‘Digital will be mainstream’: Vvihan Gulati, director of Mediagraphix, on the future of PR

30 December, 2020 | newsx bureau

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In an exclusive conversation with NewsX for its special series NewsX India A-List, Vvihan Gulati, Director, Mediagraphix PR, talks to us about his firm and PR industry in India.

Vvihan Gulati, Director of MediagraphixPR recently joined NewsX for an insightful conversation as a part of its special series NewsX India A-List and talked about his firm, it’s services and the PR industry in India.

Talking about his journey in the media industry and with Mediagraphix PR, Vvihan said, “My journey started in college in Symbiosis school of Economics, where I studied BA in Economics and I had this one subject in third year, economic journalism and I started writing an economics article, business article mainly. I spoke to a teacher about it and what was next, so she told me about the dissertation in the third year and I did a dissertation on Public Relations, where I studied a lot about brand positioning, PR strategies, communication strategy and a lot many books in PR, at many PR agencies-local, domestic and international.”

He added, “A lot of research and I thought I should go forward and enter into Public Relations. I’m very thankful to my parents for giving me such great exposure and in 2011, I started working in the PR industry under the guidance and leadership of Neena Gulati, who is a PR veteran. My first exposure was into lifestyle clients, which is art, culture, music, books, fashion and beauty. I did it for a good three years and over the period of time, I thought now I should expand and do different verticals. So, first was healthcare where I helped one of my clients who’s into food testing labs and said, “Vvihan, I want to spread the news of food testing not only from B2B but to B2C as well”, so we created an awareness campaign called foodsafetyhelpline.com. From there, it was a journey of five years and we created a lot of articles and we spread those articles to the public and everyone. From publications, we did a lot of publicity for them and one day he called and said, “Vvihan, I got a call from the CEO of FSSAI, we now have to provide solutions to them”, so that was a great success story for us, gave five years of a PR strategy. From there is I thought, now let me enter into technology, so my first client into technology was Skullcandy, Skullcandy headphones, then next was nude audio, Puma headphones and we started expanding more. We entered into pharmaceutical and ranged it out into promising startups. In 2015, we entered into startups. In 2016, we had two-three startups. We started learning how the startup culture is working and in 2017-2018, we are working with only promising startups where we are providing out and out PR strategies to them, which includes investor relations to publicity, the overall communication strategies. So, that’s my overall journey and my journey with Mediagraphix PR”.

Speaking about the services that his clients can expect from him and his firm, Vvihan said, “Well, clients can expect full heart services which is high energy, passion and great connects. Our purpose is, we tell influential stories, we work closely with our clients 24/7 to ensure their stories are relevant and out these in the media. We provide good client servicing, great quality content and deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. Recently, we did a funding story of a client, leadsquared. It was a one or two day assignment. Monday he said, “Vvihan I am receiving 32 million dollars, I want to make it loud” and I thought okay, fine let me prepare a strategy. He tells me that I have only one day. On Monday, he tells the story, Tuesday we worked with the media and Wednesday it was out. Every publication covered it and you know the day was a proud moment for us, when a client appreciates our work and in one day how can you create a lot of activity. In 2020, we did another activity for a homegrown brand called Shinco, it’s a television brand and we did it around Diwali.

He further said, “We did a flash sale of selling 32 inches at 32*32 price INR and that was a hit campaign in the whole tech publications. Like, how can you sell a 32 inch at 32*32, so that kind of a strategy creates a lot of brand equity, creates brand awareness fast. So in the lockdown, the initial phases of the lockdown, what happened was that there was an increase in hand sanitisers. You know, the bubble for taking a lot of precautions, taking medicines, so my client said that there is no one who is doing hand sanitiser testing, everyone is making hand sanitizers, but there is no one doing the ratification, solutions and testing. So he has a website called testing labs and we provided a lot of awareness, content and we circulated it to many publications and every publication started talking about it. That is how he got a lot of traffic, increase in the website, people started inquiring, a lot of big organizations who’re preparing hand sanitizers started contacting him, how he was doing the testing. So, that was nice”.

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Talking about his portfolio and having homegrown brands and international clients, Vvihan said, “We have both. We have homegrown and international clients and my heart is for homegrown brands and doing this, thanks to PM Modi who has supported ‘Make in India’ brands and now if you see, in 2020, Indian brands are picking up more and I eagerly want to set up services to scale Indian brands because we’ll start selling in India but we see that Indian brands could go global and I am now seeing markets such as Singapore market raising their set of clients and startup culture wants to enter India. So, there are both domestic and international. Overall, I have one success story in 2020 which was, we started entering into the Singapore market in 2019. We started networking, mostly pitching and providing different services, familiarizing the publications in India and talking to our clients”.

Speaking about Covid and its impact on the PR industry in India, Vvihan said, “The initial phases was, what’s going to happen, are they going to change the editorial policies, are they going to space crunch? But, a lot of publications changed their policies. We saw drastic changes in publications and changing the whole setup. I have seen a rise digital PR and I think now digital will be the mainstream. A lot of publications made new products like webinars, panel discussions, Instagram live sessions, press meets happening on Zoom, launches happening on Zoom and a lot of online content is now going forward”.

Talking about a lockdown lesson this year, Vvihan said, “Well, I believe that everyone has a skill and they aren’t aware of the skill. The human brain is a learning machine, stick with it. I learn something new everyday and for me 2020 was studying what are the gaps in my organization and provide it with a tech solution. Now, my company is tech oriented and we have a lot of solutions in technology, based on whatever research we are doing with the softwares. Including gaps, we have implemented our CRM software database, tracking and using many softwares because now the news is digital. We need to provide communication strategy according to google.

Speaking about where he can see himself in the next two years, Vvihan said, “Well, promoting more homegrown brands and tapping into more international markets, Singapore specifically and mostly South Asia”.

Talking about his 2021 resolution, Vvihan said, “So, my new year resolution is simple. 365 days of self-love, self-care and self-development”.

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