My Start-Up Story
Running a business takes a lot from you. Especially doing business in a country like India is even worse. We don’t have any work ethics.
Conception of the idea of Happy Creative
There is no great story behind this actually. Kartik and I were in Ogilvy Bangalore. We both were at a stage in our lives where we wanted to create ideas that were beyond traditional advertising. Social media had just reared its head in 2007. We were also at a stage in our careers where we wanted to jump the queue. We didn’t even know each other for too long. We led different teams. We just got along. We had a conversation one day and it seemed like a good idea. There was no turning back since then.
The initial challenges
For starters we had no client. We thought about the agency for a month before we put the wheels in motion. The bigger challenge though was that nobody was willing to join us. With just two of us there, people couldn’t see the difference between two guys being freelancers and two guys wanting to start an indie agency. Also at the time it was an uphill task to convince clients to pay only for strategy and creative. We were clear we didn’t want to earn off commissions. The industry was only slowly beginning to make that shift. The other challenge was learning the ropes of business. We knew the advertising business and we wanted to get paid for it. But then when you do business with people who are well versed with just that, you get arm twisted in pricing, payments etc. The truth though, that it feels like a challenge when we look back from here, back then ignorance was bliss.
Experience of working on the first ever project
It was pretty interesting actually. We were called to mumbai by someone we had met as a line producer from an ad film. He had a friend who sold Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs in South Africa. For some reason we were called in. We flew to mumbai, took the brief in a hotel room, collected an advance of Rs. 20,000 and returned to Bangalore to crack the campaign. Obviously we were excited. Our campaign featured famous porn stars who we imagined we would meet on the shoot. So yeah it was a super fun project. Though, it never really took off, but we got paid. After that we got out first project to design a cafe for Lee. We nailed it and won the account. It was our first retainer client. Lee continues to work with us today.
The motivating factor for Happy Creative
The will to come up with great ideas without giving up. The belief that the next big thing is round the corner and we are the ones to come up with it. It has always been the work. Having big brands like Diesel and Flipkart place their trust in us only fuelled us further.
Evolvement of the vision for Happy Creative over the years
It is constantly evolving. That is the law of business. Growth and Evolution. We started as a medium agnostic idea shop - which we still are, but today we operate with two specialised arms spread over communication and design. Also recruiting talent across the entire agency to make ourselves digitally proficient was one such evolution. We have our eyes on one goal which is to build great brands, but as every business grows, it comes with a new set of challenges. One has to constantly evolve to survive. Let alone excel.
Importance of awards and recognition
It is a double edged sword. If we didn’t enter and participate in awards we wouldn’t have gotten the recognition, and am not talking about clients or business. It was imperative for us to do so to attract talent. Especially the creative guys. Though we have always believed and continue to believe that we shall only enter real work from real briefs and try to win with those pieces. We don’t win too many, but we win every year.
An emotionally challenging journey
Personally, very. Running a business takes a lot from you. Especially doing business in a country like India is even worse. We don’t have any work ethics. The biggest two challenges though, are losing Peace of mind and time from your family.
Vision for Happy Creative in terms of talent pool, clientele & brand equity.
Continue to do great work that will lead Happy to be seen as a creative force in the advertising and design business. Gain global recognition. Create more brands that are born under the love and care of Happy. Motivate and grow talent that goes on to populate the industry as leaders.