Editor’s note: Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO at WAT Consult shares 10 eventful moments that paved the path of success for his digital agency. The agency celebrated a decade last month.
As I complete 10 years in the digital and social media industry, I look back and reminisce some moments of my decade long journey at WATConsult. These junctures have played an important role in our growth and will soon become milestones on our route to success.
Starting our journey with Blogging – The genesis of WATConsult started first as a blog called WATBlog which became very popular in 2006 even before WATConsult was even conceptualized. It’s through this blog that we connected with several Industry folks and therefore grew to start what would be called WATConsult.
Winning our first client – This happened over a casual conversation at a press launch wherein Rediff was looking to engage someone for a social media project and within 10 days we had our first client, and an advance payment which led to the official setup of WATConsult on 10th Jan 2007.
Early Traction helped confidence – We won a flurry of clients like Virgin Mobile, Mahindra and Mahindra over the next 12-18 months ensuring that WATConsult quickly grew from 3 people to 15 people team. This early traction gave us the confidence that we could not only survive but thrive.
2008 crash taught us important lessons – The crash of Q3 2008 brought the Industry to a standstill and it also brought us to a pause. October to December 2008 were probably the toughest months for WATConsult and we had to lay off many people. It taught us valuable lessons on cashflow management and collections which are crucial for any business.
2009-10 Rise of Facebook – 2009-10 was the rise and rise of Facebook and while we were wiser and cautious after the crash, business had just started to grow exponentially. This ensured that we were at the right place at the right time and growth happened even after the crash.
2011-12 Rise of social media agencies – This phase was a huge growth phase and suddenly large clients started retaining agencies for a year and we as WATConsult were already 4 years into business and that helped us pick the large clients and also win yearly business and not just projects.
2013-14 Pivot to Digital – This point is when paid social and digital video content started growing. It’s also a phase in which we included full service digital solution for all our clients. We were inching towards 160 people by end of 2014.
2015 – Dentsu Aegis Acquisition – The acquisition by Dentsu Aegis Network put us in a different league and clients that didn’t know us now did. It was also great validation of our successful run of 8 years.
2015 – Focus on Better presentation for awards – In 2015 we won almost 100 awards at every award show including 3 Agency of the Year awards and that was by design, as we focused on better presentation for awards and for the first time in 8 years we actually submitted our work seriously.
2016 – Diversification of solution to address specialized client requirements – As we entered our 10th year, we identified specialized areas like eCommerce, SocialCRM, programmatic, innovations and research which we believe needed specialized teams and hence launched eCommencify, SocialCRM24*7, InnoWAT, Audientise and Recogn. These services have allowed us to work with clients where agencies exist but are not able to provide deep expertise in such specialized areas.
I am sure in the coming years we will have many more learnings and many more turning points to which will take us another decade ahead!