Tell us something about you and your job profile?
I have a background in the marketing and advertising industry and experience of more than 14 years, but today I helm Ignite Edge - the talent management vertical of MissMalini Entertainment - where my team and I, together manage a bunch of talented celebrities and influencers.
What is Ignite Edge & how did its conceptualisation begin?Ignite Edge is a platform that not only manages creators or talents but also strategizes diverse approaches to help them transform into a brand in the long run. Alongside that, we assist them in monetizing not just with brands and by short-term engagements but also with them, and also through long-term revenue-generating streams.
The vertical was born on a day when we got together to catch up. While chatting, we realized that there are a lot of talent management companies and agencies managing so many talents which is definitely remarkable. With MissMalini being such an iconic brand, we decided to leverage its expertise and kick-start a boutique talent agency - where we manage a few but selected unique talents who come from different walks of life. With the birth of Ignite Edge, we seek to help creators grow and carve several opportunities for them in every possible way.
What were the initial struggles while setting up Ignite Edge and how did you overcome them?
We started setting up Ignite Edge smack in the middle of the second wave of the coronavirus - making most of our initial struggles pandemic-induced.
It was certainly stressful for someone like me who believes that meeting people face-to-face makes it easier and more comfortable to converse. Working from home and building a team online by conducting rounds of interviews along with meeting and sharing our vision with the talents online was a massive challenge, but we made it unscathed. And I am glad we did because I really believe in this vertical and its scope. Not just that, but the talent that we work with and the team that I have is phenomenal!
Who are the current talent clientele that you are managing?
As I mentioned earlier, we are looking at very selected and talented people to come onboard. Currently, we are managing a roster of about 20 to 21 creators - prominent names like Teejay Sindhu, Karanveer Bohra, Malini Agarwal, Vivek Dhadha, Deanne Panday, Raghav Sachar, Shakti Arora, Abhishek Banerjee, Karishma Govil and many more.
Our creators are unique in their own way - no two of them share the same genre or what they do, making them exceptionally diverse.
What are your views on handling performance management?
We have tools and analytics that we onboard with - we understand how the talent and ourselves can mutually benefit and can grow together. We aim for it to become a strong partnership, a happy marriage. We endeavour to understand the creator’s vision - which is vital to the connection that we are going to share. To begin with, we make calendars regularly and plan an initial six months strategy.
Did you always aspire to lead a talent management based agency?
Honestly - Yes and also no. No, because - if someone told me 10 years ago that I’ll be heading this talent management agency, I wouldn’t think of it being possible since I belonged to a retail background. But a few years ago, yes. Leading a talent management agency became my single-minded goal because I love networking.
I love helping people, who impact society positively, grow, thus indirectly helping their audiences live in a better world. Creators are so influential, and I want to help them spread the right message by leading a talent management agency where I can work with genuinely nice people.
According to you, what are the ways of nurturing talent with innovative learning & development tools?
Firstly, I believe the best way to nurture talent is by listening to them. It is crucial to pay attention to what they really want because no two of them are the same - it is not viable to use the same approach for two talents, who are as different as chalk and cheese.
When it comes to innovative learning, we are looking at coming up with new and disruptive long-term revenue generation streams. Associations with brands are commonplace, but at Ignite Edge, we are innovating ways to make these associations more sustainable and long-term by learning every day through coming up with inventive ways of creating content.
Furthermore, there are development tools in the market to help us understand what kind of content works and what does not, but apart from that, we are also constantly working on various development tools. Meanwhile, platform insights help a lot in understanding the audience age group and their geo-locations. But bigger things are coming, and we are looking to get more analytically fueled in the coming few months.
What is your vision for the talent management agency in the next 5 years?
Like I said earlier, we are not here for short-term plans or working on short-term revenue. We are aiming at revenue generation at the nexus of IPs, commerce and content creation while also being one step ahead always. However, in business, there is no instruction manual; every process goes through trial and error. It is essential to take risks, and we are excited to be doing that. In the next five years, we are aiming to earn the goodwill and revenue that all the talents we have onboarded deserve.