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Shabir Momin

We started before the word ‘creator economy’ was coined or even known, said Shabir Momin, MD and CTO of One Digital Entertainment. The company, as per Momin, has had a full lifecycle of doing business in the digital space and is now looking at expanding into newer markets.

He added that the company experienced a little setback in the first eight months of Covid, however, in the last quarter of 2019-20, they managed to bounce back and managed to get 120% of the previous year’s revenue. 

“After that, as we moved forward, we continued to double and triple our revenues. So, Covid’s impact has been short on us. While revenue is important, we don’t look at it as the main matrix for measuring performance. A lot of times an activity will not give you revenue, but it will give you a lot of jump in engagement, which then translates into revenue,” he stated. 

On challenges in the creator space 

According to Momin, while more and more people are becoming content creators, it is important for them to acquire the right skills and talent to make it big in the space. “Our (One Digital’s) whole idea is to help creators who have the skills and ability to become a brand themselves. Once you become a brand, you run the economy around them. Unfortunately, we are labelled as an agency or a media house. We are actually a mix of all of them. There is no word for an organisation like ours, we are a full 360-degree organisation.”

“Because this industry is new, and there are tons of new players entering the game and making it their full-time career, they need some support and structuring. With Web 3, it's going to get more exciting. We will see a lot more originality and pureness coming in,” he added.

On the topic of the recent incident involving Meesho- where it was being alleged that prominent social media personalities were paid money to post negative things about the platform, Momin said these things can always be handled with the existing laws in the country. 

Momin further compared the rise of the creator ecosystem to the start-up ecosystem. “The human race has always done better when it was less restricted. Restrictions come in when people misuse their positions. Everything like that (the Meesho incident) can be handled with the existing legal system. I don’t think you need an additional framework or guidelines. The moment you do that, you may be creating the biggest roadblock,” he said.

“Everyone supported the start-up ecosystem and we are seeing its fruits today. So, if they (creators) don’t need support, they don’t need restrictions either. Today, a creator is either an 18-year-old youth or a 50-year-old who has left his corporate job to explore new avenues. The industry is fairly new, if you go and slap them with rules it will discourage them.”

He also cautioned players who engage in such unfair and shady practices. “If the creators today are discouraged, it will harm not only them but the growth of the whole country here and eventually you (brand/platform),” he added. 

Future plans 

As per Momin, the digital ecosystem will evolve continuously and to be prepared for that, they have since long started investing in relevant technologies. “We are operating in several countries and are looking at supporting newer markets. We are looking to develop more solutions for the creator industry, we are also working on a Web3 project. We will play a significant role in the Web 3.0 ecosystem and have been working on it for the last 3 years,” Momin said.

He added that brands across categories have been investing in the influencer marketing space and also advised others who are lagging behind to catch up.

“Almost all kinds of brands are today investing into influencer marketing. The ones who are not will miss out on big opportunities in the next 2 years. Influencers are the new currency for marketing. You can't keep slapping 30-second ads on people. Advertising formats on digital will also change. Web 3, along with integrated and engaging content will play an important role in the years ahead,” said Momin.