Brand Makers

Varun Duggirala on moving from The Glitch and his creator journey

The Glitch’s founder Varun Duggirala shares entrepreneurial lessons and the impact of being a content creator on his personality.

By  Priyanka NairOct 6, 2022 2:19 PM
Varun Duggirala on moving from The Glitch and his creator journey
Varun Duggirala, co-founder of The Glitch, quit this week to pursue new personal projects in the creator ecosystem.

In 2010, when Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj got together to set up a business, they wanted to name it Jay, Veeru & Co for the love of Sholay (the film), and ‘spirit’, a brainwave that emerged over several rounds of beers. Soon they realised it wasn’t a great idea and put their thinking hat to work. They decided to found a company that provides solutions, and thought The Glitch would be an apt name for it. What started as a video production house for the web, soon became a creative digital agency. Over the years, The Glitch became a creative shop to watch. They were acquired by WPP, the world’s largest advertising holding company, in 2018.

Cut to 2022. Duggirala has decided to move on. He tells Storyboard18 that he thinks it’s “the right time to hand over the reins.” Duggirala, who is a content creator too, is the host of the popular podcast "Advertising is dead - It’s all business now." He plans to work on a slow-growth project and spend a lot of time with his daughter in the coming days. Duggirala talks at length with us about his entrepreneurial journey, the impact of being a content creator on his personality and more.

Why did you decide to move on?

It’s never an easy decision to move on from an organisation that one has helped build but there is always the right time to hand over the reins. This felt like the appropriate time for that. The executive team has been working to integrate The Glitch deeper into the VMLY&R network and reimagine what the leadership for the future will be and what they will work towards. This was always part of the plan. Post my exit, I will continue to be a cheerleader from the outside for this stellar organisation I’ve been a part of building over the last 14 years.

You are taking up a slow-growth project. Could you share more about it with our readers?

After 14 years of being a hands-on entrepreneur, I’m stepping back from a life driven by work and moving towards a life driven by curiosity and slow-growth. Through my content and its ecosystem I’ll be working to add value to my audience (especially working professionals) by using my experience and knowledge to help them find balance and clarity in their lives to tap into their innate curiosity. More to come in the next few months as I take my time solidifying how I can make a real impact.

As an entrepreneur, what has The Glitch taught you?

I discovered every aspect of what it takes to be a leader and entrepreneur at The Glitch. If I had to pick one thing, it would be to always keep respect and empathy for those around you as your navigators. The rest takes care of itself.

The nature of digital marketing has changed by leaps and bounds. What according to you are opportunities for agencies like The Glitch?

As much as we might believe things have changed. The foundational elements of creativity, content, technology, and data-led strategy still hold true. The opportunity lies in providing deeper business solutions to the challenges brands face in today’s dynamic environment.

As someone who is in the business of digital marketing, what do you think are the areas that agencies need to work on? Today, the competition is everyone - in-house teams, boutiques, consultancies, freelancers, and even content creators. How can agencies pitch better?

As the needs of brands have evolved so has the need for agencies to change. In many ways, the last 3-5 years have been a definite period of acceleration in this evolution. Agencies like The Glitch & VMLY&R today have evolved to be true partners by ensuring everything from consultancy practices, to bespoke content solutions, and even future-forward creative technology initiatives. The need is for an evolved and modern approach and networks like VMLY&R and WPP are leading the charge on that front.

According to you, how did the WPP acquisition change brand The Glitch?

The core focus when The Glitch became a part of WPP was to inject our new age creative energy into the system and for us to soak in the growth engine that WPP could provide while retaining and combining our collective culture focus. So, I’d have to say its mission accomplished on that front.

Do you have a message for new entrepreneurs, especially those who are in the marketing business?

The one piece of advice I’d give is to build a team that has the sense of ownership to build for today while you keep an eye on the future.

You are also a content creator. How has that helped you enhance your personality both professionally and personally?

There is a need in today’s time to dig deeper into the broad paradigm shifts that have made all of us question how we grow and live as individuals. We’re all looking for ways to find more balance and clarity in the way we live our lives. My content creation journey has always been about exploring these aspects and diving into newer realms of my curiosity. It has also provided me with a way to build a connection with a wider audience and create content that provides deeper value to them.

First Published on Oct 5, 2022 12:43 PM