata all through my college days. I worked for Eenadu TV for 5 years, going beyond reporting, I was among the first few involved hands on setting up different channels for the group. I was also part of the initial years in Sahara TV and Times Now, before making a career shift to Marketing with Mindtree in 2006. I worked with HCL, Mindteck, Manthan and Seven Lakes Technologies as a marketer before starting We-Storytellers.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are digital native. We do not have a physical office, and we do not intend to have one in near future. Our team is spread across different cities and we serve clients across continents. The world, for us, has no boundaries.
One of the major shifts brought on by pandemic is the normalization of remote working. Earlier work from home was an incentive. Companies were hesitant to accept it as a natural way of working. There were misconceptions on productivity. In the past year, companies could overcome these hesitations. For us, remote work opens up opportunities to hire and nurture talent from anywhere. It opens up the universe to us.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I won’t say I am paranoid about anything, but yes, quality is one of my major concerns. The business we are in requires a lot of attention to details. We pride ourselves on being above par. As we say, we are not content writers, we are craftsmen of engaging business stories. And, requires intense quality check to keep the bar high.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
We are both competitors and collaborators with companies in the space of marketing communication. However, we have carved our niche with a distinct style of business storytelling that blends in empathy with clarity, construct and customer focus. We bridge the gap between what an organization wants to say and what their audience wants to listen.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As a startup founder, work is life. I keep saying with We-Storytellers, I am a mom all over again, and a pretty indulgent one at that! There are days when 24 hours seem too less. Thankfully I have a strong support system, a joint family and quite a number of friends who make it easier to sail by.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details.
If not, please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are at a nascent stage and are bootstrapping as of now. We would look at funding as we shape our offerings further. We aim to be the extended Product Marketing teams for mid-size organizations and start-ups. Our aim is to build a kickass team that delivers measurable value to the marketing organization and accelerate their path to profit. We would look at funding, maybe towards the third quarter of the year to take this vision forward.
Also, we are planning to start We-Storytellers Academy, a place to create and nurture business storytellers. There is an explicit need in the market for quality talent in this space. Our aim is to create a structured program in association with universities and business schools to encourage talent.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Well, not just us, most of the companies in our space struggled with clients who are unable or unwilling to understand the difference between quality and quantity. Many a times we are asked to convince accounts and finance departments in the client organizations who have absolutely no idea on the intricacies of communication and content. They try to push through unreasonable terms that stifle creativity, and most of the time it is counterproductive.
What gets you excited about this company?
Everything! As I said, I am a doting mom. I see a huge opportunity for us to be the partner of choice to every company, intent on communicating with conviction with their organization and outside. Every day begins with a new promise and new set of challenges. There isn’t a dull day for us. We are proud and humbled for the trust our clients have reposed in us, in our short journey. Last year we were recognized to be among Top 25 Content Agencies in the country winning India Content Leadership Award. These recognitions enthuse the team to strive harder.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I hit the bed in the wee hours of the morning and wake up around 7.30 / 8 AM. I check my emails, catch up on news with a hot cup of coffee and am at my desk by 9. We do a team meet at 9.30, chart out our day, plan the deliverables. The morning sessions often extend much longer as we discuss nuances of better storytelling. Then there are series of client calls, reviews with the team, feedback sessions, working sessions to close deliverables. While the Indian day sets, the sun rises in other continents and my day continues… In between I try catching up on reading and playing with my son.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
We are a close knit team. We have a team of employees and an extended pool of writers, designers, digital marketers and tech support. And, we are in constant touch through the day. The core team has Swati Sam, my business partner and head of organization communication, and Jimy Pothen, our problem solver. Me and Swati go back to my Sahara days. We were friends who moved on to different paths, but met again to start We-Storytellers in May, 2020. Jimy, is a young enthusiastic girl I met in one of my consulting engagements. I found in her an eager storyteller, perfect for my vision at We-Storytellers. I would also like to acknowledge contributions of Tanushree Chatterjee, Tamanna Mishra, Azma Banu, Vaishali and all other team members for nurturing We-Storytellers with their dedication and love.
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