We disrupt the impossible when we dream big and work hard to achieve it without realizing our limitations. Because of its heavy body and short wingspan, the Bumblebee cannot fly according to the laws of physics. But the Bumblebee is unaware of this and has been flying for eons, defying physics.
Similarly, The Bumblebee Branding Company (inspired by the insect’s uniqueness) is a self-motivated group of positively charged, limit-agnostic, infectiously enthusiastic people who are eager to go the extra mile and help customers achieve their goals, no matter what. When the Co-founders, Sastharam Ravendran and Achinthya Suresh, wanted to develop an in-house marketing team for the Sarash Group, Chennai, they started their dream flight with Bumblebee in 2017.
From only working for the Sarash Group, Bumblebee quickly expanded to take on external high-profile projects and become a city-wide marketing and branding agency. They became well-known for creating brands from nothing more than an idea, developing winning marketing strategies, and empowering businesses to reach new heights.
Sastharam shares, “Today, Bumblebee is synonymous with quality branding and marketing services in Chennai and beyond!”
In August 2022, Bumblebee was recognized as part of the 10 best Advertising Startups in India by Startup City magazine.
The Dream Flight Begins…
Bumblebee has steadily grown since 2016, reaching a peak at the end of 2019. However, in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, the business experienced a sharp decline before quickly bouncing back to its former glory by the end of 2020 and going on to become more successful than it had ever been, emerging as the one to watch in the city.
Bumblebee has grown from a two-person team in 2020 to a thriving 15-person team with a slew of elite clients all over the world. The Bees handle end-to-end branding and marketing for businesses from Dubai to the United States to Australia, regardless of where they are in their branding journey. They primarily focus on building brands to make a name for themselves in the digital world, but their capabilities extend beyond this into the real world, where they also conduct offline activities!
One of the main reasons the Bumblebees are ahead of their competitors is that they see themselves as partners rather than vendors. When they accept a client, they become an extension of the company. “We believe that any job we do should be done properly. The bees don’t do anything halfway,” Achinthya says.
“Some of our unique offerings include the 52-week parentship package, in which we offer to work with clients for one year. During this time, we help clients build their brands from the ground up, assist them with marketing, and empower them to become market leaders,” Sastharam explains.
This is accomplished through meticulously planned branding, marketing, analyses, and elevation. Everything at the hive, according to Achinthya, is driven by strategy. “Before beginning any work for our client, the bees go through a rigorous discovery session to ensure that everyone is on the same page.”
These discovery sessions are just one of the many things that set bees apart from the rest. The sessions, which can last from eight to ten hours over a span of a few weeks, help the bees understand everything about the client’s business, requirements, and what the business needs to become a market leader.
Bumblebees, with capabilities that include all marketing and branding activities, have assisted in the development of businesses from inception to market scale.
Clients’ brands are an extension of the bees’ brand, from the initial consultation to the final deliverables. They offer a wide range of branding and marketing services to clients in industries ranging from mobile apps to hospitality, beauty, and government, among others.
The Power Play
Bumblebee’s seven-stage power play gives it and its clients a competitive advantage. Their capabilities range from brand building from scratch to helping brands that are stagnant in the market to grow to heights they never envisioned.
Sastharam says, “We never see our clients as just another job. We see them as people who want to build a better world and we can help them do that. For example, Risio, a dental start-up in Chennai, which we were part of since the idea phase, brings oral care to the homes of patients who, due to various reasons, find it difficult to leave their homes to visit the dentist.”
Achinthya puts, “Similarly, we have worked with multiple other clients and we firmly believe that with every project, we are creating a difference.”
Their services include,
- Build a Brand
- Go to Market
- Market a Brand
- Generate Leads
- Optimize the Brand
- Scale the Brand
“The above services are part of the 52-week package mentioned earlier, where we are with our clients from the beginning. However, some clients come to us at various stages in their branding journey and require Bumblebee’s assistance, which we are happy to help with,” says Sastharam.
Achinthya adds, “In addition, to digital marketing, we also provide offline and on-ground marketing with the help of the Bumblebee partners.
