An Interview with Nevilson Christian, Founder and CEO at SeekThem
Founder and CEO at SeekThem, Nevilson Christian, joined our Q&A sessions.
Scroll down to learn more about the establishment of the creative design agency SeekThem, what inspires the CEO the most, and so much more!
1. Could you explain the meaning of your company’s name to those of us who don’t know? What does SeekThem mean?
It’s from Rumi. “What you seek is seeking you.” This goes back to a phase in my life wherein I was hesitant to swim into the sea of entrepreneurship because I wondered: ‘how will I find a willing and paying client?’ And my first client found me.
I was pleasantly surprised that the client was happier at having found me! And I wanted my brand name to be a nod to the words that give me courage.
When a customer is out searching, I hope my agency’s name acts as an appeal to the universe to connect us.
2. When was your agency founded?
I was working on the idea since 2020 but it came into reality in the midst of the pandemic 2021.
3. Can you tell us about your personal journey? How did you become the CEO of a successful creative design company?
Glad you asked this. My entrepreneurial journey is the standard, boring journey. And you’d find it hard to convince me that this isn’t true for 95% of entrepreneurial journeys.
I worked for 7 years in sales and marketing for a martech agency. Loved the environment. Loved the challenges. Loved the quest for big ideas. Until I couldn’t look away from the one fact that customers stayed with products that delivered brilliant user experiences. The marketing brilliance is a spark in the sky. The UX is the painstaking wirework that keeps the lights on forever.
And I wanted to do it on my terms, all the time. So, I trained myself, learned on the job, built a network, got a project offer from a big client, and incorporated. I built a team, was able to delight our first client, got more, and that’s it – the organic, boring, and risk-free journey from employee to CEO.
4. What does a day in the life of a CEO look like?
Not a taker of morning routines and so forth really. Wake up around 7, be done with calls and meetings by noon, end work at 6 ish, let life happen for a few hours, and then plan the next day plus catch up on emails (which is about half an hour’s work). Read, and sleep.
5. How do you balance your work life and your personal life as a leader?
All work isn’t equal. Something’s important, something’s urgent, and something’s both. I use the Eisenhower Matrix to sort myself. It helps get the important stuff done first and leaves me enough time to enjoy it with the family.
6. What is your ground vision for the future of SeekThem?
We want to work across industries, and identify the principles that cut through all markets, business models, buying habits, and so on. That’s when we can scale out and say that it doesn’t matter whether you build SaaS tools or missiles, we can handle your business.
7. In your opinion, what are the challenges your industry will face within the next 5 years?
Talent retention is a big one. Inventing engagement models that fit well with the shape-shifting ways of the market – that’s a big one too. Who makes the first move? Who pays the cost of teaching the market the new way of business?
8. Especially considering the metaverse and extended reality techs shaping the industry of digital marketing and design, how do you integrate your work with the technology to move to the next level?
Our clients teach us a lot. My first client was a travel booking service, and the next one was a crypto fin-tech service. This one was a referral client from the first one. The CEO of the travel company told me that I would get nowhere if I waited to hire – let’s say – a crypto branding expert in the team, before taking up crypto clients. It doesn’t work that way. So, my motto is: you get on with it. New tech will pop up every Sunday. But only the ones that deliver on their promises see the New Year’s first sunrise. And learn along the way.
9. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
My family and friends know this – it’s Rumi’s poetry. I got into it in my late teens, and it’s stayed with me through thick and thin. When it rains, I reach for Rumi.
10. Why do you think your agency stands out from other design agencies?
It’s mind-blowing how many creative design agencies are doing such awesome work. We’ve been able to mark out a niche by telling the market that if they’re stuck with an obsolete website that needs to look new, and works as a business asset, you talk to us. That works.
11. What’s next for your team and SeekThem?
More of the same really. It’s not been long. We love the thrill of a new project. So more of the same.
12. What aspect of your agency required the most assistance since the day it was founded?
It was and continues to be a pain to find the right talent. India is a cutthroat market. Everyone’s out poaching, so an agency has to build a team of co-creators and co-owners to retain the core group. Still learning.
13. One of SeekThem’s services is branding. Can you explain the importance and effects of rebranding for an agency and for other businesses?
It’s crucial. Even Coke didn’t stop chiseling their brand image, and they’re at it even today. Your brand is what your business would be if it were a person. And that person can’t be a snapshot frozen in time. That’s what dinosaurs are.
14. Which industries do most of your clients come from? What challenges have they been facing and how SeekThem helped them to overcome these challenges?
It’s a mix. Travel, retail, medicine, fintech, and eCommerce are the big ones. Perhaps because most websites in the early 2010s were in these categories. They made websites, and never touched them. Now, they look like fossils. So they want a UX to revamp. And we give it to them.
15. How does being a DAN member contribute to your company’s success?
I was a user of DAN before I registered as a service provider. I know professionals search for agencies on DAN. It’s great to be found out by serious, discerning service shoppers via DAN.
16. What is your secret talent no one knows about?
I’m ambidextrous with a pen and a knife. Not a mighty useful skill, mind you.
17. What is inspiring you the most?
If there’s a cult of skeptical CEOs, tell me. I’d get a lifetime membership right away. Nothing inspires me but a real-time conversation with a customer who really goes into the details of why they loved my team’s work. Sorry if that sounded snobbish, it’s more like imposter syndrome!
18. What is your favorite desk object?
30 minutes timer. Flip it, race through the to-do, take a break at 30 mins, and repeat.