Founder – Ankit Dhadwal
Website – Mount Woods Studio
How important is it for a business to have a good brand reputation in the market? A brand concludes the perception of people in terms of a company’s quality of customer service, advertisements, reputation and logo. When all these factors work well together, the company is said to have a healthy brand. Branding enhances reputation, creates trust in the market, supports advertising, builds a financial value, inspires the company employees and most importantly, generates new customers.
Mount Woods is one of the brandings and consulting startups we are going to talk about today. It is a branding agency that helps its client businesses achieve all that we discussed above. ‘We build brands that inspire,’ the tagline of this branding agency explains it all.
Mount Woods was started by Ankit Dhadwal who today is designated as the founder and CEO of the company. Belonging to one of the most beautiful places of India, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, he started this company headquartered in Solan itself. Ankit has a Diploma degree in CSE from the Lovely Professional University. HE graduated in 2015 from Rayat Bahara Institute of Technology, Mohali, Punjab. Ankit is an engineer, a born entrepreneur and holds experience in blogging and self-learnt digital marketing.
About Mount Woods
The Mount Woods Studio or the Agency helps the budding entrepreneurs and companies build a brand through their abilities to create design and content. The agency is known to be a contributing solution for the CEOs in building their reputation and achieving goals of the business. In other words, Mount Woods helps the businesses create beautiful experiences through their variety of services like branding, UX/UI, animations, web development, video production, etc.
The Mount Woods Success
The success of this startup can be assessed with multiple numbers defining the success parameters. The company today has over 180+ happy clients. With 3+ years of experience in business and brand development, the company has grown with over 10 employees serving the firm with their expertise. Over 200 projects have been executed by Mount Woods successfully.
Today Mount Woods has two offices; one in Solan and the other one in Dehradun. While Ankit handles the marketing operations of the business in Solan, Pankaj Tilara heads the design and development section of the business in Dehradun. Mr Pankaj is the Co-founder and COO of the company. Another main member of the team is Mr Gaurav Pundir who heads the designing of the business. The team together has created a good repute in the market in India as well as overseas.
Ankit’s View of Digital Marketing and development for businesses
It is a known fact that the digital marketing field has grown really vast today. And it is very sure to broaden even more in the coming future. Speculating the current pattern, there is a huge scope of companies to grow in unique ways and grab their market shares. Moreover, it is not just the growth of digital marketing that will keep Mount Woods going but also the trends that have been always there in the past decades. For example, specialisation in business branding will never get obsolete. Content remains the king forever. And most importantly, the backlinks shall always be the backbone of the online marketing world.
Future Plans of Mount Woods
Like any other startup story, Mount Woods’ team too had a roller coaster ride while creating and sustaining their company. However, their strength of building permanent or deep-rooted relationships is what has kept them going and achieve heights of success. The team looks forward to creating many more unique brand identities and generating content that can help their business clients to grow sustainably.
What made you strike this business idea? What inspired you to start this Company?
Ankit – I was inclined more towards starting my own business at some point in life and entrepreneurship was always there in my blood as my Nani ji used to sell Shawls all over Himachal and I have seen my mother too working day and night establishing her business as a retailer.
My father is a retired govt. employee but that didn’t give me any goose bumps at all. From my mother’s side, all of them are running a successful business and from my father’s side, all the elders are reputed govt. Officers
From my childhood there was something different that I wanted to do. I was an average student in my school and all i want to do is enjoy, play all day and do a little study. I used to get pocket money but i wanted some more and for that i used to color stones and sell them in my class. Also, I was good at drawing, so I sold one drawing at 5 rupees which was a very good deal at that time.
Also, I belong to a middle class family and I was clear that I want to become an Engineer so that I can change the current scenario of my life. So after my 10th Class, I got admission in Lovely Professional University in 2009 and the exposure that I got was so good. Everything was very nice. A Small school student landed in such a big university where there was so much diversity, people from all over india and overseas were studying together. I was getting different exposure which I don’t think I would have got while pursuing my 11th and 12th Class. Moreover, the title of Junior Engineer was a cherry on the cake.
