Relative Values | Brothers in Biz: Samir and Chetan Asher

05 Oct,2012

Every Friday, MxM takes you beyond our regular news and look at the people in the business of media and marketing. So on the first Thursday of every month, we have a section titled ‘RELATIVE VALUES’ featuring siblings, parents-children, cousins etc who may be working in the same or allied sectors of media, advertising and marketing.


This first Friday, we met Samir and Chetan Asher of digital agency TonicMedia.


By Meghna Sharma


“Our differences have made the working relationship healthier”

Siblings taking over or starting a venture together isn’t something out of the blue. There are numerous cases where siblings have gotten together in the world of business. While there are cases of family feuds, many have survived to carry on a legacy or to leave a mark of their own.


One likes DJing and the other can’t stand loud music. Well, like no two fingerprints are alike, most siblings aren’t same as pods of peas. MxMIndia spoke to two such brothers who are different in many ways but pooled in their strengths to start a digital agency – TonicMedia.


“I was already into SEO (search engine optimization) & internet marketing, helping agencies/websites in Europe increase their online presence, Chetan being the writer, used to help me with content. He used to work with Indiatimes managing short code 8888. “As it says on our website Tonic started out as a single PC for a workstation on a rainy day back in June, 2005. We knew it was time for the world to get a shot of Tonic,” says Samir Asher, COO of the company.


The company executes idea across media, mobile and interactive. With change as a constant parameter in the digital industry, it constantly tracks global trends and adapting it to benefit their clients.


Different work backgrounds, different likes and dislikes, so how do they manage intellectual and business differences? According to both, what has worked so far for them is the fact that most are ‘different’. “There are always differences, and that makes the working relationship healthy. Samir being the technology brain looks at a project differently from what I would perceive and in the process we have our constant debates. I always put creative / design first and he puts tech / backend first. But that ultimately leads to better execution and helps achieve client’s objectives,” explains Chetan Asher, CEO of the company.


Samir further adds, “I would call it ‘sharing” instead of interference. We both discuss and share our ideas to archive the best outcome.”


But how to they keep work-personal life balance? “Being entrepreneurs we need to be always connected. Also the digital media scenario is so dynamic that agencies today have to work in a 24/7 environment. We have managed to plan and organize to achieve a balance. And not just for us but for the entire team at Tonic we want a healthy work-personal life balance and it’s an ongoing process to plan, organize and better it,” says Chetan.


As working partners, the two have grown as individuals too. “As brothers it hasn’t changed much. I’m still that brother who will ensure your PC would never work if you trouble my brother. But as partners we understand each other a lot better than we used to do before. We have both learnt from each other immensely and have grown closer running tonic together,” concludes Samir.


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