OML, a global artist-first media and entertainment company that has been creating content in all genres for OTT platforms, television and brands and producing some live entertainment properties.
OML has now expanded its talent roster by signing up Rajeev Masand, DhruvSehgal and VishweshKrishnamoorthy. Presently they handle 70 artists which includes some names from stand-up comedy such as Zakir Khan, Biswa, Ashish Shakya, Tanmay Bhat and many more.
Medianews4u caught up with Dhruv Sheth,COO, OML Entertainment to talk about the journey and the way forward.
Tell us about OML and the journey of the brand? How has your journey been with OML?
OML started as and till date remains, at its core, a Talent Management and an artist-first company. We began by managing independent musicians back in 2001 and have built our entire business on the back of us managing talent.
We now have our own live production business that produces some of the largest festival and events in the country (Bacardi NH7 Weekender, YouTube Fan Fest, etc), a video production division that produces content for all digital and OTT platforms, a robust brands team that services as a bridge between our 75 plus artists(Zakir Khan, Biswa KalyanRath, Kanan Gill, Kenny Sebastian to name a few) and over 100 brands (Bacardi, RedBull, Levis, Google, 5 Star, Bingo to name a few) and we also have an in-house agency – GlobalCreatorNetwork(GCN) that commissions and produces content for brands in over 20 countries across the globe. All our businesses have Talent Management at its core.
My personal journey started as a production intern at one of our early festivals by the name of Invasion where we toured with David Guetta in 3 cities in 2012. Since then I have worked in all of our businesses – Talent management, live production, video production, brand and ticket sales. I now look after the Talent management and our content business along with my role as COO of the company.
How did the association with the new talent come about?
We have been producing a lot of content for OTTs across India. And we had a great relationship with the writers and directors of the shows that we produced, In our effort to expand our content production business and keeping in line with our core principal of being Artist first, it was an organic extension of our business to manage more creators including writers and directors and help them tell their stories in the form of long form series and film.
What are some of the criteria that OML looks at before signing up with an artist or talent?
We have been talent managers for the past 18 years and there are many criterias that we look at before signing up talent to our roster but the most key criteria for us is to always evaluate what we can add to the talent’s career both from a monetary and a career point of view. Only if we can add value to the talent’s career, do we sign them on. We have a lot of methods of scouting for talent both from an incoming POV and also going out there are finding new talent that we are excited about.
How difficult can it become to manage the huge number of talent that has signed up with OML?
Our strength as a company comes for the robust and diverse talent roster that we represent. As we have been in the business for close to 2 decades now, we have a sense of how to organisationally be equipped to manage more talent. We have learnt over the years and at this point of time, we are more than equipped to manage a huge number of artists.
How are influencers and comedians taking over the talent management space from mainstream Bollywood talent? What is the future of the talent management space going forward?
I don’t think that any of the genres are taking over from each other. There is space for both to co-exist. We have seen that with our comedians and our creators. As content becomes de-centralised and democratized over time, it will become easier for all artists to find their audience, be it a Bollywood Talent or a comedian.
The future of this space that we inhabit is far too exciting for that reason itself. We are finding new models of monetization and distribution due to the boom of the digital space in India.
How does OML help find and nurture raw talent apart from signing up some of the social media sensations?
The comedy circle itself is very helpful to each other. The newer talent is always mentored by more established talent. We have seen that consistently since the past 6 years and it. We pride ourselves in representing talent that hasn’t broken out yet as well.
We have multiple projects within OML that we use to nuture and encourage newer talent. We also hold workshops within the company to help artists upskill themselves. We recently conducted a screenwriting workshop conducted by a National Award winning writer, for all our newer comics that have aspirations to write their own shows and movies.
Which are some of the brands that are constant clients of OML for their Talent management services?
Some of our legacy clients include Bacardi, Redbull, Levis, Mondelez, Amazon Prime Video, Tinder and Zomato.
What does OML plan to achieve in this year going forward?
We aim to be one of the biggest new media enterprises in the country with the help of the talent that we represent. Our effort this year is also to go more regional and find talent in the regional spaces that we can work with to expand all of our businesses in these spaces. Our first regional show in Tamil is set to launch in a month and we aim to expand our roster of talent to include Tamil and Marathi talent.