While visualizing an entrepreneur, our imageries often lead us to thinking of a professional who has the ability to persevere and stand tall. Whether it is to adopt a growth mindset or to keep innovating continuously, these qualities mark an efficient professional across varied industries and platforms. Currently, in India there is a wave of entrepreneurship where emerging entrepreneurs are shaping new India with resilience and zeal. Amongst these are few of them who have received recognition wholeheartedly and opened gates to creative opportunities within their specific industry.
Shivashish Tarkas, the Founder of The InterMentalist, is a name that one will resonate with when it comes to redefining and curating developments in the influencer community. His organization has played a pivotal role in inspiring new service paradigms within the domain of influencer marketing across south India. The InterMentalist provides end to end influencer marketing services exclusively for south India. In addition to this, they also provide personal branding services to public figures. The company’s vast clientele features umpteen renowned Influencers, creators, actors/actresses/superstars in the South. A great part of its market eminence can be attributed to its value & Brand centric approach.
In order to understand Tarkas, you will have to understand his journey. Even though he comes from a humble background, he has never dreamt small. With an undeterred spirit, Shiv has evolved to become a man who always believes in self and takes cent percent responsibility of his life and business. Though he isn’t a very patient person around his loved one, when it comes to work his patience is unparallel. He believes in living a disciplined life. An early riser, fitness enthusiast, cricket lover, he loves exploring new places and keeps seeking knowledge. His go getter attitude has never allowed him to prepare an alternative plan, because he achieves what he has set out for.
The influencer bug bit Shivashish at a time when people were not exposed to the word ‘influencer.’ “Your network is your net worth” – lingered in Shivashish’s mind for years before The InterMentalist happened. This journey began at a time when India as a country was surviving on 1 GB / month as internet date and refilling SMS packs, let alone using Instagram or Facebook. However, he believed that digital media would change the face of marketing in the years to come. He was convinced that the online media was the next big thing that would take over the market in upcoming years.
The InterMentalist was started by Shivashish with an investment of INR 3500. The company had no capital, no infrastructure, no human resource, no mentors on the day of inception. The journey began by venturing into website development, graphic designs and social media marketing which was on a booming stage in 2015. After facing failures during the initial phase of the journey in corporate front, Shivashish was given an opportunity to shape himself in entertainment and media field by actor Sarath Kumar.
The opportunity was grabbed with immense gratitude and dedication. As journey progressed, The InterMentalist went on to provide its services to few of the finest film stars in South film industry and also started providing online services on small scale businesses in the local market. Between 2015 – 2018, the company achieved a small status for its quality work, ethics and sound knowledge in the field. The organisation’s concept of “What we can with what we have” was widely appreciated by clients from film industry and other individual entrepreneurs.
This journey would be incomplete without recognizing their contribution. Shivashish owes it to the following people for their confidence in him.
1) His parents for trusting his vision. His parents had to answer family members, friends and relatives as to what their son was exactly doing. Though they didn’t know what the future had to offer, they continued to pray for Shivashish’s success without worrying about what people will say.
2) Mr Sarath Kumar, a renowned actor from South Indian Film industry. He was the first client on board and placed his trust in Shivashish without knowing whether this young man would be able to deliver as he promised.
3) Finally, he extends his gratitude to Mr Shahir Muneer – Director, DIVO TV PVT LTD who lent unconditional support and help. Mr Muneer gave Shivashish an opportunity to prove his worth for which he will always be indebted to him. Mr Muneer chose to support Shivashish’s vision without any questions. He is also thankful to his friend Mr Harshal Vekaria and his cousin brother Mr Kiran Kumar for their help, support and references that brought decent business from their network as well.
Shiv has been able to become a self-made entrepreneur from an unwanted boy. He has been able to create a class apart ecosystem in his business domain over the years. Influencing the influencers is a power – not every individual or an organization has the ability to do this which Shivashish did with enormous efforts and hardwork. Today he has worked with over 200+ actors, influencers, digital creators across south India which has put him in forefront when it comes to accessibility, decision making, strategy and execution.
Any organization follows the footsteps of its founder. The InterMentalist follows a value-centric approach in driving business. Driving an illustrious B2B business, people management and communication is a strong forte for Shivashish with his company. According to him, it’s always been a relationship business rather than a business in a relationship. Nurturing them has always led to a powerful personal connection. Shivashish goes on to elucidate that he always sees every prospect as God’s blessings. He remembers his early days when he was loitering in business areas to make some money. Few welcomed, few mistreated, few literally gave no response, while also there were few who chased him out. After a long period of arduous struggle, Shivashish is grateful now that his potential is finally being recognized. He attributes this to his constant fostering of a healthy and positive environment. He also highlights that his company has always been vocal about its vision. Apart from this, they have a very strong market presence, market exposure, and market knowledge when it comes to the South India.
The optimistic trend of startups has kindled a fervent entrepreneurship spirit in Shivashish. In retrospect, he describes his entrepreneurial journey as immensely rewarding & adventurous. Every day in it is a rich learning experience for him. Given below are the lessons which he wishes to exemplify through his journey:
A Dogged Determination: Looking at Shivashish’s story, many are kindled with greater faith in their ability to rise above wretchedness. They see a journey of a middle-class boy who had and has big dreams. Ultimately, he went on to achieve what he believed and promised and is inspiring others to do the same.
Building From the Scratch: As a guy with no background, no business knowledge, no finances or infrastructure, Shivashish now owns south India’s finest entity in this domain. This inspires a visionary attitude among those who see his journey. Nurturing Relationships: Shivashish has made it a special point to maintain a steady relationship with all – be it stars, brands, agencies, or any individual in the field. In an era of egos and hierarchy, this serves as a refreshing paradigm shift.
Shivashish would ask all the aspiring entrepreneurs to dream big and believe in themselves to reach the top. If a person has any of these qualities, he will be able to meet the challenges and find his own answers. Looking at his own journey, he knows determination and staying on the path has gotten him where he is today and he feels every entrepreneur needs to exactly follow what they believe in. Fostering personal relationships has been another key learning for Shivashish personally. He urges all other entrepreneurs to build strong relationships with people with the intent of serving them. With this attitude, it is people who will come to work with them.
On a concluding note, the CEO expresses immense gratitude for being able to work with the finest people in the South film & media industry. Today at the age of 28, he has worked with over 200+ influential figures across the industry, which is rapidly proliferating with time but he still believes that there is more to learn, more to introspect, more to change and more to grow.