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Crackerjack: Offering design consultancy services

 
Mumbai-based Crackerjack is a multi-disciplinary communication design consultancy, offering innovative design solutions. This includes strategy, branding, concept design/development and its implementation and documentation.

Crackerjack was founded by Shilpa Bhandari in October 2010. SupportBiz spoke with Shilpa about Crackerjack and her entrepreneurial journey. Edited excerpts:

What are the basic services that you offer?

Our services span across multiple media like branding, taglines and mottos, brochures, advertising, corporate manuals, packaging, wedding invites, menus, e-mailers, websites and environmental design, among other things.

At the moment, we are focusing on specific industries like retail, education, SMEs, automotive, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, non–profit organizations, financial services, insurance, media and entertainment, IT and telecom, logistics, energy and utilities, food and beverages, travel and leisure.

We are also keeping track of some other industries like e-commerce and nanotechnology.

Which of your services would be of value to SMEs in India?

Big advertising firms in India have not been able to cater to SMEs completely, probably because they are already working with big industry players, thus leaving them with limited bandwidth and resources for SMEs. Also, the Indian SMEs sometimes cannot afford the fees charged by biggies. We aim at bridging this gap.

We provide customized 'bundled services' to SMEs in India, which are based on extensive research. These services are available at a reasonable price, and add a lot of value towards enhancing the brand of the SME. A customized bundled service could be a combination of any of the services we offer depending on the needs of the client, such as logo design, tagline and stationery, for instance.

What is your background?

I have a bachelors' degree in Commercial Art, after which I stepped into the world of advertising and graphic design in 2006. I worked with several renowned design studios in Jaipur and Mumbai and have been trained by the stalwarts of the communication design industry. I founded Crackerjack Visual Communication & Design in 2010. Later, I also completed a post-graduation in advertising, marketing and sales management.

How did you come up with the idea of starting Crackerjack?

In the course of my career, I realized that many big design studios were focusing on big accounts like FMCG, consumer durables, hotels and financial services. I felt that start-ups, SMEs, mom-and-pop stores, educational institutions as well as individual experts like doctors, lawyers and artists were being left out by them. This inspired me to serve the 'under-served' and/or 'un-served' market segments.

Crackerjack focuses just as much on these segments as it does on big corporate accounts.

What is your USP?

Crackerjack’s USP lies in consistently creating work that attracts, engages and has a complete recall value. We use contemporary graphic design language which often draws inspiration from the visual culture of India and sets it apart from the crowd.

How big is your team?

We have a core team of four people, including myself, a manager – Marketing & Business Development, a visualizer and a copywriter. We also have an advisory panel comprising of prominent professionals from the industry to drive the firm’s overall strategy and growth. We also have a team of freelancers and interns, who work on a project basis. We hire interns from B-Schools and other graduate-level students, too, for internship. Overall, the size of the team is about seven (excluding the advisory panel).

What is the approximate market size that you are targeting?

It is estimated that there are approximately 15-20 million SMEs spread across India. We are looking at targeting five percent of this market in the coming months.

What is the scope for SME branding and advertising in India?

Indian SMEs are gradually opening up to the concept of branding through various means like logos, stationery, tagline/motto, e-mailers and e-brochures. SMEs are also increasingly experimenting with emerging media platforms to reach out to their customers. With the advent of internet and e-commerce, the customer acquisition cost of SMEs has come down, and sohas the time to acquire a new customer. This has made some SMEs globally more competitive vis–a–vis others. In the next couple of years, this market is set to grow manifold.

What are the major challenges you face?

In terms of SMEs, major challenges include traditional mindset, lack of awareness on the branding front, non-willingness of SMEs to spend time and money and looking at advertising as an expense rather than as a value-addition.

What are your expansion plans?

Three years from now, I see my team expanding and our reach expanding to various geographical regions through online offerings. I hope to make a transition from a boutique to a full-service firm in the next three years, thus reducing our dependency on outside vendors. How do you market your business? We do a combination of online and offline marketing efforts - including our website, posting announcements and updates on social networking websites, actively participating in various conferences, participating in communication design-related competitions, joining online communities that our target customers use, listing ourselves in online directories, and via our newsletter Designosaur Bytes. We also get a lot of word-of-mouth publicity through existing clients and others.