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Indian End to End Marketing Agency SoCheers Gung Ho to Global Expansion and Opportunities

Team SoCheers
Back in 2011 during his college days, Mehul, at the age of 19, pioneered to address the need of college students for sharing notes, presentations & videos online; a website also known as being a small community of their own which isn’t public. Though it gained popularity amongst the batches in MPSTME, unfortunately, website it didn’t survive college with everyone’s corporate dreams and rat races. Soon after completing his education from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies with a degree in Engineering & an MBA in Marketing, Mehul started working at J. Walter Thompson and Naaptol (to name a few) that made him understand the nitty-gritties of e-commerce and the digital world. 

During his Naaptol days, he met Siddharth (Co-founder & Partner, SoCheers) and together they decided to quit their job to fulfill their Entrepreneur dream. Here is where their journey began of a small social media agency by operating on personal laptops, self-schooling themselves on Photoshop and content writing as well as taking business decisions & grooming to become leaders. What started from working at home, to a 3BHK flat as an office to a 2000sqft office in a swanky glass building, SoCheers today employs 50+ people and services 105+ brands from varied industries in India as well as global specifically in London & UAE.

In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal; Mehul Gupta, Co-founder & Director, SoCheers shares more insights about his venture and future goals.

ST: What inspired you to make your mark in the field of entrepreneurship? 

Mehul Gupta: Curiosity- I've always had this curiosity to learn more, which was somewhere getting stalled at the companies I worked, be it my first internship in J Walter Thompson or in the Strategic Alliances Manager role I had at Naaptol; I realized there was so much I wanted to do & give back to the society but couldn't find any avenues to do that while doing a job. I had to get rid of that helplessness hence, decided to quit the well-paying job to chase my Entrepreneur dream. What added on was that the digital industry was booming & the market conditions were favourable for start-ups hence, re-launching SoCheers in 2013 was one of the best decisions I took. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family though, they inspired me & kept me going always.

ST: When did you start your venture? Please tell us more about your venture.

Mehul Gupta,
Co-founder & Director, SoCheers 
Mehul Gupta: SoCheers was first pioneered in 2011 in MPSTME as a social networking website – a mash up between Facebook & Google docs for college students to share their projects, connect with friends and share pictures. However, after a few successful months, we shut it down to pursue our corporate dreams and rat races. In 2013, Siddharth & I revived SoCheers as a social media marketing agency.

We started as Social Media Marketing agency with 2 clients and 2 interns. We took up every job that came our way which helped us gain an exposure in different fields. One year in, we started offering everything related to marketing on the internet – media planning & buying, content marketing, etc. thus becoming a full-fledged digital marketing agency.

Having explored digital marketing, SoCheers recently forayed into offline marketing by providing services right from designing offline advertising to buying media for radio, hoardings & majorly video production. Our clientele includes brands like Global Citizen Festival India, Marriott Group of Hotels, Zee, Mahindra Rise, Development Bank of Singapore, Audi (Gurgaon & Delhi Central), Apple (iZenica Delhi), Deltin Group of Casinos & Hotels, Dremel, Phoenix Marketcity, Pensol Engine Oils and a lot more. SoCheers services clients across the globe catering specifically to London & UAE.

ST: What business opportunities do you see particularly in your sector-Marketing?

Mehul Gupta: Every brand wants to put themselves out there for customers to notice them – so there are unbelievable opportunities for every marketing/advertising agency out there. There’s so much to explore every day. We get to work with the best in all industries and what we love best is the fact that we can plug in the latest technology into almost everything.

There’s so much scope for any advertising agency/person to explore different opportunities.

The best way to capitalise these opportunities is by standing out of the clutter with your service.

In the service industry, if you service your clients well – word of mouth goes a long way in bringing in business.  At least that’s how we work it!

ST: How has your entrepreneurship journey been so far? 

Mehul Gupta: If I said that the journey has been good, I’d be lying. It’s not been easy but
Siddharth Devnani,
Co-founder & Partner, SoCheers
it’s not been bad either. It’s just difficult. Difficult to the level that you’ve to wake up every day and push yourself to strive for more. Especially when your ideas fail. But then as an Entrepreneur, I have realized
that failures are very important. Unless you don’t fail, you don’t learn how to make things work at the worst of times. And when you fail, learn to keep an open mind – it gives you a perspective which I wouldn’t have otherwise gained or noticed.

Always be true to everything you do, never give up & give your best and trust that everything will happen according to plan. I love waking up every morning with a purpose, a list of things to do and to do them differently. What helps is to have a team who executes every idea to perfection. If it hadn’t been for my team, I don’t think it would have been possible to do half the things we do currently.

ST: As an entrepreneur, what challenges do you face in your day to day professional life, if any?

Mehul Gupta: Well, there are quite a few. First and foremost being - your people’s problems are your problems – personal or professional, irrespective. If its personal, it’ll affect their work; if its professional, it’ll affect their work. Second would be motivation – constantly. For yourself and for the team, you’ve to drive them to achieve your company goals.

On the technical front, compliances are a major concern. It’s not even the focus of your start-up but something you can’t survive without.  Without knowing, they drain the most time & energy out of you.  

ST: How big is your team? Are you planning to hire more?

Mehul Gupta: When we started in 2013, we had only 2 interns. Today in 2017, we are a team of 50+ full-time passionate people and 100+ outsourced people who we work with on a day-to-day basis. Our team is driven by their passion to change their fields of work and we fuel them with adrenaline.

We are growing at a strong pace and we plan to hire accordingly.

ST: What are your future plans?

Mehul Gupta: Starting off in 2013 with barely-there funds, one intern, 2 brands- we have grown at a speed where we’ve been able to keep up. We have achieved some amount of success but the journey doesn’t end here, we are just getting started. Our next milestone would be to multiply our turnover 10x and to make an actual impact in the world with our marketing campaigns & make a difference in how customers see brands and engage in whatever way possible that adds to the society at large. Our aim is to make SoCheers a preferred advertising agency worldwide.

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