Spearheading The Social Winds Of Change
Up until ten years ago people in India had no clue what social media was all about. Then came the time when the medium was used to be just what it claimed – social. Sharing pictures, liking posts and such was all that happened on social media. Today though, this form of media is easily the most powerful tool used in marketing.The social space has become a forum that drives marketing trends, creates or re-creates brand identity alongside assets and values. And Anusha Shetty, CEO of Autumn Worldwide, is a pioneer in this medium of marketing. RITZ meets the lady, who is one of the first in the country to have forayed into the social media space way back in 2006.
She’s an entrepreneur with a difference, someone who tried and tested the traditional route before she finally found her calling thinking out of the box. With an MBA from T.A. Pai Management Institute and work experience with top advertising agencies, Anusha Shetty got her first taste of entrepreneurship and the rush that goes with it when she chose to move work places and countries. “I was offered a position in North America with Euclid, a much smaller outfit than what I was working with. And I loved every moment of working and bonding with the team there. That’s when I knew that I had to do something different, something on my own where the energy and drive are endless,” explains the entrepreneur.
In her early 40s now, Anusha Shetty chose to return to India in 2003, a decision which she says was extremely difficult to make as she was restless in her job, but unwilling to give up the security that it offered. Hence a brief stint in Honeywell (where she headed marketing operations for the Asia Pacific region) worked in her favour for two years while she tested her skills in entrepreneurial waters, before finally taking the plunge and starting something that was completely unheard of and considered totally unnecessary at that time in the market.
In 2005, Anusha, armed with the blessings of her parents and the support of her husband, took the plunge and started Autumn Worldwide, a digital marketing agency that started out with creative outsourcing and finally found its calling as one of the forerunners in the social media marketing space by 2010. This was when they won the account for Infosys to handle their marketing platforms in the social space.
“The social space is all about experiments and co-development and it shouldn’t be any one agency’s responsibility to write the code of social conduct. Having said that, as an early mover into social media we have learnt our bit from all the experimentation in the space. Since platforms are ever changing there can never be definitive code anyway. So from that perspective, we could say, we learn fast and these are some of our learnings in this space,” she tells.
“We like to bridge the gap between traditional and digital media, but more importantly between ideas and technology,” says the gutsy lady. Her office is located in one of the quietest and most quaint streets in Bengaluru. Housed in an old bungalow, the setting is casual and vibrant offering enough freedom for the creative minds that work with her. Her 80-member strong team is filled with youngsters, some dressed in shorts sporting long hair, while other loudly discuss strategy while music pulsates from the speakers set inside the discussion room.
“Our work is creative – some teams have to ideate, others have to research, while some have to listen in and observe conversations happening in the social space. Hence our services span social listening, online reputation management and creative capabilities. Our awesome Social Media Analytics give you cutting edge insights which are relevant today, not yesterday, but today. These guys dedicate their entire day to capturing and analyzing communication trends on the web and translating them into usable insights thereby adding value to your business.
Our creative content team uses these insights to deliver kick ass content which rules the Social Media space and makes your brand connect with your consumers in a way that they start the conversations and these conversations never end! Today, every brand worth its salt invests in social media marketing and we’re one of the best agencies in the country,” she tells proudly. Considering that hers is a company independent of external funding, “a cash rich company” as Anusha likes to call it, we believe her when she says that they’re one of the best in the business.
The self-confessed fitness junkie is a mother of two – a teenage son and a daughter aged 9 – and successfully manages to strike a balance between her work land her personal life. “My husband has been my biggest support system and I couldn’t have achieved what I have without him,” she says, signing off and heading back into the work oasis that she has created for herself and her employees.