Gratitude: First 10+ Founding Team, PULSEPLAY DIGITAL PRIVATE LIMITED | Dharamshala | Himachal Pradesh | India
Why write this now?
1. To thank our clients and brands for trusting us
2. To reflect
3. To document our journey
4. To share our experiences with those planning to embark on their own
5. To connect and collaborate with like-minded start-ups and brands
6. To connect and collaborate with influencers, though leaders, team members and potential candidates
Thank you and gratitude to our clients and brand teams for trusting
Thank you for trusting our start-up digital, social, media, performance, tech, content, creative team at PULSEPLAY DIGITAL serving you from the laps of Himalayas. We will continue to strive every day to earn your trust and do everything possible to make your brands succeed and dreams/goals become a reality. We are just getting started. You inspire us every step of the way to bring more value in all things we collaborate on. THANK YOU. This is only possible because of you. Our team exists to serve you
better every single day.
A seed sown and a dream born
Shruti and I got married in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India in February 2011. Since the day we set foot in Dharamshala, with our Baraati (marriage procession) – friends and family from Pune to Dharamshala, we instantly fell in love with Dharamshala – it’s culture, it’s people and everything it has to offer. My (late) brother Raj, my brother Anup, Sujata (now Anup’s wife) and my sister Sangeet; on the wedding day, driving from Naddi to Dharamshala started discussing – won’t it be great to move here and live close to nature immersed in 5 elements? We all said yes, we must live in Dharamshala, some day.
Post marriage, Shruti and I left back for USA where I had been living and working for some time. Shruti got her visa done and we arrived at Provo, Utah. That story is for another day. We kept discussing and making plans of buying a plot of land and living in Dharamshala someday.
Shruti and I decided to move to Dubai, UAE. We will always remain grateful for the opportunities, workplace environment, family, friends, colleagues and people in Dubai, UAE.
Proximity between Dubai and India helped us in visiting India frequently. After a lot of search and due diligence we finally bought a plot of land in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. We remain grateful to Shruti’s father Mr. Umesh Thapa and mother Mrs. Sushma Thapa (my father and mother in-laws) for their constant support and encouragement in getting us the right plot of land. This is a big deal in India – buying a plot of land due to all the running around,legal formalities in title search report, especially when you are not based in India etc.
Shruti and Shanaya (our daughter) had already moved to Dharamshala. Both loved it in the laps of Himalayas and did not want to move back to Dubai.
We had plans to build the resort on the land we had bought in Dharamshala. With Covid-19 news coming in, it was as if a sign from up above to postpone construction work. We waited. Shruti and Shanaya were in Dharamshala with Shanaya’s remote classes in progress. I was in Dubai working remotely from home.
Shruti, I and family started discussing what if we still stuck to our plans of permanently moving our base to Dharamshala and instead of building a resort, pivot to launching a digital services company alongside getting into organic farming from the beautiful Dharamshala. I spoke to my mentor and guide honorable and beloved Prof. (Col.) A. Balasubramanian, who gave his blessings and helped us weigh in the pros and cons and finally said yes – ‘Go ahead’. Prof. Bala Sir left for his heavenly abode on 20 th February 2021. I owe everything to beloved Bala Sir. I will share in a separate post, in detail how I first met Bala Sir and what positive life changing Bala Sir has had in my life.
So, I resigned, started to wind up and after serving a three months’ notice at my workplace, I finally moved to Dharamshala and 4 th November 2020. For those in India, this was the day for Karwa Chauth festivity. For those who may not be aware, in India, on this day, the wife fasts for the whole day, does austerities, and prays for the well-being, health, and long life of her husband. Shruti fasted the whole day and I was finally home, in India, after spending almost two decades or so outside of India.
We started working on the finer details for our company registration and launch. We also started experimenting with organic farming on the same plot of land and enjoyed harvesting of fresh organic onions, radish, and a few other vegetables. We had always wanted Shanaya to be involved with mother earth and nature. More on this experience of building a relationship with mother earth and nature later.
25 January 2021, Company Formation
We decided to incorporate a Private Limited company, which has it’s own set of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA); other legal requirements in the India. This took a bit of time, and we finally registered our company – PULSEPLAY DIGITAL PRIVATE LIMITED on 25 th January 2021. For anyone who may be looking to set up a Private Limited company in India and looking for some tips, we will be glad to share.
