Know More About Yogesh Shashi

An Inspiring Journey of a Digital Marketer with 11 Years of Experience
Who has played a major role in building the future of 5000+ Students

MY JOURNEY

2009

I completed my graduation. Fresh out of college, I had dreams of achieving something big. I started my first job as a Business Development Executive in a bulk SMS company. In a very short time, I was able to achieve 10 times the target. The incentive I had earned from this came to a huge amount, which they were not willing to pay when the time came. I did not want to work in a company that did not recognize hard work and indulged in office politics, so I moved out.

I had picked up skills related to bulk SMS in my last job. I got the idea to use this skill and started my own bulk SMS company.  This was my first step towards entrepreneurship.

I built my website and wanted to get it on top of the search results so that I could get more customers. In the process, I learned more about digital marketing and SEO and how to use it practically.

2010

By now, I was successfully running an SEO business and was also providing bulk SMS to the top companies in Bangalore. Bulk SMS was booming, and I made a good income from my business. At the same time, I started working on digital marketing projects for clients.

My sole focus was to provide the best possible service and value to my clients. To do this, I wanted to improve my knowledge of digital marketing even further. This proved difficult as there were no good digital marketing institutes at that time. I ordered all possible digital marketing books from the USA and UK and started upskilling.

I also started researching online for information on digital marketing. In fact, I can say Google is my God. My efforts paid off, and I gained complete knowledge of SEO and Google Adwords.

2011

Life took a twist in 2011. TRAI rules changed, and 90% of bulk SMS service providers shut down their business. This affected my business also. Through my bulk SMS service, I had formed good relations with some clients. I convinced 5 of those clients to tie up with me for digital marketing services. Digital marketing became the core of my business.

2012

My business picked up and by 2012 I had signed up 15 digital marketing projects. I wanted to do justice to all those projects and single-handedly I could not do it. I founded a company called “Keerthi Softways” and promoted it as web development and digital marketing company. I expanded my team to 15 members.

2013

Everything was going well on the business front, but I faced some tough times on the family front. I lost my mother who meant the world to me. This affected me so deeply that I was unable to concentrate on the business and had to close the business.

2014

Closure of the company pushed me into such a dire situation that I felt completely lost. I stayed at home for 3 months locked in a room. I was in the worst situation of my life. I had lost my entire savings and I had no money even for food.

One day, I decided that enough was enough and I had to get out of this situation. I motivated myself to start searching for jobs. I finally landed one in an MNC. Here I made a mistake of stating that I was working as a digital marketing analyst in my previous company. I had assumed that if I told them that I was the owner I would not get the job. This backfired as they did a background check and found out the truth, and I had to quit the company.

I was again back to where I had started. I was very upset by this setback, but decided there and then that I would never lie.

Sometime later, with my mother’s blessings, I got a job as a Digital Marketing Manager.

2015

I finished one and a half years in this job. I loved this job as I was learning new things and I had a very good team. Unfortunately, it was not proving financially lucrative. I did not see any increment in my salary even after one and a half years.

I had huge financial commitments. I was again caught between deciding whether to continue the job or quit. Finally, after much deliberation, one night at 2:00 a.m. I sent in my resignation to my boss. My boss informed me that before I leave I should hire one senior and one fresher who could do my job for him. I started interviewing candidates for the job.

Turning Point of My Life

One day, I was interviewing a girl who was a fresher out of college. She had completed a digital marketing course from an institute. This girl changed my life and vision. I started asking questions, but she was unable to answer even some basic questions. She couldn’t take the Google Ads certifications. It was astonishing that she didn’t even know the Google Ads certifications login URL. She started crying and told me that her trainers took the exam on her behalf.

This got me thinking about how people can cheat students and give fake certificates after charging a hefty amount of around 60,000/- as fees.

I had an in-depth knowledge of digital marketing, and I started thinking if I could start a career as a trainer. I had many reservations about this. I was an introvert by nature with very few friends and I never thought I could be a trainer.

My situation, my commitments, and my vision changed me. In spite of my reservations, I decided to go ahead. I borrowed money from friends and enrolled in digital marketing institutes. I did complete research on the training and the study material. This gave me an idea about the requirement of students and what training institutes were providing.

I spent three months at home working day and night to upskill myself. I worked hard to prepare the best possible study materials and training structure. Finally, I started Digital Academy 360 on 1st November 2015 in Bengaluru, India. This was again financed by credit from my bunch of good friends who supported me in my endeavor.

