Sunday, April 16, 2017

Is Stayzilla right? Is Jigsaw wrong?

Neither am I a legal professional nor have I enough information to make a judgement or give an opinion on the ongoing tussle between Stayzilla and Jigsaw. I'm absolutely no authority on such matters. But what I do have is a memory and an emotion.

In 2000, after completion of an MBA, I joined a small ad agency in Chennai. The agency was owned by a lady. A first generation entrepreneur who came from a humble background. She had worked hard to establish the agency. She had done some incredible work and was the reason behind the successful branding campaign for an Oracle database training institute in Chennai. Thanks to her creativity and smartness, she helped the institute establish itself as the top Oracle database training institute in the city. In a way, she was behind the bright colored posters which became the norm for many IT training institutes.

Then came an opportunity, a big one at that. Another IT training institute that used to compete with NIIT and Aptech (the leading training institutes at that point of time in India) handed a contract for running their entire campaign in the South.

I was part of the pitching and servicing team. It was a great experience. The work was hectic. I would liaison with multiple points of contact at the client place who had their own ideas of creativity. I collaborated with visualizers and copywriters marveling at what they could churn out. And finally the job also required running to media houses with the artwork before the deadline.

The advertising industry has always been a very competitive space. Agencies, especially the small ones, are always squeezed. Not only did clients extract a great discount but also demanded longer credit periods. This client of ours was no different.

Two months in the relationship and submission of invoices, the client was not processing the payments. Soon, I quit and joined the PR industry. But I kept in touch with my ex-colleagues and found out that my ex-employer was still not receiving the payments. There was a danger of the agency losing its licence. The agency were I began my career was in a shambles. Later on, I gathered that there was some sort of agreement on the payments. However, the delay had already taken its toll. The lady had to merge the agency with another company. The team disbanded.

And my ex-boss who until then was a job provider was now herself in the job market!