Road to success isn’t easy, Interview with Zeeshan Zafar, Founder & CEO of KDMI and Digital Rosogulla
Hi Everyone, Welcome to the Marketing Mavericks Interview Series – EP08.
In this episode, I’m with Digital Marketing Expert & Educator Zeeshan Zafar, Founder & CEO of Digital R0sogulla and Lead Trainer of KDMI (Kolkata Digital Marketing Institute).
You all must have heard this saying, Where there’s a will, there’s a way!!! Zeeshan’s journey is a perfect example of that.
So today in this session we will listen to the story of a normal boy who’s life once came into a halt after his father’s sudden demise while he was just in 10th standard and afterward how with sheer determination & will power he had transformed everything.
Today after nearly a decade of struggles & hard work, he is the Owner of one of the leading Digital Marketing Institute & a full-service Digital Agency from Kolkata.
So let’s begin the interview,
Animesh: Hi Zeeshan, Welcome to JobsFrontier. It’s our real pleasure to have you today in this episode of our Marketing Mavericks Interview Series. So, before delving into the main interview, we all want to know about Zeeshan Zafar aka “ZishuBhaiya” a bit personally.
Zeeshan: ZishuBhaiya is not just a name, it’s a character.
I am a middle-class family boy who lost his father at an early age and faced all possible challenges as an orphan, but I did not accept the defeat. Somehow, I have completed my schooling under the free Scholarship program provided by Insan School but I didn’t know what to do after, as there were no proper means, no guidance, and no further hope for higher education. But as there is a saying, “Where there is a will there is a way”.
So, I started looking for opportunities to get higher education and then I got to know that my father had left some farming land in a village that was under my relative’s possession but there were no documents available with my mother, so I couldn’t prove that it was mine to take it back.
Long story short, A 10th Standard boy, not only found the way to get the documents from the government authority but also educated himself and his 4 younger brothers while taking care of his family.
Now after 7 years, I am the CEO of 2 companies KDMI – Kolkata Digital Marketing Institute & Digital Rosogulla (a Digital Marketing Agency). I have also started a Youtube channel named ZishuBhaiya to share similar positive stories that have big motivation.
KDMI is my main venture where I, personally give Digital Marketing Training and help students to acquire digital marketing skills and a positive mindset. I am not just a trainer, actually, I am a mentor who treats his students like his own brothers and sisters and makes sure that they achieve their goals while having a positive mindset, to be happy in their lives, and share positivity.
This love and care between me and my students take me from a “Typical Class Sir” to ZishuBhaiya.
Animesh: Thanks Zeeshan for taking us such an emotional & inspirational journey with you.
Now tell me one thing, you had a pretty diverse professional background before coming into Digital Marketing, so what inspired you to make that transition? When for the first time you got bitten by the bug of Digital Marketing?
Zeeshan: I am an Engineer by Profession but “Wo kahte hai na, har Engineer ko Entrepreneurship Ka Kida lag hi jata hai” so that is true for me as well, so after taking up a job, I was working as a telecom engineer for Airtel but I wasn’t satisfied.
Like lakhs of engineers, I also wanted to do something of my own and start exploring things but again “Money” was the roadblock for my startup, that time in 2013-14, I was introduced with digital marketing and started learning by myself, but after a year with my savings of Rs.50,000 I started my own food start-up called NashtaWashta which failed just in 4 months and then I switched my career into software marketing.
I started working for my college senior’s app development company “Kazma Technology Pvt Ltd”. There I learned and got my experience in digital marketing.
Animesh: How KDMI happened & why you had chosen a field like Digital Marketing Training particularly?
Zeeshan: During my job in marketing, I was interacting with all top companies’ leader in Kolkata like Shree Leathers, Afcons, National Insurance, and many MSMEs and I found there is a huge requirement of digital marketers as companies want to switch digitally but there is a huge skill gap so I understood this problem and took this as an opportunity and planned KDMI as I love helping people.
Initially, I was giving one to one consultations, then weekend classes, then finally I quit my job and started full time. Now students of top Kolkata colleges like JD Birla Institue, StXaviers College, AmityUniversity, etc. get trained in KDMI.
