It’s a lovely feeling to sit with Asa Ferreira while she passionately discusses her work over a cup of coffee. All of 23, she’s successfully heading a digital agency in Pune that recently celebrated its first anniversary, and the glow on her face, when you point this out says everything there is to know about what she feels about being an entrepreneur. When we had first requested the Founder of Socio Loca for an interview, we had no idea it’d be this fun. Excerpts from the tête-à-tête…
“Founder of Socio Loca” How does this make you feel today?
GOOD! Managing a team of young, amazing people who love building amazing brands, there is no way anyone won’t have any fun!
What made you start out on your own?
I guess it was the possibility for endless personal progress, which would eventually grow to be an organic extension of me. This is what I had in mind when I first started off, and I’m glad to know I’m proving myself to be right.
I worked in a similar digital setup, found myself overflowing with ideas and wanted the bandwidth to handle things in a particular manner. I saw tremendous scope for creativity in how one can communicate, what company cultures can be instilled, what ideas can be pursued, how to empower others and so on. Plus, I get to push my comfort zone literally every day and that’s a fantastic opportunity.
Rewind to college. Did you ever think you’d be ruling the Pune market with top notch clients?
(laughs) Honestly, in college, I focused more on how to get to a lecture at the other end of town at 7 am after a night of endless TV series. Back then I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but my ideas weren’t this specific. I was 21 and just out of college when I started Socio Loca. I must give all credits to my father who started his business when he was 20 and has been doing brilliantly ever since. Couldn’t have done it without him!
I worked in a similar digital setup, found myself overflowing with ideas and wanted the bandwidth to handle things in a particular manner.
How has Pune been so far?
Pune is one of the biggest hubs for talent owing to a large number of colleges in the city. I personally love the friendly climate and the vibrant outlook here. Digital Marketing is growing at a rapid pace too.
But Pune has the potential to accommodate more and reach a point where the number of experienced professionals looking for a job in advertising is much higher. Hiring staff in a market as small as this gets challenging. There’s a long but sure shot at Pune going the metro way once the lag in city infrastructure and systems starts resolving.
Do you think people don’t take women entrepreneurs seriously in this country?
Not entirely. There was a time when women weren’t taken seriously in the Indian society as entrepreneurs. A tiny handful of bold women slowly but surely led the way over the years, setting examples for prospective young women entrepreneurs. It’s definitely been a challenge, but who doesn’t love a healthy challenge every now and then? If not, we’d be bored to death on a daily basis!
What are the problems you’ve faced as a woman entrepreneur here in Pune?
Nada, I swear. Nothing comes to mind. General issues that both men and women face like finances, time management, delegation, social pressures etc. come to mind but nothing in particular due to the gender.
How has the journey changed you?
At the onset, saying “No” was a challenge, time management was a task and delegation of work was easier said than done.
Nevertheless, I’m loving this opportunity and have realised there’s no former reason needed to pursue it other than genuine enjoyment of building something I love!