Exclusive Interview: This Is How A Good Presentation Can Help You Get Funding, Recognition & Love!
Does presentations matter? How can a good presentation help a startup? Why graphic designers are scared to work on presentations?
We conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Dharmendra Ahuja, Founder & CEO of PitchWorx, a unique startup that helps other startups with presentations.
Here are the highlights of the interview..
- How did this idea of the company pop up? What was the inspiration behind this idea?
PitchWorx was born because the quality of presentation designs were very poor when we started out 9 years ago. I used to make presentation designs for companies since I was in pre-sales and slowly I became very passionate about doing it. It wasn’t as popular as it today- the presentation design industry. The inspiration behind our name came from the pitch decks we would design. Gradually, everything our clients came to us- was afterall a pitch for their clients and investors. Be it presentations, videos, content, branding or designs- ultimately everything is a pitch to impress someone on the opposite end.
- What are the industry challenges you have observed that coerced you to jump into this space?
A big challenge we faced when we started out initially was that we were one of the very few agencies in the country who designed presentations. It wasn’t an accepted norm. Hence finding presentation designers was very difficult. Graphic designers were scared handling presentations because they couldn’t manipulate the content with graphics or design something out of the content. With presentations the client will always tell you to create something around the content but not to change it. So people were initially scared of handling presentations because they didn’t have the creative liberty to change things. With presentations, content is always the king.
A lot of my colleagues would find the idea of presentation design ridiculous because ‘why would you need impeccably designed presentations when you had powerpoint to do it for you’ Well now it’s an established industry and people want professionals do something that would otherwise eat up chunks of their time.
- How creative pitch decks are helping businesses to raise funds?
If there are two competing businesses to impress an investor and both say they can do the job- then the only key difference is how their pitches look like. The way a company’s presentation is designed is very important to help them win investors. It doesn’t matter how inexperienced you are or if you’re a new entrant. Professional designs have a huge impact on retention and that is why someone will say yes to you and not to someone who has presented paragraphs of well detailed information.
Earlier presentations that were being created in the corporate world had the problem of the same slides being used and reused. Information available was being presented through the same designs- every company would add on their logos and change the colours here and there. And that was about it. There wasn’t a creative way to showcase your work. Now there are professionals who’ll give you the creative liberty of presenting something so you can convey information with a high impact value. People have begun to realise that to stand out you need your concepts to be explained visually. If people see what you’re capable of doing from the first meeting itself through a good presentation, they’ll immediately begin to trust your capabilities.
- How companies help the Corporates with animated designs to pitch their services to investors?
Animation adds story. It delivers material in a more engaging manner by captivating the audience. And hence at the end of the day it does what you want it to do- it delivers. It will ensure you have audience attention and with a compelling story it makes sure that you have retention as well. Having a video on your landing page can increase your conversion rate by 80% so that speaks volumes on how effective it is. Nowadays companies come to us with requests of creating pitch animations instead of presentations. With that they show their concept to potential investors and clients with short videos. It’s impactful, no one is bored, hits the target and the audience does not have to sit for longer than they need to in the room.
However, it is important to keep in mind that over animation can also kill a presentation. If you can present a concept with one powerful sentence, you should take that route instead.
- As the trend is moving towards more visually dominant mediums, how are agencies helping in creating animated presentations?
Video marketing is dominating the world. The graphic design industry is also slowly moving towards creating animated videos because that’s what people are using to pitch their ideas. Moving visuals. When we started out we were just making presentations, now we are a full fledged creative design agency offering video animation, live action videos, web design and development and branding design. Every aspect of our service needs videos at one point of the marketing or sales funnel because videos have a retentitive value like nothing else. At the end of the day you want your audience to remember you and come back to you. We make sure our videos are true to a brand’s core values and tells the client’s story in a compelling manner.
- Tell us about the other players in the market
Lots of stuff is happening everyday. The graphic design and animation industry is an ever growing and evolving industry. New entrants are everywhere and they’re doing a stellar job at it with high quality work.
Point to be noted is that it’s not all about animations, it’s about the thought behind it. Storytelling is important. Messaging is important. Don’t fall for how great the animation is. Look at the package. A good agency will offer scripting + storytelling+ storyboarding along with the animation. It’s a sum total of all these elements. Go for a creative design agency that can offer all this in a structured timeline format and will offer revisions at each stage so you are completely satisfied with the end product.
- Why are creative designing services important?
Nowadays content is visual. You may be the best in your field but unless others see you, they won’t even know about you. When it comes to spreading the message about your business, design gets the attention first and then the words. Together, they convey a powerful message.
That’s where creative design agencies play such a huge role. They not only design graphics or create videos from scratch, they provide 360 degree services and will take care of your branding, your website and marketing the end product.
If you want to create a long lasting impression you will need to take out a substantial amount each day to focus on how you can sell your product. It’s better you use that time to make your product better and let a creative design agency take care of making the product look good, showcasing it to the world and generating a buzz about it.
- What according to you is the scope of creative designing service in India?
The scope is huge. The design industry in India is evolving everyday. India is considered to be a prime destination for outsourcing these services. Look at Upwork and Fiver for example. So many of the graphic designers and animators are from India and they’re growing at a rapid rate. The talent pool in India is extensive and internationally it’s getting recognised. Another key factor is that India is a labour intensive country and is cheap for international companies.
I believe there’s still so much untapped potential. Nowadays people are chasing skill based careers and focusing on passion instead of going in the direction of societal norms. Earlier the prime option was to become a doctors, lawyer, engineer or take up a government job. Now we are moving towards skill based industries. People are slowly realising that they can monetize their passion. Content writing was never a full time job. Travel blogging was never a career option. Similarly for graphic design. There was only one way for an artist earlier- to sell paintings at art exhibits. Now if you’re creative, every market is open for you. Things have changed. Television has been pushed to the periphery. The Internet is the prime industry now. Social media is where you get your news from and to catch your audience’s attention you need designers, animators and storytellers. It’s an ever evolving cycle.
- What are your Post-Covid plans?
As an industry we have grown tremendously. And as an agency we’ve seen some great developments. People who didn’t even have a website 2 years ago, created one during the lockdown and are flourishing now. Covid although, a terrible catastrophe has pushed people to embrace the realm of online medium like never before and tap it’s potential.
Post covid, we want to keep the momentum going. We want to expand. Offer newer services, explore newer geographies and open offices across different countries. It’s a work in progress and hopefully it will come to fruition soon enough.