Akhil Gupta, co-founder of Stagephod, is an engineer by background but a creative by choice. He have done his chemical engineering from IIT delhi and have worked in oil and gas firm (Shell) for almost 8 years. Although he have tried to set up start-ups earlier but they never took off. He came across Stagephod and was very interested in what he was doing. Hence he joined Stagephod. He really enjoy photography and travelling, he recently completed a trip to Antarctica, with this he have visited all the 7 continents.
Before Joining Stagephod he was working for an oil and gas company (Shell). He have worked there for almost 8 years and this was his first Job after graduating from IIT Delhi.
He feel truly passionate about creating things. He is a photographer, he really like taking photographs. He want to develop as a filmmaker and feel passionate about creating great concepts for a video. Other than this he feel passionate about people, he like to spend time with them and share knowledge, experiences about life.
Nikhilesh Tayal– cofounder for Stagephod is an entrepreneur who earlier founded a company called CVbhejo which was incubated by The Morpheus. He scaled his venture to 105 paying clients and also got selected as top 10 upcoming entrepreneurs by Bloomberg TV. Unfortunately, it did not work out as expected.
After shutting down Cvbhejo, he worked for Morpheus gang and started his second startup. His love for films/ theater/ arts + technology + entrepreneurship led to the genesis of Stagephod.
He also runs an initiative known as – HiringDecoder which helps startups/ entrepreneurs recruit – Co-founders, Ex-founders and senior (CXO, VP) level people.
About Your Stagephod: Stagephod is a marketplace to find and hire a video maker to create awesome videos. Be it a company video, product video, web series, a promo video, marketing video, social video, or a client testimonial video. We at Stagephod believe in connecting “emotions to brands”, we come out with video branding concepts and gets them executed through our “Hand picked” filmmakers. We take care of startups complete video branding needs from Concept till final product.
Currently, we have 200+ video makers and production houses associated with us and 125+ startups including Snapdeal, MySmartPrice, CashKaro, Toppr, Commonfloor have used our platform. Recently a TV commercial was made through us which was conceptualised by me and other Stagephod Team members.
Why did you choose to enter this particular business? What motivated you: Stagephod is my co-founder Nikhilesh’s brainchild, he always wanted to combine films/videos, entrepreneurship and technology but did not know how.
Initially his main focus at Stagephod was to feature filmmakers. He approached video makers on facebook. Filmmakers liked the idea and happily agreed to share their stories. While talking to a lot of filmmakers he realized that they all had a common problem, the problem was getting the work opportunities. The filmmakers did not get relevant and frequent work opportunities. On the other hand, while interacting in his startup circle he realized that lot of founders were looking to create videos but were not really sure of the platform where they could find quality filmmakers. His entrepreneurial bug started popping out again and he instantly saw a problem which could be solved by creating a marketplace where video makers can be connected to video seekers. He did a quick research and founded that around 5-6 companies in US and Europe are doing similar work and are also doing well. So, the idea got validated as other people also felt the same problem and are trying to solve it. Hence, Stagephod – A market place was born.
About your company’s Funding/Investment details: We are self funded!
Problems and hurdles you faced in starting Stagephod: The most challenging part is to ensure repeat clients and strong value proposition. We did not want to become just a match-making service.In order to ensure that, we decided to venture into video branding/ concept domain, and it actually worked. Clients were happy to receive variety of concepts from us and at the same time we also have built an in house team of creatives and script writers.
View of your family and friends on your Startup Stagephod ? Are they supportive: Friends were not an issue, but family was. It was not easy for them to understand that I am quitting a well paying corporate Job for a start-up which was still in a very early stage. The concept of “do what you like” and “follow your heart” does not resonate with previous generations, but in the end my family was supportive when I explained them what I am trying to do and what my drivers are. Now when they see the videos which we create, they are more than happy.
Describe the experience with your first customer: First customer is always special. For me the first customer was one of the key ones. I understood their branding needs and our Stagephod team came out with a branding concept which they really liked. Based on that they agreed to give us a contract to make couple of videos for them.
What are the key milestones for the next 6-12 months to be achieved:
1) Expand the filmmaker community
2)Stagephod marketing by Creating video content
3)We are also planning to start our own production house where we will experiment with different styles of videos so that we have a first hand experience of everything that clients want to convey to their target audience; by video – the only way to the future.
5 year action plan for Stagephod: 1)Stagephod’s strength lies in ‘Stagephod video makers’ community. Hence, we will be doing more and more activities to give them visibility.
2)To become a one stop solution for clients – Creating great video ad campaigns, making great videos through our pool of video makers, managing project online, getting good SEO ranking for the video to distributing the video through this platform.
Who are your competitors & how are you different from them: Stagephod is a very unique service, our direct competitors are “References” as this industry works a lot on references, few others are Leo burnett, Maccann etc. Other indirect competitors are facebook groups, quikr, other communities etc.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months: May be leaving a well paid job and getting into business.
What is that one piece of advice you would like to share with other startups: What works for me may not work for another, but what I truly think is someone should do a start-up only if they enjoy working with the idea. The most important thing is enjoying the process of becoming an entrepreneur, what you get as a successful entrepreneur (fame, money, networks etc) are resultants.
Article taken from : http://www.bolteraho.com/stagephod-a-marketplace-to-hire-awesome-video-maker/