Meet Ree Puranik, founder of Digital Infotechs that helps entrepreneurs, womenpreneurs and mompreneurs to reach their goals by taking away all the stressful admin tasks including digital marketing.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE BUSINESS YOU STARTED?
My name is Ree and I have been in the business since 2015. I started with a small jewelry business but then I realized I enjoy doing websites, social media, and content writing. So I formed a small team of 5 people.
My company, Digital Infotechs, provides website development, app development, software development, social media marketing, search engine optimization, content writing/blogging, and all the other admin tasks which are time taking but very important at the same time as VA. I am an MBA in finance and accounting is my forte… So, I also provide basic bookkeeping…
At a young age of 23 years, I got married to the most handsome man in the world, Rahul Puranik, who is a Reservoir Engineer by profession in the Oil & Gas industry, in my home country, India. He wanted to do his Masters from Scotland, so after a year of our marriage, we moved to the UK. I had completed my MBA in Finance from one of the prestigious colleges in India.
While my husband was pursuing his Masters in Edinburgh, I got my very first job in one of the companies in the village of Scotland called Livingston. After a year, my husband got his job in the Oil Hub city Aberdeen which is also known as Gray City. I have worked in the corporate for 9-10 years as an accountant in various industries, mainly in the oil industry in Aberdeen.
In 2011, we were blessed with our baby boy. Life changed completely. I was on maternity leave for a year and then I went back to work. But I was not feeling content as my son was very small and I was missing his childhood.
So I decided to start something of my own. I started my own venture called Divavi Pvt Ltd.in 2015. It was a fashion jewelry and home decor products business. Most of the jewelry was handmade by me. It was a great success at the start as I was busy with so many fares and I organized so many events of shopping locally.
But in the same year, the oil market crash and all the businesses get affected. In the meantime, I had gained so much interest in website designing and social media marketing that I tried to take up small courses in digital marketing to learn new things. I developed a lot of interest in this field and started freelancing for website designing and social media marketing.
I was lucky enough to get a few clients locally to help them. It grew my profile and helped in learning many things on the job. As we all know, in business, you can’t do everything by yourself. One has to delegate stuff. Luckily, I built my team and from the one-woman army, I grew up to a team of 5-10 people.
Now, I have two businesses; i.e. Digital Infotechs and VA Ree Puranik. As I am an accountant by profession, it helps in my VA business.
Change is the only constant in life. I lost my mom in 2017. From then onwards, I wanted to change the place. My husband also wanted a change and luckily my husband got an opportunity in Doha, Qatar. We recently moved to Doha, Qatar but I am missing my city Aberdeen… I had lived there for 13 years so it became my home city…
I have completed certificate courses in content writing, blogging and copywriting, advanced excel, and pursuing social media marketing courses… I graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration and an undergrad in Bachelor of Commerce. I am also certified in Introduction to Quantitative Modelling from the University of Pennsylvania.
As I have relocated recently to a new place, it is still a teething phase just now. I am still adjusting to the new country. I am positive that the new place will give me business in abundance…
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS.
I was in the corporate sector for 9-10 years and my son was very small so I thought to start something of my own. So I started my own new venture called Divavi Pvt Ltd., an online jewelry store but I like doing techie stuff so I started another company called Digital Infotechs with a total of 5 members, in which 2 other people are partners. I researched the names and liked Digital Infotechs.
The good thing about service-based business is that you have to only spend on educating yourself and in our industry, you can build your own website and initially, do your own marketing. All my clients, like our work and recommended us to their friends and peers.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AND HOW DO YOU STAY PRODUCTIVE?
To be very frank, running a business is like upbringing a baby. So, I have two babies, oh no sorry!! Three babies (first – my son, second – my husband and third – my companies 😉 ).
My day starts between 5:30 am-6:00 am as my son’s school starts at 7:15 am here 🙁 After my son is off to school (my husband drops him), my routine starts with a cup of tea and planning my day on my calendar (prioritizing the work).
I work from home but if I have to meet any client, I fix up a meeting before 1 pm as then I am off to pick my son up from the school. I am back by 1:30 pm. It is difficult to keep a work-life balance but somehow I manage.
After my son is back from school, I am always on my laptop working on my clients’ projects. I work till late at night and also try to learn new things every day. There is a lot to learn…
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR BUSINESS?
Biggest Achievement: I have started my career as an accountant and I started my own jewelry venture. I think it’s in my genes as my mom’s side grandfather was a businessman.
But as I am a creative person and love technology, I ended up with digital business. I am grateful to the universe that from a one-woman army, I have a team of 5-10 people. I was selected as one of the businesswomen by Ideas in Partnership along with The Chamber of Commerce of Scotland for helping and guiding me in my business to expand globally.
I was also a guest speaker in one of the networking events in Aberdeen. I am grateful to my clients for trusting me. They are happy and they recommended me to others so whatever little fame I have in my network is my achievement.
My company Digital Infotechs is a sister concern of Gstar Infotech Pvt Ltd. and I am proud to say that we have been recognized as one of the top 10 best companies for SEO by the most popular business magazine called CEO Insights India.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is our industry fake people who charge very less and also don’t deliver the final product as requested. This is affecting my business as people ask for quoting less and a few things for free. They don’t understand my industry needs a lot of time and effort in creating and advertising.
WHAT STRATEGY DID YOU USE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? AND HOW?
Network and network more. In Scotland, I used to attend a lot of networking events, free and paid. Now, I network more online. I am a member of many groups on FB such as Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Marketing & WordPress Website Support Group, Boss BABE // Share Your Business – Learn + Teach, and many more…
I share my business page in groups but a more effective tool is social media listeners… I think one needs to interact more in the groups to get the clients.
I love to learn new things every day and I don’t hesitate in trying new things. Learn a new thing every day…This is how I keep myself up to date.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS?
My vision is to expand more with more clientele. I am happy with the business performance but need to work more to be on the smoother side. I like the entertainment and model industry. I want to expand my business in these areas and want to work more in Western European countries.
RECOMMENDATIONS & FINAL THOUGHTS
PLEASE RECOMMEND ANY RESOURCES AND TOOLS THAT YOU USE TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS.
There are many useful tools I use… A few of them are Canva, Trello, Zoho CRM, Asana, Powerpoint, WordPress, Quickbooks and many more…
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOKS, PODCASTS OR BLOGS?
Like a Virgin by Richard Branson; What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey; Entrepreneurs Blogs
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Have confidence in yourself, don’t think too much… Just start it… And don’t forget “Failure is just a part of Success”.
Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!
If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.
By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.
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