8 Creative Companies In Hyderabad You Will Want To Work At

8 Creative Companies In Hyderabad You Will Want To Work At

The entrepreneurs of Hyderabad have rolled up their sleeves to work on some noble causes: from crafting authentic hearty meals, to waste management and sustainability, to developing meaningful content that resonates with people — they even offer up solutions to real issues like drunk driving, which often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.

The further we wade into the sea of entrepreneurship in our country, the more encouraged we are to see trailblazers like these who, not only have big dreams, but are going the distance to see them materialise.

Here are creative companies from Hyderabad making a mark:

I. Conçu: Young, Industrious, Inventive

While they were in living in England, Sahil Taneja and his girlfriend (now wife) Swati loved their little holidays around UK and mainland Europe; exploring new cafes and patisseries was the highpoint of those travels.

“We pined for that same experience back home,” the 33-year-old Biotech Engineer-turned-pastry chef, says. “There was a niche to be explored and we felt the timing was just right to tap into that market. Thats how Conçu was born. Initially starting out as a small 800 ft patisserie-cum-kitchen where all orders were taken in advance, they only relied on word-of-mouth publicity, and that worked wonders. Over the course of four years, they have moved location thrice, each time to a much larger location from the previous one. “In four years we have tried to raise the bar each time and we love the appreciation we have received; we have received three Times Food Awards, have been the top rated food establishment in Hyderabad on Zomato consistently with a rating of 4.8 to 4.9, and our architect Namratha Reddy has also received an Award from the Institute of Indian Interior Designers in the Young Designer Category.”

On what makes the company special.

“We operate as a seamless organisation devoid of hierarchy, where all members of the team are treated as family, and every role works towards increasing operational efficiency.”

The Backdrop

While pursuing his Engineering degree, Sahil realised it just wasn’t his cup of tea. After completing the course, he took a gap year and then enrolled into Hammersmith, Ealing and West London College in London, and worked towards earning a Postgraduate diploma in Patisserie and Confectionery, ‘because making desserts in my free time was what I loved to do the most’.

After completing the course, he went on to work in the pastry kitchens of reputed names in UK such as Malmaison (Newcastle), Patisserie Valerie’s Central Kitchen in London and Harrods — one of the world’s most indulgent luxury stores. “While working in these kitchens entailed early starts (sometimes as early as 5 am) and long hours, the bonus was the satisfaction of having my cakes from these kitchens being devoured by high-profile clients such as Brad Pitt, Boy George, Wayne Rooney, Mohammed Al Fayed, the Royal Family of Qatar, House of Lords and London Mayor’s office and visiting Bollywood celebrities,” Sahil says.

His other interests include updating my knowledge in pastry , travellin, fine food, beer and watching tons of movies.

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“Don’t compromise on your brand values and quality, and treat everyone who is a part of the company with respect; success will follow.”

On a typical day in office

“Good music, great food, lots of laughter and sunshine, lots of interesting people. We enjoy the camaraderie, and work just doesn’t seem mundane.”

On one-unanimously loved snack in the office

“Chicken in any, and every, form — biryani, shawarma, pizza or croissant. Chicken is always the preferred choice.”

[Follow Conçu on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.]

II. Shoelace Films: Content | Talent | Experiences

Founder of Shoelace Film Asad Abid came into the creative business to have his own voice and find his ground. “But when we started off, we realised we were only doing the jobs which were paying the bills, and after a point, we started to get bored and comfortable doing commissioned gigs,” he explains. “That’s when we felt the need to push our voice and narrative through videos, and we realised we could be tastemakers in this game. While we had a unique way of putting things together, nobody was buying in initially, hence we had to put our money where our mouths were. We started off with one original content property in 2014 ‘Way Back Home’; today, we have an interesting small digital library of 8 original titles which are a mix of features and series — all owned independently, and we have just gotten started.”

On what makes your company special

“Focused approach on creation of original content, which in turn leads to the exposition of a talent, and an experience to discover.”

The Backdrop

29-year-old Asad started off as an intern for Director Dibakar Banerjee and worked on a bunch of high-end commercials and in the country’s first digital feature film. LSD, which was on a few point-and-shoot / DSLR cameras), very revolutionary for its time. Then, he was dabbling in the non-fiction content space, trying to understand the digital realm which was new back then, and this lead him to being sponsored by Teejay Capital — a Hyderabad-based venture capital firm which sent him to some of the biggest content markets around the world, the eye opener being the Mip Formats / Digital in Cannes in 2011.