First 10 Founding Team Members at
PULSEPLAY DIGITAL PRIVATE LIMITED
Shruti and I didn’t have to look far for our first set of founding team members at PULSEPLAY DIGITAL. I had been speaking with my parents and my brother Anup and sister Sangeet. Anup agreed to join us and help set up the creative/ content/ production team. Anup brings 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, digital story telling – videos, corporate, documentaries, animation, and photography. In fact, Anup and his wife Sujata decided to support us fully by moving their base from Pune, Maharashtra, India to Dharamshala along with their beautiful daughter Samaira. Sujata also started helping with finance and recruiting functions. Serendipities galore – Shanaya and her cousin sister Samaira just loved each other’s company. Vlog for another day. Our family remains grateful to our parents – Mr. D.B. Rai and Mrs. Sukhmaya Rai for instilling in us the work ethic and enabling us to always dream big. Will share their inspiring journey – blog for another day.
We shortlisted a few candidates and one fine morning, Ranjeet Sharma, walked in for interview at our office. We aligned and in Ranjeet we got our tech expert leader for all things tech. Ranjeet brings 8+ years of full stack web, architecture global experience. Ranjeet started to work on our website and building out the tech team expansion plans.
Shruti suggested we visit one of the local Dharamshala graphics training Institute, from where we got in touch with Surya Chauhan. Anup interviewed Surya. Surya agreed to join. Anup and Surya then started to work on our logo, creative, brand voice, social calendar, etc.
29 April 2021 - We are open for business
The above video was released (We were a team of 5 at that time), our website was launched and we were open for business on 29th April 2021.
A few of our friends who were in the know, started referring us a few clients and thus started our work. Interesting experiences of working with the newly minted team and delivering on a few projects as a team. Our PulsePlay Digital’s website got delayed as we prioritized our clients’ business launches and digital mandate. Right thing to do. Anup and I travelled extensively for onsite brand- team, product shoots during the peak of Covid-19 in March and April 2021 to Pune, Delhi NCR, Agra, Etah, many locations in Uttar Pradesh – the heart of Bharat and India. We both got Covid-19 positive and came back to our base in Dharamshala and gave Shruti Covid-19. We quarantined ourselves. Anup took care of me literally – heat up the water, serve fresh herbal tea from our clients we had shot for and brought products for further photo video shoot – www.omcorganic.com , make Kadha, while we locked ourselves indoors – s and continued working through Covid with digital edits, corporate and brand digital story-telling edits, animation, etc. I must say, despite of being his brother and me being partial, he earned my respect and clients’ as well. Anup contributed sweat equity in the building of PULSEPLAY DIGITAL. We remain witness. Take a look at the documentary onsite, in the backdrop of the beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, digital story telling – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY0Q-W8q_yA. Ranjeet alone built the entire website d2c e-commerce enabled, integrated it with the payment gateway, integrated it with the shipping marketplace for d2c, we tested the e-commerce orders rigorously and got the d2c brand live. Surya did an awesome work helping Anup with all the graphics, creatives, content, etc. The OMC Organic team supported us through this entire process.
Did we risk our lives – we perhaps did. We value integrity- we keep our word. That’s a blog for another day or perhaps a vlog.
Rishi Sippy joined Ranjeet’s team to help with tech. Rishi referred his college friend Sushant Katoch, who was happy to join. Meanwhile, shortlisting of candidates kept happening and we kept interviewing candidates.
Team from Himachal Pradesh vs. rest of India/World
Shruti is from Dharamshala, Himachal. I, Anup and Sujata grew up in Pune, but we’ve now moved lock, stock and barrel to Dharamshala. In the winter of February 2011, is when we first visited Dharamshala and saw the dream of living immersed in nature and five elements. The dream is now taking roots and bearing fruits. We have big dreams for PULSEPLAY DIGITAL team and teams’ families and the whole of Dharamshala community and ecosystem build.
For Ranjeet Sharma, Surya Chauhan, Rishi Sippy, and Sushant Katoch – Himachal Pradesh is native.
Our first preference is and always perhaps will be to grow our local community talent ecosystems with the prime reason being to stop the migration to cities.
