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Corporate Woman

Published on: Feb. 22, 2022, 11:33 a.m.
Re-engineering ideas
  • Kanchwalla: writing and creating content were an innate part of my life

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

It’s no secret that the world has become increasingly digital over the last decade. Leveraging technology has not only made life convenient, but also created new forms of expression. The pandemic has further accelerated the explosion of digital in our lives, making digital solutions all-pervasive. Consequently, it has reiterated the need to build brands with a digital-first approach, led by content marketing, which is projected to grow by $417.85 billion from 2021 to 2025, increasing at 16 per cent CAGR, as per a recent Technavio report.  

In the ever-changing landscape of digital and social media, the nature of content has never remained still. “Currently, it’s dominated by bite-sized content,” says Zahara Kanchwalla, co-founder, Rite KnowledgeLabs, which was founded in 2016. “Be it memes, tweets, reels or micro-tales, it’s all about stories being told by the minute, in a minute. While the sugar rush of snackable content gives brands an attention high, it’s short-lived without promising retention and recall value. In addition, the temporary win rarely earns a brand any credibility”. The company has established itself as one of India’s only digital agencies focussing on thought leadership content.

In the wake of Covid-19, brands have realised afresh the importance of and the need for leadership content and purpose-led communication. “Enterprise-led content is a strategic asset to a company’s corporate reputation and brand building programme. It sits as an equally important channel, alongside marketing, advertising and influencer programmes,” adds Kanchwalla.

“This content not only attracts higher consumer engagement, but also more refined engagement,” she adds. “Besides, its credibility helps earn consumer trust. Put together, this converts into higher RoI, as compared to regular advertising-led content or media buying”. 

From coding to content

Despite belonging to a business family, Kanchwalla did not aspire to be an entrepreneur. She graduated in plastic engineering and also learnt software programming and coding. After that, her career took a detour towards communications, setting the foundation for her future in content. 

“While I began my career with coding and e-learning, it eventually panned out in marketing and communications at Tech Mahindra and thereafter as VP, content & publishing, Riteverses,” says Kanchwalla. “In these roles, I realised that writing and creating content were an innate part of my life,” she recalls. 

Kanchwalla spent over a decade in marketing, communication and content leadership roles, before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. She credits two moments for strengthening her belief in storytelling. First, she started writing content for various clients during the course of welcoming her first child. It drew her attention to the gap in specialised thought leadership content. Secondly, around the same time, her work caught the eye of a batch-mate from the Indian School of Business, translating into a strategic digital assignment for the Bengaluru-based Embassy group.

While Rite KnowledgeLabs began as a content provider, today it has evolved into the go-to company for digital thought leadership assets. Its work is found in social media accounts and corporate websites and sustainability and research reports like CSR and cause reports, among others. The company boasts several prestigious brands in its client list, such as Microsoft India, HDFC Bank, General Electric India, NSE, Barclays, DSM, HDFC MF, Symphony Air-Coolers, AM International group of companies and agritech start-ups like agribazaar, to name a few. 

Kanchwalla prioritises building a business with empathy and attracting the right talent. With clients already existing in the US, Europe and Asia, the company’s plans in the near future include further expanding their global geographies. 

“The global market is an important focus for us,” says Kanchwalla. “Over the next three years, we aim to double our revenue and productise some of the content offerings for clients”. The agency has recorded steady revenue growth for the past four years and has been enjoying a 100 per cent client retention rate since three years. “We have come a long way from the early days of being bootstrapped for capital. I’m proud to say that it’s happy clients who have funded our growth,” adds Kanchwalla.

In establishing Rite KnowledgeLabs, Kanchwalla has walked a road less travelled. Resonating with the company’s name, she has integrated her two vital knowledge areas – the passion for creative content and the ability to engineer strategic business communications – to build Rite KnowledgeLabs. Some key lessons from her father’s business experience drive her entrepreneurial spirit – working hard and developing the tenacity and the ability to show up despite a low day. Her Twitter bio describes her as hungry, hopeful and happy – an accurate reflection of a start-up founder.

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