Each year, we ask our readers to send in their nominations for TC’s Most Influential Tamils List. We’ve narrowed down the nominations to 5 individuals who exemplify personal success, community involvement and act as an inspiration to others. This week we're featuring Lokesh J., founder and CEO of TheSight Media based in Tamil Nadu.
Lokesh J. is the young, ambitious and passionately outspoken founder and CEO of TheSight Media - an event and brand management company based in Tamil Nadu with an international client base. Born and raised in Chennai, Lokesh obtained a degree in Commerce and went on to gain a few years of experience in banking. But his eyes were always set on becoming his own boss one day.
In 2010, Lokesh decided to take the leap and started TheSight Media. Luckily, one of their first clients was Bharti Telecom, one of India's largest telecom operators, who tasked them with increasing sales for their broadband connections. Lokesh and his team decided to try something different and took to social media platforms like Orkut and Facebook to run campaigns. The results were successful. This experience helped them understand early on the value in leveraging platforms like Facebook as key business tools to promote products and services directly to the public, and would come to be their area of expertise. The next major milestone was to enter into the glamorous, but challenging, world of Kollywood. They signed on their first Tamil movie and successfully released campaigns through Youtube, something that not many other media organizations were doing in the industry at the time.
To date, Lokesh and his team have offered marketing support to over 20 Tamil films and are associated with leading production houses such as PVP Cinemas. But it wasn't always easy. Lokesh recollects an incident during the early days when sponsors unexpectedly backed out last minute, from an event for a film with well known celebrities set to participate. They were at a loss financially and had to seek bank loans to continue with the event. However, the setback was temporary, as their commitment to excellence and execution gained them the respect of individuals in the industry. Then there's the continued challenge of having to deal with producers who try to get away with not paying the full value for the services provided, something Lokesh openly blasts on his Facebook page. But, the positives of being in the media business far outshine any negatives, according to Lokesh. Through media, brands are given life through innovation and exploring the world in a new dimension- something that he is deeply passionate about.
Lokesh is highly optimistic about the entrepreneurial landscape for young Tamils, such as himself, in India. For instance, the Tamil Nadu government has recently introduced different schemes to lend young entrepreneurs up to 1 Crore for deserving business ideas. When asked about his advice for other entrepreneurs: "Today’s world is very competitive and disruptive. If an entrepreneur has no initial investments, then they can start their business and handle it smartly. Smart business can be done only if a person has in depth knowledge about the business they are about to start which leads to success- that knowledge will be their biggest investment."
The future definitely looks bright for Lokesh. TheSight has recently signed on Air Asia as a client, and will be working on an Ad and photo shoot with the Kings XI Punjab team players in Chandigarh in the coming days. He's certainly glad about following through with his ambitions of becoming an entrepreneur.
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