Interview: Aayushman Sinha, Entrepreneur & Founder of REPRESENT

Aayushman Sinha-REPRESENT-Founder

Interview with Aayushman Sinha, Founder, REPRESENT

Aayushman Sinha is a 27 year old entrepreneur from Mumbai actively involved in  the Media & Entertainment landscape.

His journey began as a marketer and artist  manager at the age of 18 whilst still in college and has grown to build 4 successful  startups in varied fields. Aayushman’s vision is to “build pop culture in India”. A firm  

believer that the Indian audience is ready to consume beyond Bollywood and  there’s immense potential in the overall pop ecosystem – he aims to build Artists,  Creators, Content, Brands and Products to fill this void.  

Best known as India’s Youngest Artist Manager, Aayushman is extremely active in  the Indian Music Industry and works actively towards his goal of making India an  exporter of music vs simply an importer.

With his venture REPRESENT he manages  some of India’s most exciting artists in a 360 capacity and also consults leading  consumer and tech companies on their music strategy.

From co-creating IP’s with  Instagram to helping launch Triller in India, REPRESENT has proven it’s like no  other music agency.

REPRESENT also consults the World’s biggest consumer  brand – Coca-Cola. An end to end mandate to build music into Coke’s DNA and  scale this pan India.  

A marketeer from an extremely young age, Aayushman started off as a marketing  and ticketing agent for music concerts in the country while in high school opening  up a new demographic for live entertainment in Mumbai. He then went onto setup  

his first start up while in college and had to sunset it as his management business  grew tremendously and the limited hours and workforce didn’t support the  situation.

Many years later he joined his 3 best friends from college to grow their  start up BlackCab, an integrated marketing agency, where he is currently a  partner.

BlackCab now handles mandates for the biggest media, entertainment and  D2C Brands and has over 60 full time marketeers.

To support the growing demand  for AR Solutions in marketing and content, Aayushman together with two partners  set up – RADAR, one of India’s first AR Content Solutions Agency. 

Forbes India called him the ‘New Age Entrepreneur’ in their Dynamic & Persistent  Achievers Issue. He was also listed under India’s Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs by  Asian Age.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Aayushman Sinha: A 27-year-old-year-old entrepreneur from Mumbai, I have been actively involved in the Media & Entertainment space for almost a decade now.

I started my journey as a marketer and artist manager at the age of 18 whilst I was still in college and have diversified into 4 fields with successful start-ups in each.

A marketeer from an extremely young age, I started off as a marketing and ticketing agent for music concerts in the country while in high school opening up a new demographic for live entertainment in Mumbai.

I then went on to set up my first start-up while in college and had to sunset it as my management business grew tremendously and the limited hours and workforce didn’t support the situation.

My vision is to “build the pop culture in India”. A firm believer in the fact that the Indian audience is ready to consume beyond Bollywood and there’s immense potential in the overall pop ecosystem – I aim to build Artists, Creators, Content, Brands and Products to fill this void

What do you think are the challenges you face when working with clients?

Aayushman Sinha: The Indian Artist Management Agency model in Music was primarily a secretarial role, today that has evolved to a great extent. As artist managers, today we play a very integral role in building a brand out of the artist.

From changing the format in which ‘Talent Management’ was approached to becoming more of a development role in partnership with artists and showing great growth for a multi-genre diverse roster of talent – a new energy was discovered as a wave of young entrepreneurs and executives entered seeing this change.

Following the new trend, we took a step forward and converted REPRESENT from a Management Agency to a full-service Entertainment Company which would offer a suite of services to the entertainment ecosystem. Artist management today is a very evolved role and will lead to immense value creation in the years to come

What do you see as the future of media and entertainment?

Aayushman Sinha: India’s M&E industry is pegged to grow to $70 billion by 2030. There is a big opportunity in taking Indian content to global audiences.

Korea has set a great example in demonstrating repeatedly that good content travels beyond boundaries and language barriers.

Despite having a strong ecosystem of talent, production efficiencies and creative capabilities, we have not been able to make a mark on the global stage.

This is an area where the industry needs to come together, explore, and create content that can travel and become storytellers to the world.

We at REPRESENT believe in building brand solutions that leverage music and influencer marketing to nurture and represent the best domestic and international talent to reach a wider audience

What inspired you to pursue a career in media and entertainment? & What inspired you to start a music agency?

Aayushman Sinha: REPRESENT is a result of my love for music and my passion to take Indian talent to a global stage and create unparalleled opportunities for artists to build pop culture. 

What type of artists do you represent?

Aayushman Sinha: REPRESENT, a 360° talent management agency that boasts an eclectic roster of India’s most prominent artists alongside next-gen icons and acts as a support pillar for solutions for the overall music industry including labels, event promoters, digital streaming platforms, etc.

From onboarding Shah Rukh Khan for Marshmello’s Biba to helping Triller reach over 50Mn MAU in India – the brand has time and again proven that it’s more than just another management agency.

Our roster includes some celebrated names from the industry like Armaan Malik, MC Stan, DJ Chetas, Lost Stories, Anuv Jain, Zaeden, Yashraj, Nina Shah, Akanksha Bhandari, KSHMR, Oaff, Savera, Ananya Birla, Raman Negi, Hanita Bhambri, and Jai Dhir along with India representation of KSHMR and Jay Sean.

What has been the most successful music event that your agency has organized?

Aayushman Sinha: It is difficult to pinpoint exactly one single event but in the recent past having Ananya Birla, Zaeden, Anuv Jain, and KSHMR on the lineup opening Post Malone in India would be a highlight for us.

Apart from that Anuv Jain singing for more than 20,000 people in Delhi for Beatstreet, Lost Stories gracing the stage at Tomorrowland, and Chetas’ Xyloband live show were some of the most successful gigs that the team has pulled off. 

What do you see for the future of the music industry?

Aayushman Sinha: It is challenging to forecast the music industry’s future because it is quite volatile. However, in the years to come, the industry will be significantly shaped by factors like streaming, AI, the emergence of independent artists, evolution of the blockchain technology in music distribution, and AR/VR integration in live music.

It is crucial for musicians or music labels to keep up with current changes and modify their strategies as necessary.

This could entail exploring fresh platforms and technology, working with other artists, and being receptive to fresh concepts and methods.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Aayushman Sinha: Do your research before diving into the industry as it looks very appealing on the surface. Thousands are employed in this industry but very few see progress and growth and those are the ones that have a deeper understanding of the business beyond merely executing what’s asked of them.

It’s a great time for music and events and the economies are getting better too – think of how you can add innovation to help further scale our current industry

What is your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Aayushman Sinha: I haven’t followed any rule book when it comes to starting off my ventures. I would urge the aspiring entrepreneurs to trust their instincts and judgement.

If you believe there is gap/problem you are solving for, do a thorough market and competition research to understand if your business model is going to add any value to your consumer’s life and roll with it.

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