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HomeWOMEN INTERVIEWSMansi Bihani - A visionary entrepreneur who came from different walks of...

Mansi Bihani – A visionary entrepreneur who came from different walks of life, transforming the explainer video industry

How did you come to be a visionary entrepreneur?

I come from a family where women are not expected to participate in the financial responsibilities. It’s cool to have a degree and a career but that doesn’t mean you have to shoulder the actual responsibilities. Quite frankly, entrepreneurship was not something I dreamed of as a child. Over the years, I have come to realise a correlation between financial independence and decision-making power – decisions about the smallest things in your life. Whether it’s to do with how you spend your time, your lifestyle choices, and sometimes even control over your body and your mind. With my prior experience in design and marketing, when my partner discussed the idea behind a creative agency, I jumped at the opportunity! Today, at Video Factory, one of the key things my partner Rashika and I, strive towards is molding our workforce into a fearless, financially self-reliant, and creatively independent group of people right from the time they associate with us.

How is it different from other companies?

I don’t see us as any different from another company that’s working hard to build and sustain impact today. At Video Factory, we truly work with the skills and hands of a factory that’s steaming up new ideas, segmenting its resources, and facilitating its processes to be swift and seamless. We have animators, creative writers, audio artists, graphics designers, and account managers who tailor to perfection your visual proposition and brand story.

We are both agile and adaptive towards learning new things and a great testimony to the same is a recent project that we helmed for Times Group – wherein we delivered 400+ minutes of talking head videos about a completely alien technical concept of cryptocurrency. So, we neither swear by a 6 months guarantee nor a 30-minute delivery, but what we do swear by is a sustained value-addition to your videos, be it learning, outreach, digital presence, or growth.

Throw some light on your business and its offerings.

Video Factory is an explainer video specialist company based out of Kolkata & Bangalore, pioneering in video production across corporate, training, and e-learning genres.

Sparked by the spirit to simplify communication, we help companies build visual awareness among the audiences they serve, be it their team members or customers. So, as a research-driven organization, we delve deep into the understanding of the mindsets and behavior patterns of these audiences. Our expertise and authority in the Indian markets, therefore, make us contextually more relevant.
Over the years we have honed our skills across all kinds of animation styles and video formats. We make you heard in 20+ vernacular and international languages. Our team is dedicated to curating the best content for you with a faster turnaround time and quantifying the ROI that each of our videos provides, in terms of improved engagement, lead generation, and cost-benefit. Working with more than 500 clients and having created over 15,000 minutes of content in 15+ countries, our clients have praised our approach, enthusiasm, and focus on delivering on time and within the agreed budget.

How challenging is it for a woman to start/ or associate with any company? /Have you faced any unusual situations doing business in India as a female entrepreneur?

Traditionally, more so in the Indian context, men are supposed to be the breadwinners of the family. Doesn’t that make things challenging for men too, due to the increased financial pressure posed on them? Any activity that we undertake is challenging, but that shouldn’t stop us from performing our actions. I am not saying that gender stereotypes and biases in the workplace don’t exist, but it only means that women have to work harder toward achieving their goals. Fortunately, the business landscape is changing, and many women in India are making significant strides as entrepreneurs and business leaders today. This should be an inspiration for others like us to follow suit.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I start my day early and try to get in some exercise – strength training, running, yoga, martial arts. Post work, I make time for activities I find relaxing, whether reading a book, cooking a meal, or spending time with my dog. I am also spiritually inclined and spend some time with my spiritual practice, which helps me wind down before sleep. I usually try to learn a new skill. I recently completed a public speaking course at ToastMasters. I am also taking singing lessons and I completed level 1 in Hindustani Music earlier this year. Besides, I like to be involved in various organizations – I am a member of BCIC (Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce), and I was a committee member at Millennium Mams – an organization that imparts financial literacy among women. All this is possible when we set goals for our personal growth as much as professional growth and know that both are important for our all-rounded development.

 How are entrepreneurship and working women important for India?

As it has been for me, I believe entrepreneurship provides opportunities for women to become financially independent, leading to a more even share of responsibilities both within the household and in the society and country at large. Increased participation from women naturally increases the economic prosperity of the country.

But more importantly, entrepreneurship helps in achieving self-actualization – the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – which means reaching one’s full potential and achieving a sense of fulfillment. A business allows us to pursue our passions, take risks, and make a meaningful impact on the world. As an entrepreneur, we can create something from scratch, set goals and make decisions that align with our personal values and beliefs. So, in some sense, entrepreneurship can be a gateway for women to lead more meaningful and purposeful life.

Define a perfect business leader. What are the qualities you think a great leader possesses?

To me, a leader or an owner is someone who can take ownership or accountability for one’s actions and responsibilities no matter how big or small the task might be. This could also mean being accountable for one’s mistakes, learning from them, and taking steps to prevent them from happening again. A perfect leader is one who can be both audacious and humble.

What is the road map of your organization?

Our primary goal is to become a billion-dollar organization by 2028. In addition to this, we also aspire to scale up our team to 100 members.

While we focus on our revenue and team growth targets, we are also committed to fostering a culture of learning, growth, and continuous improvement. We recognize that our success as an organization is directly tied to the growth and development of our team members, and we are dedicated to providing them with the resources, training, and support they need to thrive in their roles.

What advice would you give to other businesswomen who want to thrive in a male-dominated industry?

I would avoid viewing the industry from the viewpoint of gender because there are enough and more successful women entrepreneurs and business leaders in our country. If they could do it, so can we.

One word that describes you the best…

Lifelong learner” – which also aligns with one of the core values at Video Factory. At Video Factory, we believe that we may not know it all but we strive to learn and grow to be a little more than the previous day. We look upon ourselves as a factory that up-skills itself each day to be Collaborators of Change and Harbingers of New Possibilities. Many of our team members are pursuing a higher degree and earning certification programs. We organize “Super Saturday”, a bi-weekly event where we learn everything from Ai to yoga, to keep up with the changing times.

How would you like people to remember you and your company?

One of the guiding principles in my life has been “Leave something better than you found it”. At Video Factory, we are building a business that leaves a lasting impression on every single person who comes in contact with it – whether it’s our customers, our team members, our vendor partners, or the broader community it serves. Thus, we aspire to be remembered as a company that transcends beyond transactions and creates a legacy that goes beyond financial success.

What is your favorite metaphor for describing entrepreneurship?

I often think of the process of entrepreneurship as akin to watering a bamboo tree. The bamboo tree requires a lot of watering and care in the first few years of its life, but it does not show any visible signs of growth during this time. However, after several years of consistent watering and care, the bamboo tree suddenly shoots up to several feet tall within a matter of weeks.

Similarly, entrepreneurship requires a lot of hard work and dedication in the early stages, but success may not come immediately. But then that voila moment comes when it all starts to make sense. So, hang in there, put in the hours and your voila moment won’t be too far away! Just like the bamboo tree, we entrepreneurs must trust the process and that our hard work will pay off in the end!

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