It’s a classic case of how your every failure, can make you stronger and you turn it around, to give more to the world. Was down in dumps, but definitely not out. Still fight was left in me. In that spirit, Singapore-based AAR Consultancy recently announced their launch offering online marketing consultant services, solutions, expert guidance and staff training that delivers black and white positive results.
Founder of AAR Consultancy, Soumik Chakraborty is an MBA, holding multiple certifications from top institutes and corporations including Google, and has over 11 years in managing online marketing campaigns, for a long list of companies, in very diverse industries. Some of the more well known companies Chakraborty has managed successful projects for include: IBM, Nestle, Unilever, American Express and many more.
Things were not always, that good. After several mistakes in life, including almost running away from home, he came to Singapore, with house mortgaged, $100,000 in debt to complete his graduation at a ripe age of 25. Studying and sitting in class with other students 6-7 years younger. To add to pressure of success, his dad was over 60 years, a service man now retired.
Fast forward to 10 years later, having gone through death closed ones, an accident that almost took his wife away from him, battling finances and health, he now owns a house, has a beautiful wife and an awesome son. He says, parents, sister & god has been his guide, wife his support and 1-year-old son his inspiration. In-fact having such a beautiful gift – his son, has been the turning point in his life. I have been very ably supported my in-laws too. Lucky to have family always by my side.
Every struggle has made him more determined to succeed and help companies honestly and sincerely. He doesn’t want to be sitting down anymore, he left his work even though monthly incomes were coming in and set out to sincerely make a difference with his skills.
AAR Consultancy was started to help companies manage their online visibility more effectively. Soumik clearly states “I am not your average vendor or agency, my job is to work with you, to work for your success together”
His clients already have ad vendors, but he works with them to make sure they are generating the right results, training their staff and jumping in hands on if help is required for Search Engine optimization, AdWords, social or more.
His vision, “Every dollar earned is so important, there shouldn’t be a scenario where clients spend more than what they get, I want to help clients get more knowledgeable and make wise decisions for their online marketing strategy. AAR is the first 3 alphabets of my son’s name, I wouldn’t tarnish it and delivery only top quality work. My objective, your success!”
In your own words what is AAR Consultancy all about?
Singapore-based AAR Consultancy offers online marketing consultant services, solutions, expert guidance and staff training that delivers black and white positive results.
AAR Consultancy was started to help companies manage their online visibility more effectively. Quote: “I am not your average vendor or agency, my job is to work with you, to work for your success together”
Every dollar that an SME spend is their hard earned money, it is important to make sure that spend is effective in getting the returns in this highly competitive world.
My clients already have ad vendors, but I work with them to make sure they are generating the right results, training their staff and jumping in hands on if help is required for Search Engine optimization, AdWords, social or more.
In training too, I have been empowering individuals and corporates alike. I work with NTUC Learning for corporate training.
What led you to start AAR Consultancy?
Like I mentioned previously, I wanted to make a difference. Always wanted to help smaller companies/SMEs manage their online marketing budget and results effectively. For them every dollar is important but many fall into the spend trap, or cut their budgets not knowing whether what they are doing is right or wrong. They do not have a proper strategy in place.
I was looking for the right opportunity, then it came in the form of my son, “Aarush”. That acted as a catalyst, I wanted to spend more time with him and pushed forward my plans to start on my own. I do not take too many clients, as I do all my work myself. I want to do justice to all projects that I undertake. In fact “AAR” is the name of my son Aarush, so no way I am going to let it down.
Could you walk us through your process of starting up?
Been years that I worked for companies. Managed worked and / or worked for Streetdirectory, MDIS, Ogilvy, Amex, Mothercare, Unilever, Nestle, IBM, Guinness, Cathay, SingTel and more.
Everyday is a learning process so I have learned quite a lot and can make a difference to a company’s marketing ROI in a positive way.
Was looking for an opportunity and my son was born. I still remember the time, me and my wife were talking about moving away from a fixed income that I was getting to an unsure income state for a start period. People think I am crazy that after having a child when cost increases, I left a job and jumped in to an unsure future.
But online marketing is my passion, I am a fighter and I was determined to start a business, my wife and Son gave me the strength and it was 9pm on a Tuesday night when I went online and registered for my company.
You have to take risk and be ready to fail, if you want to succeed. If you are happy with what you are you will never grow. I am a risk taker and my family has supported me in it. My wife is the sole earner with a regular job and she has been my strongest support. I have had many mistakes in life and strong times which I outlined in my bio, but I have always fought through it, not alone but with help and support of my family. This time is no different.
Been 4 months I have left work; it was a struggle initially but things are picking up. I have 5 clients for a start, which is not bad for a company of 4 months.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?
Yes starting up is always a difficult phase. Many people stress over “no income” part a lot and take whatever comes to start the money flow. But I waited. I didn’t want to just take anything, but take up work that I would be able to showcase.
So yes, it was hard, but when you open a company you should have a path decided regarding what you want to achieve. Staying on the path is difficult. I did get opportunities that would give me quick money, but that was not what I wanted to get out of AAR. So letting those go was difficult, hahaha. But its for a long term future than a short term gain.
I would say, Staying Focused was very important. Using my contacts helped, and giving first (for a company that I would contact to pitch, I would do up a free audit) was important. Many companies don’t realize they need help, so doing up the free audit made them realize the opportunity that they might have.
What is your long term plan?
Right now AAR is in the consultancy phase. By God’s grace I would want to start hiring people by early of 2017. I want to have 3 different divisions that currently I am doing on my own.
Training, Consultancy, Implementation (running campaigns for my clients)
In 2017 when I hire, it would not be more than 3-5 man company. I do not want to invest in resources first, will grow as I take on more client.
By 2018, I want to start creating applications and softwares in online industry. Actually I have some killer ideas in mind, but looking for the right people.
What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?
- Staying Focused
- Staying determined
- Break the regime of a normal life
- Accept Failure
- Be ready to fight through, things don’t come easy. Also staying positive will enable you to see opportunities
- Be true to your brand and services
- Be true to your client. Don’t just go for money, quality is important too. Because how you start will impact how you grow or continue
- Be grounded. Be thankful
Any tips of advice for achieving success?
Well I had had tough past. I have realized success only come to those who are ready to fail. Unless you try to succeed, you won’t succeed.
You should always keep at it, you may get sad, disheartened but do not stop. Support is important too, you can never do it alone.
I want to end with some lines of Robert’s Frost Poem, “The road not taken” that depicts life perfectly.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Be prepared to walk an unknown path, that can make all the difference.