Corporate Review

The story of ROOTANIAN: how this emerging startup is becoming the focal point of India’s Media & Entertainment Industry

The story of ROOTANIAN: how this emerging startup is becoming the focal point of India's Media & Entertainment Industry

Throughout the years of my experience in interviewing business leaders, I had the opportunity to cover the exceptional stories of go-getters, dreamers, and pathfinders who are transforming the business horizon towards ‘the next big thing’.

Out of those paramount leaders, some shine in the spotlight while others stay in the background and lead their people towards the shine of success.

Despite the differences, they have one thing in common-the ‘relentless chase’ to challenge existing situations rather than fit in.

I recently had the opportunity to interview a leader who is fierce, determined and full of fire.

She belongs to the world of media and entertainment, the industry infamous for not being women-friendly in the past years.

Despite the industry odds that infest women’s journey towards success, leaders like her have risen above the hurdles and contributed to the transformation of the industry and created an indelible mark, while continuing to inspire others and working hard to create numerous opportunities for others.

This is the story of Naina Toor and her bespoke creative business studio, ROOTANIAN

ROOTANIAN’s versatility and unparalleled approach as a creative studio are unquestionable. Started in 2020 with a commitment to deliver exceptional services under arenas of Content Creation, Branding and Ad Film Direction & Production, the startup has caught the eyes of global brands owning to its out-of-the-box ideas, unmatched vision, Global experience & exposure, friendly approach, prominent creative output, 360-degree understanding and approach. Growing as a one-stop-shop for client’s creative needs, ROOTANIAN delivers strategic creative services within the verticals of: Content Creation & Production, Advertising Films Direction and Production, Creative Visual Branding & Communications, and Creative Project Consultation Services

Standing apart from the clutter

The Think tank’s personalization, customization, ethical values, uncompromised services and a deep holistic understanding of the project and business has anchored its presence strongly in a highly competitive industry.

Delivering services to an exceptional clientele, ROOTANIAN serves clients from Content platforms and channels to direct Brands in FMCG, insurance companies, Ad agencies, IT companies, sports bodies/ firms, the education industry etc.

Furthermore, the studio also addresses multiple requirements such as Strategic Branding, new launches, brand voice, Ad Campaigns and social media of its client base.

The beginning

“Every Idea starts with a problem, ours was simple, the content storytelling follows a format, but most brands and marketers are looking for a shift, something fresh, bold to break the clutter. ROOTANIAN was born because we wanted to create content and brands that can be remembered- by incorporating fresh ideas, rather than following one.” – Naina Toor, founder, Producer & Creative director – ROOTANIAN

Naina is a hard-charging entrepreneur working on a mission to channel all her rich learnings and almost two-decade-old experience to propel and re-write and think out of the box for producing projects that stand out, ideas that do not run off the mill, ideas that engage and are alive projects.

Naina’s first love & interest, as she mentions were Design and Communication that led to her journey in the Media and Entertainment Industry.

Following her education in Applied Arts and Film Design, Naina contributed her initial years to Star TV Network in their Delhi branch.

There, she would create everything from scratch – from writing your own scripts, making your own storyboard, to creating your own edits, music, and graphics.

It was a creative incubator of sorts, where learning and fun were paramount.

The excitement and thrill of working on new projects fueled Naina’s journey and shaped her skills.

The love for Media and Entertainment grew stronger and Naina worked with prestigious media companies like Star and Sony, after moving to Mumbai, 18 years back.

A former sportsperson, Naina has attended the Indian camp for basketball. Her adoration for sportsperson journey and physical endeavor has influenced her professional arena as well. After working on sports brands for years, and being one, Naina had an inkling. Why should sports be a serious boardroom kind, graph-driven, when it can engage and entertain everyone and others who want to consume it as pure entertainment? Why can’t it be presented in a relatable way as it is? Assembling her ideas, she incorporated ROOTANIAN – to fit the needs of the brand and the consumer and that has become the secret ingredient behind the studio’s success, including the highly successful show “Viru Ki Baithak” for 2020 IPL for which the studio holds the IP and for which they created 56 daily episodes for Facebook.

