A journey from children's theatre to own production house
Neel Shah is the founder of Neel Shah production. He is a 2nd-year college student, entrepreneur, filmmaker, marketer, author, and podcast.
Neel Shah is the founder of Neel Shah production. He is a 2nd-year college student, entrepreneur, filmmaker, marketer, author, and podcast. When he was in school, he took part in children’s theatre. He did theatre-making, acting, and directing in 2014-15 and started his YouTube channel in 2016. He did a lot of random sketches and funny videos. This made him content, and he began taking part in YouTube events. He along with his friends tried making short films and was considerably good as compared to what his classmates were doing. In terms of professional skills, if we leverage his YouTube skills like photo and video editing, scriptwriting then a very obvious profession for him would be marketing.
When he was in the first year of college, he started applying for an internship in his first year. He got an internship in a company called ‘Schbang’. He started as a creative writer and later moved to branding and marketing. Now, after almost two years, he has worked for some of the biggest brands like Tinder, Bblunt, Godrej, and so on.
In January this year, he along with his friends started as a freelancer. They took interest in small firms, small-scale projects, or startups. They entered the world of digital marketing. This encounter along with the knowledge gained through the experience of making videos and ads for brands since 2017 helped him a lot. The process privileged him to meet some people, talk to them, and make good contacts.
He learned everything from freelancing, internships, and entrepreneurship in general.
When he started working in internships, he realized that his friends don’t have the basic knowledge on how to apply for an internship or what to do in a corporation? His main motto was to aid them in the first place. He started writing a book “Smart Labour” in April 2020 and in August, he got it published. Presently, it is launched in 12 countries in e-book and paperback format.
In his book, he has spoken about things we could do from the beginning. He has targeted the people who have just graduated from high school. Some questions that his book answers are:
While applying in a firm how to not get lost in their spam folder?
How to get more clients? If you are starting up, how do you divide roles in your own company? How to find your passion? How to identify your own strength? In September this year, he made a short film on mental health ‘state of mind’ which was released on Amazon Prime Video.
He said, “Marketing, filmmaking is great but sometimes it could be a little boring doing the same thing again and again”. Neel explored other branches, too. He was interested in history and science. Topics like Astrophysics, cosmology, and the universe fascinated him. He produced a sci-fi audio podcast ‘Beyond Human’ which is streaming live on Spotify to talk about future humans, alien life, AI, black hole, and more.
Despite the pandemic havoc, 2020 has been a productive year for him. Not only did he release his book and short film, but also an ad film in October and a T-shirt line in November. He sets a perfect example of people who, no matter what and how difficult the situation in life is, would yield the best of it.
As it is said that the path to success is filled with obstacles. There were numerous challenges in his journey too. There is a lot of competition on YouTube and he was not comfortable with the camera, had too limited content and limited lines. He only had 20 subscribers and 50-100 views.
He went to a YouTube event in film city. There he met a fellow YouTube and after talking to him he shifted his videos in Hindi, which is a conversational and relatable language to an enormous mass. It helped him grow.
Initially, when he began freelancing clients rejected him saying that he was too young for it. It was a difficult phase for him. Even after showcasing his portfolio and caliber, he faced many rejections. But that didn’t stop him. He went ahead despite all the challenges.
There are a series of things that inspired Neel. He read a lot of books and listened to podcasts as well. Some of them were The Ranveer show by Ranveer Allahbadia, Steve Jobs’s autobiography, Elon Musk's autobiography. Elon Musk inspired Neel to a great extent. Shoe Dog, Phil Knight's memoir about creating Nike, inspired him a lot. According to Neel, it is the fire that keeps you going on. One should always try new things or at least give it a shot.
He looks up to Casey Owen Neistat, who is a short film and ad maker, vlogger, and marketing background. He desires to empower the youth, spread more values and knowledge. He envisions to be in edtech and creating space. He still wants to produce a lot of content.
Suggestion for young entrepreneur:
Neel says that fear of failure pulls countless people back. But, looking at the brighter side if we succeed, the benefits are way too much. To substantiate this, he quoted Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”