For these clients, we provide
- Discovery and Strategy
- Content Creation and Development
- Social Media
- Web Development
- WebApp Development
- Television Commercials
- Advertising – Print & Outdoor
Some of Bumblebee’s esteemed clients are
- Tamil Nadu Government
- The Hindu
- South Indian actress Khushboo
- Dindigul Thalappakatti Restaurant
- Apollo Hospitals
- RKG Ghee
- Naturals Beauty Salons
- Celebrity Badminton League
- Trend Loud
- Tiruchy Public School
- Maatram Foundation
And many more!
Sastharam says that they don’t believe in the one-size-fits approach. For every client, they tailor-make their marketing approach as per the industry and business requirements.
He asserts, “We are with our clients every step of the way, thinking big with our unique offerings and coming up with one-of-a-kind ideas that will catch attention, make heads turn, and get people to register our clients’ presence. Big or small budget, we ensure that we add loads of value to whichever job we do.”
“A lot of our clients have come to us through referrals, and they haven’t been disappointed. This is because we always insist on discovery sessions with our clients to get the complete picture before we get started on their work. This is unique to our agency since we believe in giving 100% of our time and commitment to our clients. We never start a project without understanding the scope, timeline, and budget, and signing the timesheet,” adds Achinthya.
The people at the Bumblebee Branding Company are a tight-knit community who are buzzing with energy, looking for new challenges to overcome. “We have cultivated an environment of constant learning and you can always find us constantly skilling and reskilling because we strongly believe that one never stops learning,” expresses Sastharam.
Two Golden Bees
Sastharam aka Sash is an entrepreneur, thought leader, problem solver, public speaker, mentor, and motivator. He has over 12 years of experience in the industry and has given over 3000 speeches in more than ten countries. Coming from a wealthy family whose businesses were handed to him on a silver platter, Sastharam has always wanted to write his own entrepreneurial story. He started by successfully pioneering his family businesses by venturing into new areas that were different from the traditional corporate structures.
Sastha, a serial entrepreneur, ventured out of his comfort zone and started his businesses. He was not afraid to make mistakes because he always wanted to learn and grow. In one instance, he was at the lowest point of his entrepreneurial career, but he learned from his mistakes, worked extremely hard, and developed into a successful businessman. With his highly successful branding start-up The Bumblebee Branding Company, he redefined the way businesses are run.
Today, he owns and operates six successful businesses with clients in five countries.
Sastha’s leadership skills go beyond corporate management. He was the unscripted hero of the 2015 Chennai floods, gathering more than 500 volunteers and food, water, and supplies for flood victims in less than seven days. Radio One interviewed Sastha about his key role in this effort.
Sastharam describes himself as a cheerful person who likes to learn from his mistakes and proactively provide opportunities for others to succeed. He is a foodie and an avid photographer with a constant thirst for knowledge.
Achinthya, aka Chinch, has more than ten years of experience and expertise in various fields, including customer service (sales) and e-learning – building LMS (Learning Management Systems) modules.
She develops strategies, plans tactics, and implements campaigns at Bumblebee with the goal of increasing sales. Heading a bootstrapped company, she initially wore several hats, which allowed her to work and become an expert in web analytics, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and SEO.
One of the reasons she came up with Bumblebee is because she is passionate about helping small and large businesses establish themselves in their niche. She has had a lot of success in this field, using strategic marketing, customer service, and social media to increase brand loyalty.
While many consider this a job, marketing is Achinthya’s passion. She enjoys finding new ways to increase brand engagement, awareness, and audience growth by developing top-of-funnel brand marketing strategies.
She creates content and deploys it across multiple platforms and social media channels to increase brand awareness and drive demand, and plays a key role in strategy development and execution of advertising campaigns. She leverages data to understand the audiences better and track results.
Chinch specializes in multi-channel marketing campaigns and is particularly experienced in social media. She prides herself on being self-taught in marketing by listening to industry experts and staying up to date with the latest trends in the industry. ‘Design Thinking’ from the International Business Management Institute was one of the courses she took to improve her marketing skills.
