Women in Digital - Yamini Gautam, CEO Dehype Media

Its been a while since I wrote "Labour Day Tip: Finding your first job after graduation". When I began to think about the article, it wasn't entirely clear to me where the biggest influences were going to come from. At that point in time, my primary goal was to contribute to the employment discuss by highlighting my experience and the experience of others that have come to shape and build my understanding of the job market situation in 2018.

Reflecting on the creation process for that piece, I realized that most of the success stories I tapped into where from women. Not just women, but exceptionally young women making giant strides in the digital landscape. So I promised myself that I will devote time and effort towards discussing with some of these women; share their experiences – the highs and lows, successes and challenges along the way. It was my belief (and still is) that sharing bits and pieces from their individual stories could be helpful in providing direction to other young people who are interested in defining a path for themselves in the digital space.

For this piece, I reached out to Yamini Gautam. Originally from India, she is a digital marketing entrepreneur based in the city of Nuremberg, Germany where she manages her online boutique marketing agency. She has worked for prestigious clients such as Le Meridien, Aloft, Abercrombie and Kent and responsible for online marketing, online reputation management, paid and organic campaigns. Describing herself, she said, "by the evening I am a tabletop gamer, Netflix binger and a chronic Amazon shopper". So here you go, as usual, Enjoy!

How did your digital journey start?

Yamini: In 2008, after finishing my degree in the UK. The Internet was still in its pre-social media craze phase. As a fresh graduate, it seemed like the most exciting professional field. So I began my career in online marketing at an agency in India where I gained my first full-time online marketing experience. And today. I can say I have been fortunate enough to experience the growth of the online industry since its early days.

As an Entrepreneur, how has the experience been for you?

Yamini: It’s been great! And becoming self-employed has been my wisest career decision. I realized pretty early on that I am not a good fit for a regular 9 – 5 full-time work routines. Although I learned a great deal about the profession in that corporate setup, I quickly realized that if I want to live out my creative freedom on my terms, I will have to start my own business. As scary as it was, I set a quit date for my full-time job. And when the day came, I quitted. The more projects I took on as a freelancer, the less appealing the idea of a regular corporate job became. Now I see that being an entrepreneur has allowed me so much creative freedom, peace of mind, and autonomy. It has been worth all the hassles and potential risks that come with it! Yes, it did come with a ton of new challenges, like long working hours, and bureaucracies and so on. But would I ever trade it for a cushy 9-5 job? NO!

What would you describe as your motiving factor(s)?

Yamini: I think my motivation is anchored on the realization that I prefer to work independently. And the autonomy of being able to do several small-scale projects that have a high impact on my clients’ businesses – most of which are also start-ups and SMEs. This is entirely different in an agency environment where you are expected to work as a drone.

What would you describe as your biggest challenge running your own business?

Yamini: There is a lot I must say! For instance, setting up a business is quite a time-consuming and a bureaucracy infested process. Even more so when you are a non-EU citizen living in a country like Germany. The process can be quite exhausting, repetitive, and at times also dehumanizing, but hey when in Rome.........?

Opinion on the industry, trends, market and future?

Yamini: Digital marketing is consistently evolving, and I am excited to see newer technologies like AI, big data, cloud services play an increasingly more significant role. SaaS, Fintech & Cloud services have made it so convenient to collaborate with clients and contractors in any part of the world.  

Advice for women who aspire to be in a position like you?

Yamini: Don’t be afraid of going against the expected gender norms no matter what culture you come from.