Entrepreneur: Upendra Rana
Business Name: Make Your Brandz
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 89
An entrepreneur is born when he or she discovers their zest for exploring new avenues in the market. Upendra Rana was working in IT background when he found an opportunity in the booming digital space. He quit his job to start his own business. That’s how Make Your Brandz was born. The idea was to create a full-fledged digital marketing agency with a vision to provide excellent and cost-effective service to customers.
Treading a new path is always difficult. When Upendra began Make Your Brandz, nobody around him was aware of the endless possibilities of digital marketing. They were reluctant to avail digital marketing services. However, he successfully convinced them about the benefits of online space and how it would help a business.
Launched in 2015, Make Your Brandz is now in the forefront to help people scale up their business. Upendra has also written books about different aspects of digital marketing to educate people about its benefits, and the techniques involved. What was it like to build a brand in the highly competitive digital marketing landscape of India? Upendra speaks in length about his journey.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
One day I and my wife were thinking that how the business is growing online as both of us are from IT Background. Then and there we got an idea to build a start up and make all the field to be online and show their presence on search engines. Many of the businessman thought why we have to be online for example no one will want to buy flowers online but now we don’t have time to go market to buy it and this platform is also comes online. Now everyone buying flowers online.
We are also helping the youngsters in technical field to establish their career in Digital Marketing. This is a booming platform and will come with many job opportunities. We are happy to share that we are part of it.
Earlier I was job seeker now I am job provider. Single-handedly I started firm with an investment of INR 20,000 at Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh. I did not take any financial help from my parents. Within a short span of time, Make Your Brandz has been able to carve a distinctive niche, winning the trust of numerous clients from different industry segments. Make Your Brandz has made digital branding easy for both small and big firms.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Internet users are now growing exponentially with increasing growth of smartphones. Our PM is also supporting this idea and wants to connect everyone with this digital revolution. This is high time to go digital as we can get everything online.
The web solutions we offer are designed to meet the exact digital branding requirements of our clients. Our solutions evolve with the changing needs of our clients’ businesses. We focus on quality, professionalism, and cost effectiveness in every project we undertake.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
We convinced our parents by saying “Have faith in us we are not doing anything wrong”. Even the were confused and would say “what type of work is this, you wear what you want, you go wherever you want to and even work from home also, no work ethics and all”. But that’s the way our parents always take care of us and they never stop loving. Everyone was supportive and was ready to face the ups and downs in the path of the startup business.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Everyone learn from their mistake and I have also learn a lot. We gave our 100% at initial stage of our business towards client’s work, but lack of presentation came against us. Now we listen to all opinions & criticism and try our best to fix the loopholes. We are still learning on the way & that’s the best part about being in a startup you always learn. Learning never ends.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
The obstacles are way of advertising and age factor too, working on-Ground advertising & investment. We are young guns of Make Your Brandz that’s why it’s difficult to get faith from client, but we are working on it now we almost have overcome from this issue because of our quality work.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
We live with the moment. We believe in each & every member of the team, we discuss plans every day, we implement crazy ideas, we never stop thinking, we have guy whose name is Mr. Deepak Yadav with whom we create our plan and get implemented by whole team and enjoy like kids after achieving them.
Even though we are individually good in our departments, we still seek advice from the other members of the team and our mentors. Above all we never stop learning & implementing new ideas to hike our business.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Honestly speaking, we started at the right time in our city. When we look back at the age we were at the time we would not have done anything better than this idea.
We too have done lots of mistakes in between especially we don’t have idea where we have to invest for promotion so money got wasted but then we have learned from the same and every mistake has made us stronger as a team. We are eight members including two freelancers.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
There are so many quotes I love. To run a startup, we need a lot of inspiration.
We are never in lack of money. We lack people with dreams, who can die for those dreams” -Jack Ma
“Great things in business are never done by an individual it’s done by a team of people”- Steve Jobs
A drop of ink may make million things.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
I got inspiration from my father, son of a farmer who reached height of success in another states, 40 years of teaching experience. Similarly I wanted to prove myself since childhood because no one believed in my strength and capabilities. Everyone criticized me including the family members. I would like to thank my teammate for this success. Visit Make Your Brandz website to know more about the company.
10) What is your favourite book?
Being a writer I like my own books specially “Step by Step Guide to SEO”. Other than my own books I like “I too had a love story”.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Do your homework: study the field in which you are going to start your work, understand the highs and lows of that industry and then get started.
A great co-founder: Steve Jobs needed Steve Wozniak. Bill Gates needed Paul Allen. Every great founder needs at least one great co-founder. I have Shaily Tomar (my wife) who supports me in both way mentally and financially.
Patience: Patience is a dirty word when you’re running a startup. Nevertheless, we all need the patience to stay the course.
Focus on One Core Product: Most of start-ups have a great vision and a great idea: ‘It’s going to be awesome, and we have a huge amount of ideas and features that are going to be in this start-up.’ Focus only on the core product or business, get that built, and get out there! It’s good to have a big picture of where to go, but then chop each feature or service off one by one until you’re down to the minimum core product.”
Be Prepared to Sacrifice: If you’re serious about building a great, enduring company, you have to be willing to sacrifice some things.
Build Great Relationships: No business can survive without talented employees, eager buyers, reliable suppliers, and supportive stakeholders and communities. While building your product and looking at all the data you can collect in the digital age, don’t forget to build close relationships and expand your network. It’s all about people at the end of the day.”
To start a business is easy. To maintain it is a Herculean task. Upendra Rana started Make Your Brandz with a solid vision and played his cards right to realize it. Now his brand has earned a profound reputation in the digital marketing space with an extensive clientele. He learnt the tactics of business from the mistakes he committed at the beginning. So don’t be dissuaded if your beginning is bitter. Learn from it and move ahead.
What’s important in any business is thorough knowledge about the field. If you’re not much aware of the trends in your niche, you would be left behind. As Upendra points out, you should do your homework to get a better clarity about the prospects of your business. That’s the only you can propel your it forward. Moreover, patience plays a vital role in the growth of a startup. You don’t have to rush. Just make the right move when your time comes.