Dr. Khusbhu Pandya is a woman who wears many hats. She is India's first woman to attain a Doctoral degree in Social Media Management. She has published a book on "WEAVE model : Global Strategy for Weaving Social Media into your business" from Texas, USA. She is a speaker at various events held at state and national level on Social Media. She is a NET qualified management educator and has lectured at various management institutes. Now she has taken on the leadership of MompreneursIndia as the Zonal Champion of Surat chapter.
We interviewed her on our "How She Did It?" series and this is what we found out about her.
- What/Who was the motivation behind starting your business?
I started Konvophilia Communications as my passion towards learning and sharing my numerous encounters with social media. It all started with studying social media as a domain of research in 2007 and ended up being my business niche. I quit my full time job and started my own journey because researching social media excited me.
A need for freedom of creative expression is what led me to start my business.
- Can you list some of the amazing things that you have done in your business?
I constantly experiment with my services to continuously offer creative solutions to our clients. At Konvophilia we offer social media services, strategies for business growth, online marketing and advertising. We craft brand stories, produce content, host events, conduct trainings and meet-ups, curate experiences and much more. It is hard to define and put us under one roof because we keep evolving and growing.
Recently Konvophilia Communications was associated with Gujarati Movie productions for its creative consultations. One of the most exciting project running under Konvophilia right now is - www.herbusinesstravel.com - India's 1st media for women business travelers that insightfully showcases life of a woman - always on the move.
- Starting a business requires a lot of courage, patience and perseverance especially when you have just started and things are turning bumpy. How was it for you at the beginning? Did you face a lot of struggle too and how did you deal with it?
Yes indeed !!! It has been a bumpy but interesting start for me too. Initially when I started, people did not believe much in the power of social media for business marketing. Also since I was in my twenties, people faced some difficulty trusting me with their money and more so for this work where no guarantee of sales could be given. Every day felt like a challenge and test of my convincing abilities.
Today when I look back, I am grateful to all those experiences as it sharpened my knowledge and made me test my skills. With few consulting clients initially, I rolled out things single handedly, doing multiple things on my own.
Patience, Perseverance and Passion are the 3 P's that I relied on in the early years and still rely on for my business.
- Did you have a business plan in place when you started?
No. I figured out everything gradually. I do create smaller operational plans but they keep on changing too as per my situation. There was no social media industry before 2008. So I didn't plan it as a business that I would one day undertake. It’s like it just happened one day and very soon it was a successful business.
Now I have carved my own niche and I make continuous effort to stay ahead and to stay relevant.
- How did you get your initial customers?
Before I got paying customers I did some free consulting while I was doing my Ph.D.
This not only helped me test my own skills but the same brands that I worked with also converted into paying customers. I built good relations using social media and connected with thought leadership on the platform. Through word of mouth I started getting more customers.
- What is that you do that works really well for you in order to get more business? Whether it is offering strategic advice or catering to a marketing problem or just plain old content creation - my creative solutions to challenges faced by the customer has always given them a different perspective and insight into their own business and which has helped to keep them excited.
- What has been the most effective way for creating visibility for your brand and reaching new customers?
I feel I am a bigger brand than my business because I was a one woman army for many years. People know me now for my work and quality deliverables. Digital word of mouth has got me new customers from all over India.
- What challenges/struggles did you face in your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome them?
Initial challenges were related to building faith in this medium for business marketing. It was however a brief struggle since social media quickly won many hearts and then there was the realization that there was indeed plenty of potential to grow using this medium. But my challenges were not over. With this realization came many myths. So, Konvophilia is now also conducting seminars, workshops, training programs for various target groups with a mission to teach effective and right use of social media for various reasons - be it marketing or hiring or personal branding.
- Do you have any habits/rules that you follow in your daily life that you want to give credit to for your success?
I have a note writing habit. Whatever I think or read or see - I note it on my google keep mobile app or write it in my diary for further brainstorming. I also create my daily to-do lists at the end of every day so as to keep my next day organized. This helps me stay productive.
- What advice/tips would you like to give to other women entrepreneurs who want to attain the same success as you did in your business?
- Firstly, be absolutely passionate about what you are doing. If you think you are going to get bored of this in a few days then don’t ever pursue it in the first place. I advise you to get the FREE copy of MompreneursIndia’ s 'Discover Your Passion' workbook which will help you find what you are truly passionate about in 12 easy steps.
To request your copy to your inbox click on Send Me A Copy
- Secondly, look at solving the real problem instead of creating a product or service that no one wants. This will require you to be in close contact with your observations and instincts. Research. Always try finding new, easy and eco-friendly ways to solve existing problems.
- Finally, do not overthink. Take actions. What’s the worst thing that will happen - You might fail. Remember, failures are the best teachers. Let them guide you and give you the power to fuel your passion, rise again with more zeal and better ideas to fail the failure. Never ever lose hope on your passion and keep doing what you love