“To be interesting, you must be interested” – Yousuf Rangoonwala on advertising, entrepreneurship, and all things Kakkoii
For most people, a start-up owner today is a 20-something, intelligent visionary who wants to change the world and overworks. However, this idea is deeply flawed as research suggests that the likelihood of success actually increases with age, and without hustling. Speaking about the same, Yousuf Rangoonwala states, “The biggest problem with entrepreneurship in India today is that it has become connected with young people. Truth is, age doesn’t matter. I became an entrepreneur at the age of 37. The first thing you need to know is if your venture is going to be a product, a service, or a skill. If you’re going to offer a skill, like architecture, or fashion design, or advertising, please start as late as you can. Remember, you will succeed when you have built a reputation in these businesses,”
When asked about how his communication, design and entertainment setup named Kakkoii operates, he opines, “There is no formula in our business, just like there is no formula for life. Advertising is not made for marketers, so the less jargon, the better. When you understand life better, you can function in this business better. This is why, we encourage our team to travel and read a lot. I’ve travelled to 22 countries so far, and 30 out of the 38 Indian states and union territories, and every trip of mine, whether for holiday or work, has brought me something interesting. We’re observers and listeners of people and society, and providers of narratives and content for them too. So, what becomes very important is training our minds to identify what is interesting for people, or what matters to them. That, in turn, makes us interesting too. If you want to be interesting, you’ve got to be interested – in life, in people and in what is around you,”
Kakkoii, is a strategy-first company. Kakkoii is a Japanese word which means ‘cool’, ‘with the zeitgeist’, and ‘trendsetting’. Rangoonwala discovered the word in Japan in 2018, and liked what it meant. Rangoonwala says, “Whether it’s a web series or a strategy for a brand, we’re not the kind of company that will say yes to everything just because it’s coming from a client. We want to build brands, and applause-worthy stories. We want our work to go viral, but we’re not one of those award seekers who live for validation from their peers.”
The dream of starting a business is one that many people have. Rangoonwala offers good news, which is that it is never too late for anyone.