Over there, I learnt about many things and was introduced to Blogging in 2010. Till then my Interest in building websites also increased and from Blogging I can also earn. So the basic of digital marketing was cleared at that time and it was fun learning it.
I have always thought of running my own business at a large scale but after gaining some experience. After completing my graduation from Rayat Bahra University, Chandigarh in 2015. I applied for many jobs and got selected in one company as a Software Engineer but after 4 months I have to leave that job because of corporate politics which I still don’t like. So I started searching for a job in Chandigarh, Delhi and Gurgaon. I used to travel at night, reach there early in the morning and then go for the interview. I don’t know what was wrong but I never got a proper job. All my interviews went well but I never got a call. Then on my parent’s suggestions, I started preparing for Banking Jobs which I never liked but there was no harm in it only knowledge was to be gained and it helped me in becoming more confident while giving written exams for the interview.
I still don’t understand the concept of aptitude tests. I have done my diploma in CSE from Lovely Professional University and then did my graduation. I spent my college life studying Technology, how systems are developed, learned how to code and then suddenly all the Companies were having aptitude tests to select students.
So while giving banking exams there nothing was happening also the pressure to get a job was also there. Getting rejected again and again was terrifying. I still remember when I couldn’t sleep properly and my behavior also started changing. Aggression, bad attitude and getting irritated from small things. So I started Kudo which helped me a lot, also they were looking for someone who can develop their official website. So they asked me and I got my first official payment of INR 20,000/- and then after a few days one more website came in for which i charged INR 35,000/-. I was so happy that if i can do this, then I can do anything so I started my own business and started my journey as an entrepreneur. Then I started searching for a good brand name to start and after brainstorming for 2 weeks I came up with a name NETFLUX. So on 20th Jan 2017 I booked my domain as netflux.co.in and hosting for INR 2500/-, bought my first laptop which was a Macbook Pro. At that time Netflix was not so popular so i thought i can go with this. Everything was going well but life had different plans for me. I got an offer from Pune because of my brother. He referred to a company and I got selected. I thought it would be fun, learning and meeting new people.
So where everyone was celebrating Valentine’s day I was celebrating my trip to Pune on 14th Feb 2018. Coming to Pune was a life changing moment for me. It’s a place where you can learn a lot. A small town boy traveling so far from home, the overall experience was very different. I never thought I would go there but life is all about experiences and exposure.
I worked hard at my new company and side by side my brother told me to look for other opportunities to grow my business so he introduced me to Urban Clap from where my own business NETFLUX grew. I was earning well from my job and as a freelancer but then again life took a huge turn.
One thing is for sure, life always has different plans for you. You can never settle in one place, there will be ups and downs. If your life is going smooth that’s good but hold tight it will not stay as it is forever.
One day my boss texted me and said I AM being FIRED FROM THE JOB as he is not having salary to give it to me and gave a reason that all the IT department is being removed. He is trying hard and talking to BOD members not to fire me. I was so angry and frustrated at that time. I was like what the hell is going on. I was very mad at him at that time. I told my brother and my parents about this, they also got worried.
I started calling my friends about this who were working in MNC’s and from all of them I was getting the same answer “Send your resume we’ll do something”. Only one friend who is currently working in Cognizant referred to me and I got selected for the interview but never got a response from the company.
So from where I had started back in my hometown Solan, I was going through the same situation again. It was a time where others were laid off, Aircel got shut down, Tech Mahindra fired 600 people and the same thing was happening with other MNCs.
So I thought if they can do this with them, who am I? So, on that day I made up my mind that I will give my best, I will not apply to any job and build my own business that’s what I aimed for.
From then on I never looked back to apply for any job. No day is the same day, there were few days when there was no income. But there was a point I had big projects that were enough for 4 months as a freelancer.
I met Pankaj Tilara who is now our Co-Founder and COO of the Company when I got stuck with a project. My friend Gaurav Pundir who handles all the designing part referred him to me. We worked on multiple projects together and he is awesome. Now he handles all the major development parts of the company. He also has his struggling story with the jobs and MNCs.
He’s a gold medalist and a very good programmer and a very good person.
Now we both are running a successful company. Time changes everything no matter what the situation is. Never give up.