2012 had him venturing out on his own, and starting a content creation / strategy shop ‘Shoelace Films’, with loads of support from clients such as Wells Fargo / United Health Group and a lot of other indigenous homegrown brands who consulted with them for content. “In 2014, we produced our first original property ‘Way Back Home’, a Himalayan Travelogue, and got it licensed by Viacom18 for distribution and release. In June 2016, we started our video publication ‘TheVibe’, where the narrative revolves around authentic lifestyle and experiences for urban India. We do features and series here, and are looking at doing branded content and experience listings. The idea is to become a platform for unique lifestyle content, talent and experiences.” His other interests include travel, food, tennis and the outdoors.

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“To never give up, and never stop believing in yourself at the same time. Be smart and secure your ass!”

On a typical day in office

“It’s most fun when we are on shoots, but when we are not — we start off by 11:00 am, discuss our agendas together and then disperse to accomplish them. We break for lunch for an hour around 2-3PM. By 7PM, we just review and track our progress for the day, and in the next hour, we all regroup to smoke some green and get inspired to order some snacks and booze, and then eventually wrap.”

On everybody’s favourite place to order lunch from

“In Hyderabad, spicy Andhra meals from Swagath, cakes from Conçu and brownies from Labonel; in Mumbai, Scrumptious / Hangla’s / Urban Tadka / Kakkori Kebabs.”

On one-unanimously loved snack in the office

“Beef rolls or shawarma.”

Who / what would your company mascot be?

“PO from Kung Fu Panda. He’s just happy and always positive and loves food!”

[Follow Shoelace Films on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram here or here.]

III. Waste Ventures: Toter, One-point-solution, Professional

Waste Ventures or Toter addresses a growing concern in the country: waste management. With the aim of targeting a developing sector that can positively impact both environmentally (in this case, by averting waste from dumpsites) and in terms of social impact (in this case, by working with waste pickers), they today work with around 18000+ households, 1200+ waste pickers, many corporate clients managing more than 150 MT of waste every month.

“Our online doorstep recyclable collection service Toter is picking up traction tremendously. People can now recycle all their dry waste, and compost their wet waste with our help.”

On what makes the company special.

“We manage waste rather than transporting/dumping it, by being inclusive of existing informal network rather than replacing them.”

The Backdrop

Roshan Miranda has a Ph.D from Baylor College of Medicine, one of the top 10 medical schools in US . He joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) after his Ph.D and consulted Fortune 100 companies on strategy and management issues, before moving to India to co-found Waste Ventures, India. Roshan also enjoys running, reading, swimming, cooking for his daughter Myra and playing mafia.

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“It is important to perform innovatively/constantly and work until the problem we are after, is tackled.”

On a typical day in office

“A job where you get to interact with corporate heads and waste pickers on the same day. No shortage of operational challenges (logistics, people management etc.), exciting discussions — the recent ones were on how/where to execute/market Toter, and fun — regular tea, team event, office pranks etc.”

One unanimously loved snack in your office


Who / what would your company mascot be?

“Trash tiger.”

[Follow Toter / Waste Ventures on Facebook. Also check out their products.]

IV. Hopp App: Customer Centricity, Upliftment, Synergy

An app geared towards customers who have a car, and need a driver, Hopp App is the solution to those who want to get home safe, whether it’s after a long, hectic day or a blurry night. Instead of booking a cab, they just book a driver; the app can be downloaded from the Google Play store or Apple Store, and following a simple sign up/login page, they are ready to start Hopping. A customer can confirm the start location, select a package of their choice and can request a driver at the earliest or can pre-book the service for later; and yes, cashless payment options are available.

Founder Pondicherry Shivraj Rajeshwaran is quite the social butterfly; he really enjoys socializing with people, having a drink and chilling in the evenings at the end of a long day. “It helps me unwind, network and charge up for my ‘back to business’ mornings,” he explains. “On 1st July 2016, none of these things mattered. I was with a client when I heard about a drink-and-drive accident in which a 10-year-old girl was seriously injured. Over the next few days, I felt distraught as the news arrived that she passed away. The same people and I who looked like the fun people now started looking like borderline murderers.”

Restless and driven by a desire to do something that would make a difference, he brough up this conversation with many people over the next several weeks, and ask them questions — what did they think about it? Did they feel they are a threat to themselves, and others, when drunk? What were the reasons that could make someone who has had alcohol, not just book a cab, but drive themselves? These questions lead him to discover a gap, a market segment and a need to fill it.

“The market segment we started working on, are consumers who want to party, drink and have fun, while also enjoying the freedom of having their own vehicle around them,” he says. “These consumers don’t need cabs; they need drivers — drivers on the go, just for those tipsy moments. And that’s exactly what Hopp App was created for.”