While we looked at candidates locally, we had to bring in talent from anywhere across India who were willing to work from the laps of Himalayas. While many experienced candidates interested to leave the city madness and move to a serene natural environment – were sincerely looking to take up the roles offered, we as a startup could only manage to offer a package that wouldn’t be practical for them as it would mean taking a pay cut. But again, Dharamshala, living expenses cannot be compared to the city living expenses. For comparison one could rent a single room, kitchen, bath for Rs.4000 – Rs.5000 per month in Dharamshala compared to Rs.12000 – Rs.20000 rent per month depending upon the metro.
Here is a poll I ran to get a feel on LinkedIn
Aanchal Mahajan moved to Dharamshala from Delhi NCR and joined the team to help Anup and the creative team move forward on all things motion graphics, 3D animation and up our creative game.
Sougata Debnath moved to Dharamshala from Kolkata, West Bengal, a creative enthusiast who displayed great attitude and willingness to learn, join the team and help with creative and graphics.
Mr. Jayant Mendjogi agreed to lead the CX, CRM and Business Processes functions and bring his vast 30+ years of experience to partner with our start up and D2C clients’ brands for all things process efficiency.
We are starting to see – If you build it. They will come.
Three for now.
1. How do we compete for talent to join us at Dharamshala?
While there is a tremendous talent war being fought by the moneys and funds made available in the product startup ecosystem; the classical IT services companies and brands themselves.While remote work and freelancing is pragmatic and a rage. While the fear of covid-19 is still a reality.
2. How do we compete for projects in India and globally?
We have not yet started to aggressively market. We are now focusing on building a solid foundation – a world class talent team, capability (skills) and capacity (width and depth to deliver) of teams across creative, content, VFX, AR/VR, immersive, gaming, performance marketing, media buy, tech – web, mobile, emerging tech, data and analytics, product builds. Basically, all things value creation.
3. Why can’t the teams be remote for a digital first company?
We continue to debate this a lot. Being in Dharamshala, we experimented this a bit when Anup and I travelled to Pune and the rest of the team continued working in Dharamshala. We registered the delivered outputs, time taken, meeting, other things. We then came back to Dharamshala and worked under the same roof. When we compared the results – we figured we were able to deliver 5X output. No managers in this mix, only doers. Reasons could have been many, but we liked the in-person interactions and quick turnarounds. Remote work benefits are many, and we will move that model soon as we start gaining scale and opening offices in other metros – but those will be more of a sales office vs. digital delivery center of excellence which we aspire to build in Dharamshala. For now, we’ll steer off this topic and more update later. This will be a great experiment to see how tech, creative, media, ad ops teamwork and deliver in a remote vs. in person work environments.
How do we nurture and build talent in the laps of Himalayas?
How do digital services start up like PULSEPLAY DIGITAL reach, attract, hire, grow and retain
talent locally in Dharamshala?
The answer(s) could be:
1. Hire experienced teams who will train, mentor interns
Here are a few open positions https://pulseplaydigital.com/careers/ . We are growing aggressively and please keep checking or send us your resume on firstname.lastname@example.org for future roles.
2. Onboard Interns and train
a. Creative: Onboard interns locally from Graphics, Animation Institutes
b. Tech: Onboard interns locally doing their last term/semester or completed their Master’s in Computer Application (MCA) and Bachelor’s in Computer Application (BCA)
c. Content: Onboard interns locally who have completed their Master’s in Journalism, Media and who have a flair for words written and/or spoken, story telling
d. Ad Ops/Media Buy: Onboard interns who’ve completed graduation and are tech, media savvy
To bring the focus back to our True North – DHARAMSHALA and Himachal Pradesh in all our conversations, interactions with clients, potential candidates, teams. We have set out to develop Talent locally in the laps of Himalayas.
Our Plug – 10+ and beyond – Help us build a world class Team
These are the questions we ask of potential candidates – Both Experienced and Fresh Interns
1. DHARAMSHALA – would you love to live immersed in 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) and work on world class brands and projects from the laps of Himalayas?
2. Would you love to put in your sweat equity while we build the mothership tech, creative, media, ad ops, digital first world class company from Dharamshala?
