Celebrities in the entertainment industry often are disclosed from the public, and knowing more about them is the hardest thing to do. No matter how much you try, you can never get their attention, and the only time you can see them is either on big movie screens or on reality TV shows to promote something. However, if you ever wanted to even get a like from celebrities on a post on your social media platforms, it’s quite tricky and near impossible. But then one application makes it possible to get celebrities to fulfill your wishes, and that application is Celebfie.
Celebfie is an application that lets users interact with their favorite TV and movie actors, actresses, comedians, singers, and so on. The platform has plenty of such stars who tend to provide their fans with personalized messages based on their requests. The celebrities listed on the platforms can interact with their fans, send messages, and whatnot. Coming to the fan side of things, then they can send requests of what they desire. A picture, video, book celebrities for a function, and so on. It’s a unique way of letting fans interact with their celebrities and know more about them. Interacting with Raminder Singh, Founder & CEO of Celebfie, Bangalore Insider was able to learn more about the company. The excerpts from the conversation are provided as follows.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Celebfie is a new-age celebrity engagement platform that connects fans and brands to their favourite celebrities using its tech-enabled mobile first application. We currently have 300+ (National and regional) celebrities from various genres on board who also have their own micro channels on the platform where they share exclusive and unseen short-form video content which is accessible to fans to view and directly interact with the celebs and brands to collaborate in contact creation, it works as a single click subscription model.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
It all started when we were trying to organise a big educational event in Dubai and we wanted a few celebrities to be a part of it. From accessing celebrities to booking them for the event, we faced multiple hurdles along the way and found the process to be ambiguous as well as multi-layered, which inspired us to create a tech enabled transparent platform which would eliminate these challenges and simplify the process of connecting and engaging with celebrities, for fans and brands.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
With over two decades of experience as an EdTech professional prior to launching Celebfie, I gained expertise in development and management of several products from conceptualization to the go-live stage across several e-learning verticals, within the US, UK, UAE and India. Mastering the concept of Experiential Learning through gamification for the L&D ecosystem which made way for me to co-author “Gamified Training – COOKBOOK”; a guide for L&D.
My contributions in the Edtech world led me to receive the ‘Edtech Leader of the Year’ awarded by the India-UAE Business Summit, 2018. Similar to the EdTech industry, I found digital entertainment space to be ever-dynamic and transformational, and I see a lot of scope to improve the consumer experience with technology intervention.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our Holding company is based out of UAE, and the reason we chose UAE to be the right destination is because we are looking to build Celebfie as an International brand which Artists and talents from all over the world could benefit from and Celebfie becomes the go-to-app the fan communities globally.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
As the captain of the ship, or if I may say head of the startup family I feel the most important thing for me is to make sure that all my team members are happy and well taken care of. What keeps me awake? I would rather say what keeps me on my toes is to keep up with the user’s expectations and to make sure that we genuinely help our fans and brands in “Creating Unforgettable Memories”
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
It may sound a bit arrogant but frankly we do not have a direct competition i.e. if we compare apples to apples, but yes there are some companies in the Celebrity booking space, who are mainly doing online shoutout bookings. Celebfie as I have mentioned earlier is helping it’s users create unforgettable memories, and actually giving them direct access to their favourite celebrities from Bollywood, to TV, to music, to sports, to authors and many more.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It is super hard, at the stage we are in, not only me as the founder, but the full core team we are working almost 24 by 7, and I am not very proud of the fact that it has been very tough to manage the work-life balance even with the current work from home scenario. I am very lucky to actually have my wife as truly the better half of me as she has been a huge support although, she has taken responsibility for all the other 120 things when it comes to family and the household, and given me the space so I can totally focus on work.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If not then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
My co-founder Praveer who is also my school buddy and I started Celebfie as a bootstrap venture, but the concept sold well and a lot of our friends and family came forward to join us early on and helped us to successfully raise our seed round in Jan’21. We are now looking to raise our series A in July this year.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Well I think it is the “people” who could answer this the best, but on a serious not I feel I may come across as a tough task master, someone who is very difficult to please, as per my wife that is who people feel I am, but the reality is that I do give a lot of chances to people and give them reasonable benefit of doubt too.
What gets you excited about this company?
Everything! starting from as basic as our social media followers increasing day-by-day, to developing some cool features on our app. Planning a fun filled team building event for our employees, to introduce Artificial intelligence and Blockchain technologies which will give that seamless user experience for all our stakeholders. So the smallest activity to the BIG innovative implementations all of it excites me, but to top it all when I see those smiles and happiness on our users faces when they get that ultimate fan moment which Celebfies helps them experience, is worth all the pain and sleepless nights we have been going through.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I am an early riser, I get up between 4:45 and 5 AM every day, after the usual one hour get-into-the-day routine I go for a walk, back by 7 and the only one duty I have taken on myself is to make tea for my wife and then read some news and get ready as work start by 8:30 AM, from there to almost till 8:30 or at times even 9, 9:30 PM its all work. I love cooking and it’s one of my big time stress-buster, so I try to cook a dish for dinner at least once a week.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
As I mentioned earlier that my Co-founder Praveer and I are school buddies, we passed out from a school called The Daly College, Indore, rest of the team happened, We brought in our first few resources as freelancers and eventually they joined us full time and are now part of the core team and I should say they are very important pillars of our company, as the famous lines form a learned man goes “main akela hi chala tha jaanib-e-manzil magar/ log saath aate gaye aur karwaan banta gaya”
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