Startup Showcase – Azure

Here’s the story of Azure – a Mumbai (India) based Strategic Brand Consulting organization that focuses on Brand Management, PR and events. 

Catch them on  – http://www.azureonline.net/

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In conversation with Akancha Srivastava, Director of Azure –

Tell us about the story of your startup – Why did you start this, how did you start, when did you start?

I started almost 11 years back (yeah!). I started my career with a consumer electronics company where we were our media spend was in excess of Rs 200 crores. That kind of media spend was unheard of across any category at that time!  It gave me tremendous exposure to media houses, TV networks and onground marketing opportunities. I was travelling far & wide helping establish dealer communication networks until I woke up one fine morning and decided that I was an entrepreneur!!

I feel that sometimes it’s much easier to take on challenges when we are too naive to understand them completely!! When I started my journey, I didn’t know the extent of the challenges and opportunities, either. But, I had conviction that I would work hard to make it happen.

January 2014 we complete 11 years in operation. We have worked for clients from diverse fields of consumer electronics, IT services & products, FMCG, professional services, angel investors, fashion, chemicals, cosmetics, sports, publishing house, television, travel, hospitality, telecom tower manufacturers, smart card manufacturers, infrastructure & realty, fitness, health & nutrition, packaging industry, retail, financial services, childrens’ entertainment and more.  It’s a journey made up of dreams, aspirations and a lot of hard work. But, it’s also been totally worth every decision I have taken.

 What challenges did you face and how did you deal with them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced when I started off was that there weren’t enough entrepreneurs around so the eco-system wasn’t evolved. It was tough to find mentors and guidance. We learned almost everything on the job. Being that young didn’t help either. People only considered grey haired, serious looking ones to be worthy consultants! Technology wasn’t what it is today. It was a task to even get an efficient broadband connection!! People were still stuck up enough to ask- so how big is your office?!! Nobody really cares about such issues today and thankfully, entrepreneurs aren’t called ‘freelancers’ anymore like we were at our time!!

What is your aspiration for the venture?

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I would like Azure to continue working on building Brand aspirations and lending a voice to them. I wish see us as the Firm that launched a million Brands and helped as many start-ups in their journey!

What did you learn from the journey so far?

That if you believe it enough, it HAS to happen! You just need to learn not to give up. Against all odds and especially when all odds are lined up against you!! As far as you are willing to willing to put in all your earnest efforts, things will certainly fall into place.

Entrepreneurship isn’t glamorous as a lot people make it out to be. Nor is it heroic. Its sheer hard work. Every single day. Relentlessly! As entrepreneurs, we are trying to bring innovation into how things have been working so far. It’s our responsibility to do whatever we are passionate about, with utmost honesty and set good role models for the younger generation too.

 If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing! Every journey makes us the people we are! We learn through all our ups & downs. My journey has been one of phenomenal experiences. I have met some of the most amazing people from across the world, worked with the best Brands globally, launched many startups, lived many dreams. I wouldn’t like to change anything at all about it.

The Hub for Startups wishes you the very best in your entrepreneurial journey !

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Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of Applyifi.com, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [www.applyifi.com], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [www.thegrowthlabs.in] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

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