Circa 1997. After an eventful career - 3 years in personal selling, 12 glorious years in professional advertising, 2 (or was it 3?) attempts and near-misses at entrepreneurship, I was this close to opening my own ad agency, actually. But then, by some curious quirk of Karma, I stumbled on to the WWW.
I did a re-think. The WWW was virgin country. There were few communications professionals here. It was exciting, almost romantic and smelt of huge potential. It was better, after all, to be viewed as the #1 Web Agency, then the 5001th ad agency in Mumbai, India, right?
I jumped straight in, with Rajesh and Ranajit - folks with whom I'd spent my sunnier, almost immortal-feel days of yore, over weekend beers and unbridled revelry, in tow. Pigtail Pundits was thus born.
We cobbled together 3 personal computers. Persuaded Rajesh's dad, to lend us some free space in his garage office. Pooled, our talents - handling large value advertising accounts, knowledge of building brands for fmcg, service companies and creative strategy, a keen understanding of and proficiency in design tools and graphic design. Pumped up, our passion. Packed in, whatever we had gleaned by way of entrepreneurial expertise.
Unfortunately, we had no clue about programming for the web. Just some conceptual ideas of how to exploit it. But way back in 1997, the one-eyed were kings on the www, weren't they? The fact that you were sitting in front of the largest library in the world, soaking information in, was always most comforting and helpful.
We got in. Learnt along the way. Stumbled. Fell. Bruised ourselves. Broke our noses. But, persevered nonetheless. Always egged on by the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and an unbridled passion for what we were doing. Our first client took us 28 visits and many more persistent follow-ups on the telephone.
6 years on, we're still to sight the proverbial pot. We're still umbilically bonded to the WWW. By choice and volition, of course. Suitably chastened, though, by the boom, the bust, 9/11 and the aftermath. We're still around as a result:-)
It's been one heck of a journey. A roller coaster ride. Today, Pigtail Pundits is 20 strong. Boasts of a huge reputation in the Indian market, prized international engagements and some wonderful clients and relationships across the world. BTW, we do work in PHP, J2EE and MS.Net, to industry standard specs.
We deliver WOW branding, identity creation, interface design, bespoke database programming and e-commerce solutions for discerning clients in Mumbai, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, Dallas, Michigan, New York, Toronto and London.
To folks, who understand the power of one-of-a-kind, idea-energised, metaphor-rich, concept-driven story-telling. Folks, who run home-based businesses, small businesses, medium-sized and large businesses. At rates which are darned cost-effective by Western standards.
We communicate, market, service, execute and deliver through email and the web. We have made a virtue of non-face-to-face communications and literally thrive on it. There's nothing that you can't convey through a professional web site, in a couple of chats or email to anyone, sitting anywhere in the world - trust, integrity, ability to execute, consulting skills, strategic advice, systems, processes, marketing inputs, professionalism…. you name it.
Why, we haven't even met with half our clients. You don't need to meet, to do business nowadays, do you?