Currently, ROOTANIAN is constantly working on and looking to do the same in sports and non-sports genres and working on some IPs that should be soon entertaining India. The startup is also working on some retainer projects as a creative agency for some of its esteemed clients where they are taking care of their Brand sustainability and new vertical launches. ROOTANIAN’s client base also consists of esteemed clients who approach the design studio via its social media handles, LinkedIn and website. Also on the cards are web series and non-fiction content and documentaries with some established writers and directors.

ROOTANIAN is on its exciting journey to innovate beyond the ‘normal’.

During our interview, Naina talked about ROOTANIAN’s current projects, goals for the future and her learnings.

Also Read:Gitika Bhatia: the chief storyteller leading change efforts and shaping the public figure of Beatest

How will you differentiate yourself from what has already become clutter?

We want to exist to clear the clutter through our offerings. We want to reach out to brands that want to do the same, who are looking to engage with their customers purely.

We want to convey and communicate via storytelling while being impactful. Once again, we create formats, and not follow one.

What’s your target audience? What about consumer segmentation?

Anyone with a smartphone is a consumer today. We want to speak to everyone who watches content or interacts on social media.

We want to speak to everyone who engages with a Brand.

Audience research, behavior and understanding for a particular project, content, anchor, and story are the first steps in our process.

Our clients also share their information, and we process it with our filters to come up with ideas that excite them.

The COVID situation has also shown how consumer behavior is changing. How has this influenced the company?

Unprecedented times like these bring huge challenges. Yet businesses need to consider strategic plans and continue to invest in their brand and market share.

The increasing rate of media consumption during the pandemic has been game-changing for all stakeholders.

Consumer behavior is rapidly evolving and adjusting to a new normal, where social distancing, work from home and virtual meetings are the norms.

Digital Media demand is on the rise and it’s a good news for Media and Entertainment companies like us.

The digital future is here to stay and evolve further. With the acceptance and comfort of virtual interaction, we have connected with production teams and clients across borders to bring the best talent and output for our clients.

Brands now understand the quality of content and work with increased competition and demand for creative indirect and direct but aggressive marketing practices.

Central to this change is how businesses attract consumers and promote their products and services.

Businesses want to work with the right creative teams which are evident in queries that we are receiving on our Social Media handles, LinkedIn, the website and via direct contacts.

We have obtained numerous inquiries over the past few months, and we are extremely thrilled about it.

The media and entertainment industry has travelled from pure broadcasting to now OTT platforms. What’s your take on the change in the media and entertainment industry?

The OTT and app viewing content have been a boost during the pandemic for both audiences and creators.

The ease and the access topped with variety and control of the medium has become a casual part of content audiences.

It’s a fabulous time for storytellers and an equally wonderful experience for audiences to be a part of this ecosystem.

Having said that, I feel broadcast is still relevant and both can co-exist, probability broadcast might see a behavior change in their TG and openness to stories and non-fiction content not told before. It’s time for a change, in a good way.

What do you think of the 2021-2022 calendar? What’s your 2021 product/ offerings pipeline looking like?

We are expecting a Booming year. With things opening, everyone is hoping for sunshine. On the Content side, we have 10/12 IP’s that we have registered, in various genres.

We are reaching out to brands and platforms to find a fit and there have been some interesting discussions going on.

We are also engaging established directors and writers working on developing Content in both Sports and Entertainment.

On the Branding side, we are working on app-based, some education Brands and direct to consumer Brands, taking care of their Brand Strategy and Media operations.

For us, even the smallest project or a new Brand is important. We work within the Client’s Budget constraints. We love working with clients and teams who value creativity and know that creativity plays a huge part in their Brand growth and success.

What are your tips or parting words of advice for the founders?

Engage in a Business that has your heart and mind, a Business that feels effortless.

Something that you enjoy and gets you excited even for the smallest of Projects.

Always stay connected and available on social media, LinkedIn, or on your website and respond to queries diligently.

Clients come when they know their brand is valued and taken care of. Clients bring revenue and more clients as the good word about you spreads. Simple.

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