Entrepreneur: Ayush Wadhwa
Business Name: Owled Media
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 152
Ayush Wadhwa comes from a small town in Haryana. But he had big dreams in his pocket. The regular things of a teenager bored him. He wanted to pursue an offbeat path. Ayush, along with his friend, started creating videos and tech blogs when he was just thirteen. His parents thought he was doing some creepy things online. They realized his talent only when he received a cheque from Google.
Fast forward to 2021, Ayush grew from an awesomely creative lad to a successful entrepreneur & filmmaker who creates engaging videos for top brands across the globe. Today, this BITS Pilani student is one of the most sought-after filmmakers in the digital advertising space. He now spearheads Owled Media, a leading name in the digital content creation space. Catch a glimpse of his exciting story in this episode of startup stories.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
It started off with a cold email to our first client in August when I was done with my share of contemplation and Ludo in the lockdown.
I always say that OWLED has been in the making since I established my first company as a class 9th student, but the lockdown just gave me enough break from my hectic freelance travelling schedule that it happened.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Video is the future – content consumption stats have exploded, especially after COVID and more and more brands are realising the importance of highly engaging videos & Instagram filters – and we are standing at the forefront!
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I have always been very crafty ever since I was a kid. Always fiddling around with my computer, playing games, making videos, or trying to make money online. So in some sense, they saw it coming.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I couldn’t say NO in the beginning. I said YES to everything – and this led me to make some loose and bad decisions. Saying NO is a skill and a very important one.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
We’re completely bootstrapped. The company was started with my savings as a freelancer.
Revenue has grown steadily, and it’s been reflecting nicely in the size of our team growth – we were day 1 profitable!
The challenge is to scale the business 5 folds in the coming 12 months. We are in line and are onboarding the biggest companies in the world.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
I haven’t reached my definition of “success” yet – but there are some habits that changed my work life
– ASK – Don’t be afraid of asking. Most people don’t ask. Nobody is going to hand you over things on a silver platter, go – ask – conquer.
– Believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with the right kind of people is highly underrated. As the popular saying goes, “If you hang out with 5 successful people, you’ll be the 6th one.”
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Setting up principles early on – you have to realise what is negotiable and what is NOT negotiable within the company – quality, value, discipline, and everything around it.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Grind is not glamorous. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
It has been rather intrinsic most of the time, but one thing that keeps me going is that I have always believed that I am meant to do something bigger than myself, which can significantly impact the world. It’s a belief I have had ever since I was a kid – this drives me to work harder every day.
10) What is your favourite book?
Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Plan & Implement Fast, and never look back – just keep at it. Success HAS to come – there’s no other option (repeat this in your head)
The covid19 pandemic has put everything to a standstill and there’s an air of uncertainty around us. But sensible entrepreneurs roll up their sleeves to turn the scenario in their favour. Instead of retreating, Ayush went ahead and created Owled Media in the middle of the pandemic. He might have faced a lot of hurdles and questions. But he was sure about his path and where would it take him. Like he rightly pointed out, you need to plan and act fast to become successful in your entrepreneurial journey.
You can follow Ayush on Instagram here for amazing content.