Unlike "the other digital agencies", BlackZoid excels at reading minds and working with a bigger goal in mind, and it is all that makes the difference
Speaking with The Story Mug recently, Naresh Gautam, founder of BlackZoid said, "The young developers, firstly, must possess great command on their code."
Here is the full excerpt of the interview with the man behind BlackZoid- a web designing company that delivers what it promises.
TSM: Tell us about your journey? How has it been so far?
Naresh: Since an early age I was very intrigued by the idea of digital commerce. And as you see around today, there is rarely anything left to be sold online.
So, in my early job days, I wanted to develop an online portal, especially for customized gifting. I went out looking for some good developers/agencies who could build it for me, and to the surprise, the quotations I received were way higher in terms of both time and cost.
That day I decided, well, "I'm a Computer Science Engineer myself, why can't I build this portal?"
Soon, the thought grew into- why can't I help others with the same problem? There are many people who want to bring themselves or their business to the web. And thus, the journey began.
However, just like any other journey, mine has also been a bumpy one, full of twists and turns! But I am truly glad that I met some very amazing people across the road.
There were times, I spent the whole night learning new code along with my developer just so that we could meet the deadline the next morning.
While there were many fun-filled days as well when our team would go mad gossiping about the new client along with nachos and coffee!
TSM: What was the first project that you undertook, and what was the feedback?
Naresh: The first project I undertook was for a local manufacturer in Gurgaon. And as it is obvious, it came from a friend and also the landlord at that time.
His brother was into machine parts manufacturing for long, but after interacting with me, he was curious to bring his business to the digital world.
Thus, over a small tea party on the terrace, our first business transaction took place! I had no team at that time and was a bit nervous about the outcome too.
But crushing all my doubts, the project launched successfully, and the client was also delighted by the service provided. Moreover, he only helped us in landing the next client. And probably so the chain began...
TSM: What is the meaning of BlackZoid, and why did you choose the name?
Naresh: So, initially, we called ourselves the "Grey Matter" people. But, when we were about to register, it wasn't available. That's the time when all of us started looking for some good names, quite aggressively. And amidst that search, I came across the term ZOID (i.e.reproductive cell that is capable of independent movement) and BLACK being my religion (not literally, I just love the Black) almost had to be added somewhere. So came the name BlackZoid.
Long story short- ZOID = reproductive cell, BLACK = our system screens.
"We ZOIDreproduce your ideas on/via BLACKcomputer screens"
TSM: The services that you offer?
Naresh: BlackZoid is an umbrella entity comprising handpicked experts. We have got specialists for all the business requirements.
We start from strategising the digital presence of a brand, then curating basic marketing collaterals (logo and brand guides), then stepping them up on all digital platforms (website design, social media, eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart), then managing their digital reputation via various social media channels and managing their online stores as well.
TSM: Tell us about your team and their respective roles and duties?
Naresh: Presently, we are a team of seven people comprising of two content writers, one designer, two developers, and two digital marketing nerds.
And to be very frank, being a startup, the roles are not that clearly defined. For, e.g., you can see the digital marketing girl sending us some quick graphic for New Years' post, or you might see me managing a website's backend code.
But, just as it takes the whole orchestra to play nice music, thus a successfully launched project is always a combined effort.
TSM: Any interesting case/client that has left an everlasting impression in your mind?
Naresh: There's a firm named Falhari in Gurgaon. They deliver freshly cut fruit boxes to homes. We worked on website development and graphic development with them.
Even though it was a quick project, however, it had an everlasting impact on me.
The day I had a meeting with their founders- Gulshan Sharma and Rahul Shankar Bhardwaj, I was touched by their vision.
Both of them were truly dedicated and happy at the same time.
This might not sound much exciting to you, but if you think for a minute, how many "happy faces" do we see these days?
People are busy making a living, saving for the future and all; they just don't remember to be alive and joyous in the present moment.
These guys are adding some good nutrients to everyone's life and that too with full zeal and zest. On top of it, I was just moved by their seamless way of working; the way they handled the whole supply chain was worth learning from.
It was a very inquisitive project that paved my interest more towards the eCommerce industry.
TSM: Any past experience you would like to forget?
Naresh: Indeed yes! Some low tides in business are inspirational, while some others are just very rough that there isn't much to learn from even.
So there was one US client who had some IQ issues of his own. How much our team tried to make him understand that there is a certain limit to the number of repetitions one could make in a code, but due to his prejudices, conversations were never smooth, and eventually, that project could never make it to the launch.
TSM: The important qualities you think are essential for any web developer
Naresh: "To understand the clients' psych and correctly analyse the trends of his/her industry/operations" – this is what I believe is a must-have for a website solution provider.
However, many people only believe that the code can do magic; it can but not without the purpose.
And also, whenever one is a solution provider, irrespective of the niche, they must have the patience to listen to the client and connect with them right away.
TSM: What was the scene like then when you began and now?
Naresh: We might not have made much depth without the 2020 situation. As you know, we just started 3 years back and the digital trends have not changed much up-till Mar20'.
Earlier, we had to spend more energy in convincing a person to bring his/her business online. But after this lockdown, the entire scenario has flipped.
Now, people want to get their business online more than ever! And probably for BlackZoid being a full-service digital agency, this flip is really positive.
But, rest it's not a happy world outside today, let's hope that the New Year brings better health and happiness for all.
TSM: What makes BlackZoid different than the others?
Naresh: Any client that comes to us and wants some service, say logo designing, is not there for just fancy typography or brush-art; rather, he wants us to first understand his product-line and the meaning he wants to convey to his customers and then design a logo.
Unlike "the other digital agencies", BlackZoid excels at reading minds and working with a bigger goal in mind, and it is all that makes the difference.
TSM: Who has been your biggest inspirations in life?
Naresh: This one is a bit tough question because I keep browsing the web and come across many marvellous personalities very frequently. However, to name, I would say that Tony Robbins has really inspired me in recent times.
The man is phenomenal both by his personality and words!
TSM: Any suggestion for the young developers.
Naresh: The young developers, firstly, must possess great command on their code. Irrespective of the language they take to learn code, they must simply excel at it.
We often hire website interns at BlackZoid, but most of the time, it is really hard to pick someone who is good at their core skills.
Thus, I'll only say that one language/skill that you take up, you must master that.
Secondly, they should be eager to improvise themselves. Many situations arise where for e.g., a backend developer has to run errands for some frontend task, so a bit extra knowledge never hurts.
The Story Mug, a Guwahati-based blogzine, believes in telling stories that matter.