3. Do you want to create history? Help us move from a Services to a Product / Platform Value creation company?
Wave 1: Services
We will continue to build and invest in teams with
- Character (Integrity, Attitude)
- Capability (tech+creative aptitude, fresher + experienced)
- Commitment to Community Ecosystem Building
Build and launch the below waves 2, 3 in parallel to wave 1
Wave 2: Build an Incubation & Go-To-Market Hub: Products; Platforms;
IP; Business Models
We invite start-ups, stealth mode founders, our own PulsePlay Digital teams to share
- Product ideas, consumer business models, audience acquisition & retention
- Register new companies
– give equity to our teams, reward ideating founding teams with equity (external or internal to PulsePlay Digital)
- Spin-off different teams and build MVPs, test, gtm Bharat, India, world, iterate and scale
1. Chasing the most audacious dreams and goals in India/ Bharat / Global value creation as a Team. We’ve set forth on this journey with an audacious dream to bring the best projects and work from brands, startups, enterprise, government customers from all over India and the world to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
2. By doing this we aspire to grow our teams from 10+ to 100+ to 1000+ to 10000+ by bringing all things digital, tech, creative, media, emerging technologies, performance marketing, product consumer app builds at PULSEPLAY DIGITAL PRIVATE LIMITED.
3. From Dharamshala we dream of growing our offices to all metros of India and internationally to USA, Canada, South Americas, UAE, Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and ANZ.
4. The founding teams will take the culture, thinking, PULSEPLAY DIGITAL value creation DNA from Dharamshala to rest of the world.
We are just getting started
Shruti and I are excited to welcome our team of first 10+. Welcome aboard PULSEPLAY DIGITAL team – Anup, Sujata, Ranjeet, Surya, Rishi, Sushant, Aanchal, Sougata, Jayant and We are just getting started for the most exciting rides of our lives. Thank you for choosing us and for your amazing work ethic. We believe in you. Let’s go.
Our Founding Team is still being formed. We can use all the help we can get – potential candidates and clients/ brand teams.
You are welcome to write to us on email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or call us +91-9175100108 or meet virtually or drop in (plug) for a cup of organic herbal tea from our friends and clients www.omcorganic.com (Made in India – Herbal, Hibiscus, Dandelion, Tulsi Lemon, Chamomile, Moringa, Nettle Leaf, Pure Peppermint, Butterfly Pea, Chicory – alternative to caffeine) Encouraged with the initial customer response from all over India, the team is now launching very soon. an additional 29taking the total SKU / unique product offering from 11 to 40 certified USDA Organic and India Organic. Avail great offers online. View all video customer testimonials here – https://omcorganic.com/pages/customer-testimonials
With a healthy replacement of regular white sugar – value added jaggery from our friends and clients – www.drjaggery.com (Made in India – Chai Masala Jaggery Powder, Tripahala, Giloy, Cardamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Spicy Herbs Kadha, Black Pepper, Turmeric, Mint) For those interested please use discount code = drjaggery-deepak15 for 15% discount. Getting great customer feedback from all over India. Please view customer testimonials here – https://drjaggery.com/blogs/testimonials
To optimal health, value creation, growth, impact and amazing experiences. From the laps of Himalayas, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Deepak Rai and Shruti Thapa Rai
Co-Founders, PULSEPLAY DIGITAL PRIVATE LIMITED
Why did we start PulsePlay Digital now and in Dharamshala to serve clients all over India and World?
1. Below are few stats on Digital in India that are compelling.
Brief summary on Digital India footprint
- India had a population of 1.39 billion in January 2021.
- 48.0% of India’s population is female, while 52.0% of its population is male [note: the United Nations does not publish data for genders other than ‘female’ and ‘male’].
- 35.2% of India’s population lives in urban centres, while 64.8% lives in rural areas.
Internet users in India
- There were 624.0 million internet users in India in January 2021.
- The number of internet users in India increased by 47 million (+8.2%) between 2020 and 2021.
- Internet penetration in India stood at 45.0% in January 2021.
Social media statistics for India
- There were 448.0 million social media users in India in January 2021.
- The number of social media users in India increased by 78 million (+21%) between 2020 and 2021.
- The number of social media users in India was equivalent to 32.3% of the total population in January 2021.
Mobile connections in India
- There were 1.10 billion mobile connections in India in January 2021.
- The number of mobile connections in India increased by 23 million (+2.1%) between January 2020 and January 2021.
- The number of mobile connections in India in January 2021 was equivalent to 79.0% of the total population.
Note: many people have more than one mobile connection, so figures for mobile connections may exceed 100% of the total population.
2. Travelling into the heart lands of India shows promise and potential
Prior to and in early April 2021, PulsePlay Digital team travelled from Dharamshala & Pune respectively to Delhi to Agra to Etah and a few villages in Uttar Pradesh whereby the team met farmers engaged in contract farming for organic products at a massive scale. Farming communities are on digital and social platforms like never before and are actively listening, watching, interacting and connecting with potential vendors, companies and brands where they may supply their organic produce directly.
