Monday 16 February 2015

OUR DRUNKEN DREAM... (On Six Degrees PR turning six)

by Zacharia James (Zach), Managing Partner & Co-Founder 

We’d given ourselves two years. I believe if one is on to something good, that timeline is adequate to assess the probability of success. A few years ago Rishi and I met over a drink, it was one of those nights where one drink was just right, two was too many and three were too few, so we turned superheroes and took it upon ourselves to bring greater respect to the PR profession in India. The next morning, when sober we quickly lowered our aim just so that we could reach our goal and avoid disappointment. We decided to build a company that would be the most respected PR firm in the country. I continue to use alcohol, Rishi and Karan to make business decisions more so the tough ones - my conscience though is clean as I’ve never used it. Six Degrees completes six years and I know, I speak on behalf of the team when I say we are proud of what we have achieved and are happy that our journey, though a long  one, is a journey well begun.

When we create for oneself or for others is what I believe gives meaning to life and for me, my journey at Six Degrees and Alphabet has helped me realise just that. However, what continues to keep me motivated at work is the daily learning the team makes possible. They say, you can only be as good as your team and I’ve been lucky to have a team that makes me look better than I really am – that proposition is tough to beat. Our journey has had its share of challenges – in the initial years there were times we felt nobody cared until we missed a couple of EMIs. There were periods I’m sure you too couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel but let me assure you, it was turned off due to budget cuts. Challenges required us to change and that played an important role in our success. Our ability to respond to market needs and make changes of the status quo have proven to be a differentiator. These changes can be seen in our service offering or in the younger talent that’s driving the company today – you have to step back at times to connect (at Rishi and my age, our backs go out more often than we do). Every change we’ve made has been well accepted by most and there were those that didn’t but I’ve learnt never to argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

These six years wouldn’t have been easy without the explicit support of our anchor clients, many of who have been with us from the beginning of our journey. I am grateful to them and all our other clients for helping us realise our drunken dream and helping us sail through this journey and not the first two years alone. The next few months and years are going to be even more exciting - change will be a constant as we haven’t given up drinking. Finally, I thank each one of you for your contribution in helping us realize the success and I encourage you to continue to do a  great job and never quit or lose sight of our goal of being the most respected PR firm in the country. If quitters never win, and winners never quit, I definitely don’t want to be the fool that will, "Quit while you're ahead".

Happy birthday to each one of you and all the best.

- Zach.