TheShareStory.in is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Founders, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls, and to Contribute, Inspire & Embellish Entrepreneurship by sharing their exciting Stories!
As a part of our initiative, we invited yet another passionate Entrepreneurs Ms. Rutu-Mody Kamdar for an interview with us to understand more about her entrepreneurial journey. She is the Founder of Jigsaw Brand consultants. Let’s learn more about her exciting journey, her background and her advice for our growing community! Dynamic, daring and a go-getter—these words are floating around the lady herself.
Could you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
H, I am a brand consultant and run a branding firm called Jigsaw Brand Consultants. I also teach branding at various universities in India, Germany & France. I’m also a mother to 2 growing boys.
Please tell us about your entrepreneurial journey at Jigsaw Brand Consulting?
I started out as an independent strategy consultant way back in 2006. At that time, I was also doing my Ph.D. in the subject. I took on several interesting projects independently as well as with consulting firms and ad agencies. Somewhere in 2016, I felt I needed to set up my own practice and have a roof over my head. Which is when I set up Jigsaw. I felt there was a gap in the industry of a fully integrated branding firm- one where all the disciplines of building a brand come together under the same team. There was no agency/firm that brought together the diverse disciplines of research, strategy, design, and communication all under the same roof. That’s when I thought of starting Jigsaw, and as the name suggests, it is about piecing together the puzzle and building the brand.
What qualities of yours do you think have helped you achieve what you are today?
I think my passion for the subject and my commitment to what I do has kept us going at Jigsaw. I have grown as an individual and as a professional because I believe that every day is a learning experience in many ways. I also have an eye for detail and perfection and consider myself responsible in every way possible when I take on a client’s brand. The brand becomes my own and this sense of ownership is what sets us apart at Jigsaw.
What obstacles did you overcome to bring Jigsaw Brand Consulting into life?
One of the key aspects of starting a consulting firm is getting the right talent on board. Not just from a skills perspective, but also from an attitude perspective. One of my key challenges was to get the right, like-minded, passionate team on board who shared my vision for the company and was willing to take that leap and go the extra mile. At Jigsaw, we are now an enthusiastic, passionate bunch of individuals, each of us who bring in a diverse skill set and are committed to building our offering as well as building and nurturing our clients’ brands.
What does your organization have to offer?
We are a strategic branding agency offering services in research, brand and marketing strategy, design, and communication. We help companies build, launch, grow and manage brands across the brand’s life cycle.
What’s your definition of branding?
Branding is the realization of your purpose and promise. The purpose is your internal raison d’être, the reason you exist and promise is what you are committing to the people who want to associate with you, whether that is customers, employees, or any other stakeholder. When both purpose and promise are aligned, you are building a brand that ultimately builds everlasting value.
One client of yours that made you flummoxed.
Every client and every project comes with its own set of challenges. There are a lot of interesting challenges that we are faced with from the client’s end. Building a brand is a lot like raising a child. Every day is a new challenge that we have to overcome!
You have cross-cultural business connections, how do you think this factor affects the branding strategies?
The principles of building a brand remain the same, whether you are building in China or Antarctica. What changes is the consumer. For all our cross-cultural work, it is very important for us to get a deep understanding of behaviour and cultural influences.
What is your psalm of life?
Nothing can replace hard work.
Where do you find inspiration from?
From my parents. Both of them are self-made and have reached a great space in their professional journey. My mother, at 68 years is a Professor and an Author, and father, at 73 years is a practicing Architect and Artist. They’ve taught me that success is a result of sheer hard work, commitment, and an unrelenting desire to chase a dream. These qualities have been instilled in me right from childhood and they run through my DNA and also the DNA of the company I have built.
How has COVID-19 affected your personal as well as professional life?
Apart from the WFH, we have been going very strong at Jigsaw. Work hasn’t stopped for even a day. In fact, we have been busier than we usually are.
Where do you see Jigsaw Brand Consulting five years hence?
I see ourselves doing more of what we do best- helping companies build brands that become iconic and build everlasting business value. 5 years from now, I see ourselves going deeper into our domain and delivering many more interesting brand launches.
How do you want yourself to be remembered?
As someone who had great energy, passion, and an honest, solid commitment to my work.
Being an entrepreneur, what tips would you give to a budding entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is a lot like being a mother. It seems like a thankless job but is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. Seeing your idea come to life gives you a different kind of satisfaction. But it does have its challenges too. There are days when you feel like giving up out of sheer exhaustion and the unwillingness to go on. At those times, my only advice to entrepreneurs is to do what most mothers do… have a stiff drink, put on some great music, and let the wave pass you by. Most of the time, the tide does settle and calmer waters do return, and you do go back to enthusiastically running your business, just like you do with your children!