#InsideWishberry: How I Fell In Love With An Idea That Wasn’t Even Mine

Posted on 18 March, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Everyone's often wondered what it's like working in Wishberry - where unique ideas are floating in and out, some of the best of the lot are gunning hard for crowdfunding success and no one ever knows what mad insight they'll stumble upon today. To let you in on it, we've started a whole new series of posts from the team. In this first installment, Wishberry's Chief of Campaigns - Shourya Bajpai - walks us through her big shift from freelancing in the TV industry to becoming a crowdfunding expert in her own right.     In my head, I’ve always been a traveler - chasing rainbows and trying to find a parallel world of magic. In the real world, of course, I was working on non-fiction TV shows as a producer/director. I’ve worked on popular dance, talent and cooking reality shows, while simultaneously balancing my passion for cooking and photography. If I think about my career path, I’ve always been a freelancer. Mostly because of the “free” in that word – you know, you can pretty much work on your own terms, pick up only those projects that you feel interested in. And I enjoyed  it. A lot.

So how did I land up at Wishberry; on a full-time basis, to the point where I feel as married to the idea as its co-founders? More importantly, WHY?

I knew about Wishberry from the very beginning, since I knew one of its co-founders. Being from the creative sector myself, I know that too many worthy ideas have died due to lack of a proper space that lets them do what they want how they want it. Wishberry felt like an enabler of providing a space for great ideas to exist, simply because they must. And this is one of the things that got me interested enough to leave the freelancing world behind and step into a structured job as the Head of Campaign Management and Consulting. I wanted to understand what goes into running a company and having the right business sensibilities to make a fairly new concept work in India. And the co-founders have been the kind of leaders who let you in on the inner machinations of running an organization. So it really lets me explore the entrepreneurial side and ask questions that are outside my line of work, without any hesitation. Another reason that prompted me to move was to be able to find a space where I learn the different working styles of different people, while they explore and understand mine – all in an environment where you’re comfortable, at the same time are constantly pushed to invent and innovate. Because crowdfunding is a new space, we have plenty of space to do that. And since the time I joined Wishberry, sometime more than a year ago, there has been no looking back.

What makes Wishberry a truly exciting place to be at?

Apart from the awesome coffee and an in-house kitchen where I’m allowed to run my culinary experiments? It’s the sense of excitement that’s sort of a permanent part of Wishberry’s vibe. Every day, I’m faced with the thrill of stumbling upon a brand new idea someone in some part of this country came up with. It keeps me inspired.

What do I do here?

My job is to take this idea, and make a strategy that’s worthy of its awesomeness (and one that’ll get the idea its moolah), and watch it grow day by day as it inches closer to becoming a reality. At any point in Wishberry, there are multiple excellent ideas running to raise the money to go to the next level. Each crowdfunding campaign last anywhere between 30 and 60 days, and during this time anything can happen. Your plan could backfire. Your strategy may not be giving you the result you need. Sometimes technology has failed you (because, India). Really, anything could happen. And the onus rests on my team to gauge people’s reactions and update the plan on the go – it’s like jumping from a cliff and building an aircraft on the way! My work is a mix of looking at a huge chunk of data, making accurate insights out of them, building a foolproof marketing and outreach strategy for crowdfunding campaigns, and then just hoping for a happy ending. Oh and in between, it’s latching on to the internet and finding out what the creative bugs from around the world are up to. Wishberry thrives on crazy ideas. And when you’re a part of this team, you invariably become a creative parasite too. I take my coffee at Wishberry with sugar and a dash of creepily accurate analysis out of what could look like a mumbo-jumbo of numbers to an outsider.

What does a day in Wishberry look like?

My day at Wishberry looks exactly like I’d want a good day to be – crazy. Every day is about monitoring how each project is performing and what can be done to improve it. Helping upcoming projects get ready for crowdfunding. Firefighting where needed. Watching newer and awesome videos for pitch video inspiration! Watching these creative projects meet their targets. And my favourite – huddling with the entire team for a good brainstorming session for new (and often scandalous) ideas and one-liners for campaigns. Everyday, a new learning that I had no clue about finds its way home. Another crucial part of my day includes picking my campaigners’ brains, getting an insight into their personality and trying to find ways to bring out the best of their persona. This involves A LOT of calling, strategizing and solving creative issues. I have to push creators to understand and accept 2 things:
  • It’s okay to admit that your idea is awesome and that you can pull it off
  • It’s okay to scream out loud from the rooftops. Independent creators need to blow their trumpets in public, because no one else is going to do it for them. That’s how you build mob mentality in your favour!

What’s my work mantra?

Believe. Believing is crucial. Belief that every campaign that comes my way will succeed is what pushes me to help them succeed in all the ways possible. Belief is what gets shit done. If you don’t burn your own blood over your own idea, who else will?  

What truly pushes me to do my best at Wishberry?

We have moaned, groaned and lamented at the lack of enthusiasm from mainstream channels and big players in support for the indies. Crowdfunding tells you to stop cribbing, start hustling. It makes you want to do your idea the only way you want it – your way. And I am a part of an organization that lets me actively help some of the craziest ideas in the country see the light of day. And if I ever feel like I’m slacking, I’m constantly reminded (often loudly, in the form of a raucous joke, a snarky comment, a wild random idea or good food that’s always willing to be shared) that I am a part of something awesome and valuable. If that doesn’t motivate anyone to do epic things, I don’t know what does.    

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