EXCLUSIVE | Saurabh Pacheriwal, Gemius Design Studio: Keep hustling [Year-Ender 2020]

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Saurabh Pacheriwal, Co-founder of Gemius Design Studio, is a branding and marketing consultant with more than 10 years of experience in communications and concept development. He is also a licensee and curator of one of the biggest festivals of ideas in Gujarat – TEDxSurat.

In this exclusive piece, Saurabh shares how despite the pandemic, his team and he overcame the difficult times, his key takeaways from 2020, about Gemius’ growth, and more. Read on.


2020 has truly been a memorable year, for good reasons and bad, I am sure this generation of ours will always remember the year, and the year will leave a very important chapter in the books of history in the time to come. When the news about the pandemic started spreading, none of us might have imagined the shape it would take. Each time we heard more about it, a belief came from within – this will soon end.

But now that 2020 has ended but the impact of the pandemic still remains around us, it makes me rethink the control we have in our lives and the world at large. More than nine months have passed and by now, we have learned to live with the pandemic around us. Resilience builds over time and we adapt as human beings and this has shaped us as individuals. If you sit back and reflect upon what we have gone through, you are sure to learn our true strength.

Relations grew stronger during this pandemic – we started learning more about our true connections – the people who really care. We could all bond better with our families, stay with our families and learn more about them. The year has taught a lot of things to all of us but most importantly it taught us about the truth of our existence.

Resilience builds over time and we adapt as human beings and this has shaped us as individuals. If you sit back and reflect upon what we have gone through, you are sure to learn our true strength: Saurabh Pacheriwal

The same lies in work-life. While several businesses around the world suffered, the real mettle of leaders across the world was displayed. Several philanthropists came forward and contributed in whatever way they could. Ours was a difficult journey as well. Running a Creative Agency with a workforce of over 40 people was difficult – to maintain the expenses when the income reduced – it started becoming a challenge.

I remember sitting with my partner at work and life, Anushree, and jotting down the list of clients who have taken a big hit due to the pandemic. We wrote to them and offered them to reduce our service charges – and at the same time wrote to our team and expressed how we are trying to sustain the shift of time and how we are trying our best to make the ends meet.

Fortunately, one of the biggest achievements we have had during the pandemic is that we didn’t have to cut down the drawings of our team members. Many wrote to us saying that because the other bread earners in their family are also suffering due to business/job hits, the money that they draw really matters to them and if we could do something to increase the numbers in a few cases.

Relations grew stronger during this pandemic – we started learning more about our true connections – the people who really care… The year has taught a lot of things to all of us but most importantly it taught us about the truth of our existence: Saurabh Pacheriwal

For some of them, we raised their drawings. After a couple of months of hit in business, digital marketing became a primary source of communication for people, and several brands started approaching us with their accounts. June 2020 onwards, we onboarded over 10 people, touching the mark of 50+ team members – thankfully we didn’t have to undercut anyone’s drawings – and have been able to sustain so far.

Here are my key takeaways that made 2020 one of the most memorable years for me.

– Self-belief and a positive attitude can move mountains

– Keep hustling to create something better every day

– Stay close to your family – physically or emotionally

– Many things are not in your control, let them happen

In all, 2020 has been a year of learning and skepticism and has left us all in deep thinking. Definitely a year to remember for the time to come.

Your thoughts, please