The current Bollywood boom has led to a greater demand than ever before for multi-cultural talent both in the UK and the Indian sub-continent, which presented a golden opportunity for Wembley entrepreneur Waseem Alyaz.
Together with business partner Proby Patel, Waseem set up UK Talent Spot – a specialist “East meets West” talent agency – and is doing a roaring trade after just a few months in business.
“The explosive growth of film, cable, satellite, commercial channels and digital TV has led to a huge demand for fresh talent in the entertainment industry. Our speciality is providing models, singers, dancers and extras for the film and television industry, with an aim to supply the best talent to both mainstream and Asian markets,” said Waseem.
Financial management techniques
But Waseem and Proby soon realised that even in the glamour world of film and entertainment, basic financial management can make or break a business so they turned to the small business advice and support service for the capital.
Waseem explained: “UK Talent Spot provides work to Asian artistes in Europe, as well as presenting opportunities for European artistes in the Asian sub-continent. Working with so many disparate suppliers and agents, it quickly became apparent that our financial systems had to be meticulous but, at the same time, easy to manage.
“We were referred to our local enterprise support agency, Harrow in Business (HiB), to seek advice on planning steady growth and guidance on cash flow and financial controls.”
Waseem signed up to “Up & Running”, an 18-month mentoring and coaching support programme that starts with a one-to-one counselling session before providing on-going advice, training and mentoring.
Improving business processes
He added: “To tackle our financial and cash flow issues, I also took HiB’s course financial forecasting to ensure that all our accounting and book keeping processes are watertight. Since then, our accounting processes have run without a hitch, even though we are dealing with scores of actors and models being sent halfway around the world.
“We also received invaluable advice on marketing on the Internet and, as a result, our website is now one of our most valuable assets. Our entire portfolio of artistes and models is now just a click away, making it easier for our clients to find the perfect person for the job.”
UK Talent Spot is already supplying talent to a very wide sector of the media industry, including the production of TV commercials, promotional campaigns and events, as well as movie and video productions.
Waseem concluded: “HiB’s advice is impartial and honest – telling you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. As a result our business processes are in order and we’re off to a flying start.”