At a time when his friends were lining up for job interviews, Harshil Karia, all of 20, decided to start his own company, FoxyMoron, a digital media agency. “I had done internships, but never taken up a full-time job. I looked upon it as a challenge to prove myself. Plus, I was very independent, and so decided to start my company and see how it fructified. It was a gamble,” says Karia
Five years later, it is safe to say the gamble was worth it. From a four-member company, FoxyMoron today employs 100 people, who service around 80 clients. The company provides end-to-end digital solutions, right from designing websites to handling their social media strategy and even creating mobile apps.
“Generation Y looks to social media for anything and everything,” says Karia, “This could be because of the sheer volume of information available, the reliability of such information, and even to stay in touch with current trends. Along with that, social media providing the youth something that they’ve been longing for years — a voice. Be it the opening of a new coffee shop, cricket, social issues or politics, we can now convey our opinion to the world. The youth now has a weapon that even the largest company in the world is afraid of. One angry tweet can snowball and explode into a worldwide story. I find this incredibly powerful because social media is the only medium where the thoughts of a billion people can be aggregated as a single voice.”
According to Karia, the one thing that marks the Indian social networking scene from the rest of the world is the fact that a majority of the users here are consumers of social content rather than creators. For instance, the number of people who create YouTube videos is far lesser than the number of people who view it. The number of people creating videos is much higher in western countries. “That’s why social media companies like FoxyMoron have to be more watchful who we are targeting. We look to address the influencers, as they are more important than pure consumers,” says Karia.
The main challenge of running a social media agency is to create a skilled workforce, says Karia. The field requires not just technical abilities but also people who can imagine the possibilities of social media. Being young and active user of the medium can help, but at times youth goes against Karia while making a pitch to clients. “People start questioning your maturity, dedication, and whether you are in it for the long haul. In such cases you appeal to people who don’t have a problem with your age, and then try and prove your point in the long run.”