You could say, she was born with an entrepreneurial brain. Ankita Gaba's endeavour has always been to create and build digital brainchildren with a strong focus on disruption! She started out with a regular 9-5 job but soon realised that it's not her cup of tea at all. Her first venture Superchooha was India's first specialised social media agency, which soon grew to become the one stop shop for celebrity reputation management and fan engagement.
Her next escapade was founding Social Samosa, an Indian social media knowledge repository for the Indian context. The latest venture is Chai Biscuit- as social laundry bag that brings to the coffee table taboo and socially off-limit topics in a light-hearted but hard-hitting style through satire and spoofs.
But today we are in conversation with her about iGenero a company she co-founded in which she overlooks almost everything!
Tell us about iGenero!
" Aditya Gupta, my co-founder in Social Samosa also co-founded iGenero in 2009 in the technological environment of Hyderabad. At the cusp of the digital boom, Aditya’s foresight and vision led him to introduce iGenero to the Indian populace. In the past 7 years iGenero’s has become one of the leading digital agencies in India, specialising in design and tech. iGenero’s development in Mumbai is where my expertise were roped in by Aditya. "
What differentiates iGenero from the rest?
"iGenero was born at the cusp of the digital explosion in India. It has seen all the ripples the digital industry has created and itself created a few revolutions of its own. Digital marketing may be comparatively new, but marketing dates back ages and we treat it exactly like this. Our thought process stems from consumer insights and thorough research. And it is executed with a strong backbone of tech."
Challenges are the bread and butter of entrepreneurs.
Did you face any challenges while starting up?
" I have always been surrounded by people who have inspired or motivated me. They have given me power to propel myself from strength to strength. However, this does not mean I have not faced any challenges, in fact challenges are the bread and butter of entrepreneurs. So, the challenges I have faced are generic to the entrepreneurial realm and are regardless of my gender."
You are leading a team so our next question is - What according to you are the qualities, that a leader must possess in today's digital world?
"Patience, hard work, smart work and networking; four words which every entrepreneur should get tattooed on their mind. Ideas are dime a dozen in the market, especially in India. However, what makes a startup truly successful are these four words."
Do you think there are enough women entrepreneurs in tech?
" Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Founder chairman of Biocon Ltd.), Vandana Luthra (founder of VLCC), Ekta Kapoor, Suchi Mukherjee (founder of Limeroad), Richa Kar (founder of Zivame) are names a few women entrepreneurs who have really changed the face of India. However, in the true sense of the term we have very few women entrepreneurs in tech. It is a reflection of the gender stereotyping present in India, which defines women to be fit only for human resources or design."
We have very few women entrepreneurs in tech. It is a reflection of the gender stereotyping present in India, which defines women to be fit only for human resources or design.
Tell us about your business philosophy?
"My motto in life is to create value for not only myself but also others. Creating success and enrichment for all the stakeholders, including client, employees, and everyone who is closely associated with them."
It is most often said, "it is difficult to work for a woman boss". Your thoughts? Have you come across any issues yourself?
"Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have been my boss for the better part of the decade. So I have not faced such issues as I am a very good boss. Jokes aside, I think having a woman boss is a win-win situation for the employer and the employee alike. We live multiple roles in our lifetime and this gives our EQ and IQ and whole different dimension. Female bosses can we soft and caring and still be stern and authoritative just like a mother. She will be both compassionate and caring, ensuring that the best of the team comes forth, without any real negativity rising."
Any advice to budding startup founders?
"I cannot emphasize enough on patience, hard work, smart work and networking. This formula has helped me a lot. Anybody who follows them with dedication is sure to be successful in life. "