Early in life Raj Shamani realised that he wasn’t good at academics but had a knack for telling stories. A quintessential Gen Z, he decided to tap the potential of social media to leverage his skill. He was a small town 16-year-old guy living in Indore. At an age when most teenagers are preoccupied with the number of views their birthday pictures get on Instagram, Shamani became an entrepreneur and utilised social media for content creation. Five years later, Shamani’s business is worth Rs 200 crore. He is also a public speaker with a million followers on Instagram.
Shamani became a businessman after his father fell ill and he had to take control of the family firm. Shamani Sr was a small-time trader in chemicals. Naturally, the son made and sold soaps. In a year, the innovative young man successfully devised a new way of marketing and selling the better products in his portfolio at discounted prices. He then diversified and founded Shamani Industries which is a popular laundry care brand in central India. In 2015, his success led him to participate in the Youth Representative Program for Young Leaders in the United Nations. By then he had started giving public talks both online and offline. As a TEDx speaker, he has delivered 200 speeches in 26 countries. His YouTube channel has close to one lakh subscribers with popular videos crossing three lakh hits. The Instagrammers of his youth seem to have been left behind.
Now, like any New Age entrepreneur who has made good, Shamani wants to give back. A self-help book written by him will be out this November. “To reach where I am today, I focused on my strengths. I am good at telling stories about myself, business and life in general,” says Shamani, now 23 years old. On social media, Shamani used his storytelling skills to create content in the form of videos and podcasts around finance and business. Giving back also makes sense when it has a business angle. One of his viral videos ‘What’s the hard you want to choose’, crossed 30 million hits in 15 days after its release.
Says the delighted young businessman, “Because of my love for storytelling, I spoke about my company at multiple avenues. It opened up my business and also made me a motivational speaker,” Shamani's success mantra in business is purely based on how he hustled his way into the consumers’ universe using an experimental approach.
For instance, during last year's lockdown, all plans to expand the business had to be put on hold. He brainstormed with his team and adapted to the prevailing climate. His company launched new products such as sanitisers and disinfectants, which were in high demand. In the process he ended up with a healthy profit, helping his company to avoid letting workers go. Even though, Shamani’s currency as a motivational speaker is growing by the day, he is also open about his fears. “My biggest insecurity is that I will be irrelevant in a few years from now. But, I am using it as my motivation to stay grounded and work harder.” In his words, self-help works only for those who help themselves.
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
• Find out which platform is launching a new feature and start using it immediately.
• Be consistent, the more time you give to the platform, it will reward you accordingly.