The English word “startup” has been becoming more and more understandable in our country. It means a daring and desperate attempt to create your own business. This word has gained popularity — because many young and enterprising Ukrainians start their own business, in fact from scratch, making significant progress and occupying a certain niche at the Ukrainian market. About how difficult it is to start a business, whether all young people are dreaming of leaving Ukraine and about whether it is possible to succeed in modern Ukraine, FD talks to the leaders and founders of the studio of video production “Mango Production” by Roman Vashkevych and Andriy Antypenko.
Please, tell, how your business was set up and what actually inspired you to create it?
Roman Vashkevych: I worked for a long time at one of the leading Ukrainian marketing companies, so I had studied the market of advertising services well enough and I got the knowledge in which way to create correctly my own business and how to bring it at the proper level. My second kind of activity, which was initially more perceived as a hobby that brought me good income, was the creation of a promotional video, which I did long before. I started working at the sphere of marketing. Thus the hobby has transformed into the main occupation and the desire for creation completely absorbed me, so I decided to launch my own project.
Having planned my own business, I had already known all the possible obstacles for doing business in Ukraine and abroad. Therefore, simply speaking, I decided to try my own powers at the sphere at which I had enough knowledge.
Andriy Antypenko: I am an actor. I have a considerable experience of filming. In particular, for such well-known brands as Bonjour, Calvin Klein, Voronin, Bosch, Snickers, Lenovo, YSL, etc. This is an interesting and very useful experience. You know, many actors in the theatre and cinema are directing because they understand it perfectly well! In addition, not every director can interpret as it should be, what exactly he wants from the actor and what the actor has to do on the set or stage. When we created our studio, we already knew not only the market of advertising services of Ukraine. We also knew how to make an advertisement, so to say from the inside.
Roman Vashkevych: We have been united by the common goal — to help develop to the modern business in Ukraine and to bring it at higher level and this had inspired us to create our own project.
Roman Vashkevych: The main thing we do is the production of the creative video — I mean promotional videos for television and internet resources. We also make image clips and movies that tell about a particular company, service, or product that needs recognition among its target audience. This is a relatively new kind of business in Ukraine. I cannot say that this niche is not occupied by anybody except us, but we have already gained a reputation of reliable partners. And this is more than enough.
Andriy Antypenko: If to talk about the customers, according to the agreements we had signed, we cannot disclose the names of the companies we work with. However, our portfolio has already contained the collaboration with the leading companies of Ukraine and the CIS. Most often, we collaborate with the developers, with the representatives of brand clothing, with the distributors of the cars, with the software developers, with the representatives of products for everyday usage, with the financial institutions, etc.
How do the video production services affect business development in Ukraine and abroad?
Roman Vashkevych: Video has become a trend and the most effective marketing resource among the promotion of any business — in Ukraine and abroad. Text, or banner ads… let’s admit it’s boring! And in 2018, it does not provoke curiosity any more with sophisticated customers, so it has been becoming less and less effective.
In its turn, the correctly created video may remain in the memory of the viewer for a long period of time. It can be broadcasted by television, if the video appeals to the viewer on the Internet, people will share it, and our customers will consequently receive the new buyers that can increase sales and brand awareness for a time. We are pleased that modern businessmen understand this and invest in video advertising.
Andriy Antypenko: Before we started to write and to advertise video script, we had analyzed in detail the market and the target audience of our client, and then we create a script that, at the subconscious level, will provoke the interest to the target audience to the product or to the service that we advertise. That’s why our promotional video brings such an effect and helps business development!
Was it difficult to promote your project? What was the main difficulty?
Roman Vashkevych: To be honest, there were no particular difficulties in fact. I have already mentioned this in the beginning. We were doing what we could and knew how to perform. We had already had certain acquaintances and a certain level of communications in the advertising business. This is important in order to have a good start. The rest depends on skills and professionalism, as well as on the ability to be responsible for one’s own words and actions.
Andriy Antypenko: We were not freshmen at the market of advertising services. We knew what we are wanted from and we knew what, in turn, we want from our partners. If we talk about the complexity, then it was of purely technical feature. Imagine, if a person appeared in the advertisement of a particular product and if the contract specifies during which time period this advertisement will be shown on television or on the Internet, during this particular time, people can no longer be engaged in the advertising of similar products. However, such complexities are not critical, although actors that are good at advertising are not so common — at least, now.
Did you start your own project from scratch? I mean the financial component.
Roman Vashkevych: Of course, there was no starting capital in the strict sense of the word. However, we had something different. We had people who knew us professionally and knew how we were able to work. I understand that this will sound somewhat outrageous, but sometimes such a start-up capital weighs more than financial one.
Andriy Antypenko: There is no doubt that Western standards are far from us, but even in our advertising business, confidence is beginning to play a role. We are proud of the fact that our customers trust us and work with us constantly. If we talk about “Startup”, then it foresees the search for an investor. We succeeded in this search.
What advice would you give for those people that complain on impossibility to start their own business in Ukraine?
Roman Vashkevych: Many young people leave Ukraine in search of money and self-realization. They say, here and money does not exist and for implementation of any activity there is no space. Although, the money that can be earned abroad — in terms of hryvnia — can be earned in Kyiv either. In the province, the situation is more complicated, but there is also its own “window of opportunity”. Small but there is. I am from Rivne region, so — believe me — I know what I’m talking about.
Andriy Antypenko: In addition, I would like to say the following. Young people often fear of doing their own business because they are listening — sorry for the pathos — not to their own hearts, but to the advice of other people. Of course, these people may only want to do good, but it’s worth of understanding what your life and your destiny are and only you can cope with it.