AYESHA HAZRA – A FEARLESS INDEPENDENT ENTREPRENEUR DRIVEN BY CREATIVITY
“It’s more challenging and interesting to be an entrepreneur than to do a 9-5 job”
– Ayesha Hazra
Over the past decade, the marketing industry has seen countless women taking over as decision makers and, then, turning into influential thought leaders and trailblazers. Although this appears to be a remarkable feat, only less than a third of the digital marketing workforce is female.
So, while there are still challenges for women in the sector such as representation, access to senior roles, and closing the gender pay gap, significant progress is being made as many female marketers continue to push boundaries. Women succeeding in digital marketing are not new news as they have taken the lead in the industry for as long as the discipline has existed. However, gender bias within the sector has led to female positions being undervalued compared to their male. Drawing on their technological and creative strengths, women such as Ayesha Hazra are early pioneers in the sector. They paved the way for other females to make valuable contributions.
Ayesha is an Electrical Engineer from Jadavpur University and a management post-graduate from SPJIMR. Ayesha has 20+ years of experience as a marketing strategist, business analyst and a retail consulting specialist.
She is the Co-founder, Director and heads the digital delivery for UrsDigitally, the most promising digital agency in east India offering full stack digital services to brands globally. Prior to her entrepreneurial stint she was handling large scale enterprise programs globally. Ayesha brings to the table comprehensive experience in Digital Strategy and implementing these strategic inputs in real time Digital Marketing projects meeting the brand’s objectives. She has led several initiatives in conceiving business solutions for Retail verticals as well. Initially in MAGNE, she has successfully led the delivery of accounts like KPMG, Moustache Supreme, Touristor, and Steel Junction (Tata Steel initiative). Ayesha has co-authored articles on ‘SToRAI’, the flagship publication of RAI on ‘Adoption of analytics for Indian Retail SMEs’.
UrsDigitally – CONSTRUCTING DIGITAL BLUEPRINT FROM BRANDING TO ONLINE SALES
UrsDigitally is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing agencies headquartered in Kolkata. In this modern world where digital content is growing rapidly, more companies are making conscious efforts to improve their online presence. Instagram post reach and page rankings have taken priority over traditional advertising mediums like television or print. In such a market scenario, UrsDigitally helps businesses with online branding strategy, lead generation, and creating unique content for digital promotion thus evolving from the role of just a digital agency to a digital transformation partner.
UrsDigitally is a ROI focused digital agency offering 360 degree online marketing solutions with a portfolio of reputed clients from Real Estate, Hospitality, NGOs, Healthcare and a wide range of retail verticals. Tata Agrico, Tata Nest-In, Neotia Ambuja, Excel Wallpaper, and Coke India are some of their worthy clients to be mentioned. What makes UrsDigitally different from others is their capability to create measurable business values for brands. They aim to be the ‘Go to’ guys for digital marketing services. Led by ex-PwC, Wipro people with management degrees from IIMC, SP Jain etc, they are a bunch of uber creative marketers with astute digital capabilities.
INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
Innovation has no gender line, yet women entrepreneurs often have to work harder and smarter to be recognized in an arena that is still mostly male-dominated. Coming from a conservative Bengali family, it was quite difficult for Ayesha to leave a secured pay-check at the end of the month and start her venture. She always wanted to be recognized and since she had an experience in conceptualizing the product till the point of commercialising it in the market, she wanted to see whether it is because of the brand or because of her abilities. Being the first generation entrepreneur she had this knack of having her signature, and therefore, she decided to be an entrepreneur.
DIFFERENTIATING FACTOR AND CLIENT EXPERIENCE
A successful business and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to every business big, small, or huge. Customer satisfaction is the factor that will sustain and help grow a business in the long term. At UrsDigitally, they do not just rush into the work which is given by their clients as they believe that it is important for both clients and the agency to be on the same page before initiating any digital marketing project. They organise a strategy workshop with a client where they try to understand the client’s industry, their USP (Unique Selling Propositions) and suggest to them what they should be doing to get the best results. This strategic workshop has proved to be a game changer for them as it proves that UrsDigitally does not play the role of a digital marketing agency only but also has the capability to put themselves in client’s shoes, understand their problem and work out a solution – thus becoming a digital transformation partner for them. These sets right the mutual expectations and achieve customer satisfaction, which is truly the magic key to success.
TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORN
Entrepreneurship comes with a bunch of challenges. They might be rewarding, but harsh challenges nonetheless. Every entrepreneur has to deal with this no matter how long they’ve been in business and so does Ayesha Hazra. Ayesha Hazra and Mitul Das together formed MAGNE Consulting Pvt. Ltd – their first entrepreneurial venture in January 2011. It successfully got merged with Max Mobility and became UrsDigitally in January 2017. One of the most challenging tasks while starting MAGNE was to get the first client and to hire the right manpower as you can’t build a successful agency without having the right people, at the right price. Trying to recruit the best minds in the industry is not easy. The best talent is already working for other companies, and to convince them to jump ship is no easy task.
KEEP CHASING YOUR DREAMS
Women are steadily changing their conventional way of working in the corporate world. Business regulations are more women-friendly now and they have better access to business opportunities. Ayesha Hazra believes that it is important for every woman to keep chasing their dream. To realize a dream it should be converted to a vision and then into small measurable goals with a specific time period. One can then act upon the goals and measure his/ her progress. She believes that the most important factor is TO KEEP GOING.
“Along with the exercise of stabilizing things, you should also have the vision to move further.” – quoted Ayesha Hazra
EXPANSION GOALS FOR UrsDigitally
Doesn’t every entrepreneur or business owner start and maintain a business to see it grow? The answer seems obvious. Scaling a business is always a challenge, more so in a person-centred industry like digital marketing. Growth brings new challenges in recruiting but without challenges, there is no growth. The aim for UrsDigitally is to be a global company in the coming years. They also want to grow their revenue by more than 90% and set up offices in 2-3 zones pan India in the coming financial year.
ADVICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their goals. Having a mentor is an amazing blessing to an entrepreneur.
Ayesha’s suggestion to every woman who wants to start their entrepreneurial journey–
“The Four Mantras in your entrepreneurial journey should be –
- See your values all the way through
- Overcome an obstacle
- Never Give Up
- Persevere, no matter what “
CLOSING WITH A QUOTE
“Honesty and integrity are two things that you should maintain to sustain your business in the long run.” – said Ayesha Hazra
Excerpts from interview with Ayesha Hazra