Disha Hirani is the founder of Tangerin, a marketing and advertising agency. A fashion student who decided to take a leap of faith during the lockdown and quit her job, Disha started her agency out of a sheer desire of creating an identity. Tangerin believes in providing the most cost-effective campaigns using the best tools and solutions, letting the brands make a difference.
In a talk with Storiyaan, Disha opens up about what enticed her to pursue the creative space, the initial challenges that she encountered and how it all led her to grow her company. Have a look at this insightful interview to know more about Disha Hirani.
Questions and answers
What led you to venture into the world of advertising and what did you find most enticing about it?
I am a fashion grad and while doing an internship, I was given the opportunity to handle their social media. This was back in 2017 and I wanted to explore the world of social media, and also pursue my post-graduation. That is what attracted me to the world of advertising. I learnt the basics of marketing and it entices me that there is so much to learn in this field.
After your post-graduation, you worked for an agency for a year. How did this work experience dwell on you in the later phases of your career?
I had an amazing experience as I had been interning earlier and have worked for multiple lifestyle brands as well. While pursuing my PG I was freelancing and that’s when it started. As I started working full-time as a social media strategist, I learnt things about account handling, strategies and the company gave me so much freedom to work however I wanted to and liberty to make my own decisions when it was needed on my accounts which eventually led to having my own experiences with the theories we had just read or studied.
When did you first come up with the idea for Tangerin and what inspired the name?
A lot of people used to come up to me asking me to give them few pointers on how they can start marketing and how they can grow their businesses in the digital space, with helping them and providing solutions and seeing it work for them is what gave me the confidence to go ahead and do it full time. When thinking of a name, I was stern that the name needs to be catchy and something I can relates to my personality. Tangerin comes from the word Tangerine, the colour is bright and bold which conveys a lot about what our approach is and how we want to be remembered. The point being, it’s simple and easy to remember.
How do you manage to oversee all aspects of the company and what, according to you, is the main force that holds the team together?
It has been tough with the current scenario but luckily, we’re into digital marketing. I have my team to be thankful for here, they all are so open-minded, problem solvers and positive people; always exploring ideas and trying to do something different and the best part, they all come from different backgrounds what keeps them together is their love for advertising and creating something new. As we all are working from home, we make sure we meet each week on zoom calls and discuss problems and share experiences which I think has worked so well in getting to know each other better.
What are the qualities that you look for in your employees before hiring them?
I look for loyalty, passion and imaginative capabilities. I look for confident people who don’t shy away from giving their opinions and working on them. I always ask people if given a blank canvas, what they would paint on it. That’s how you can understand the person’s mind and willingness to work.
What were the challenges that came your way when you were initially starting Tangerin and how did you get past these challenges?
There were a lot of challenges as I had left my job and getting clients during the lockdown was not easy because most people weren’t looking to invest in marketing and that too a firm that just started. Nevertheless, we followed the old traditional way of marketing – word of mouth. It has worked really well for us, my friends and family helped spread the word; it’s all about building a network and it paves the way for the success of your business and eventually, your work speaks for itself.
The official page of Tangerine once posted “People ignore design that ignores people”. Could you please elaborate a bit on that?
I really feel that we as marketers and designers, often forget that ultimately our aim is to cater to people; your end customer is always a person. You cannot ignore your customer and just hype the product/service; it could be a great ad, an out-of-the-box concept, a mind-blowing creative but if it lacks empathy there’s no point in its existence.
According to you, how does branding depend on the perception and emotional connection a business has with its customer and how did you apply the same in the branding of Tangerin?
Tangerin has two shades and I wanted it to make a bold statement out there at the same time have an emotion of trust and solidarity; the service sector depends on it. That’s is why we particularly put into place, a shade of black and orange, which also conveys that we’re young and enthusiastic people who can give your brand an identity which can’t be compared and that’s our forté.
How did the digital platform act as a boon for your business and what are some of the strategies adopted by you to promote your brand through it?
We’ve been experimenting with social media ads and working mostly on referrals. We’ve got a lot of inquiries via social media ads and they have been extremely useful during these times.
Tell us a bit about your ways to blow off steam when you are not working and how important do you think it is to have a work-life balance to retain one’s sanity?
Personally, I rarely take breaks but sometimes I like to take my mind off, listen to podcasts, music, audiobooks and be off the grid; been exploring the clubhouse recently.
What is that one lesson that you have learnt through your experience that you would like to pass on to your readers?
I think I’m too early to pass this lesson, but here’s a life experience for all the people in their 20’s- if your instinct asks you to take the plunge, do it.
a. Your current read? – I’m currently reading Ikigai.
b. An entrepreneur you look up to? – I really look up to the founder of Schbang, Harshil Karia.
c. Your current binge – Sherlock Holmes.
d. You can never leave home without your… – Would love to say lipstick but in all reality, it’s my laptop.
e. One word to describe yourself – Amiable.