Founders Sania Jhankar and Reema Dutt started as indie filmmakers and now run a global video production company for startups. With a unique perspective to the startup world, which shines visibly through their work, their clientele includes names such as Google and Polaroid, as well as a diverse range of startups like Splacer and PHIND, with a unanimous focus on growth products. Sania Jhankar, Co-founder and Head of Production at Lumioustudios, has several years of experience as a director, writer, producer and editor of features, shorts and commercials. She is highly experienced in creative development, dramatic filming and working with actors. She has written over 5 original feature film scripts and dozens of short-form content. She has a BFA from NYU Tisch in Film/TV. Reema Dutt, Co-founder and Head of Business Development at Luminoustudios, has worked as a creative producer for several years for features, shorts, commercials and documentaries. She also works as a marketing/brand consultant for start-ups in retail, entertainment and tech. She has a BA from NYU in Economics and Journalism, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from USC in Global Media and Communications.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
We started as filmmakers producing independent features. So, our passion has always been focused on visual storytelling. Indie features take a long time to make, and we started to crave the opportunity to tell more stories, more often! That’s how LuminouStudios came to be. Specifically, we realized the shift in the industry in terms of new media and digital content. There was an appetite for short-form content, and we zeroed in on startup stories because we had the right resources and skills to show younger companies how they could leverage video content without breaking the bank.
Tell us about your business.
LuminouStudios is a bicoastal production company focused on creating video content for start-ups, mostly in tech and lifestyle. We began as indie filmmakers, so our approach is to bring together cinematic style storytelling and branded content to create a high-quality and affordable product.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Follow us on Instagram @luminoustudios and send us a DM for 15% off your first video production with us!
Where is your business based?
New York City and Los Angeles.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
A sound and thorough business plan was our first step. It helped us envision what we wanted and what this could be. It’s a living document for sure, but it was really the impetus of figuring out how to actually start our business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and disorganized, so our business plan kept us on track.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Building brand awareness is difficult in any industry these days since the markets are so cluttered. I think plowing through that noise is always a challenge.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Having each other helps! 😉 We seriously talk it out – we vent. We acknowledge that things are difficult and that’s okay. That’s the reality of it, and we don’t try to paint a rosy picture for ourselves when things aren’t. And from there, we just refocus and pivot when things get difficult. That’s the challenge. And overcoming it is incredibly rewarding.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We’re a service and creative business, so it’s highly subjective. We have a particular sensibility – we create thoughtful narratives, and this is what we’re known for. We are also able to deliver incredible production value with limited resources, mainly because we both are personally involved in the development process and the execution.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be ready for a roller coaster! The highs are great and the lows are tough, but if you know it’s going to be an unpredictable, challenging, yet rewarding ride, you’ll be fine. Just be realistic and informed about what you’re undertaking when you call yourself an entrepreneur.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Aside from people, we read lots of articles both about our sector and about other industries, as that helps inspire our creativity and broaden our thought process.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
We both love The Rosie Project!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We’re mainly focused on business development and marketing for a service-oriented business.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Meet more cool companies that are creating cool products and help them tell their cool brand stories!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #luminoustudios #womencreate