“Don’t try to act smart, you’re not,
You can’t, you won’t, you’ll fall too soon,
You’re weak, that’s where we live, they don’t let you fly
Time to lower your eyes and dream of the land.”
There comes a low point in all our lives. When that point hits you, it’s the fire inside that keeps you going. You fight all odds and defy the norms set by others and prove that you are beyond what others expect of you, to prove that your eyes are destined to aim for the skies and not just the land.
When society limits your dreams, it takes courage to trust your instincts, to prove that there is a life beyond social taboos. Here is a single mom, who is setting the example on how you can march over the obstacles and stop being affected by them, how life can be led to a beautiful destination up to the peak from the deepest of trenches.
In conversation with Kavya Baburaj, whose brainchild Social PR is helping brands establish themselves in the market, and whose life is the perfect example of seizing the day.
Tell us the story behind starting ‘Social’. What was the motivation behind it?
After completing my studies, I worked in the hospitality & corporate sector for almost 10 years. Social PR is my first stint as an entrepreneur and I love the fact that I get the opportunity to build the brands of many startups and women – run organizations. After freelancing as a content writer and a PR Consultant for a while, a few of my existing clients and a group of friends asked if I could manage their branding and social media pages. I started by offering my service to my friends and acquaintances to help build their brands and to increase their social media visibility and then the demand for the same increased, and I decided to register it as a company and to expand my team. We are now a team of 11 and we handle everything from logo designing to influencer marketing for brands.
Tell us about yourself, your background, and your previous ventures.
I am Kavya, a 34-year-old single mom entrepreneur. I am the founder of the PR agency – Social PR based in Kochi. Having completed my Masters in Public Relations from Stella Maris College, Chennai, I have worked in the hospitality and corporate sector both in India and abroad for a decade. After moving back to India leaving behind a 9 to 5 corporate job in the Middle East, I freelanced as a PR Consultant for almost 2 years and finally decided to start my own firm. I’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur and I am someone who is passionate about writing, socializing, and organizing events. Social PR is my dream venture and my previous experience of working with some global employees like DHL & IHG Group of Hotels helped me gain expertise in the field.
Give us a quick tour of the products that you deliver. How do you reach out to your customers?
Social PR is a full-fledged Public Relations agency and our services include branding, strategy, design, content, social media, media relations, influencer marketing, CSR & events. It is based in Kochi and we do branding and marketing for brands – from designing a logo to making a digital presence. We also include the latest and inevitable marketing strategies like influencer marketing in our services. We have got 90 % of our clients on a referral basis. We get a lot of inquiries through social media – especially after organizing Soiree – the first influencer Meet Up event in Kerala in 2020.
You are juggling between motherhood and business. Being a single mom, how do you manage them both and ensure the equilibrium between work and home?
Honestly, it’s quite a task to juggle both the roles especially as Social is a start-up, and to gain a position in this saturated market, it takes a lot of my time and effort. But my parents take such good care of my son every time I am out for work. Once I am back home, I spend enough time with him and we sit down to discuss our day – he always has a lot of stories to tell. Once a week I make sure I take my son out for a drive and spend a lot with him – a day just for him and me and everything we love.
Tell us about a few challenges you faced while setting up this firm. How did you overcome those?
With no investors, loans, or partners in place, it was a struggle initially to start a business. But in no time things picked up and we started getting work from big brands who availed our PR services on a monthly retainer basis. Due to the demand, I expanded my team from a one-woman show to a strong team of 11 members. The pandemic has an impact on all businesses and ours is no different as the kind of budget the clients allocates for PR & Marketing has drastically come down and we hope it will get back to normalcy soon. I believe with a mix of hard and smart work, consistency, and dedication, the market has a place for a person like me.
Apart from the usual things like playing smart and staying updated on the latest trends and strategies, I can say even things like being consistent in your work quality and keeping your team player’s content is equally important in running a successful business.
If you can prioritize the tasks and have the ability to make quick and smart decisions, you are good to go. The most valued and respected quality is a reputation for absolute integrity – nothing surpasses that as all businesses are based on trust. Also, persistence and success go hand in hand – and I have resolved in advance that I will never give up, no matter what happens. I have a long way to go to be a successful entrepreneur and these are few qualities I am going to abide by.
Could you brief us about your support system? How did you meet this team of yours?
I call them my dream team and I feel lucky to have found each one of them who contributes towards making Social a success! It’s mostly through a reference that I found my team players – I usually just put up a post on Social media whenever I am hiring and that is how I found them. The right mix of people in the team is the backbone of any organization. From the extrovert, go-getter PR Manager to the shy, quiet graphic designer – we have them all in Social PR.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned over the years with your ventures?
Dream big and nothing is impossible. A few years earlier I was almost about to give up on life. And today here I am realizing and living my dreams – one at a time. There might be a thousand obstacles but believe in yourself and you will be surprised at what life has to offer you!
Tell us about your future plans for Social and your other ventures outside of it. Where do you see yourself in five years?
All my dreams revolve around Social now – Nothing outside it. We have a lot of projects lined up in-house – a lot of events and campaigns in the pipeline. Better brands, empowering more startups and women, expanding our team and space are a few. Probably branching out to more cities is what I am for, in the years to come.
Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Kerala Insider on Facebook