interview is a part of Startup Terminal interview series to mark the occasion
of ‘International Women’s Day’
Please tell us more about yourself.
Gaba: Wow! This
brings back distant memories of interviews with the HR and trying to find out
unique ways to answer the evergreen question; ‘tell me something about
yourself.’ Well, I am Ankita Gaba, personally and professionally I am
entrepreneur by blood. I dedicate my life to building brainchildren of the
digital world and help people battling with agoraphobia and PCOS, because I am
one of them. I am a Soka Buddhist and a member of the Soka Gakkai, a
humanitarian organisation which amplifies respect towards the inherent dignity
and equality of all life.
|Ankita Gaba, Partner, iGenero|
My professional sojourn started with a
short stint in the corporate realm as an employee. Soon, I realised the 9 to 5
is not for me and an outcome of this realisation is Superchooha, India’s first
specialised social media agency. Unique by name and game, Superchooha soon
became one of the go-to agencies for celebrity’s online reputation management
and engagement. But due to the non-scalability of the agency model we had to
pull down the shutters on a profit-making venture.
Samosa, an Indian social media knowledge repository for thoughts, ideas and
dialogue about social media scenario in India. For the next 3 years, SS grew
from just being a samosa to a chat of all things. In fact, it was such a
runaway blockbuster that private investors bought Social Samosa just 4 years
office for iGenero. I overlook everything, ranging from hiring, operations to
social media strategy.
Who is your biggest influence in life?
Gaba: I have been
lucky enough to have many influencers in my life, but the biggest influencer
has been Daisaku Ikeda, a philosopher, author and the founding president of
Soka Gakkai International. His writings have helped me explore the possibility
of free thinking and creating value for ourselves and others, respecting
dignity of life. Being an entrepreneur brings in a lot of negativity from
inside and others, his writings have helped me dispel this and bring out the
best in myself and others.
What challenges do you face in your day to day professional life, if any?
Gaba: Challenges are
bread and butter of an entrepreneur’s life. It’s partly what makes life so
complex and interesting. However, there are a few challenges which are a little
more tough to beat. The digital medium is still at its nascent stage in India,
but every brand wants to buck the trend. Clients want to take advantage of
digital marketing, but have little knowledge about the inner workings of the
medium. Its times like these when life gets a bit challenging for marketers
organisation also means that you are dealing with team members with diverse
personality traits. Finding out ways and means to motivate them and make them
realise there true potential is an exciting challenge.
has become a niggling pain.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years down the line?
Gaba: I don’t like to
plan so far ahead, it forces you stop enjoying the ‘now’. But, regardless of
where I am, I would still strive to help people find their true self and create
value in their lives.
What is your message to the readers on ‘International Women’s Day’?
Gaba: In our lifetime
we perform different roles with equal aplomb. There is no reason we should play
second fiddle in this world. This International Women’s Day let’s take a vow to
tap into our inner goddess. Each one of us has a untapped gold mine of
potential. We just need to unleash it from bounds created by ourselves.