Business Name: Design My Slides
Entrepreneurs: Ankit & Snehja
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 102
Imagine you’re pitching a business idea before your potential investors using a slide presentation. Your idea may seem interesting in talks, but your investors will only be ready to chip in their money only if you could convince them easily. This is where your slides come to play. Preparing an impactful presentation is crucial to impress your investors. But unfortunately, this is a roadblock to many aspiring entrepreneurs. They might have a highly potential idea, but they fail to articulate them effectively.
Design My Slides help you create impressive presentations that make an impact on the audience. No matter what your purpose is, they will prepare the best presentation for you with all the crucial data required.
Let’s find out more about this exciting business as founders, Ankit and Snehja, stop by to tell their story.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
The idea for Design My Slides, came from my stint back in London. I (Ankit) was pitching to clients like Mercedes Benz, The Body Shop, Citroen, UNHCR, Sainsbury’s, Olay amongst many more. Over the years, I was on the core pitch team for the agency and during one of these pitches, the idea struck!
I noticed that Individuals and companies require presentations but can’t articulate it in the form of an appealing presentation. Either they have managed to pen down their thoughts or the idea sounds perfect in the head, but are unable to prepare an impactful visual presentation. This is where Design My Slides comes in!
We help our clients create visual presentations that make an impact.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
We don’t believe that there is ever a good time for an idea to exist – it’s about how one identifies or creates the need for a particular service / products and provides a way for customers to use it thereby creating demand for it.
In this particular case, the demand for this service was always there – although there was never a website or service out in the open that customers could approach. There are off the shelf websites like Prezi etc but not a lot of agencies offer tailor made decks. Traditional design agencies are expensive and our idea here is to change that. We charge according to the number of slides and customers find this quite affordable.
Also, owing to startup boom in India, think we have started this service at the right time.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
Ankit: I’ve always wanted to start something of my own but I was too comfortable working in London. The plan was always to start something after 8-10 years of experience but I had to return to India due to health issues. I took this up as an opportunity to become an entrepreneur and started Meraqi Digital. Few months post that, Design My Slides followed.
My family has always been supportive but when you look at the financial aspect – it’s scary. A job provides that security of income which startups don’t. Everyone was skeptical in the beginning but as they say, where there is a will there’s a way!
Snehja: Coming from a business family, they were very enthusiastic and supportive. I had always planned on being an entrepreneur and seeing this happen, was really exciting for us!
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Ankit : Miscommunication and lack of training. These two things are something I will always stress on avoiding.
If any colleague or team member is unclear about something, then I believe we haven’t explained it properly, hence strong communication is the key. The clearer the brief, the better the results.
Training is another key aspect and businesses we should invest in training. Training doesn’t always mean classroom sessions – it could be online learning, one to one sessions or even research. Once we started training people, we saw the desired, positive results.
Snehja: The biggest mistake was when my communication with my internal team was not proper. When I started talking to them about issues they were facing while working on a project, we found solutions instantly. The same lead to an increase in the productivity level and quality of work.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Our biggest obstacle for Design My Slides is finding the right people for our team. Presentation Design is not for designers – the role requires a mix of skill sets. It’s for people who are interested in strategy and design. It’s for people who understand the art of storytelling.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Ankit : Prompt response, quality of service and listening to what our clients have to say in order to do one thing right – what’s best for our clients.
Snehja: Determination to do something new, not being afraid of trying new ideas and convincing clients to do the same.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Ankit: With Design My Slides – I would chalk out a map for internal processes and systems, better than what we had. Although these changes have followed with the growing business, but still is something I would rethink.
Snehja: Chalk out a marketing strategy for the business from day 1 and stress on its execution.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Ankit: “Don’t wait. The time will never just be right’ – Napoleon Hill
Snehja: It’s by an unknown author. It goes like – ‘Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for’
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Ankit: From our daily lives, objects, events and people around us.
Snehja: Literally everywhere. Everything around us is a source of inspiration for ideas.
10) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Ankit: If you have an idea and you’re confident about it, then run with it. It’s never too early or late. We end up procrastinating about everything and prolonging decisions. Re-quoting Napoleon Hill, “Don’t wait. The time will never just be right’.
Snehja: Don’t be afraid to take risks. It will either lead to success or a short failure. Whichever way, you will only get closer to your dream!
Sensible entrepreneurs will always look for what is lacking in the market. Ankit and Snehja unlocked a new opportunity in a unique domain with Design My Slides. They identified a problem ignored by others and tried to address it effectively.
As entrepreneurs, this duo offered a reliable and affordable way to design slides with utmost perfection and professionalism. As they say, never wait too long to do what you love. Just plunge into it. A big thanks to Ankit and Snehja for sharing their story.
Want to know more about this team? Check out their amazing Instagram page now!