Entrepreneur: Anisha Singh Motwani
Business Name: QED
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 88
Anisha seamlessly dons multiple roles. She’s a daughter, wife, entrepreneur, pranic healer and ranked squash player. When she expanded her enthusiasm to other domains, QED (Quite Easily Done) happened.
Anisha launched QED in March 2015 with just five clients. From that humble beginning, she made her company the talk of the town.Today, QED handles communication, online marketing strategy, brand consultancy, social media marketing, advertising and ecommerce management for many reputed clients.
Moreover, she contributes to the society by spearheading the online marketing of Yoga Vidya Pranic Healing Foundation of West Bengal. Anisha stops by to share her amazing entrepreneurial journey
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
A self-taught marketer, Marketing has been in my DNA since as long as I can remember. Having always been in Marketing ( My career path started at Bennett & Coleman with Radio Mirchi, moved onto the Reliance ADAG Group with Big Fm in the pre launch phase where we were able to take it to the no.2 position in Kolkata within a span of 6 months post launch, to the ABP group where marketing t2, the youngest brand of The Telegraph and other sub brands was my core responsibility) it was only a natural progression when I saw a different world opening up online.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
The online world has initiated what I call an additional ‘P’ in the field of marketing and that is the ‘Platform’ . Today the online spectrum gives you a direct opportunity to interact and more importantly listen to what the consumers have to say. What was spent earlier by marketers in research to know what the consumer had to say about a product is now easily accessible, what marketers need to understand and decode is whether they are on the correct social media Platform and how they are leveraging that platform to the fullest.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t be here and would never have got this far had it not been for the support of my family, especially my husband. He saw the need and desire for me to do something more whilst I was a stay at home mom with our 2 year old daughter.
It was solely on his insistence that I started reading, studying online and then started my own company. I think somewhere they all had more faith me in succeeding than I had in myself.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
The classic ‘you don’t mix business with emotions’ I would say has been the biggest ‘mistake’ . The biggest learning has been that as an entrepreneur and more importantly as a human being I WILL make mistakes, that’s a given, the learning is to not let it act as a hindrance but instead to overcome it and start afresh.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Based in Kolkata I face what I call a location mind set obstacle. Other companies/brands based in Kolkata do not seem to have the trust and faith in agencies from within the city, rather they feel a Delhi or Mumbai agency would do the work better. ( Ironically they themselves have kept Kolkata as their base)
I feel my biggest obstacle and challenge would be to change this mind set and make them realise that good work can come out from agencies based in Kolkata as well We plan to overcome this by showing them results achieved by other brands and hopefully some good word of mouth which we have received from our existing client database.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
The two primary habits that contribute to my success has been my morning workout followed by my morning twin heart meditation routine. I think making time for your mind, body AND soul works wonders not just in taking you forward but in making you believe and trust in yourself.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Nothing . I believe the mistakes were important to grow and learn.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
A line by one of my favourite authors Mitch Albom “If you could pack for heaven , this is how you’d do it, touching everything, taking nothing.”
Not just does it inspire me to take the plunge into an unknown territory at times but it also ensures I stay unaffected by all that happens around me, the successes and the failures and more importantly it inspires me to keep going.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
In the various successful women entrepreneurs Oprah Winfrey , Indra Nooyi are two that top the list. My daily inspiration comes from Master Choa Kok Sui whose words are still so relevant in everyday life.
10) What is your favourite book?
A life changing book for me as a person was Many Lives Many Masters by Dr Brien Weiss. As an entrepreneur, a book I really loved and related to was ‘Dream with your eyes Open’ by Ronnie Screwvala because of the simplicity of the book. One of the biggest lessons I learnt from it was of scaling the business and the importance of it.
11) Did you face any challenges being a ‘woman entrepreneur’?
Many challenges, but the most difficult challenge to digest was the lack of faith people had simply because I’m a woman. From my previous landlord who clearly scanned me all the while thinking in his head how a woman like me was planning to afford a posh office in one of the main localities of Kolkata, to people who just assumed that since I was a ‘Woman Entrepreneaur , that meant I was probably working from home , it’s the lack of faith you see from people around you that is the biggest challenge.
12) Do you think the journey is tougher for a woman Entrepreneur?
I feel the journey in itself is tough, be it for a man or a woman . However a woman , historically is known to have various other roles to play as well. As a daughter in law, wife and mother it takes a lot of multi tasking, efficient time management and A LOT OF sacrifices. A lot of ‘Me Time’ is spent focusing on your business rather than yourself. I must have seen 5 movies in the span of 3 years and don’t watch television anymore ( the negativity and drama of that is something I don’t wish to waste my time and energy on) but I have no regrets! Like Indra Nooyi had once said once you walk into your home you’re not a boss or CEO, you’re a wife and mother and those responsibilities take precedence.
13) Anything exciting coming up in the future that we should know about?
While QED will always remain my first step into the entrepreneurship journey, I am simultaneously working on creating a brand of my own in collaboration with someone else.Together we hope, that with the product that we would be launching into the market in the year 2019, daily life for some would be made much easier.
14) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Constant Self Movitation and Faith in oneself are two of the most important attributes an Entrepreneur needs. If you feel these two aspects are possible for you then go ahead and achieve your dream.
The fate of any business relies on its ability to serve the customers in the best way possible. When Anisha started off QED, it wasn’t an easy pursuit. But she, as an entrepreneur, put her heart and soul into creating a successful brand, daring the fierce competition in India’s digital marketing landscape.
At the beginning, she faced many challenges as people were simply reluctant to count on her just because she was a woman. However, she earned their trust with her excellent work as an entrepreneur.
As she says, the best ingredient for an entrepreneur’s growth is self-motivation. So always find motivation from within whenever you think you’re going astray. A big thanks to Anisha for sharing her inspiring startup journey.
You can check out QED on Instagram here.