Achinthya is reputed for her magic touch on every project. To drive awareness and acquisition, she oversaw the creation of a cohesive, cross-platform digital experience that included social media, landing pages, email campaigns, PPC campaigns (Google AdWords), display advertising, and organic search optimization.
When Achinthya is not working, you can find her watching her favourite shows, learning something new, experimenting with new recipes, or playing with her golden retriever, Spyro.
Sash plus Chinch equal to Magic
Together, Achinthya and Sastha have built a brand that has become a household name in the city. The combination of Achinthya’s creative flair and Sastha’s business acumen has proven fruitful for the company. Sastha and Achinthya have taken their partnership to the next level and recently tied the knot. From business partners, they have now become life partners.
Sash and Chinch, as they are known in the hive, have adopted a very different hiring process for their company. They feel that the will to learn is more important than skill. They believe in giving everyone a chance to prove themselves, and they have not been wrong till date.
The Bumblebee team is made up of people from different backgrounds and walks of life, from people starting in their careers to people looking for a fresh start in life. The team comes from humble and diverse backgrounds, but together, their unwavering values and beliefs make them one of the strongest, toughest, and most successful teams ever.
The Bumblebees are proud to say that they work hard and play hard. They believe that things are not fun if they are easy. Keeping this in mind, the team has worked on multi-continental projects both in-person and online and succeeded in them as well!
Their values are
- Respect each other
- Keep it transparent
- Communicate to empower
- Fly high like the Bumblebee
Sash and Chinch are looking for enthusiastic, knowledgeable people who want to learn and prove themselves. All bees bring an infectious energy to the hive and are always up for challenges.
In the two years of the pandemic and afterward, when many businesses had to close, the founders grew Bumblebee in a spectacular form and reached milestones at a dizzying pace.
They completed 20 new projects and launched three new brands. They also created a visual content team for their agency and developed their winning formula for building successful million-dollar brands.
One reason Sash and Chinch have made Bumblebee a resounding success in this niche is their hard work, perseverance, and dedication. They believe that there is no substitute for hard work and have instilled this value in their team members.
They also feel that you should have fun in everything you do. In the Bumblebees’ hive, there is always laughter, joking, and laughing. They believe that a positive atmosphere contributes to the quality of work.
The Techno Beehive
In their opinion, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are here to stay and most, if not all companies swear by them. Adopting AI & ML technologies tip the scales in their favour because they help elevate business processes, automate tasks, and free up resources to focus on more important work.
These emerging technologies are pretty much changing the entire business landscape. However, start-ups may still struggle to harness their power effectively, due to obstacles such as cost and lack of adequate talent. Once these barriers are overcome, these technologies help start-ups work smarter, better, and more effectively.
Cloud computing has made adoption easier because of the lowered costs and easy access. This was especially a blessing in disguise when employees began working from home at the beginning of the pandemic. The technologies help continue the workflow without a hitch.
Their simple advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is, “always keep the big picture in mind whenever you make any decision. Don’t look at the business as a means for some quick cash but look at it as an establishment that will last for years to come. This may require some hard decisions, but you will enjoy the fruits of the labour in the long run.”
Expanding the Hive
Sharing their plans, Sastha says, “At Bumblebee, we are constantly looking at new avenues to grow our brand, extend our services and help businesses realize their dreams on a much larger scale than what we are doing now.”
Chinch adds, “While we are expanding and trying to accelerate the process, we are aware that scaling also comes with its own set of problems. It is the dream that we don’t face any challenges, but the reality is that we will and we are working on equipping ourselves to overcome the challenges.”
Some of these challenges can be
- Ensuring a steady workflow of client projects
- Maintaining service quality
- Increasing profits
- Constantly adding reliable and talented resources to the team
And Sastha concludes, “We love that our employees have taken a page out of our book and are constantly upskilling, working on themselves, and trying to make themselves, Bumblebee, and the customers’ brand better.”