Angad Singh Manchanda - Follow Your Dreams Without Fail, Tell a Lot of People About Your Aspirations, and Don't Keep Them to Yourself (Co-Founder & CEO - Chimp&z Inc)

                                  

Always have a backup plan in place. You must always be smart and vigilant, ensure that you think thrice before you act, and do your research. Keep your family in the loop, without this entrepreneurial planning is difficult.


Tell us about your background, journey, and upbringing.

I come from a middle-class background and lived a typical Mumbaikar life. I was a backbencher, never on time for the assembly, but I had a lot of friends. My inclination towards academics was a little less, for which people did criticize me and my decisions. But that was okay! I was a good student until the 8th grade. But I flunked on a subject in standard 9. 

Like in every middle-class household, this was a matter of concern! While my friends were filling out college forms, I decided to devote some time to build myself. My parents did convince me to enroll in a college, and I took up commerce. I started working at a very young age, first with my dad in a very small setup when I was in my 10th, then I worked at my grandad's company as the sales executive for two years. 

I even worked at a call center right after. Graduation was a turning point in my life. I realized my love for advertising sometime during the three years of BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies).

Talking about my professional journey, I started as a financial analyst in a company; worked in a small social media shop, similar to an agency, as a copywriter, and went on to work for an insurance company for a year. Eventually, I got back to the advertising business. 

By the age of 21, I had worked at 3-4 agencies and had built my network. At 24, I started Chimp&z Inc along with Lavinn Rajpal, my first cousin. Our frequencies matched as individuals and professionals. Sitting on a terrace on a fine evening, we agreed upon doing something which has never been done before in the segment of advertising. 

That’s when I quit my job and he quit his college. Together we started building Chimp&z Inc the very next day. That’s exactly how my agency came to life. Started as a team of four, we’re now 200+ strong! That’s, in short, the story of Chimp&z’s evolution!


What inspired you to take action in your direction and what are your plans?

It always surprises me how sure one can be about what they "plan" to do in the future. In my case, I was confused about what I wanted to accomplish. But this confusion was fruitful! I was certain of all this while that whatever I do, I have to be the best. And so, I continued to pursue whatever worked for me. 

Whenever I met a dead end, I moved on to something else. Despite having worked in various industries, I was seeking a place that would allow me to employ all of my creative and business skills at once. When I couldn't find one I decided to make one on my own, and I was convinced that people would appreciate the output. 

Come what may, I was determined to build a global creative organization. I didn't want anything or anyone to limit me. It was never about what I wanted to do; it was always about what I didn't want to do, which is a better way to figure out what you're worth.

I aim to continue providing more opportunities to individuals who strive to achieve what I've been able to achieve. And with Chimp&z Inc, my pursuit is to approach brands as consultants and specialists, so we can grow together. In a nutshell, the future is all about scale, growth, abundance, and doing the most insane things that come to mind.


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What does your typical workday look like?

Let me tell you this, I work with my eyes closed! Now let me elaborate on that to make sense. A major chunk of the ideas come to me while I'm asleep. So good sleep is crucial to my routine. And when I’m up and about, ready to execute these ideas, I like to prioritize my tasks as P1, P2, P3, and so on. 

I am not someone who has a fixed schedule every day. My days are structured around priority-based tasks. There are days when I focus more on brand work, some days when organizational work takes precedence, and often, days when I will be doing nothing but work on expansion and global networking.

But a constant on the first spot of my task list are my clients, whether it is at 6 AM or 9 PM, if they need me, I will be there. My day ends, well, making a task list for the next day.


Several global companies have come out and thrown their support behind not needing a formal education. What is your opinion about this?

There are no two ways about how crucial basic education is. But I have my opinions about making a career in what you have a formal education in. In a field like digital marketing, your skillset matters more than a degree certificate. One must have some fundamental knowledge, to begin with. But an effective skill-building technique, relevant to the dynamic market functioning is learning on the job.

While I am all in for formal education, which is wonderful, it does not necessarily determine your quantum of success. The games you played, the extracurriculars that you participated in, your hobbies and interests, and your values are what make you stand out from the crowd. 

