Founder and Creative Director
VictoryTales with its objective to bring inspiring personalities from around the world and to share their inspiring journey, this time we are introducing Ms Simran Sahni, Founder & Creative Director of the “Goddess”. Simran started Goddess because she believes that women are equally, if not more creative. But sadly, the industry is dominated by only male creative stalwarts. Not only does Goddess seek to canvas meaningful content and campaigns for women targeted brands, but also desires to impact the highly precarious position that women hold in today’s new age India. As a young girl Simran was always enamoured by the power of advertising and how creativity could give definition and identity to inanimate brands. Simran also has determined that in today’s changed idealistic scenario, she can be a game changer, by not typecasting but understanding the new dreams and aspirations of women around the world.
Simran is an army kid and have travelled a lot due to her father’s postings. So right from the beginning, at home every time she moved to a different place, made new friends and un-packed our boxes, it opened a new world within her. She guesses much of her inclusivity and opening boxes spirit comes from there. Having worked for over 17 years on top brands like NOKIA, LAYS, BOOST, PEPSI, SAMSUNG, across the top agencies in the country like LOWE, JWT, BATES, CHEIL and having won golds and slivers awards at the most prestigious advertising festivals across the world. Cannes, Cleo, Adfest… She believes she still needed to open more boxes!
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Goddess Advertising is India’s only, all-female creative boutique and powerhouse lead, managed, and defined by women challenging the rigid norms of a massively male dominated industry.
“I started Goddess because I believe that women are equally, if not more, creative. But sadly, the industry is dominated by only male creative stalwarts. I often wondered what was keeping strong, capable and super creative women away from the limelight?
We seek to canvas meaningful content and campaigns for women targeted brands, but also desires to impact the highly precarious position that women hold in today’s new age India.
“As a young girl I was always enamoured by the power of advertising and how creativity could give definition and identity to inanimate brands. I remember watching sanitary napkin ads where the girls wore tight white pants and climbed rocks, and always wondered WHY?? Why would any woman with cramps and heavy bleeding want to do this stunt? In today’s changed millennial scenario, we can be game changers, by not typecasting but understanding the new dreams and aspirations of women”.
“But we are not feminists, we are empowerists! It’s not that we only work on women brands, we work across brands that excite us, have strong stories to tell, because we always come from a space of emotional intelligence and defining aesthetics”.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship over a job?
One day I was sitting at a high-profile meeting with at least 20 senior planning and accounts people in the room. After I had made the creative presentation, each one had a speaking role, on how this idea does not work, is too far ahead of its time, is too clever, is not what the client will buy, can we tone it down, can we reimagine it, It’s great but… Now, I have an irrational fear of what follows the word ‘BUT”, Cause then it makes everything before the BUT irrelevant. And sitting there listening to the cacophony of opinions, I realized that this is not what I want. If I have to work so hard, first on the idea, second on convincing 20 people, then third, I’d rather work hard for myself and go convince the client myself.
What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e. what’s your source of motivation?
Each morning looks like an empty canvas to me. And the sheer possibilities of how I can fill that canvas is super exciting. And when you are always thinking what more, how else, what colors, what shape, what words to give to your painting, it’s like an auto-pilot-motivation mode. Also song lyrics, humor, observing the daily grind, the routine, when someone says something which triggers something totally unexpected in your head, all these are wow,
During this COVID-19 crisis, what are the measures you have undertaken to continue your business without disruption?
As the business is born during the COVID-19 crisis, each measure is taken to ensure that the model aligns with the challenges of the pandemic.
Our business model consists of a lean team which is not resource-heavy and has minimal overheads.
The freelancer model ensures each & every work can be handled remotely, where we don’t need to do physical meetings.
Every aspect of the business is online and tech-enabled to ensure automation as much as possible.
What challenges/obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
The biggest challenge we face as a creative agency, is when you want to go after the Big Clients, They are: Hey your ideas are great, but… the proverbial but, how large is your team? Do you have a planner? how many people in servicing? And of course, as a start-up, one doesn’t have the luxury of a ‘Vanir-sena’, so you lose out. And on then the smaller clients, they are: Hey your ideas are great, but why is your cost so high, if we pay a big agency X rupees you should be charging 70% less! Dear clients, we are charging for the idea, for the quality we bring to the table. And if you don’t pay us then how will we become big and if we don’t become big, we won’t be able to hire the Vanir sena you guys totally deserve. So, it is a Catch-22 situation, really.
What comes first for you - money or emotions?
I believe Emotions comes first in me.
How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?
Que Sera Sera! I have reached the stage where I just concentrate on the joy of creating, hustling, pushing aggressively and passionately. Beyond that the universe takes over, and I sit back, listen to music, dance, meet friends, family, paint, cook and write.
What is one strategy that you believe has helped you grow as a person/ start up?
Fall. Get up. Go. Repeat. This is one strategy I believe has helped me.
In your opinion what are the keys to success?
Success is very hard to define, to be honest. For me getting a script out just like I had seen it, is success. Or a coming up with an idea, that even I thought I was not capable of this success. It’s transitory. Success every day. It’s a journey.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur?
GRIT and BELIEF in the morning and WINE and MUSIC and LAUGHS in the evening can take you further than even what you envisaged. There is no other way.