“Brands engage digital influencers to create a digital economy for themselves”
D’Artist Talent Ventures is a talent management company which promises to change the dynamics of the talent management industry. Darshana Bhalla launched her own venture, D’Artist, with a vision to broaden the horizon of the talent business and build capabilities across entertainment and sporting platforms. She has on-ground experience in Sales, Entrepreneurship, Managing corporate expectations, etc. At the age of 28, Bhalla founded a branded content company called TeamWorks, which associated with films like ‘Chalte Chalte’, ‘Main Hoon Naa’, and ‘Kyun! Ho Gaya Na’, among others.
In conversation with Adgully, Darshana Bhalla, CEO & Founder, D’Artist Talent Ventures, speaks about her vision for the newly set up venture, talent management in the digital era, deal making capabilities and more.
You set up D’Artist Talent Ventures a few months back, how has the journey been so far?
D’Artist started its operations in August 2020. It’s been a quarter of a FY, but we are really encouraged with our clients patronising us and an amazing market response on coming back after the unfortunate and premature closure of the previous talent venture company.
We have also dived into developing our content agency business and we are getting very positive response in that area, and have inked with some very prestigious talent and are exploring some interesting and ambitious opportunities.
What is your vision for the company and the unique expertise that you are bringing in talent management?
The most overarching vision for the company is to collectively grow along with our clients in multiple disciplines, and create a company which provides contextual business solutions and growth opportunities to celebrities, talent and business partners.
The unique expertise with D’Artist Talent Ventures is a superlative deal making capability and the very essential virtues of ethics, transparency and good business practices.
Who were your early clients and what are the successes have helped you build a reputation in the industry?
We’ve been in the business for over 15 years and have been on this journey moving from strength to strength. We have worked across all mediums, verticals, and sectors of Content and Advertising. I believe that reputation is something you build and keep at it for as long as you are in business. It’s not something that you build temporarily – it has and will stay with you for the term of your journey. It is built over a period of time by consistently delivering value and ethics in every delivery.
Talent is no longer just your entertainment or sports celebrities, but also digital creators. Do these artists need to be managed differently and require a different expertise?
It would be wrong to say that entertainment or sports celebrities are not digital creators or digital creators cannot attend to any of the specified fields, they’re all eventually content creators for various mediums and digital too. Definite expertise that might be required for any kind of celebrity management for the young upcoming talent, irrespective of the medium, is overall advisory capabilities and strong business ethics.
The industry for digital artists/ influencers is relatively young. What challenges do they face ( in terms of pay rates, standard cost structures, etc.)?
According to me, the biggest challenge that they face nowadays is the fact that the careers are short-lived. Probably because of the inconsistency in their planning, the road map and the capability in building themselves from the first point of success.
We have worked on the digital platform with many clients and celebrities with the perspective of generating value, hence right designated value created is always for the artist and the clients/ platform, and that is important to maintain.
How did the pandemic affect the talent management industry and revenues?
The pandemic affected the overall economy, the entertainment industry and most consumer industries were affected too, and that will have collateral damage on the entertainment sector and thereby all the allied businesses.
In what ways are brands most interested in engaging with digital influencers?
I think the brands engage digital influencers to create a digital economy for themselves, and connect with the specific demographic available through that medium.
A lot of mainstream actors/ talent were out of work during the lockdown and they explored digital platforms a lot more. What would be your advice to mainstream actors to unlock the opportunities on digital platforms?
As far as the mainstream artists are concerned, they are the holders of a certain demographic advantage, and hence, for them to unlock the opportunities on the digital platforms can go as wide as creating content, and it can go as narrow as using the medium to communicate when mass mediums are not that effective for a specific objective.