As they started taking the idea into the execution stage, they also realized that their market segment was bigger than initially estimated. Working professionals, who are too tired to drive back home, parents/women/children and guests who need to be driven around — these have all become their target customers now. “I’m thrilled to say that we have the best in the business as a part of the development team, lead by IIT alumni, who are working day and night towards our beta launch.”

On what makes the company special.

“We are proud that we will make our streets safer, and travel, truly convenient.”

The Backdrop

25-year-old Pondicherry Shivraj Rajeshwaran’s career kickstarted at the age of 18 in the IT sector. He worked with a couple of large multinational companies until he decided to take the path less-travelled during those days — entrepreneurship. “I started by helping a friend set up a multi-brand car service station(RedLine Motors), and as my expertise grew in the pre-owned car industry, we got into pre-owned car sales a year later,” he recounts. “Over the next four years, we built ‘Eliite Auto’ from the ground up. Eliite auto is into mainstream buying and selling of luxury cars and superbikes across India.”

He has currently set out on a new and exciting journey with the mantra of diversification, and since technology has been a catalyst and an enabler between the conception of the business idea, product development, and execution, Hopp App is a product they developed keeping in mind today’s app-based generation.

“At Hopp, we are driven by two core objectives; to make travel truly convenient for customers, and most importantly, is to contribute to our society by making roads safe while creating earning opportunities for the unemployed population without the need for investments.”

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“Personally, the most important lesson I have learned while running this startup is not to take no for an answer. Even till date, there are instances where our teams/vendors say certain ideas, improvements, and features are not possible to execute. But I assure that I am resilient enough to get things rolling, and even look to explore options beyond the cliched nomenclatures. There is always a way; as a leader, you need to lead your team to get there. Resilience drives excellence and excellence drives meritocracy.”

On a typical day in office

“We are bootstrapping, and it’s our fifth month in product development and beta testing.

At the start of each day, I set aside some alone time, and keep all distractions at bay. I use this time to draft my plan for the day. I then feed it into my phone so that I can remind myself to invest time in things that matter the most, irrespective of where I am.

An important part of this ‘things to do’ list, is to allocate time for each team to understand how their part of the work is going. I spend time exclusively with the in-house product development team, marketing team and ground staff on the product to ensure we are building the product in sync.

Next on the list is to connect with stakeholders/partners and vendors, to get updates and provide feedback on their progress.

On most days I also ensure that we sit together and share a meal with the team, I use this opportunity to bond and connect with my team, and get to know them better. This is one of the important steps we take to engage with our staff and create an open culture at our office.”

On one unanimously-loved snack in the office

“Everyone’s favorite is Biryani, it doesn’t matter where we order it from as long as we are all eating it together and it’s meaty. When we crave Chinese, we order from this place called Nanking.”

Who / what would your company mascot be?

“If we have a company mascot, it would be a dolphin. Dolphins are often regarded as one of Earth’s most intelligent animals. They have also been seen protecting swimmers from sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers, or charging at the sharks to make them go away. Dolphins are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and grieve. It was also discovered that they have innate ability to learn, and they teach their young ones to use tools. Apart from all this, dolphins also show various types of playful behavior.”

[Follow 3Hopp App.]

V. Pranati Khanna Design: Work hard. Socialise. Grow.

24-year-old Pranati Khanna has always been interested in illustration, and she grew up in a family where art meant everything (with her grand uncle Krishen Khanna being one of India’s first-ever progressive artists).

Since she also fronts the band ‘The Ragamuffins’, she taught herself softwares liek Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and started making creatives for local shows, eventually going on to make her own Facebook page as she grew. After working with a design agency called 17D North and as an art director with J. Walter Thompson, she felt she had a lot to offer and continued solo.

“Now, Pranati Khanna Design is one of the most sought-after illustration services in Hyderabad, and I’m so grateful for that,” she beams. “I think what made my design agency more popular was that I’m a one-man show, so people know I’m not going to be complicated. Plus, because I keep exhibiting my artwork in galleries around town, people take my art seriously, and hence, they respect my opinions about the design work I do for them.”

On what makes the company special.

“I’d say maybe the fact that I do everything from illustration, to old-school logos and visiting cards, to book designs to commissioning my canvases to jingles to video editing. And I do it all alone. Maybe that’s my thing?”

The Backdrop

24-year-old artist Pranati Khanna also doubles as an Indie Rock musician, fronting the band ‘The Ragamuffins’, and has been running her design business Pranati Khanna Design for six years now.

While she studied 3D animation, the market crashed soon after she graduated college, so she knew she had to choose another line of work. She taught herself softwares, and started doing her bit for the local music scene by creating logos, posters and gig branding — she ended up doing the creatives for most of the shows in Hyderabad between 2008-2010.

