Shubham Mehrotra, founder and CEO of digital marketing firm Laudco Media fondly remembers her modest beginning of working out of one seat at Awfis in Bengaluru five years ago. “I got myself one chair. I had taken it as I needed a space to meet clients,” she said as she recounts her journey in creating a start-up which is now serving some of the biggest companies in India and abroad.
As the Economic Times’ Young Business Leader of the Year in 2019, three passions have defined Shubham Mehrotra’s journey as a business leader: creating integrated digital solutions to build value on behalf of the world’s most iconic brands; creating inclusive work and social environments, and advocating for social change in India. Shubham is the Chief Executive Officer of Laudco Media, one of India’s fastest growing digital agencies. She is also the co-founder & Managing Director of Rufa Beauty, a high-performance cosmetic line that has built a cult following in India.

According to Mehrotra, who has previously worked as a journalist and in the advertising industry, starting from a flexi space allowed her to interact with a different set of people during its inception days. “The best part is the people that you are surrounded with. A lot of innovative minds and a lot of ambitious people. It was easy to interact and we were able to take advantage of it,” Mehrotra said. Today, flexibility in terms of how and where her employees work is something she has retained as a work culture even as the company expands to four locations in the country and continue to build its client base.

A space for collaboration and creativity

Having a dedicated space is essential for sustained business performance, productivity and creativity. But working out of flexible spaces allowed the company to get the benefits of an office environment without putting a dent into its budget. It allowed them to focus on growth and expansion of its business.

Mehrotra points out that with Laudco being a digital marketing and creative agency, it is important to create a space which increases collaboration and creative thinking, and at the same time encourages curiosity, knowledge sharing and ideation. “For us workspace is extremely important because the work that we do is very collaborative. You can be creative when you are brainstorming ideas with others.”

Setting culture of support and personal development

For Mehrotra, creating a culture of support and personal development is easier when there are employees of all levels working in the same space. “This is because culture impacts people’s wellbeing at work and ensures we are more engaged and passionate about our roles,” she said. Apart from nurturing bonds between employees, a workspace helps to maintain a certain work-life balance for employees.

Most often the line between work and personal gets blurred when one is working from home. “That has a lot of impact in terms of mental health. There is a bit of chatter and banter among colleagues while you are in office. There are people who are able to balance their work if they come to office because they know there is an end time and they know they are able to leave their office. The burn out is less,” she said.

Diversity and inclusivity as a work culture

With a staff strength of over 50 people, Mehrotra points out that the company has tried to keep as inclusive and diverse as possible while keeping it more women centric.  However, creating an inclusive work and social environments was a personal commitment which started from the initial days of her entrepreneurial journey. Years before Laudco, Mehrotra launched Fifty Shades of Gay (FSOG), a portal that aimed to sensitise the Indian public about LGBTQIA+ community and fight homophobia. She aspired to build a fair and equal India “where everyone can achieve their full potential, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.” She has retained this commitment and inculcated in Laudco as well. Creating a work environment where all the stakeholders and clients feel valued, welcome and comfortable being themselves was crucial, she adds. “We’re a great believer in promoting opportunity for everyone, regardless of how they identify or where they come from,” she said.

In line with this value, Mehrotra said her company is committed to finding the brightest talents, offering different insights and perspectives that would help its people and clients reach their full potential and solve problems in a unique, more efficient way.

Today, Laudco has expanded its client base to several international brands. In fact, it has set its sight towards building a data centric company and find marketing solutions by harnessing the data it has built over the years.  “We help international brands understand, through analysing the data we have, if India is the market for them, telling them their go to market strategy and analysing if they come to India which region to start, how should they market and brand themselves,” Mehrotra said.



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