Allow me to take you back to 1998.
The digital industry in India was in the nascent stages.Every mother dreamed of their child getting a secure job. Children from business backgrounds naturally joined their father’s business. Very few companies were aware of the uses and need of a website. Internet speeds were slow and smartphones didn’t exist. Some of us entered the rat race and pursued post graduation, others took on the reigns of their parent’s legacy. One boy, ventured out to pursue a vision. He started Kwebmaker in a garage along with one member.
Today, 18 years later, DHANANJAY ARORA, founder CEO – Kwebmaker
has built a rich digital legacy.
He is one of the forerunners of digital innovations in India. Kwebmaker has grown to a full-service Digital Agency headquartered in Mumbai with branch offices in USA and Denmark. The company has over 2000 clients and 5 global partners in India, UK, Sweden, Denmark and the US. Between 2011 & 2013, it won 4 awards and over 10 nominations.
Read on to know more about this visionary …
I know him for the past 23 years and have seen him grow from a class fellow to a professional who has taken bold strides as an entrepreneur. The first thing that strikes you about Dhananjay is his winsome smile. His warm personna coupled with the confidence in his eyes tells you that your brand is safe in his hands.
Home & office in the South Mumbai your life seems like a fairy tale…
(laughs…) I had a very simple childhood. Though we were fortunate to have enough money always, my parents ensured that my upbringing was minimalistic. They kept us grounded and focussed on instilling the right values. They gifted us virtues of respecting others, being honest and believing in God.
Was there an incident that changed your perspective towards life?
I failed in grade 9 not because I was academically poor but because I was a really distracted teenager. Repeating a grade made me serious and focussed towards my life.
Why did you choose this field as a career? When did you decide that your passion will turn into your profession?
I discovered my love for computers back in 1993. The first time I used a computer, I knew that I would pursue a career that directly connected to computers. A gut feeling told me that digital was the future. (though my family was into textiles). During my graduation, I pursued a lot of courses in computers right from designing to coding to even hardware assembling. After my graduation, in 1998, the World Wide Web was the new thing everyone discovered. I loved it so much that I knew this would be my dream venture.
Life of an entrepreneur can be tough…
Yes…it is. Here is what I believe: each time you are low, you can either feel like a victim and play the blame game or take the learning, dust yourself and keep walking. The strength of GOD made me keep walking relentlessly.
Is Dhananjay the boss different from Dhananjay the family man?
As a professional, I am a go-getter and task master. I am result-oriented and possibly bit impatient. On the personal front, I am far more relaxed, composed, understanding and patient.
What does a typical day look like?
I love spending quality time with my family. So, morning is a cup of tea with my wife just before I rush into a crazy working day. The day is dotted with client meetings, team huddles and the usual work related stuff. I return home and go for a walk – it is a great way to exercise, feel refreshed and catch-up with quality time with family.
Tell us about your relationship with Krishna…
I surrender to HIM. He is my friend, philosopher, guide and everything.
There is no me, there is only HE.
Lord Krishna is my role model. I try to be calm and cool like him – he says in the Bhagwad Gita – do your work, but be unattached. I try my best to follow him and his teachings. I believe in surrendering 100% to the Lord.
My mantra: Live & Let Live
Any message for the readers…
If you want to be successful then hard work, sincerity, discipline and persistence matters. Giving your 100 percent in everything you do, counts the most.
You married your college mate…what role does she play in your success?
Pinky is a great pillar for my career. She is my best friend; a guide who helps me in my life and career.
Please share the Kwebmaker journey…
– 2 to 100 member story
– Started from a garage in 1998
– I went door to door using contacts from the Telephone Directory
– I made my first website & logo on my own
– In early 2000, we shifted to our own rented space
– 2004, we had to move to a bigger space
– Finally, in 2010, we shifted to our own office
– The saga of winning awards began in 2011
– 2011 – best portal of the year (Meals-On-Wheels)
– 2012 – best e-commerce site of year (hitplay)
– 2012 – best e-commerce site of the year (itsourstudio)
– 2013 – best e-commerce site of the year (itsourstudio)
– 2016 – 100 member team with 2000 clients and an international presence
What is your vision?
I want to retire at 50 with a 300+ team housed in my own building. Kwebmaker aims to be the No.1 Digital Agency in India in times to come. I believe Digital will be the Future of Developed India and I want to be seen amongst the top in this industry making a difference in the years to come.
Some testimonials that back this man of steel
“Dhananjay’s vision n goal is always set from the Day 1. He knows what he wants to do.
Very Spirited boy and very talented from beginning. Always a favourite among his colleagues and team members. I wish him a very fabulous life ahead!”
– Bejan Daruwala
“Dhananjay is a perfect example of a leader and not a boss. He is an inclusive leader who leads us with the blessings of Lord Krishna. I have learned a lot from him. He empowers his people and that is what makes him a great leader.”
– Sonia Hasabnis, colleague
“In his twenties, DJ was clear about what he wanted to achieve. He started small with large ambitions. I am very proud that I am part of his team right from the beginning. Today we have investors and VCs lining up to support us without us even asking for it. I am sure that by 2020 we will be one of the top 10 IT companies of India under his able leadership”
– Praveen Gawade, colleague since inception
– As told to Mayura Amarkant
If this story touched your heart, do let me know in the comments section. Don’t forget to spread the positivity by sharing the post.
This is the 18th interview in the #StayInspired series. Here are the rest:
- #StayInspired – 1: Dreams keep people alive
- #StayInspired: Marriage is a warm & intimate cocoon
- #StayInspired: Born today, 4 Inspiring people
- #StayInspired: When I was 13, my grandma wanted to marry me off
- #StayInspired: God rejected my death
- #StayInspired: Meet the Dhoni of Indian Corp Comm & PR
- #StayInspired: He is the original TaxiMan of India.
- #StayInspired: The ‘Vamana’ of Alternative Medicine
- #StayInspired: Making Indian education ‘student-friendly’: Meet the new-age Lord Macaulay
- #StayInspired: Ram Kamal Mukherjee – Beyond Bollywood and Biographies.
- #StayInspired: “Story-telling is my life breath” Karaan Guliani director, Sarvann