A Bit about Me
Forty is when I decided to begin a career, and I never felt I was more ready or more excited to begin a new chapter in my life.
Born in a small village of Gujarat in a traditional middle-class family, I was practically raised to be a good home-maker. And in those days, that was the key objective of my life too. I completed my graduation in commerce without actually having a precise purpose.
Everything in my life was as per the traditional Indian norms – marriage in early 20s and motherhood in mid twenties. My husband was working for a large corporate and we moved few cities because of his postings before finally settling in Mumbai. Everything in life was in its place. Or so I thought.
Never too late to Begin what you Believe
By the year 2010, my son had grown up considerably so as to substantially reduce his dependency on me. It was like I had moved to another stage of life. I was left with lot of time at hand and my mind started to think of things I could do to fill up the spare time and keep myself sufficiently occupied. I deliberated with my husband and came to a conclusion that I wanted to do something to which I was naturally inclined.
From the few options we had at hand, I decided to pursue studies in the field of graphics and animation as I always was good at drawing and painting. I pursued some crash courses from local institutes for a year and half. It didn’t add up to much as the faculty was not very great here, but I discovered my intrigue towards this field and decided to build a career with this.
I took admission in MAAC (Maya Academy of Advance Cinematic) at the age of 35. It was a three year course encompassing all the aspects of advance graphics & animation. The initial days were pretty embarrassing. All the students were in their teens and well conversant with the latest technologies whereas I had never operated a computer in my life. A complete odd-woman out situation.
Gradually, I started to pick up the nuances. I had to work doubly hard as both the Computer and English languages were new to me. Also, juggling home, family, kids and IT level education was a challenging task. Several times, I had to attend to family on priority and that would result in me lagging behind other students in studies. I had to play the catch up game and somehow get back to the level. And I must admit that the faculties at the institute always supported me and appreciated my zeal to learn a new subject.
I completed my course in four years instead of three. But I did complete it. I was now employable. Many job offers started coming in. But I was not keen on any employment as that was not the objective of pursuing the subject. I decided to do something of my own.
The Lure of being an Entrepreneur
With couple of other students, we started a partnership firm in the name of B18 Mediaworks on 13th Jan, 2013. I took the name B18 from Shreemad Bhagwat Geeta, B from Bhagwat and 18 for the 18 chapters. We listed our services on various platforms such as JustDial, Sulekha etc. and started getting enquiries. We used to do all kinds of sundry things such as wedding photography, shooting, editing etc. The boys used to take care of the client side wherein I primarily looked after the backend technicalities. The business was picking up but it was not very satisfying for me as a creative person.
Around this time, my son was in 9th standard and I decided to devote all my time and energies towards him for his 10th performance. I separated from that partnership firm in October 2014. But I did taste the flavour of profit.
Venturing into a second beginning
By 2016, my son had cleared his 10th. I started to weave and revive my business plan once again. I reactivated all the old contacts and connections, borrowed some capital from friends and families and re-initiated the venture with a new name B18 ANIMATION STUDIO on 1st February 2017. We hired a small but expensive office, that is quintessential of Mumbai and hired one an employee.
Small but significant breakthrough
After about 3 months, I got a reference from one of my friends, to create a whiteboard animation for one of the Jain community trusts. It was a story of one of their great saints. We were thrilled. We poured our heart and soul into it and voila! The work was well received and appreciated. We earned enough to cover our expenses for the month and saved something on top of it.
We rolled out our work on whatsapp and YouTube and listed ourselves on Google. Enquiries started coming in at a steady pace now and we started making small profits with a couple of big and some more smaller projects every month. Till now, we have completed close to nine projects.
It is little over six months now and we have decided to move to a slightly bigger office than the one we had and also hired two more employees. Our hands are full for next couple of months and we have just received an enquiry from the iconic Rajshri Productions! This one is going to be one very big feather in our cap.
Krishna Vasani is the Creative Head & Founder of B18 Animations Studio[www.b18animationstudio.com],Mumbai. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org