At the start of the new millennium, business owners in Canberra were slowly cottoning on to the fact that a website was fast becoming an essential element to success.
It was a time before social media controlled our lives and Search Engine Optimisation had become one of the most frequently used acronyms in history. Sam Gupta; former General Manager of the Canberra Rex Hotel, was working on launching his own software for the hotel industry.
Having spent years working with computer systems, Sam used his knowledge and the help of a small development team to create his own website. But when he went to the market and sought feedback on the software, the response wasn’t what he expected.
“We were looking for input on the software we were creating, but everyone just wanted to know who’d done our website,” says Sam. “When I said we did it ourselves, they asked if we could create one for them.”
Seeing a gap in the market, Sam pivoted his business to focus on website development and digital marketing under the name Synapse Worldwide.
“At the time, web development was really starting to get a foothold. So we decided to step in and kept our focus on delivering quality, results-focused and affordable web services.
“We have been doing user experience design and Search Engine Optimisation long before they became popular. At that time, a website’s ability to rank high on search engines came down to quality design, and because most of our client’s websites were ranking highly, word started to spread and the business grew quickly.
“I knew the late Chris Peters (former CEO of ACT Chamber of Commerce) well; he would mentor me on how to grow the business. He was such a lovely and inspiring person. The Chamber of Commerce and Canberra Business Council were two separate entities back then, and when they merged we put our hand up to create the website and won the project – which is now the Canberra Business Chamber.
“We worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes including established local businesses like RSM in Canberra, WR Engineering, Canberra Cabs, and government departments such as The Royal Australian Mint. Canberra is full of great businesses with people who are true experts in their field – they just need guidance on how to capitalise on their strengths in the digital landscape. So that’s where we come in.”
Of building a business in Canberra, Sam says that the opportunities are unlike anywhere in Australia.
“I’ve been in Canberra since 1998. I love Canberra and I love that we’re so loyal to our own. Word of mouth is better here than anywhere – the whole reason we’re able to work on interstate and international projects is because clients who have a great experience tell others. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Over the years, Sam started taking a keen interest in behavioural economics and became passionate about digital marketing and SEO. Sam has grown his team to provide a one-stop-shop for growth-focused web and digital solutions.
“I believe marketing is about striking a balance between the science of human behaviour and the art of communicating messages. Advertising is about making new things familiar and making familiar things new. In essence, it’s about engaging customers, generating leads, converting sales and creating a fan-base.”
As an avid networker, Sam has formed relationships with some of Canberra’s most established businesses to help them grow.
“It’s a passion for me to work shoulder to shoulder with businesses and help them get to where they want to go. We often help clients experience growth and sales that they haven’t seen before – which just shows the power of a great digital strategy.”
To learn more about Sam and Synapse, visit Synapse Worldwide.
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