“PR is definitely an important tool and the right PR can help in adding a lot of visibility to the brand”: Saurabh Pacheriwal, Founder, Gemius Design Studio
Gemius Design Studio, a Surat-based creative agency has bagged Nine account mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and Ten new account mandates in 2021. The agency talks about managing the digital presence of brands through 360 Marketing and Branding solutions. They have branch offices in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The brains behind the creativity are the dynamic duo Anushree Pacheriwal and Saurabh Pacheriwal who have been working together as business and life partners. In an exclusive interaction, the duo talks about PR values for brand creation and much more. Let’s dig in…
Q) How was your journey so far, since inception?
We at Gemius have always been crazy about great ideas. Since our inception, we have had a chance to work with over 250 brands, all coming from a different school of thought – making us rack our brains around amazing ideas, innovations, and projects. The journey has been exciting and challenging and most importantly, eye-opening. Marketing and Branding is a vast arena and we learn each day, with each client and try to implement our knowledge and experience across various brands. The brands that we work with, we very much own them, and that’s what sets us apart.
Q) Pandemic has affected most of the industries and agencies. How was it for you?
It is a proven and well-known fact that the pandemic has created an irreversible impact on humankind. Usage of words like new normal has actually been a large part of our lives now and we are actually living in times no one ever imagined. And this has also impacted businesses across the globe. The impact on our business or working pattern has been no less.
While there have been various challenges we have faced since the beginning of the lockdown period in India, we took them up as a challenge and tried to work around creative ideas and strategies which can not only help us sustain but also grow. Our brands grew their business during the pandemic, thanks to the agility and perseverance they showed – and our team grew as well. We were able to hire over 20 people during the past year and have been able to also create some meaningful and impactful campaigns which have helped us become better storytellers, every day.
Q) In this difficult time, how are you and your team coping with daily work? What are you doing to keep pace? How are you taking care of your employees?
There is no doubt that the stress to deliver increased during the pandemic. The team started working from home and the lack of connections in a physical space actually posed a lot of challenges. But with great adversities comes great resilience. We were one of the earliest adopters of change on this front and quickly built on how we should operate remotely. Thanks to our task management software, we were able to connect seamlessly for all the work there is and ensure the tasks are not getting delayed when it comes to the quality or delivery timelines.
Little did we know that the second wave of COVID in our country would also bring a lot of emotional disturbances among people. Many of us lost loved ones and it became challenging to take care of their emotional well-being while ensuring the work gets delivered on time. But thanks to our wonderful team, we were soon able to get back on our feet. We have been ensuring not to add a lot of pressure on anyone and give them their time to recover and bounce back as and when they can. We are also ensuring to take care of their medical, vaccination, emotional needs and helping them in whatever way we can.
Q) Do you think PR plays a vital role in brand building?
PR is definitely an important tool and the right PR can help in adding a lot of visibility to the brand. When it comes to the good deeds or the actions a brand is taking, it is imperative that their stakeholders (customers or anyone associated with the brand) get information and stay aware of it. This can only happen via the help of media and news channels which help in amplifying the information of any brand.
Q) Brands have changed their marketing and advertising strategies, during and post-pandemic. What are the changes have you noticed?
Times have changed, the entire market scenario has changed and even the consumption of content has changed during the pandemic. In such a scenario, brands had to and should change their marketing and advertising strategies.
The consumer is now more self-aware, spending more time with their families – at home, their needs have changed and their priorities have also shifted. The brands are adopting this – shifting more to storytelling and conversational content when it comes to advertising. The content is more centric towards well-being, self-care, and value addition, which people can do from their work from home, stay-at-home scenarios.
Q) What are your future plans and programs?
We at Gemius have been known for our agility and evolution. The pandemic taught us how to cope up with remotely working teams, not only in our home grounds of Surat or Mumbai but also from any city across the Globe. Currently, 10% of our team is working from cities we never imagined they would be from – they are on a permanent work-from-home job with us and we are thrilled with this idea.
Moving forward, we have started venturing into skin-in-the-game marketing as well. With the pandemic around, the risk-taking ability of brands shrunk, and people started looking for agencies that can rather partner with them and help them grow. We work very well as growth partners with our brands and we have onboarded at least 5 brands at the moment who are working with us on equity and revenue sharing models.
The future surely holds some exciting and challenging opportunities and we are excited about the same.