When did you start your business?
Ankit – Mount Woods Studio was started on 9th July 2019. Changing the name was the best decision we all made as it was necessary. We were not able to convey a proper message to our customers, What we are and what we do as it is a very important aspect for every company.
Our name should relate to the mountains from where we belong. So the brainstorming part started and side by side we were checking that the name should not be used anywhere in the world. It should be easily pronounced, catchy and small. Simple yet attractive. We searched many satellite names, galaxies and while searching we got mountains and woods. So we combined them and we got Mound Woods. As we are specialized in Branding, Studio fits the best. So here’s how we got Mount Woods Studio as our new name for the Company and Tagline – Connecting with Roots.
What does success mean to your company?
Ankit – Success to us means Diversification. We help our clients reach their goal and their success, if we are able to do this impactfully and purposefully, we move one step further that empowers our belief that we can achieve anything in this world.
How are you performing currently?
Ankit – We are performing exceptionally well in the current scenario of the market and we know we are the best branding agency out there.
What is the biggest risk to your company?
Ankit – The biggest risk to my company is losing my assets i.e. my team members. It’s very hard to find people who have the same mentality of achieving great things in life and make an impact in the world. We all are on a journey where we want to prove our worth and fulfill our dreams.
What are your plans on funding?
Ankit – Earlier we were not sure whether to pitch for the funding or not. But this year, we definitely plan to pitch for funding and for that we have started working on it. We will be building our own designing tools for Individuals, startups and Medium Scale Enterprises which are easy to use, reliable and any non-designer can use at an affordable price.
What is the biggest challenge you faced during your start-up setup?
Ankit – Well, the biggest challenge I have faced during my start-up setup was gaining trust of every doubtful eyes that looked at me, challenging every time whether I will be able to do it or not.
What does growth mean to you and your business?
Ankit – Growth is a very big word which is achieved by taking small steps. When I look back and what I have become now is a drastic change. I would call this growth. Every decision has an impact which affects me, my company and people around me. I would call this growth.
Also, if i’m able to bring 1% change in people’s mindset, how they look around the world, then for me that is the real growth.
How does your product stand different from others in the market?
Ankit – We are proud of what we are serving right now as everything is custom based. Nothing can be found on the internet and this makes us unique and stand out in the market. We are limited and we clearly convey this message to everyone. The value that we will be providing to our clients, they wouldn’t be getting this anywhere else.
Where are your start-up services spread?
Ankit – Our Services are spread across India and Overseas where we cater to the USA and few parts of Australia. We will be giving our services in Singapore in the coming 6 months.
What does it feel like to be the founder of your start-up? How does it feel getting up every morning and getting on to work?
Ankit – Grass is always greener on the other side and being a founder is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yes it feels good as i always wanted to start my own business and I’m living my dreams right now. With power comes great responsibility and I have to take care of everything which is happening around me whether it is in my organisation, in my family or friends.
Maintaining a balance is very difficult as I’m a complete work-o-holic. I get up early in the morning to attend my Kudo class, then get ready for the office which starts at 10 A.M and ends at 6 P.M. for others but not for me. After that I help freelancers on how to pitch to clients and how to work properly and efficiently so that they can also grow. Sometimes I have late night meetings with my clients, so maintaining everything is difficult but not impossible.
If you know the value of time, you can do wonders.
I enjoy everything as it teaches me something new everyday even when I’m struggling. Every morning brings you a new day, a new opportunity and a new lesson. I believe in becoming a Silver Lining amongst the dark clouds.
Where do you see your business standing in the next 5 years?
Ankit – Definitely working with Big Names in the industry worldwide and building a strong company culture. I want Mount Woods Studio to become an Iconic brand which is remembered by heart and makes a huge impression in people’s mind which will last forever.
Who will support you to stand this business and how?
Ankit – I can’t do everything on my own so I do need everyone’s support whether they are my team, my Co-Founder, Family, Friends and clients. A strong Mental and Financial support is always needed in order to make decisions which will decide the outcomes.
I need resources, manpower, money to survive and grow, trust and a strong vision in which everyone believes and makes it their own. For that I need everyone’s support to stand this business for a long time.