Select Page

Instead of going round and round, trying to wrap truth in complex language, I will be straight-forward: I left Delhi because I had failed, miserably. But a different kind of success awaited me in a small town in Punjab.

Despite being “gifted” as a creative person (a graphic designer, writer, photographer and an illustrator) I could not cope up with Delhi anymore. I had shifted companies and my new bosses (both of them) were major assholes. Understandably, I stopped going to work one fine day. Without notifying them. I didn’t think they deserved it. When they approached me I told them it wasn’t working out. It was that simple.

But it was a dangerous time to quit your job. Especially when you were recently married. There were no openings around. I rejected half the job offers that came my way and the other half rejected me.

Then I thought of starting my own advertising agency. It sounded like a glamorous idea.

So I rented some office space in South Delhi and started working on my own. I got one client, very easily, but they didn’t pay enough. I was creatively satisfied, but broke, unable to pay my bills and support my family. Returning home was the only option left. We packed our lives in a car and drove all night from Delhi to Punjab, me and my wife. It was a pleasant journey. We entered Punjab at dawn. We felt relieved like never before. Delhi does that to you. Delhi stresses you out and makes you get used to it. Leaving that monster was like leaving all your burdens behind. We looked forward to a pollution-free, slow paced, happy and satisfying life in a small town.

I started working from home. Within a few months I was being talked about as “the best designer” in town. I started the trend of making original logos and charging money for it. Every top business in the town knew about me. It felt great to change the way advertising was done in my hometown. My experience of working with the biggest brands in India (Sony, HBO, Philips, Taj Hotels) came in handy and soon I helped build dozens of brands.

Were I in Delhi today, I might be earning twice or five times my last salary, but chances are… I’d still be working around assholes, working inefficiently, trying to feed egos of a few, and predominantly doing what I was supposed to do, rather than what I loved to do! And even after all these compromises, I would be faceless employee who thought he was doing his “dream job” but was actually doing worse than a “9 to 5” job, if you know the timings of advertising agencies.

What’s my point? It’s one simple thing: Today, your physical location is of least importance. If you have a talent, a strength, a product or a service that actually “makes sense” you do not have to be in New Delhi or Bombay. Kotkapura works just fine. Here is some of the work I did between 2014 to 2015 – the first year of my startup in a small town.

Since then, I have helped transform businesses into brands and helped them make a mark in the marketplace. I have put a lot of my leaning here on this blog and intend to share a lot more here.

Related Reading

Icons and Logos While studying logo design in college, we often argued about the differences between icons and logos, but we could almost never reach on a clear-cut consensus. But over the last few years, the difference has become very stark. Here are my very simple observations on the topic. Are icons different f...
How to build a brand in a small town Small town branding can be tricky, if it's not rocket science. But here are a few things to keep in mind if you are trying to create a brand while operating out of a small town. Foremost is the business selection. Markets in small towns are unorganized. For example, a confectionery shop is also s...
Mistakes Startup Companies Make First years are for mistakes. And as a startup, you are going to make many mistakes. At least you don't have to make the following ones. Going after money in the first year First years are the golden years when a startup toils and learns its lessons. First years are for investment and reinvestment...
9 Things a startup must do! 1. Fill a gap in the market. Do not sell popcorn if everybody is selling popcorn. Sell what people would love to have with popcorn, after popcorn, or before popcorn. Mineral water? Softdrinks? Ice cream? Or is there a shake you can invent. Find opportunity in the gaps. Me-too businesses are hard to...
Free Logo Design: A Suicide Note Free Logo Design Many entrepreneurs search Google for "free logo design" for their startups. They pick a free logo maker website and select a logo from the many options generated by a computer program. They do not realize that a free logo can cost you dearly in the future. Free logos are gre...