Published on October 8th, 2022 | by Charles Myambo0
The Media Industry’s Secret Weapon, Suhit Amin | Saulderson Media
Suhit Amin is a generational talent who started running huge conglomerates while still in his teens. At present, Suhit is 21 but you wouldn’t know it when you take a peek at his otherworldly achievements. As early as age 16, he had already become somewhat of a serial entrepreneur. His business acumen would only grow from strength to strength with each passing year. Furthermore, he is the esteemed founder of the widely respected Saulderson. Suhit is as credible as they come, being verified on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to name a few. The Hype Magazine’s Life & Style Correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) had an interview with Suhit Amin (SA). Below are some excerpts from the interview.
CM: Your business acumen is beyond exemplary. How did it all start for you in the world of business?
SA: A lot of entrepreneurial individuals talk about how they always knew they were going to be entrepreneurs. They were selling sweets in the playground at school. They weren’t focused on school and didn’t think it was the right path from the start, they weren’t very good at school etc. For me, some of this remains true but also a lot of it differs.
I was always very academic. This was ingrained in me from a young age by my immigrant parents who had moved from Kenya and India for university and sought to give their kids a very good life in the UK. They put me through private school and always pushed me to do well in school, achieve the top marks, be the best, put extra effort into school, study more, do extra work etc. In retrospect, as much as I hated that at the time, looking back now I am very grateful as I was always ahead of the game and more intelligent for my age. This environment from my parents naturally caused me to be very academic and studious. I was very keen on math and science and had set my sights on being a doctor from a young age, following in their footsteps. Do very well at school, do very well at university and become a successful doctor.
However, my business acumen really came to light in my early teens through playing video games online with friends. We decided to start posting content on YouTube. Quickly we realized this wasn’t going to work out but, in the process, we discovered the business side of YouTube. How YouTubers made money, how AdSense worked, how you can monetize content, what MCNs are etc. This intrigued me much more as someone who could act as a manager/support for a content creator. Help them build out amazing content and manage the business and commercial aspects on the backend.
So, I embarked on a journey of learning all about the MCN and YouTube industry. This developed my entrepreneurial passions and showed me it was possible to make money doing what I loved online and that maybe the standard educational route wasn’t necessary for me. This led to me starting my first business back in 2014/2015 called Zentro Digital – a subnetwork of an MCN known as Freedom! This didn’t last very long, and we only managed to operate it for a couple of months, but this taught me a lot about business and set me up for success.
CM: Tell us a bit about your brainchild, Saulderson Media. What was the evolutionary process like having started from a valuation of zero to becoming a 7-figure generating agency albeit in just 4 years?
SA: Saulderson Media was conceived out of a dark time of my life. This was during a time where I was undergoing chemotherapy for a cancer called Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Prior to launching Saulderson I was working at a company called ESL in their influencer marketing and MCN department which taught me a huge rolodex of skills when dealing with large clients and influencers. However, my illness motivated me to do something bigger. The perspective at the time for me was, if I was to die from cancer, I needed to make something of myself. Fulfill my human wants of wanting to leave an impact, legacy and having a status. So, for me I knew I needed to be a successful entrepreneur and go out having achieved something. I left ESL at the end of June and got straight into building Saulderson Media from the 1st of July 2018.
The starting process was very basic. It was just a teenager learning what he needed to do to run an online business and getting support from various business networks, more established people and watching what other agencies in the space were doing. I was able to sign and bring on some of my clients from the days of ESL and therefore this gave me a quick head start. The company was completely bootstrapped and to this day we have not had any investment, however we have one two grants from the Scottish government.
At the time it was launched purely as a talent management agency managing the small roster of talent that I had. But I quickly realized that a lot of the money in the industry was coming from the brands wanting to spend their budgets and I then adapted it to have both elements of working for brands and also managing talent. At this time, it was very small project-based work. Brand X would come to us trying to target consumer Y and we’d provide Influencers’ Z to do the job.
During the first 6 months we caught the attention of the national press which got us on radio, newspapers, TV and we won awards which boosted our scale to turning over 6 figures in 6 months. It was around then I hired my first colleague to help me grow and scale the business.
In 2019 the two of us continued in very much the same way of managing talent and finding brands that we could propose and organize deals with to activate a wide network of talent and take our commissions. As we grew over 2019 and started working with bigger creators, higher spending brands and partner agencies we then had to bring in a 3rd member to the team towards the end of the 2020 to help build out campaigns in other verticals aside from gaming which is our bread and butter.
Over 2020 we grew again adding more team members to the repertoire and signing on some more big brands and clients across different services, platforms and verticals. We started our work with two huge tech brands ASUS and ACER to which we still work with and deliver awesome results for. This is also the year where our total turnover peaked above 7 figures.
In 2021 we set some big goals to turn over 7 figures in just one year and expand the talent arm of our business with a member stepping up to head our talent division. A big goal was focusing on guaranteed income and partnership deals for our talent whilst I focused on building more for our clients. Within 2021 we furthered our partnerships with ACER UK and ASUS delivering awesome work for them and cool projects whilst also bringing on work with AB InBev.
