Below are the highlights of the conversation between Swiftnlift Business Magazine and BANAHUB. The company was founded by Ibthisam (Director) and Bashayar (Manager) in the year 2019. We are glad to share this exclusive interview with all the readers.
Tell us about your company. Its vision and mission.
BANAHUB – is an industry enabler that connects individuals and businesses in the creative industry. That includes talents and professionals from different industries and businesses to their needs.
Mission: One-stop enabler hub creative industry.
What were the constraints you faced at the time of inception?
Initially, the BANA spent four years conducting research, conducting interviews, and gaining field experience with me in order to better understand the industry. For me, each step opened a new door that led to the current BANAHUB. It had been pitched in a competition, had been incubated and checked, and was now ready to go. Pandemic hit and shook the world, as well as the business world, to our surprise.
It took us five months to get back up and running, so we had to pivot to get back on track. Pandemic broadened my horizons and provided me with new ways to grow the company and focus on my beliefs. It gave me the courage to work on it despite the difficulties, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family, friends, and our team.
What services do you provide to the customers?
The services from BANAHUB:
Our company, BANAHUB, makes life simpler for creatives and businesses who are having trouble getting their work out there and relying on reliable professionals.
We are an innovative industry enabler, and through our services, we assist in the exploration and matching of skills and professionals to business needs and interests. We plan meetings, exhibits, networking sessions, seminars, and provide opportunities to interact and collaborate with other artists in the Art, Media, Writing, and Fashion sectors.
1. IMMANSE – Creatives and Artist management.
2. BANAFEST – Festival to celebrate Artists
3. BANALOG – Inhouse Megazine
4. Creative Education (navigating career PATHway)
5. Program organizing (Events, exhibition, interviews, etc.)
How do you manage to work in different areas?
One of my favourite things to do is explore the creative industry and organise activities, which I am doing now as part of this startup journey. Now that I have a team of talented, adventurous, and inspired young people on my team, it fuels our desire to learn more about our mission and to help as many artists as possible all over the world.
How do you navigate the art world?
In the art world, there are two sides: the corporate side and the artistic side. I’m more interested in the latter, the artistic side of the art world, the people who work there, their journeys, and how they inspire others. I see a lot of common ground in artists from media, literature, and fashion, not only in art, but in other fields as well.
Painting or crafting has provided me with a great deal of inspiration and has assisted me in discovering myself. Many artists discover their passion and talents later in life, and there are no restrictions on who can follow them.
Social networking has become an integral part of how artists show their work to the public, as well as how we, as service providers and fans, discover art that we then search out in person. The benefits are undeniable, but the drawback is that there are so many fish in the ocean, and the algorithm determines what you can see.
Which current art world trends are you following? What do you think are the challenges in the industry today?
I’m particularly interested in abstracts, paintings, and any other types of art that express a person’s ethnicity or culture in a modern way.
Due to an unforeseen pandemic, the creative industry has been severely impacted since last year. Regarding the safety precautions, libraries, concert and event halls, galleries, and theatres are all closed. The sudden decline in sales has put their financial stability in jeopardy, resulting in lower wages and layoffs.
During the lockdown, some cultural and creative industries, such as online content outlets, benefited from the increased demand for cultural content streaming. The consequences are long-lasting due to a general decline in buying power; however, at the local level, the lack of responsive public funding has an impact on cities and regions in terms of employment and revenues, levels of creativity, resident well-being, and community vibrancy and diversity.
What is your strategy to reach new industries and new customers?
To engage with our target audiences, our approach is to track trends and technology. We believe in making a difference in people’s lives, so we’re growing our community and developing initiatives to explore various possibilities.
Which of your projects are you proud of and why? Also, tell us about your future ventures.
We’re very proud of how far BANAFEST and our sub-brand, IMMENSE, have come. Workshops, artist partnerships, novel publishing, competitions, and more are all on the horizon.
How did you come up with the idea of BanaFest?
While studying the creative industry, I spoke with a number of creatives from diverse backgrounds from all over the world. It was fascinating and inspiring to hear their stories about their journeys and their passion for what they do, and it inspired me to record and celebrate it, so BANAFEST was born to honour the creatives and their work. We have art, media, authors, and fashion categories for BANAFEST 2021. In March, we held our first BANAFEST – ART. The artists shared their stories and creative journeys, with artists from all over the world participating.
In May, BANAFEST WRITERS will take place. It’s a celebration of authors and a chance for them to tell their stories. There will be pre-shoot interviews, and they will have the opportunity to meet and network with other authors involved in the festival.
Tell us about your achievements and recognition.
1st Runner among 3 finalist countries for creative business pitch in Young Entrepreneurship Program (2018) by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Pitched BANAHUB in Silicon Valley programs.
Currently working on a second startup company in Silicon Valley program called AFOREMIND in the mental health sector.
Details of the company:
Year of Founding: 2019
Funding Information: Self-Funded
Office Locations: Singapore
Company Strength: 7