Dreamy and impressive job titles are one thing, but what about those that carve out a niche for themselves and create a job that didn’t quite exist before? While traditional creatives may gun for coveted Linkedin bylines, creative entrepreneurs prefer to work for themselves - often choosing their own adventures and unique challenges. While we remain curious about exploring the road less travelled - quite often this can mean an entirely untrodden path. We spoke with one such creative entrepreneur who shares her unique path, as she trots all over the globe.
Funding, deadlines, and express turnarounds, are some of what it takes to build success in a creative space. Aaliya Amrin, founder of content studio, By The Gram, chats with us on how she built a boutique studio - one that replaces an ad agency and production house in one shot.
What do you do and what’s your official job title?
I’m the founder of By The Gram, which is a content studio servicing clients worldwide, whilst being headquartered in Bombay. Long story short - BTG replaces your need for an ad agency-meet-production house…but we’re even more than that to be honest! At heart, I’m a producer first - I’ve always produced editorial video content and campaigns, even before BTG came to be.
Take us back to when you were first starting out. Did you study to get into your chosen field?
From a young age, I was lucky to have had an abundance of PR and advertising internships, plus I got to shadow several red-carpet and event producers. This is what first spurred my interest in video content. I moved to Mumbai from LA as an editorial video producer for Conde Nast India and a year later I launched my startup as a byproduct. I had a front row seat to the soaring potential for branded content and niche client servicing. I love being inter-disciplinary, as a producer, director, entrepreneur and on-camera talent. ‘
Tell us a little bit about what BTG has grown into today?
BTG works to inspire and enable clients, to envision content in new formats. With a loyal, and heavy-duty clientele, stretching across all entertainment, media and fashion giants, we’ve added to our corner (with fierce loyalty) the likes of Netflix, South China Morning Post, Amazon Prime, Casetify, Tiger Baby Films, Dharma Productions, L’oreal to name a few. Within five quick years, we have sown our seeds cross-continents with growing bases in HK, US, and London to name a few, but also pockets in Kenya / Dubai. Our agency is multi-disciplinary, content first, with a massive focus on human touch points in all of our storytelling. We are neither an ad agency nor a production house we sit right in between and take on all your obscure to large scale content & production needs.
What makes you different as leaders?
BTG was founded on the commitment to be 75% diverse and will continue to be that way years down the line. We firmly believe our women leadership, right from our producers and managers to our cinematographers and designers, has been the secret sauce to our global large scale productions, international presence, and our 16x growth over the last five years.
What plans do you have for the business in the near future?
BTG’s intention in this new era is to provide future-proofing to clients. Future-proofing includes owning the brand experience and the data. BTG thrives at the intersection of creativity and tech. Now that more and more brands are looking to go direct to consumer, the idea is to own the customer relationship and the data that goes with it (especially with a cookie-less future ahead). Through this BTG works to evolve their clients from focussing on transaction and conversion, to deeper engagement, and customer loyalty.