Celebrating one year at Frappe!
Here’s a glimpse of my journey as a Writer at Frappe. One year of learning and creating sustainable and authentic content.
As I begin to write this piece,
I am smiling from ear to ear.
My heart is so full.
Thinking of the toughest times, fears, and tears.
I guess that’s the irony of the hard times, once you learn the art, you look back at it and wave a smile. I am grateful for so many moments here. Drop a hello to my short journey of Marketing? I mean storytelling! ;) Bumpy, beautiful, work in progress, and worth every single step.
I was interviewed for the position of HR in the first place here, and while the conversation was on, Reema and Rushabh mentioned that they have an opportunity for Marketing. I was quite eager to get into the Marketing world and I expressed my interest in the same. I was asked to write a blog and t’was the Christmas of 2020, where I got my letter from the ministry of Frappe. Reema, Hedwig you! :)
Mentors pick you, you don’t pick them
One day I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed and I saw Indra Nooyi, Pepsico’s former CEO writing on mentorship. She mentioned “mentors pick you, you don’t pick them. They pick you because they see something in you that they want to hitch their wagon to.” I could resonate with her statement very well. At the same time, I pondered over the thought that with my almost a decade of experience, what I get on the table is just communication, people management, a lot of passion to learn, and some amateurish social media skills. The rest were not useful for the new marketing role that I was hired for. I was dumbfounded by the technical knowledge and had no experience.
I thought it would be a lot easier. All I need to do is study the product, just write about the features, new launches, SEO, and some gyaani talks on social media. Mind you, my journey was exactly the opposite of what I thought it to be.
Daniel had Mr. Miyagi, Kung Fu Panda had Master Shifu, Parker had Mr. Han, Harry had Dumbledore, well I have Rushabh Mehta. The toughest mentor I’ve ever come across and the best one I could have ever asked for.
I have these fond memories of watching the above-mentioned movies with my Dad. Sundays were meant for french-fries, biryani, Cricket, Nat Geo, and these motivational movies. Back then, for me, the purpose of watching these movies was sheer fun and nothing else. Today when I think of some scenes from these movies, I understand that it takes a great amount of courage, a lot of pain, first to learn the craft and second, to perfect the craft that you are passionate about. And with a strong mentor like Rushabh, I understand why he wants us to strive hard, why is he pushing us towards perfection?
In the first month, I messaged him to help me gain some clarity on the role. He asked me my expectations from this role. I told him, “I want to learn Marketing and Brand Management”, to which he replied, “consider that you are in a boot camp for the next two months, there are no shortcuts, you will have to learn it all from the scratch.” Perhaps, I was naive to the fact that if your content is good, it will take care of every aspect related to Marketing. Today, I couldn’t agree more. I was unable to get the concept of storytelling initially, where the universe of marketing revolves around. He suggested I start writing from my personal stories, review my favorite books, and movies. Once the concept got clear I gained some confidence to step into mainstream writing. I still am learning and I do tend to raise his temper with some crap write-up, but in my head, I am well aware of the fact that each day is a new learning experience. Break it till you make it.
Miss, where’s your authenticity?
I have been very particular about maintaining a fair balance and distance between my personal and professional life. If the former one was in the North, the latter was in the South. The whole and sole purpose of this gap were to not let the “colleagues” judge you. Some colleagues who know that I am a spineless baboon are my best friends. For the rest of the corporate world, I am a professional with a little extra straight spine, who talks only about work.
In the writing profession, I have learned that your true work is acknowledged only when it is authentic, 100% AF. It is okay to showcase the world your real struggle, open wounds, how you overcame it, and I believe that helps you ace the profile. I recall, after my quarterly review, I went to a restaurant with Rushabh, Umair, Faris, and Harshit. All of us ordered sada butter dosa and after eating a bite or two we were missing and talking about Thambi (a famous small South Indian restaurant) which serves quality crispy dosa with tasty coconut chutney and sambar. Rushabh commented, “you know why we are talking about Thambi? Because over the years its authenticity, consistency, and delicious taste remain the same. We gotta serve the same to our customers. Be it writing high-quality content or building a high-quality product. The standard always remains higher!”
Well at times I throw eggs, don’t sugar-coat, and call out what is wrong through my content. My job allows me that freedom.
But first, understand the basics
I had a minor nervous breakdown when I was asked to publish my first blog using Markdown, VS-Code, HTML, and Figma. I mean reading a candidate’s mind, understanding ECG and a Dr’s handwriting was a lot easier to understand for a non-coder, maybe! Prasad was irritated with my illiteracy and somehow after a few days, he agreed to teach me to use the tools required to publish the blog. Rucha, Basawaraj, Faris, and Ankush taught me the basics of using Docker, vs-code, and annotation. Suraj helped me understand the basics of Figma. While all of this was learned through remote working, half of my time was spent staring at my ceiling and wondering what a mess I got myself into.
Today I can update stuff in less than 10 minutes and the best part about learning is that I can share this knowledge with others who are new to the world of blogpost.
Stir that soul in a rabbit hole
To date, I might have written more than a hundred thousand words for the blogs, each blog underwent multiple iterations. They were not the first draft that got published. On some days I’ve been lost as an Alice and there are days where you’d find me in a rabbit hole, just as mad as the Hatter. My brain does the tea-party on its own. I come out of the hole only to talk to people, get a vibe check, understand them, and run back.
The best part about my role is that I get to reach out to thousands of people through my content. Call it a fortune or whatever, while we are living in the most uncertain times where we are not allowed to meet people often, here my content has the potential to reach out to them. Kudos to whoever invented the internet! Every acknowledgment gives me a sense of belonging, every feedback creates a scope for further improvement.
Learning to create a sustainable content
I have heard of sustainable energies, clothing, and resources but never knew the concept of creating sustainable content. We are thriving on the internet and before going to any restaurant we raincheck the reviews and feedback. I realized that the content we are making serves the same and many other purposes. Updates, sales pitch, branding, advertising, information for a potential client, candidate, partnership and so much more. Sure, we would want someone to come with a lot of patience to read the content (a 7-minute content isn’t too long right?). All the stories are so real and authentic that they will be used for years to come.
Some of my meaningful stories are here:
Leap of faith
A year ago, as I switched my role from HR to Marketing, I didn’t know that my learning curve would grow by leaps and bounds. At Frappe, our normal conversations and debates are about books, global warming, leadership, sustainability, building high-quality products, and creating high-quality content.
There have been times when I didn’t perform at all, and there have been months where I pulled off some heavy content and surprised my limits. Everybody is a high performer, that firecracker energy is so contagious. I was elated to see my name on the best performing teammates list at Frappe, though I didn’t win but in my head, I was already a winner because I gave my 100%, and that motivates me to work even harder and learn from every opportunity that knocks on my door.
(Poll result for the contributor of the month)
Hello Magic! Also, hello madness!
From here on, I know that it is only about channeling the energy in the right direction. With a lot of art and some science, I am going to create a lot of magic. Sure it will come with a fist and not a pinch of madness, but what is better than learning and growing? Lumos maxima!
(Some happy moments)