People might have various plans in their life. At the same time, life will have different plans on people, redirecting them to another path. However, it only happens with those who have self-realization about something, making their conscious mind to act at the right moment. When Shweta Ahuja opted for the medical stream in school, she had no idea that she would end up in the advertisement field. Walking out halfway through the medical entrance exam, was a significant shift that changed her life goal.
Today, Shweta runs an advertising agency, Aagneya Advertising, in Gurgaon, a place that not only produces great work but also encourages and nurtures young talent in the industry. In her opinion, advertising is a team sport. In a brief conversation with Women Entrepreneurs, Shweta Ahuja traces her journey as an entrepreneur and talks about Aagneya Advertising.
What prompted you to mark your entrepreneurial journey in the advertising and pr sector?
“I believe that challenges are opportunities that choose you. And I have been very blessed by many such opportunities in my life.”, says Shweta. A Creative Director at the age of 27, with many awards and some great work in her bucket, working with some of the best advertising agencies in the country, venturing into entrepreneurship was never in the plan. Till one day Rajiv Rakshit, her ex-boss and mentor, offered her the job to set up a branch for Orchard Advertising (A Leo Burnett Company) in Delhi.
“Aagneya advertising is a new-age, independently minded, creative advertising agency”
“At Orchard, later rechristened to Blackpensil India, I learned everything from a peon's job to that of a CEO’s. I don’t know how nine years flew by. The day I decided to move on from Blackpencil, I had a conversation with one of my mentors and father figures, Hardy Sir. It paved the foundation for a giant leap in my career. Pushing me off the edge, making me realise that I could fly. I have never felt more free and creative as I have been in Aagneya.”
Tell us about aagneya advertising. Also, what were the initial challenges with setting up an enterprise?
Aagneya Advertising is a new-age, independently minded, creative advertising agency. Our belief is based on creating communication between brands and people. Our theory is rooted in establishing communication between brands and people. We not only strive to help people choose the right product, but we also try to keep our advertising responsible. While creating advertising for the clients and their Brands, we also make sure to disseminate subtle and relevant messages for a better society.
Aagneya is built on my idealism. In addition to that, my brother’s role as a Business & Strategy head gives it a more substantial base. The day I stepped into our office, I decided that Aagneya would be everything that’s great about working in advertising. During the first two years in Aagneya, I struggled with resourcing, looking for the right kind of team. Soon, I realised that a lot of young talent out there was being wasted due to lack of proper guidance. And that’s when I decided that just like I was blessed with good bosses who guided me towards success in my career, Aagneya would also be one such place for those who had the drive but lacked guidance to help achieve greatness.
With 20 years of experience, hard work and some humble achievements - getting business has not been much of a problem till now. But the best part is that most of the business we have closed have come to us through word of mouth.
Could you take us around the procedure you adopt while working on a project? How do you take care of the client’s budget while giving them the best of the results?
We start by defining the client’s problem and the objective they wish to achieve. Once the client’s goal is understood, we rely on data analytics and carry out due diligence in devising the communication strategy. After freezing and mutually agreeing on the process, we work backwards on the given budget. It helps in optimizing and distributing spends on various channels/ platforms, thereby giving the best ROI. But there is only one understanding and strategy that we work with; we are in the ‘people’s business’.
It is the upcoming plans that supply the spirit needed for a business to grow. What is the roadmap set for the company for the years ahead?
Breaking through the clutter with creative and innovative decisions, Aagneya is striving to evolve forever and never stop learning. We have set our vision to become a global name to reckon within the sector of advertising. We are adding to society by rendering responsible work through our clients/ brands that we partner with. We are building a strong team of leaders and visionaries with one goal.
Shweta Ahuja, Founder & Executive Creative Director, Aagneya Advertising
Having a track record of 20 years in the advertisement industry, Shweta Ahuja has built a considerable name. On her way to establish as an entrepreneur, she has enrobed the post of Creative Director and Executive Creative Director at various organizations.