Ariful Fikri is one of RRGraph’s co-founders. His experience spans developing a pitching strategy for the various marketplace, fostering customer support mechanisms, and managing collaborative plans to lift the entire industry’s performance.
He will show the idea of sustainability and its correlation between creative agencies. So, read this interview thoroughly and get some wisdom from him. Let’s go.
How do you define sustainability?
Sustainability is about targets. RRGraph has been around for five years and is still growing because we determine our targets. Along with that baby-walk progress, we have worked on a different team composition that follows the market condition. Such unavoidable changes lead us to drive a specific growth in one area that matters the most. In short, if a business knows how to keep a target, they know how to sustain it.
When it comes to the practices per se, internal and external factors come along. The internal one has something to do with our team line-up, while the external factors are more into the trends in the market. We can’t change much about what happens outside the team, so we must adapt and shift our focus. For instance, we previously got more clients on the freelancer platform, while these days, we are more frequently getting direct clients through our website. So now we can give more highlights on that targeted market. Fortunately, we also have a team that only focuses on presentation templates. On top of that, we can still produce some products to sell, which is more like a long-term investment because we can sell templates anytime, even though there is no client, as happens during the pandemic.
What is your strategy to implement that idea?
Currently, I notice that more creative agencies are trying to be more versatile—many attempts to handle larger fields to cover broader design needs. RRGraph has chosen not to follow that trend. We sell presentation templates. We do a presentation redesign service. That is all. If we are not focused, clients will doubt our capability.
Do you know that a garage in West Java produces the exhausts for Lamborghini? That is just an example. Though their business is small, they have a niche, which makes them unique.
The willingness to dig into one specific field becomes a significant factor in developing a business strategy for sustainability. When we talk about a presentation, PowerPoint automatically appears in our minds. But, RRGraph has no longer seen PowerPoint and presentation as a mere projector thingy. Some clients need a presentation with a portrait format to show monthly reports and even create an advertisement on Instagram’s feed. Then there, we don’t change our tool, which is PowerPoint, but just being clever to implement it for broader usages.
Can sustainability be measured? Is there any challenge?
We, the founders, have zero experience working under another company. Therefore, I couldn’t say about prominent indications to measure our sustainability performances. However, before we jump to that point, I believe that a decent role is a must to fulfill in the first place.
To build a person to meet our perfect qualifications for one role isn’t easy. It takes a lot of processes to make one professional. It needs months, even years. And that becomes our challenge. Often, we fail to meet the company target due to the insufficiency of our employees’ skills. The emergence of a new role, namely Quality Control, Team Leader, and Strategist, can bring up and down the whole team’s performance. The people being selected with a higher position probably never got acquainted with such functions before. They have to make tough decisions that have consequences for the company, their reputation, and their career, so it is not so surprising that there will be so many trials and errors.
Let me tell you about one of our failures. Back Wed was targeting the local markets, but it didn’t work out back then. Due to Indonesia’s common currency, we realized it was not suitable for our financial cycle. Then we tried collaborating with governmental corporations, but the accessibility turned out to be our most significant barrier. We had sent the proposal, but there were no further calls. So we gave up and chose to focus on things that come off.
Do you have any advice for everyone in this field?
Experts say agencies must innovate or die a slow death, and somehow I believe in that. I still question, “Could a presentation service suddenly lose its demand?” Especially in the tech world where nothing can quite stand forever. We have to admit that the new invention can run faster before realizing it. Who knows VR will displace us all in the blink of an eye?
I barely know whether RRGraph has been moving fast or slow in this very long run. But, one thing for sure is that we have formed our roots. We know prematureness is never a good thing. Dozens of startups were booming in their second or third years, but they disappeared within the fifth year. What a pity. From that phenomenon, I realize that taking a long time for the greater good is acceptable. So here is my advice: You don’t have to rush to reach the finish line.
Get in touch with Fikri 🤝🏻
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