Deep Mehta, CoFounder at DigiChefs
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Deep Mehta : My partner and I created DigiChefs under the core assumption that agency businesses at the time (2015) lacked certain key practices that would benefit clients. The primary one being that service agency businesses would focus on trying to sell whatever they could to clients, without really putting themselves in the client's shoes. We saw that if we could really serve clients with activities that help them meet their short and long term goals (instead of forced sales of activities that we have a team for), we would infact have clients for much longer duration sticking to us and thus, derive our top line over this time horizon.
That's where we began DigiChefs. We started with the FnB & Hospitality segment (hence the name 'DigiChefs' :)) and over a period of time pivoted to multiple other verticals like Health, BFSI, Real Estate, FMCG, B2B and so on.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by DigiChefs
Deep Mehta : We provide the whole array of services that fall under the digital marketing ecosystem. The 55 people team at DigiChefs is broken down into 3 verticals basis their skillsets:
a. Content Production Team - Includes copywriters, graphic designers, video editors, motion graphics artists, creative directors, etc.
b. Objective Oriented Marketing Team - Includes experts in SEO, Social Media, Ads on Google & Social Channels, Email Marketing, Reputation Management, Influencer Marketing, etc.
c. Mar-Tech Team - Includes experts in web design & development
Great Companies: What makes DigiChefs different from hundreds of other Digital Marketing agencies?
Deep Mehta : Our ability to behave as an extended arm of the client's marketing team or an outsourced CMO is what separates us from thousands of other agencies. Instead of working with clients on short term projects we believe in understanding the goals of our clients and giving them only what they need to meet their short & long term objectives. We also have strong processes internally that allow us to measure the kind of load every individual can take in and hence limit their work accordingly.
In essence, we've worked tremendously on 3 things - People, Processes & Systems. And that has laid a very strong foundation for us to scale up! We've grown about 70% in team size over the last 1 year in the pandemic!
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Deep Mehta : Some key struggles we've faced / have been facing include the below:
a. Scaling up average ticket size of projects - Having no experience of working with enterprise agencies in our own careers, we were short on experience in what really sells as high value high ticket items. Hence, we've had to experiment quite a lot to arrive to activities that add very high value to clients goals, and hence clients are ready to pay satisfactorily for the same.
b. Cracking international clients - We've always been fascinated by the currency parity of the west and hence wanted to acquire clients in those countries without having to setup a physical office. We've partly resolved this issue using our outreach mechanisms.
c. Employee retention - With the growing demand in Digital Marketing and us being a young agency, we were always worried that key talent might go away to bigger enterprise agencies. That has happened, however now we've slowly built a culture and reputation that attracts talent and retains talent too!
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for DigiChefs?
Deep Mehta : We aim to add some new services to our portfolio that include - marketplace management, AR content, telecaller support, PR services and so on. We want to become leaner in our agency structure to offer more intra-preneurship in our team and bring out excellent ideas!
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Deep Mehta : It's very contracting to say so but my advice will be - "Be a bit ignorant about outcome of your efforts when you start up". I consult so many startup founders who're evaluating where they stand in terms of the growth of their business so often that their mind is blocked from thinking big or outside the box. They end up self-criticizing or being anxious that they aren't doing something right. Or that some messiah should come in and rescue them. Just don't fall in that loop! Keep your head down and do what you feel is right. Chase excellence, success will follow.