Today I have Sidharth Rao with us on Audiogyan.
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1. You have been creating award winning campaigns ideas since 2003 with Chidiya Udi which you did for MakeMyTrip. What according to you is an “idea”? How has that definition evolved in last 20 years? Is it just a kick to do something out of the box or genuinely looking for a gap and mitigate with not-so-traditional fixes?
2. It is said that ideas are cheap. We also find that lot of entrepreneurs say, idea is 1%, execution is 99%. What is your take on that?
3. Winning Abbys, afaqs and other Indian advertising awards is one and winning Cannes is something else. What new got added or updated in your creative thinking to make it to the international level advertising awards?
4. How have your ideas and ways to communicate changed due to digital penetration in India? From making Viral videos for MMT and Rediff to Swiggy’s, Voice of Hunger? What is transpiring across through this evolution?
5. When Webchutney was young and rebellious, I remember you carried a tag line “did it!” Where you openly declared that we just did it. What will this Sid say now? I am pointing to the young but relatively mature Webchutney? Is it always necessary to be young in the advertising world? Only young people get ideas?
6. How critical is for a founder / CEO / entrepreneur to be creative than just being a business man and spotting growth opportunities? Is it an inherent quality or one has to keep him or herself re-inventing for growth? This stems from your chapter with Kunal Shah. Sometimes it’s best to get a CEO than force fitting the founder to be the CEO. You also often said that I am more of a founder than CEO. Has that opinion changed?
7. Can you share any examples which you stumbled upon while doing research for your book, where the company stood out differently than just doing pure business or service, since the founders were creative and had more to offer? Of course in the Indian context
8. What made you publish this book? I am sure it’s not sharing experience. There is something more to it like answering back few unanswered or stupid questions which were thrown at you or may be more… What say?
It was around May 2005 that I stepped into a 3BHK flat in Bandra, next to Toto’s Garage at Pali Hill. Here I was, a TCS employee looking completely out of place dressed in formals trying to dip my toes in the world of advertising. There was someone sleeping on the couch in the living room. They pointed me to the kitchen with their left leg. This is where I first met; then and now CEO and co-founder of Webchutney, Sidharth Rao. Sidharth was sitting on the kitchen platform dangling his legs. He asked me to sit on a chair in that 4 by 4 feet room with a basic kitchen setup. This was an interview like no other. I got an opportunity to work with him for the next 3 years, 3 years which shall always remain memorable for me. Life takes us many places, and the earth has rotated over 5,000 times through the journey from that 4×4 kitchen to this 4×4 recording studio. There’s been a huge content and digital revolution in India but one thing which remarkably stands out, is that despite up and downs in advertising, Webchutney remains “India’s most awarded digital agency”, and needless to say is still Number 1.
Today I have Sidharth Rao with us on Audiogyan. Other than being an agency CEO, he’s an angel investor and serial entrepreneur. You can find a lot about how to be an entrepreneur and what mistakes big CEOs made and more in his recently launched a book called “How I almost blew it”. We will be speaking about that in the later part of the episode but more importantly we will also try and explore where do award winning ideas come from and how critical it is for the founder to be creatively minded than just a business man?