Shivashish Tarkas: A Resilient CEO With an Indefatigable Zeal for Advancement
When thinking of an eminent CEO, we often conjure images of a professional with remarkable visionary qualities. Be it a steadfast growth mindset or an insatiable hunger for innovation, these qualities are multifarious and often signify the character integrity of the professional.
In 2022, a plethora of CEOs has garnered unprecedented recognition owing to their novel ideologies & offerings. A few of them have been so exemplary that their success has spurred a whole new dimension of creative possibilities within their specific industry.
Shivashish Tarkas, the Founder of The InterMentalist, is one such CEO who has been at the forefront of various redefining developments in his industry. His company has been conducive in inspiring new service paradigms within the domain of influencer marketing across south India.
The Spark of Inspiration
The InterMentalist was founded in 2015 with a strong desire to achieve something significant and influential across digital space.
In retrospect, Shivashish agonizingly recalls how 2010 – 2015 were the dark years of his life. He was stifled by poor academic performance and poor decision-making skills. On Day 1 of his college, he had already realized that the conformative academic front wasn’t his cup of tea. As much as he wanted to run away from reality, he also wanted to ensure that his parents don’t feel let down as they had gone through enough struggles to get him an engineering seat.
The first two years of engineering were arduously draining with over 100 kms+ of travel a day, in addition to a couple of arrears, assignments, projects, and so-called tests. Amid all this, Shivashish saw nothing but a bunch of students who were here to pass exams and get a make-do job worth 20k/month. There is absolutely no time or enthusiasm to explore something unreal that’s novel in conceptuality.
The spark of inspiration came to Shivashish so early that when he used to sit in his college bus, he used to loathe the prevalent monotony by seeing IT employees follow the same schedule each day whilst travelling to an office. It just hit him – “He doesn’t want to end up here at least”. To add fuel to this, he was constantly reminded or rather taunted that the students would be nothing without a college degree.
In view of this, Shivashish decided – whatever may happen, I won’t conform to the status quo. He was good with computers, analytics, and brand aspects – this gave him an intuitive knowing as to what venture he should proceed with. Deciding unequivocally to become a success, he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey. He knew that 5 to 10 years later, he will look back and rejoice in his decision to follow his fervour.
Shivashish’s experience was downright a loner’s journey. To him, it felt as though he had to build his life from scratch in a jungle with no human contact/resources.
In the company’s initial days, Shivashish was caught in a stifling deadlock; potential givers/clients wanted to see his work before they could give him a project, but he had nothing to show except the fire in his eyes and vision in his mind.
The aforesaid was accompanied by the usual mental challenges when one has nothing in their pockets but want to fructify an invisible reality. In every step taken initially, there were many no’s from people; he was furthermore underestimated because of his age as he was only 21 upon starting the company.
All Shivashish had after completing college was Rs 3500. He invested it in his business and went all-in thereafter.
Creating a Stellar Market Presence
Since his initial days of having a meagre capital, Shivashish has grown his brand exponentially both in terms of finances and market acclaim.
The InterMentalist provides end-to-end influencer marketing services exclusively for South India, in addition to personal branding services to public figures. When it comes to the South Market, it is the preferred partner for the kind of bandwidth it can handle in all categories.
The company’s vast clientele features umpteen renowned Influencers, creators, actors/actresses/superstars in the South. A great part of its market eminence can be attributed to its value & customer-centric approach.
InterMentalist’s Value-driven Approach
Driving an illustrious B2B business, people management and communication is a strong forte for Shivashish with his company. According to him, it’s always been a relationship business rather than a business in a relationship. Nurturing them has always led to a powerful personal connection.
Shivashish goes on to elucidate that he always sees customers as God’s blessings. He remembers his early days when he was loitering in business areas to make some money. Few welcomed, few mistreated, few literally gave no response, while also there were few who chased him out.
After a long period of arduous struggle, Shivashish is grateful now that his potential is finally being recognized. He attributes this to his constant fostering of a healthy and positive environment. He also highlights that his company has always been vocal about its vision. Apart from this, they have a very strong market presence, market exposure, and market knowledge when it comes to the South.
Fostering Trust Though Powerful Visuals
In Shivashish’s years of maneuvering the business, product/service’s market success is largely defined by the quality of its visuals. He believes that product packaging plays an important role in fostering that initial trust, be it FMCG or application-based services.
Poor interface or poor packaging are the major deterrents that prevent a brand from growing big. If Step 1 fails, there is no Step 2; Everything needs to be readdressed and redeveloped.
Shivashish further elucidates that consumers today want to try unique things. They won’t mind experimenting at least once before they end up becoming recurring customers.
Startup brands that have emerged as unicorns in the last few years are giving tough competition to global players in every segment.
Shivashish’s Take on Entrepreneurship
The optimistic trend of startups has kindled a fervent entrepreneurship spirit in Shivashish.
In retrospect, he describes his entrepreneurial journey as immensely rewarding & adventurous. Every day in it is a rich learning experience for him.
Given below are the lessons which he wishes to exemplify through his journey:
A Dogged Determination: Looking at Shivashish’s story, many are kindled with greater faith in their ability to rise above wretchedness. They see a journey of a middle-class and a neglected boy who had big dreams. Ultimately, he went on to achieve what he believed and promised and is inspiring others to do the same.
Building From The Scratch: As a guy with no background, no business knowledge, no finances or infrastructure, Shivashish now owns south India’s finest entity in this domain. This inspires a visionary attitude among those who see his journey.
Nurturing Relationships: Shivashish has made it a special point to maintain a steady relationship with all – be it stars, brands, agencies, or any individual in the field. In an era of egos and hierarchy, this serves as a refreshing paradigm shift.
On a concluding note, the CEO expresses immense gratitude for being able to work with the finest people in the South film & media industry. Today at the age of 28, he has worked with over 200+ influential figures across the industry, which is rapidly proliferating with time.