From an EdTech enterprise start up at the age of 21 to Walnut Folks The unique tale of Sahiba Dhandhania!

1.Hi Sahiba, welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

I am a digital marketer by profession & the co-founder of Walnut Folks. At a young age of 21, I had set up my first startup, which was an EdTech enterprise. The same got awarded as the best startup on the campus by Economic Times in 2015 for the unique business model & unparalleled growth. I have also worked in the capacity of Business & Marketing Head and Marketing Consultant for media giants in India & abroad. Presently, you can say I am the marketing wizard at Walnut Folks who seamlessly integrates thought-provoking designs with pertinent marketing strategies to create highly impactful campaigns for the brands we work with.

2.  How did you get the idea of starting Walnut Folks?

When anyone thinks of a big marketing agency, they assume for it to be based out of cities like Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore. You’d barely ever think of anything beyond these, let alone Nagpur. I’ve been running a result oriented marketing agency that services leading brands of our country, through a city that can be traversed in an hour. The measurable impact on the brands and the young talent that I’m fortunate to work with makes me empowered. Every day at work I know that through my humble attempt I will be able to inspire a young girl to dream and achieve and that makes me feel empowered.

3. Please tell us more about your journey of Walnut Folks from the beginning till now?

My idea behind starting Walnut Folks was that no one ever tries to consider tier 2 cities like Nagpur & I wanted to change that. I wanted to make people believe that just to pursue their dreams & careers, they don’t need to move their lives outside their hometown, they don’t have to go to Mumbai or Pune; they can do it by staying in Nagpur. For the last year, running Walnut Folks from Nagpur, I have been nurturing young talent there, while at the same time providing our clients exceptional quality & working like any leading national agency would.

With a 30+ membered strong team we have worked on brand strategies and nationwide marketing campaigns for big and powerful multinational B2B brands like BVC Ventures – World’s leading precious logistics group, Sopariwala Exports – a leading export house with 100s of product lines, 4Fruitz – a multinational confectionery brand, Cranfield University UK – incorporated by Royal Charter of UK, KCC Construction Group, DP Jain, University of California Riverside and many more.

I aim to create a full ecosystem of highly skilled marketing professionals in the city and not just at Walnut Folks. Undaunted by the scale of the task ahead of us we are determined to put Nagpur on the Advertising map of India, and eventually the world.

4.   What challenges did you face as a woman entrepreneur and How did you overcome them?

I believe whether it is a man or a woman, whenever someone starts a startup they have to face some obstacles & so have I over the years. Apart from the regular challenges of funds, support, validating the business model I personally had to face some music because I was back then a young 21-year-old girl. It was difficult for my vision or intentions to be taken seriously.

My first startup shutdown due to circumstantial unforeseen reasons and that was one of the most difficult phases of my life. I had stopped being my normal self and lost all faith in my capabilities, up to the point, I had become clinically depressed. In addition to what I put my own self through, there were tons of people who found it an opportune time to tell me that this was destined to happen.

Pushing myself out of this, and propelling towards a new venture took over a year but has truly been the greatest experience. But now I see that quite a few people who were working with me in my previous venture have now become successful entrepreneurs, each working on a cause that truly motivates them. Having had the privilege to groom them and contribute to their journey in whatever way makes me feel really overwhelmed.

5 What is the USP for Walnut Folks?

We are a result oriented Marketing Agency that delivers outstanding growth to businesses through the use of data and creativity, powered by technology. We understand each of our brand’s business objectives and get done whatever is it that they need. From Website Development, Search Engine Optimization to Social Media Marketing and Brand Identity Design, we got it all covered.

We follow a unique approach towards creating marketing solutions for our brands. It is a process through which we uncover the finest elements of brands and create the most efficient communication and marketing stories from them.

Enamored by Growth Driven Marketing, we believe that marketing strategies should not be hit or miss. We research to understand the target audience, craft marketing strategies to suit them best and then iterate them on the basis the data that comes back from our campaigns. It helps our clients grow quickly without wasteful spends. For every brand that we work with, we follow a 5 step mechanism, to provide them the perfect service on our end. These 5 steps are highly essential & are as mentioned below.

Friendly Chat
We start with a quick conversation to get a sense of what the brand’s challenges are, what they’ve tried and if we’re the right digital marketing agency for them. Because we don’t believe in hard selling.

Marketing Opportunities & Capability Analysis
If we think we can help a brand, we put together Marketing Insights specifically for the company. Analyzing their business’ digital presence and effectiveness of specific channel strategies, we create an execution plan which maximizes all the opportunities we see for growth.

Strategy Simulation
We start with getting our brands as many quick and early wins as possible, while setting up specific, long-term and scalable digital marketing strategies.

Full rollout
We roll out our full execution plan, focusing on timely, tactical implementation, and setting up scalable growth opportunities. This frees up the brands to work on other high impact areas of business.

Learn and adjust
Our marketing team continually monitors results at every step of the process and then leverages that to get our brands more wins.

6. Narrate some of your success stories.

With a 30+ member-ed strong team she has worked on brand strategies and nationwide marketing campaigns for big and powerful multinational B2B brands like BVC Ventures – World’s leading precious logistics group, Sopariwala Exports – a leading export house with 100s of product lines, 4Fruitz – a multinational confectionery brand, Cranfield University UK – incorporated by Royal Charter of UK, KCC Construction Group, DP Jain, University of California Riverside and many more.


7. Do you encourage other women entrepreneurs who make similar ventures? What tips do you have for them?

Every time a woman decides to become an entrepreneur, you create a ripple of changes in your house, society and this country. Tread on this road wisely, because many young girls are watching you. First and foremost, believing in my own force without feeling undermined by anyone and at the same time not behaving like I have a chip on my shoulder because I’m a woman makes me feel empowered. Feeling equal, makes me feel empowered.


Website:

https://walnutfolks.com



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