In a generation where the ‘grind mentality’ is commonplace, people are scared that they wasted their lives before they’ve even begun. Career changes feel like setbacks, day-to-day obstacles feel like climbing Mt. Everest, and dragging through the days feels hopeless sometimes. I’m guilty of feeling all these things, and I know too many people can feel it too. Which is perfectly valid.
For a while now, I’ve been struggling to figure out what I should be doing with myself, what the right move is for my future. Recently, I was lucky enough to have two people come into my life exactly when I needed to hear what they had to say. Though unintentionally, their advice made me feel more confident in what I am meant to be doing, and I now carry that with me daily. Which is why I felt like their story is something everyone should hear.
I got the opportunity to chat with Reena Pandya and Aashiq Shariff, the founders of 78inc.; a transformative agency for all intents and purposes, based in Tanzania, offering services ranging from print media to digital media, and everything in between.
Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing their story and advice on working in the digital industry. Through the stages of their journey, each area has its own advice led by example – so take what sits with you and use it how it works for you. If it fits, it fits.
First and foremost, what does 78inc. do?
“We define 78inc. as a transformative agency, before we are a digital marketing agency”
If you ask Aashiq, he’ll tell you that 78inc. aims to help other businesses scale up, whereas Reena will tell you they want to provide an efficient service. Despite the difference in answers, their vision goes hand in hand, as they complement each other in their work and abilities to move forward in accomplishing their goals.
As a transformative agency, they provide several services in both the print and digital sectors of marketing; a testament of their ability to come into businesses and look at the people, products, and processes, with both of their experiences and perspectives within different spheres of work, in order to improve and achieve the desired results.
What were the initial stages of planning like?
When Reena brought the idea to Aashiq, the first thing he told her: “you have the ideas, put them down on paper, and make a plan”. The plan consisted of service details, clearly outlining their roles respective roles in the start-up, and a kick-off budget from personal funding for two years (which was quickly changed when their financial capital increased in just a few months).
Reena had her vision, and knew what she wanted to do, she just had to start. From the get-go, she knew wanted to name the company 78inc., an homage to her late father, a rally driver who used his lucky numbers 7 and 8 in every aspect of his life, a legacy she continues on today. She didn’t want to be the same as other companies, she wanted this to stand out, removing the use of the term ‘company’ or ‘agency’ as others have.
The mistake a lot of people make when they start something they put so much of their focus onto how they want to represent themselves aesthetically, but according to Aashiq, though it’s important “it’s not everything, because you don’t have to have all the answers, what matters is that you start, because aesthetics are secondary to what you prodive”, just like Apple – their logo now looks nothing like their original. 78incc’s logo was deliberate but not the focal point, as both were focused on the services more than anything. Things fell into place, and they made choices that they both felt represented them; through their colour choices, and motto – Aristotle’s ‘Ethos. Pathos. Logos.’ – their self-representation clearly highlights the belief in persuasion, demonstration, and appeal to character and what someone needs, that developed in time.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks to read about their team, networking and clientele, and their advice on handling it all. Until then, keep up to date with their work, weekly Live Sessions, and events at @78tanzania on Instagram.