Speaking with multiple farming families and farmers and sitting down with them to speak in detail on how they see Digital unfold let us to believe in the positive story of India and it’s potential.
3. Educate, Employ and Empower local community in Dharamshala and India
The Founding Team at PulsePlay Digital believes in contributing back to the communities. Having lived and worked with global brands and clients across several continents and locations such as New York, Dubai, Singapore, London – the time seemed right to turn a page and embark on a new journey.
Below questions kept popping up consistently in almost all conversations:
- The question about coming back to the roots always was top of mind for the Founding Team at PulsePlay Digital.
- Can the youth of India in Tier-II, Tier-III cities be provided?
- world class working, learning and growth environment
- training and internships or employment opportunities
- hands on experience and exposure to work on some of the best in class- India and global projects and programs – within a walking distance of their homes and families where they grew up?
- Can revenue streams be created whereby entrepreneurs-in-residence could be mentored and dreams, startup ideas be funded and guided to scale within India and worldwide.
- Can a mentorship program be created within a world class company to help every team member achieve their true potential.
4. Life of Significance
Can we create a Life of Significance – whereby the best talents, dreamers and achievers from across India and the world would come to Dharamshala in the laps of Himalayas and spend a few days, weeks or months mentoring and guiding young talent to build products, services and solutions for the bottom of the pyramid demographics and build and inclusive community.
Can PulsePlay Digital become a platform and products company that can truly and positively impact all sections of the society.
Given the explosion of opportunities with the onset of fiber connectivity far and wide in India and extending to Bharat, many individuals are ceasing the opportunities to embark upon the entrepreneurial journey. As the India economy starts to show green shoots, post COVID-19 pandemic – the nation hopes the pandemic is behind us sooner than later. While many have taken up entrepreneurship, most remain on the sidelines due to lack on information on various aspects to starting a business in India. This piece of content is being produced to provide tips to get started launching a business. This article covers:
1. Why the time is now – to start up?
- COVID-19 has accelerated consumer adoption of digital across India and the world
- Magic of fiber optic and internet reaching critical mass
- Funding and mentorship ecosystem maturing in India
2. What does a good business plan comprise of?
a. Defining a problem statement
i. List out untapped opportunities. Under served markets
ii. Audience definition
- Per Capita
- Places of eminence (if physical business)
- Market size – current and potential.
b. Defining a solution statement
c. Defining a business model proposition
d. Defining product (or service), price, place (including Digital), promotion
e. Product market fit
f. Competitive strategy
g. Pricing strategy
h. Leadership/ founding team
i. Business KPIs and roadmap
- Unit economics
- Cost of customer acquisition
- Customer lifetime value (CLTV)
- Churn rate
- Retention rate
j. Finances and Capital
- Cost of capital
- Funding methods
- Financial projects
- Hyper scale scenarios
- ROI projections and assumptions
k. Go to Market Strategy
- Digital brand/business launch
- Selecting a digital partner
- Selecting a digital platform
3. Considerations for registering a company in India (specifically a Private Limited Company)
- Different types of companies to be registered
- Company PAN
- Company TAN
- Company GSTIN
- Director Identification Number – (DIN)
- Company current account
- Appointment of auditor
- Commencement of business
- Useful websites for more information and research
Our quest at PulsePlay Digital is to see how we can help 1000+ Start-Up Founders / Founding Teams to achieve their dreams and bring to life the ideas, add value to the communities, consumers and citizens of India and the world. We do not claim that working with us Founders will achieve success. But what we guarantee is we work with Founders in the trenches, shoulder to shoulder, as your extended team and take away all your worries related to digital and tech so Founders can focus on building the business.
PulsePlay Digital Private Limited works with Start-Up Founders working in the trenches, moonlighting, working in stealth mode or at any stage of the company formation. We bring in the digital go-to-market, scaling, creative, content, marketing, brand and business launch expertise.
PulsePlay Digital has been incorporated to support all stages and size of brands and organisations: stealth mode founders, start-up founders, small and medium businesses / MSMEs, enterprise businesses, governments and individual personalities, not for profit, etc.
Contact PulsePlay Digital to explore where and how can we collaborate to execute on your dreams, ideas, visions and digital agenda.