Animesh: How you are foreseeing the future of digital marketing as a profession in India? Are you predicting any saturation point in the near future?
Zeeshan: Digital Era has already begun and I am proud that India is at the forefront, so I am seeing 5 to 10yrs of Golden age of digital marketing, then again technological change will happen in the digital marketing domain as AI advancement is very rapid, but yes change is the game.
Animesh: What would be your suggestion for those who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing?
Zeeshan: I will say that it’s the golden time now and it happens once in a lifetime when the complete technological shift happens so don’t miss this opportunity or else you will keep saying “Kash Maine Bhi Digital Marketing Karliya Hota”.
Animesh: Nowadays finding the right digital marketing course is really difficult and highly confusing. Especially for a newbie who is about to step into this arena & still know nothing.
So in a circumstance like this, what would be your suggestion for picking the right Digital Marketing Course out of so many?
Zeeshan: We are living in the information age so before entering into the digital marketing world, I would suggest learning the basics from free sources like Youtube, Coursera then go for any Offline or Online Courses.
Follow these 4 steps to find the right Digital Marketing Course,
- Identify your digital marketing goals like what do you want to achieve from this course (Ex- You want a job, or you want to become an influencer or you want to start an eCommerce venture, etc.)
- Find the best institute (Check their Google rating, check their course modules, and fees)
- Take the free demo and interact with your trainer so you get to know what you are going to get.
- Implement what you learn.
Animesh: You are also the owner of Digital Rosogulla, a full-service Digital Agency. So as an employer when you are on the other side of the table, what qualities you look for while hiring a Digital Marketer?
Zeeshan: I look for 3 simple yet very important things while hiring,
- Common Sense & Listening skill
- Communication Skill
- Digital Marketing skill
And I prefer assigning live tasks to candidates to check whether they can actually execute it or it’s just bookish knowledge.
Animesh: According to you, what is the best & most effective way to learn & become a master in Digital Marketing?
Zeeshan: The best way to learn Digital Marketing is to learn by implementing, that’s how I have designed my course; for example, if I am teaching how to create a Facebook page then you must implement it on your own in order to learn, as Digital marketing is a practical skill and can’t be learned just by reading books.
Animesh: Do you think an MBA degree is really important to become a successful Digital Marketer & especially to reach the top of the ladder in a professional career? Looking for a brutally honest opinion.
Zeeshan: To be very honest MBA is not at all important to become successful in Digital Marketing but yes, if you are into an old fashioned corporate structure which is sadly followed by most of the organizations then certainly degree still shines, not only MBA degree, you will be needing top institution MBA degree to grab certain positions.
Animesh: Link Building in 2020!!! Share the secret behind an effective link building strategy apart from all the traditional methods.
Zeeshan: SEO is a race so you must run faster than your competitor.
It’s a simple backlinking strategy followed by all top digital marketers even by me, spy your competitors’ links then build your links accordingly,
Animesh: SEO vs Paid Marketing. For long term success & sustainable growth which one do you think is more effective?
Zeeshan: Initially we used to tell our clients that for the short term you have to do paid marketing and for long term SEO is the key, but now we can’t afford to leave any one of those.
Mixed Marketing is the answer for long term success, so you have to do both in order to get the desired result. You just have to analyze the right ratio of both in order to get a better ROI.
Animesh: 5 Digital Marketing Tools which you use on a daily basis for your day to day operation.
- Yoast SEO
- Google Alert
Animesh: Now one last question, what is your opinion about the work we are doing at JobsFrontier for the Digital Marketing community?
Zeeshan: JobsFrontier is doing excellent work, it’s a great help for our Digital Marketing community. Both employees & employers are being benefitted, especially the students/ aspiring digital marketers.
JobsFrontier will be saving lots of time and effort and will become super helpful in such difficult times where unemployment in India is at an all-time high.
So keep doing the great work.
Animesh: Share any quote of Zeeshan Zafar for all aspiring Digital Marketers!!!
Literally, the world is in your hand today, now you have to decide if you want to use or lose this opportunity.
Animesh: Thank you so much Zeeshan for this wonderful Interview. Your story will instill great inspiration & confidence in all aspiring digital marketers.
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