11 November 2016 12:59:46 IST

Being boldly creative with film and design

Vanshaj Kapur makes ads that effectively communicate with their audience

The Bold Creative story involves a stint in Bollywood, a sock of money, an empty bank account and a damaged laptop.


It was early 2014 when 25-year-old Vanshaj arrived in Bengaluru from Mumbai. He carried with him one suitcase, had no place to stay and didn’t know what he was going to do. “I just knew I wanted to do something that brought together film-making and designing, and Bengaluru was a good place to start.”

This was the beginning of The Bold Creative, a creative agency based in Bengaluru that produces quirky advertisements, promotional films and develops pretty much anything for its clients to help them communicate effectively with their customers. As their website puts it, their work covers “films, web design, graphic design, branding, advertising, photography, live stream video production, visual brand strategy and communication design”.

Narrating his story, Vanshaj says, “Back then, I had ₹30,000 in a sock, which was the deposit money on my Mumbai house; I had no money in the bank, since it was Mumbai. I spent the first month in a friend and later co-founder’s hall, trying to find a few jobs to get us running.”

Vanshaj then moved into a 1BHK and used the hall as an office. “It was ‘work, work, work’ all the time. As my friend didn’t have a laptop, our life revolved around my broken one; we took turns to use the machine, go on client calls and sleep.”

Eventually he mustered the courage to rent an iMac and tried hard to get a credit card from a bank. “It didn’t matter which bank, we just wanted to buy our own machine and pay it off on EMI. When I look back now, it was a difficult journey but we had fun.”

Backtracking, a bit

Vanshaj graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Design, majoring in film, in 2013. Towards the end of his course, he was offered a job with Wishberry, a crowd-funding website, as Chief Creative Officer. Though he had plans to shift to the film industry, he found himself in charge of branding and product UI-UX for the company.

After rebranding and building Wishberry’s website, he took up an offer to work with Milan Luthria as a director’s assistant. “Two months into the job I realised I missed designing, and while I was designing I’d miss film-making.”

Around the same time, he noticed that the advertising field had very industry-specific templates which he wanted to change. “All jewellery ads, for instance, look the same, regardless of the company, because they use the same template. I wanted to come up with content that is relevant to its intended audience.” Giving an example, he explains, “We shot an entire advertisement for Wishberry in noir style.” The video , set in the 1940s-50s, shows an entrepreneur trying to get investors for his business plan. After numerous rejections he decides to ask the public for help. The ad shows how crowdfunding and achieving your dreams have become easier.

A wide field

Two years and a team of nine later (10 if you count the three-legged stray dog they adopted), Vanshaj continues to expand the creative agency. Since he doesn’t pigeonhole himself, he has the entire communication field to play on.

“We were profitable from our very first year,” he says. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the firm’s revenue was ₹45 lakh, with a profit of ₹16 lakh. Last business year, the revenue was about ₹90 lakh and profits of ₹25 lakh. While the revenue doubled, the profit percentage was lower because of higher expenses. This year they hope to do better. The Bold Creative has five regular clients but there is always a floating population that consists largely of start-ups.

Though Vanshaj has seen many start-ups shut down, he says he isn’t worried about The Bold Creative. “We understand our strengths and I know what value I bring to the table, which is why I’m not worried about shutting down. I saw a lot of start-ups close but that was because of poor execution or a lack of vision. For many, being an entrepreneur was the ‘cool’ thing to do. We started because we felt professionally constrained; the company came from a personal need to solve a problem in the industry,” he said.