I appreciate these things. Soon more and more companies will acknowledge the quality gap between having a degree and having an aptitude for a job. Well, during the pandemic, it became clearer that formal education is great on paper, good on experience, but nothing compares to work experience.


How do you handle someone who has lied on their resume?

Lying on a CV just demonstrates how ready one is to compromise on his/her ethics. People who have spent some time working in any organization would be unlikely to lie on their CV. Such lies can't be buried forever; they will come up at some point.

But I have my ways of fact-checking. It's usually beginners who tend to pull off such a stunt. I do not and will never support it. People, instead, should refocus their energy to compensate for what's amiss with quality work and convincing words.


How has covid changed things at your workplace & which of these changes do you intend to make permanently?

The most important thing that Covid has done, in my opinion, is put digital at the center of all operations. The digital shift in marketing & advertising was born of necessity and became a universal phenomenon. Covid has given digital its proper place in the business economy of the country. 

Talking about how it has influenced my workplace, well, my people are physically distant but as our name suggests ("Chimps"), we have evolved quickly to adapt to the new work setting. One of the advantages of a work-from-home setup is that it allows you to work from anywhere.

Individuals now have the choice of planning their goals and achieving personal objectives that are aligned with their professional aspirations, which I feel is a fantastic opportunity.

Regarding my intention to make permanent changes at my institutions, Covid has taught me not to plan too much. So we'll just go with the flow and see how the world copes with the pandemic-induced changes and how we can keep moving ahead. However, there will be some changes when we return to the office; it won't all be the same.
                                


What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs or those eyeing the top job?

Follow your dreams without fail, tell a lot of people about your aspirations, and don't keep them to yourself. 90% of successful entrepreneurs I've had a chance to interact with have been open about their aspirations in their conversations. So, instead of feeding your thoughts to your brain, put them out into the world, talk to people about it, and plan it out. 

Always have a backup plan in place. You must always be smart and vigilant, ensure that you think thrice before you act, and do your research. Keep your family in the loop, without this entrepreneurial planning is difficult.

Finally, don't conform to entrepreneurship conventions. You as an entrepreneur do not have to be suited and booted to perfection. You can be the fun type as well. Don't forget to have fun, since that's what defines your aura. Your job does not define you; you are far more important than your work. 

So, while you strive to become a great entrepreneur, don't lose sight of who you want to be as an individual. Don't get up at 4 AM just because you read someplace that you have to. Do what suits you best. There is a pressing need to revise the formula for success!


Which is your favorite book/show and why?

Autobiography is my favorite genre. I enjoy reading about people from various walks of life, not necessarily someone who works in similar professions. It's more delightful to read about what people have gone through in their life rather than what they think and write because I believe that experience better defines a person's identity. 

If a person had not gone through a certain experience in life, they would not have progressed to where they are now.

If you talk about one thing that motivates or inspires me in terms of a movie, I think it is, “Life is beautiful”. It is one of the finest movies ever made.


Bio - 

An early starter in the digital marketing business, Angad began his advertising stint at the age of 19 and over the years worked with 4 agencies of distinct sizes in multiple roles until he molded his dream into reality. The ‘solutions guy’ and a proud salesman, he then co-founded a multifaceted creative agency, Chimp&z Inc in 2013. 

The multi-dimensional marketing agency, Chimp&z Inc, which has partnered with various illustrious international brands on their branding building journeys,
is making its foray into the North American market.

In his words, “Our ambitions have always been international and with the onset of digital, we believe that the world is a global playground. We want to make the internet work for us rather than having it the other way around, to reinforce our belief: Think Global, Act Local.” 

As the CEO and co-founder of Chimp&z Inc, Angad looks into the larger campaigns & pitches while leading global projects under the organization for some of the biggest brands like Mondelēz International, UNICEF, Discovery Entertainment, TLC, Tata Sky, and FCUK amongst many others. 

A biker and a prolific writer, Angad is also an ardent traveler who loves to work on the go. Recently, he with his co-founder Lavinn Rajpal established a production house called Griffin Pictures Worldwide, a performance marketing firm called Saber Tooth, an ROI-driven digital agency called Yellophant Digital, a complete SEO analysis tool called Search Munky, all a part of the parent entity Merge Infinity global network.

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