BENGALURU: Nikhil Furtado, started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18. Being a mechanical engineering graduate, he started off with designing posters for local events and college fests. Today, he is running a company called Merako Media in Mysuru, which he started in 2016 along with directors Vinay Shankar and Pratibha Nayak. Here’s all you need to know about the startup.
Mysuru lacks the kind of creative agencies and design support that is abundantly found in Bengaluru. As a student entrepreneur, I started my venture during my first year of engineering in Mysuru. Good connectivity to other cities is another advantage to start a business in Mysuru.
What are the service/product being offered?
We are an integrated media and communications agency. The company name, Merako, is derived from the Greek word ‘Meraki’ (may-rah- kee) which means doing something with passion and soul. We do our work with passion and that’s exactly the philosophy we follow at Merako Media. We provide all kinds of services required for any company’s marketing and advertising, such graphic design, web design, social media marketing, outdoor advertising, events and much more. We provide a one-stop solution to any client looking to grow their business or increase their visibility.
What were the challenges faced while establishing the startup?
One of the major challenges in a small city like Mysuru is changing people’s mindsets and getting them to realize the value of design and good branding. Somehow, we have managed to make people realize that there is more to business and advertising. Most of our clients who were going to Bengaluru to get their work done, are coming to our company today. We generate revenue from the services we provide.
What is the target audience?
Our target audience are small and medium-scale companies, industries and businesses that want to grow to large-scale businesses. We are looking to branch out to other cities and also target the international market.
Did you have trouble finding staff? How did you fix that?
Yes. One of the hardest things for us is getting quality talent, as there is as talented people move from small cities to big ones. We have hired talented people who wanted to move to Mysuru because of family. We have also hired freshers.
Any government scheme availed?
No. We have been bootstrapped since the beginning, and other funding requirement has been met through partners.
Any investor interest so far?
We had talks with a couple of investors. But we are looking for someone who understands our line of business rather than just invest money.
Advice to startup aspirants.
Passion, dedication and perseverance are the three main skills any entrepreneur must have in order to be successful. Passion to turn his/her ideas into a reality, dedication to make sure those ideas see light of day and perseverance to keep going even if the going is tough.