TheCconnects: Can you tell our readers a little about your professional journey & how did you come to your current role/position?
Abhijeet Modi: As far as my professional journey is concerned, I have done my Bachelors and Masters in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. While I was pursuing my Masters, I and a few of my batch mates decided on a startup. Initially, we started selling T-shirts online. This was back in 2014-15. Our initial funding was approximately Rs. 1, 00,000/- since the business was in its initial days. We made our own designs, contacted manufacturers, etc. However, unfortunately, we didn’t get the response from the market as we expected.
One of the reasons might be that it was a startup business and we weren’t able to create a brand name at that time. Soon, we started facing a financial crunch. Eventually, we had to shut down that online business and started a new one. It was about selling pet food online. We continued with that for about 2 years. Again, it was in the initial phase, so we had to manage its funding from whatever profit we earned in our T-shirt business. However, we also had to shut down our pet food business because we didn’t succeed there either.
In the beginning of 2017, I realized that the content marketing business is growing at a rapid pace. My wife, (who used to be my Girlfriend) and me then decided to try our luck in this sector. Because she was already working in an organization that dealt with content, she had a fair idea about the prospect of this field and also the necessary experience.
As a result, we cofounded BEYOND WORDS in 2017. Together, we ventured into the content marketing business, where we started taking up small projects for not-so-big clients and we used to charge minimal fees. The whole point was to establish our objective into something really substantial.
We started to take baby steps and started growing day by day. We soon hired one writer for our projects, and soon after we hired another one, and so on. This way I was finally able to reach my goal which I desired a long time back.
Today, we have a team of 20 writers and you can say I run a successful organization.
TheCconnects: Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
Abhijeet Modi: My late grandfather was the most influential person for me in my life. He always supported me in every facet of my life. For instance, I dropped out of my Masters during the initial days of my startup, so that I could concentrate on the business. However, he always insisted me to complete my degree. He was always the one who was pushing me to do something independently.
We have an already established family business of gemstones for the past 30 to 40 years. Despite that, my grandpa always motivated me to start something of my own.
After marriage, my wife also motivate me a lot to work hard, and suggested me the areas where I can improve. She was a major influencer because of this I was able to build a strong foundation in my business.
She suggested me to focus in areas such as building a strong client base, stressing quality rather than quantity, making client satisfaction the top priority of the agency, etc.
In a nutshell, you can say my grandfather was my influencer in my early life and my wife was the 2nd influencer to give me business motivation in the later stages of my career.
TheCconnects: What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life & how did you overcome them?
Abhijeet Modi: My life till college was smooth as I was in college, enjoying with my friends, etc. However, during my Masters, I wasn’t getting any job in campus interviews. The reason being, I wasn’t good at coding. This was one of my biggest challenges.
The biggest challenge I faced during my startup is a lack of funds. As a result, we had to do all the major tasks on our own. For instance, if we wanted to do SEO for my business, I had to learn it and do it on my own. Similarly, if I needed to do web development, I had to do it myself by learning the tricks of the trade.
Due to this, I wasn’t able to produce the desired quality in my initial projects despite all the hard work that I put in. Needless to say, the lack of finances was preventing me to hire some specialists for my work or learn the tracks myself so that I could give the desired push to my business.
This was the biggest challenge in my initial days during startups. When I started my content marketing business, the major challenge I faced was client retention. In the content marketing industry, as you know, quality matters a great deal. So, even a slight quality issue is good enough for clients to turn their backs on you. As a result, this is a major concern which I needed to address.
It took a lot of time for us to overcome this challenge and sooner than later we were able to retain our clients successfully. Also, I didn’t invest a single rupee in this startup which is also a significant factor. Overall running all three startups (T-shorts sell online, Pet food sell online, and content marketing) presented different challenges for me.
TheCconnects: What lessons you have learned from your professional career?
Abhijeet Modi: Since I never took up a job, all the experience I gained was from my startups. Whatever I have learned from my experiences is that the customer is always right. Irrespective of whatever happens, you got to adhere to them to be successful in this business. Building patience is the key to success here and eventually being cool, calm, and composed while dealing with your customer will help you a long way in reaching your desired goals.
In my initial days during my startups, I used to get pissed off when my orders were rejected or I was getting more editing tasks. However, I learned a lot of things following others (for instance, in a restaurant, how the managers patiently handle irate customers by calmly listening to their issues, how sellers in shops show their patience to display a lot of items to a visiting customer knowing that its not sure they’ll buy anything from them or not) to be patient and handle clients professionally without being irritated.
So, learning to be very patient is a major lesson I have learnt and it has been very helpful for me.
TheCconnects: What do you see as the biggest challenge for brands in the digital space?
Abhijeet Modi: Earlier, I feel there weren’t too many challenges. However, after 2022, the story is different. Why? Enters ChatGPT. Today, about 10 to 20% of people have shifted to ChatGPT, so, this isn’t a massive threat as of now. However, in future, this AI tool is more powerful. So, in there lies the uncertainty. What happens all the users shift to ChatGPT? However, I don’t think that will be the case because AI-written content won’t have the same impact as human-written content. This is because there is a noticeable difference between AI and machine-written content. What’s that? Simple answer-A machine-written content won’t have the human touch to it.
Despite that, I feel, because of its powerful features, ChatGpt presents a major challenge for content agencies in the coming years.
TheCconnects: How your product/solution can help to resolve the pain points of your customers?
Abhijeet Modi: We can deliver quality content to our customers. This way we address quality issues and solve a major pain point of our clients. Our well-researched and written content helps a brand to capture its customers.
We focus on thoroughly studying our clients brand before starting to write content for them. This we can understand their demographics, the latest trends in their particular niche, target audience, their customer’s tastes and preferences which help us to deliver just the perfect content that can attract more visitors for them eventually leading to sales and revenue generation. This way, our product can identify the customer’s pain points, needs, etc and deliver solutions accordingly.
TheCconnects: What do you do in your free time?
Abhijeet Modi: I am badminton lover. I play rigorous professional badminton for 2-3 hours a day in my free time. Also, I feed 10-15 street dogs daily with the pet foods we have. Feeding dogs is my daily routine from Monday to Sunday. However, I play badminton from Monday to Saturday. Not only badminton, I have a general knack of all sports like cricket, football, etc. Apart from this, I read finance-related books whenever I find time. I have a deep desire to gather financial knowledge; as a result, this draws me towards finance-related books, magazines, etc. Rest of time, since we live in a joint family, I love to spend quality time with my family members, have discussions, play board games, etc.
TheCconnects: Do you have any advice for those who want to be an entrepreneur/chief … officer?
Abhijeet Modi: My first advice would be not to commit the same mistake that I did, like not taking up any internship, or jobs, etc, and diving straight into a business without any knowledge or experience. I survived the bad times because, thankfully, my co-founder and my wife had prior experience of working in a professional sector, so it helped.
Also, you must be patient. If you are in business, don’t expect massive profits overnight. You have to invest a lot of time and effort which can bring you success on the long run.
Learn to handle your clients tactically, and build so much trust with them that you force them to think twice before they think off quitting your services and joining someone else. So, give them the best messages and the best services possible. This is an important think I have learned in my professional journey.
The other thing is, you have to make a strong foundation. There is no point in depending on one single employee or a single client. Always think about building a strong team, whether it’s about your staff or the number of your clients. You should keep your eyes on both these segments. Remember that a team work makes a dream work.
Connect with Abhijeet Modi on LinkedIn here