Two graduates from different disciplines, Giriraj Saha (MFin 2020) and Zac Baldwin (BBus 2020) launched a new company during COVID-19 to help small businesses enhance their digital presence to make up for the closure of bricks and mortar stores and a lack of foot traffic. The pair share their experience with their alumni community.
What is it like running your own business?
GIRIRAJ: “Running your own business is never easy when you build it from scratch. We came from different disciplines and to consider everything from accounting and finance, marketing, management and human resources. As we are not selling any physical products, our main resource is our staff and their skills.
Running a business on a day-to-day basis is pretty challenging, there is never a 9-5 workday. You are always working extended hours, or on the weekend. I find joy tackling those challenges, and it gives me satisfaction to use my natural abilities and strengths to help improve or grow the business.”
During the pandemic, you co-founded Markosis and many businesses had to move online, what sort of help were you able to provide businesses?
GIRIRAJ: “During the time of pandemic, it was crucial for many businesses to go online since there wasn't enough foot traffic for certain businesses and industries. This was one of the core reasons why I started my digital marketing agency.
The agency’s aim is to support or to provide affordable digital marketing solution to small businesses, which never dreamt of hiring an agency due to the cost.
I co-founded Markosis with fellow UTAS student Ahmed J. Adib. We set up a digital pack service called ‘Covid DigiPac’to help businesses with basic online platforms or online persona building.”
Zac, can you tell us about when you joined the company and what your role involves?
“Giri reached out to me in December 2020, and I joined the company in January 2021. I joined as Client Relationship Manager, which involves dealing with our clients and making sure their projects run smoothly, as well as creating new strategies to gain more clients for our agency.”
I understand you both took part in the corporate internship program during your studies at the University of Tasmania, what lessons did you learn?
GIRIRAJ: “We both took part in the corporate internship with Parkify during our final year at UTAS. It was an up-and-coming ticketless parking app for Hobart and this is where Zac and I met.
It built my entrepreneurial skills, allowed me to be mentored by industry leaders and I also learnt about the importance of working in a team environment.”
ZAC: “I learnt that you are constantly learning. Even after 30+ years in the industry, our mentor was explaining how she is still learning about different approaches and strategies she can apply to her business. This is especially the case in marketing, where trends and procedures can change rapidly, there really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ formula. This, along with the ability to organise and work as a team remotely, showed Giri and I the importance of streamlining our processes and communicating on all business fronts.”
Do you have a quote you both live by?
GIRIRAJ: “Treat other people like you want to be treated. I use this every day when it comes to delivering my client what I promise. I put myself in the client’s shoes and deliver the service I would want to receive myself.
ZAC: “You miss 100 percent of the opportunities that you don't take. I like this quote because it can apply to all aspects of life both business and personal.”
What do you enjoy most about living in Tasmania?
GIRIRAJ: “What I like about Tasmania is the down to earth lifestyle this island has to offer. This island is more connected to nature than other parts of Australia. Tasmania also has spectacular views. I really enjoy driving to different parts of Tasmania and my mind is always blown by the scenery that you couldn’t find in many other places on Earth.”
ZAC: “The peaceful/calmness of it all is what I love. I love how you can be 20 minutes away from the capital city and be completely submerged in nature and away from the noise. Plus, you can’t go past the amount of beautiful beaches we have. Most young Tasmania’s seek to leave the state for work or to continue their lives on the mainland, I however, have chosen to stay here as I find the place beautiful and hard to leave.”