In 2021 we also worked with UK legend cricketers Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad and were the agency in charge of launching their gaming brand 4Cast. We worked with them for 6 months of 2021 before going separate ways. But 2021 was a very exciting year.
In 2022 we have expanded the team once again with talent from other influencer agencies joining us. We are in charge of a multitude of big projects for ASUS, ACER and ABI whilst entering different areas and offerings for our clients such as UGC/Repurposing, Influencer seeding/nano strategy and social media management. We are additionally pushing a lot and onboarding a lot of new talent to the agency this year and trying to implement new systems and operations to ensure we can scale and keep momentum going throughout the upcoming recession.
CM: When did you realize that Saulderson could be more than just a media agency and how did the inception of Saulderson Property come about?
SA: So, the vision I had for Saulderson is to have a group of ventures/a holding company that owns multiple companies underneath it. Like Saulderson Ventures/Holdings which own businesses I want to start or invest in e.g., Marketing, property or ecommerce. This is a long way off but is the long-term vision. Right now, the two companies are unrelated at the most part aside from the name being good from a branding standpoint to me.
In terms of how the company came about. In my opinion a very smart way to work your financial life is to build a cash flow business which I did, multiply your wealth through more volatile and fast paced assets such as stocks and crypto and then funnel your money into long term high value assets which build passive income and continually grow over time. I always liked the idea of property. I had a physical asset I could actually see, touch and work on that would hold value and make me money. So, this was always a route I was going to get into as well as other investments that I make with my income.
The company started in 2021 out of my experience in university. I went to university in a town called St Andrews in Scotland. It is a high wealth area which is expensive, with rent prices especially being expensive. There is also too high a demand to supply. There is a housing problem for students. Every year students struggle to find accommodation in St Andrews due to the low supply and high rent prices. I faced this going into my third year. My flat mate and I couldn’t manage to find a flat that suited us for rent.
This then made me decide that St Andrews property would be a good investment for me at this moment of time due to my situation but also due to the potential long-term ROI in the area and the historical data. I bought this place at the perfect time as the following Summer was the St Andrews Golf Open meaning there was an even higher amount of tourism in the town and also inflated prices due to the golf. This led to a very profitable year despite only one person paying rent for the student term as I was living in it myself.
Now we have two tenants living in the property for 9 months during the student term and then Summer we operate as short-term holiday lets across the various platforms which brings in a very large demand and high pricing due to St Andrews being a peak Scottish tourism spot and the home of golf.
I am currently assessing the state of the economy and that may allow me to enter more property positions in the coming years and expand the portfolio and business. For me my property buying thesis is simple. Looking at areas with higher rental demand than supply of housing. And areas that have at least 3 use cases. In the case of St Andrews: consistent student let, professional let and also a booming tourism spot.
CM: Where does your ambition and drive come from?
SA: I don’t really know exactly but I think I have a few good ideas. I am unsure whether there are genetic or environmental causes of these traits, but I have always been ambitious and driven. It’s been ingrained in me. I have always wanted to be the best, do as well as I can and succeed. I have never wanted to be average. It seemed like an impossibility for me. So, I always strived no matter what I did to try and be better than everyone else to put me ahead of the game. My path from a young age has always been excellence and you need to have driven to achieve that.
I think another reasoning is due to the adversity and traumas I have faced. From getting diagnosed with cancer young, heartbreaks etc., I feel crushing life experiences really change a man. When you are faced with these experiences, you have two options. You can either drown in your sorrows, get into bad habits, get depressed, lose your ambition and drive and yourself. Or you can rise up above it. Channel the negatives and that energy into something productive and use it to achieve success in an area. I definitely did the latter and I think that further built my drive and ambitions as a person. I wanted to prove people wrong and prove to myself that everything I visualized and believed I could achieve, that I would.
And the final area is discipline. How I see it is it’s one of the key attributes to success in any realm. There are going to be periods of life where you don’t feel motivated, ambitious or driven. These are all temporary feelings and traits. The only one thing that stays true is discipline. There are definitely days where I don’t want to do certain things, I don’t feel bothered and not interested. But the fact I have built killer discipline means I can inherently push forward, get the work done even when I don’t want to and keep myself driven.
CM: What message would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and small-scale startup owners?
SA: The main thing I want to say, and I think may not be received well is that people need to drop whatever their limiting factor is, whether that is their pride, ego, fear, confidence issues, and just take action and do something.
Too many people don’t ever get what they dream of or visualize or do because of these self-limiting beliefs. They need a perfect time to start. There is no perfect time. They worry about what if it doesn’t work out. Well, what if it does work out?
This just leads to people procrastinating. Stop procrastinating, get some discipline and put the work in to achieve your aspirations. You have a 0% chance of succeeding if you don’t take action, whereas you may be the next big thing if you do.
And one message dear to me. Do not let an experience in life, like what I went through, be the reason you take that action and follow your dreams. JUST DO IT. It’s easy for me to say this because I have had that adversity that pushed me to do it, but I want to urge people to not wait for that experience and just to go all out. If you truly back yourself, you will find a way to succeed.