2016

By this time, I had completed the optimization of the Digital Academy 360 website. The first time I spend Rs 60,000 on Google Ads and generated 50 leads. The first batch started with 5 students. Within 2 months, our website was on the third position on the Google search engine page and leads started flowing in. I was handling 5 batches in a day. As the number of students increased, I realized that I couldn’t handle this all alone.

I hired a digital marketer and trained him on how to be a digital marketing trainer according to my requirements and standards. We both worked so hard that we started getting admissions from all over India. All the batches were full. The best thing was that 40% of the joiners were through references.

2017

The brand was growing and we couldn’t handle the crowd. At the same time, 2 of our students asked for a franchise. I had never thought about franchising as I was very concerned about the quality and the service.

Nevertheless, I came up with a good plan. I started hiring digital marketers and started training them to become digital marketing trainers. With the proper training structure and business model, I opened 2 new centers. Within 7 months, the franchise owners were able to break even. This boosted me and gave me a lot of confidence. I could see Digital Academy 360 spreading its wings.

2018

After running three centers successfully without any funding and only through references, I opened 21 centers in one year.

In 2019, we had 24 Centers and the employee strength increased from 10 to 115.

Awesome right?

Going from 1 center to 24 centers within 3 years and that too without funding was like a dream come true for me.

Sounds great right?

2019

Look what happened in 2019
-Suddenly 8 centers shut down.
-Franchise owners started their own brands.
-Students came to us for a fee refund.
We were losing on all fronts!!

Whatever I earned was invested back again in companies, so no savings. I had to return the fees and the company had a huge loss of 1.5 crores. I spoke to students, convinced them and explained the situation, and returned the complete fees.

Again my life took a U-turn. I was back to square one.

Friedrich Nietzsche rightly said, “what does not kill us makes us stronger.” I analyzed what happened and learned from my mistakes.

My Mistakes

  • Trusting people blindly!
  • Doing business with known people!
  • Never thought about the cons of business!
  • I should have done complete research about the locations!
  • Should have done complete research on the franchise owners!
  • Setting legal and franchise documents in a simple way!

Well, these were some of my mistakes.

A few franchises went under loss, the company situation was worst, and most of the team members left the organization thinking that the company will shut down.

I spent some agonizing moments with these downfalls, but yes I learned some valuable lessons for life.

A NEW BEGINNING

I started from scratch. A few of my old trusted members stayed with me and helped me set up a new team. I started working on correcting my mistakes. I focused more on rebuilding the quality of study materials, training structure, and delivery. We worked our asses off and in 3 months everything was right on track. The business has started to improve.

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Soon good news came our way. We won an award from “The Economic Times and Franchise India.” We were awarded the “Best Digital Marketing Learning Institute of the Year.”

At present, we have around 15 centers in India and a team of 80 team members. Every month, we have 300+ students joining our batches. We have 250+ hiring partners.

“I can proudly say Digital Academy 360 is the only institute in India that offers 100% guaranteed placements or complete course fees refund.”

“Anybody can take your money, property or belongings, but one thing nobody can snatch or steal is your knowledge. Knowledge is your motivation and strength that builds confidence. With the right mindset and dedication, this will help you achieve your goal.”

My journey has been a series of ups and downs. I have seen the pinnacles of success to the nadirs of failures. It is not bad to fail, if we learn from our mistakes and rise to move in the right direction, success is not far away.

Being a startup is far from easy, but with the right vision and support from good team members, it is a rewarding journey.

I have started yogeshshashi.com

During my decade long journey, one thing I have learned is that providing value is what ultimately works. Whether it is as a digital marketer or as a digital marketing trainer, my vision is to be able to spread knowledge about digital marketing globally.

Digital Academy has students from various parts of India, USA, Australia, Canada, and the UAE who are requesting for conducting online training programs on digital marketing. Though I would like to train interested students on a one-on-one basis, it is neither possible nor feasible. Therefore, I will be uploading my digital marketing videos online as well as digital marketing learning blogs. Digital marketers can keep themselves updated on the latest changes and trends happening in digital marketing and share their ideas on digital marketing with me which I highly look forward to.

My journey in the field of digital marketing has made me realize that digital marketing is my passion. It is what drives me every day, and I am committed to providing value to my students so that they can become expert digital marketers.