As she grew, she started charging for her work, and created her own Facebook page, where she would upload her work, as well as keep her followers updated on gigs.

“Both seemed to go hand-in-hand, and I found myself getting popular,” she shares. “I started working with a design agency called 17D North, and I spent a year with them just to learn more about business and company dynamics. I left eventually, and continued running my own show. With each passing project, I bagged more clients and popularity, and it was good!”

She then joined J. Walter Thompson as an art director for four months, and did a lot of storyboards and some branding with them, and came out having grown tenfold. She has also exhibited her fine art at galleries around Hyderabad.

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“Pay your taxes! (laughs) No, seriously, the most important thing I’ve learnt while running P.K.D all alone is that you need to learn how to deal with your clients; some of them are amazing, some are horrible! I’ve learnt how to tackle the bad ones, and I think it’s helped me even in my general lifestyle. Dealing with people — the most complicated thing ever!”

On a typical day in office

“So I live in a two-storey house, and my office space is right downstairs. Lucky me, huh? A typical day includes my African Grey parrot, Tito, and I sitting in my office with loud rock music playing, my phone ringing constantly, me discussing things with my clients and drawing vigorously on my WACOM tablet.

“I get up, I pace about, I sit, I draw something, I scan it, I draw it digitally. Then Tito starts singing really loudly and I have to politely tell him to shut up. Sometimes, a couple of friends drop by and it helps because I’m always stressing out. I work from 10 A.M - 7 P.M and then I shut down and carry on with life.”

On one unanimously-loved snack in the office

“When I do remember to eat, I just eat whatever my maid cooks me or last night’s leftovers. Tito eats guavas and apples (laughs). Oh, but there’s always chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.”

Who / what would your company mascot be?

“My company mascot would be Tito, my African Grey. In fact, I have an indie music promotion company called Mad Parrot which is all based on his character.”

[Follow Pranati Khanna Design on 36Behance.]

VI. HAIKU: Authentic, Refreshing, Memorable

Suma’s HAIKU is her second restaurant, and it serves authentic ‘Pan Asian’ cuisine. Describing HAIKU as ‘synonymous to the medley of strong flavors in a discerning open setting’, the term originally means ‘ a short poem’ in Japanese, embodying the concept of ‘chi-go, chi-e’ meaning ‘one time, one meeting’; a belief that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced.

Founder Suma confesses her first restaurant, Kaficko, happened completely by chance. “It was after a road trip across 10 European countries that my husband Hari and I took in 2014, that the idea was born,” she says. “We loved the food across these countries, their ‘authentic’ ways of making hearty dishes, like a Goulash, a warm salad, a confit and eclectic sweet dishes passed down generations. One thing that kept running our minds was — what happens when we go back home to India?”

Once they returned, this thought stayed with her, driven by a desire to do something similar, to create these dishes and serve them locally. Kaficko, meaning ‘a tiny café’ in Czech, was something everyone instantly agreed on, and here we are two years later.

“We have grown as an authentic and homegrown brand in Hyderabad, as a one-stop destination for exotic International food in the city, with unprecedented value in terms of experience and fine dining.”

On what makes the company special

“Both Kaficko and HAIKU offer ‘authentic’ teasing international flavors with refreshing ambience, exuding warm love for natural elements.”

The Backdrop

“Loving mom of two, wife and friend, Suma — who is in her mid-thirties — believes in the fact that, in everyday life, authenticity can be a powerful trait, and is the one that often escapes most people. A Hollywood television show buff, food lover, she is artsy at heart and a brand fanatic.”

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“Replicating dishes, the way they taste originally with the limited ingredients we can source, is a very tough task. We have kept at doing this without sparing any effort, and that is what differentiates us from others.”

VII. Room Therapy: Therapy, fresh, colours

Describing the initiative as ‘a retirement plan that came about thirty years early’, founder Sona Reddy started Room Therapy to cater to a market that were looking for tasteful home decor stores, after noticing that there were only a handful in the city. Started off just two and a half years ago, the brand has grown rapidly, built with a lot of love.

On what makes the company special

“Every client is the same for us — be it an architect, an actor or a kid shopping for his room; every client and sale excites us.”

The Backdrop

33-year-old Sona Reddy graduated with a degree in Architecture, and enjoys travel, yoga and peace.

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“Money comes, money goes.”

On a typical day in office

“Curation, talking to clients and vendors. Phone calls, lunch and jokes and excitement about targets.”

On one unanimously-loved snack in the office

“Shawarmas and kheema puffs.”

Who / what would your company mascot be?

“Oh, we have two. Our gorgeous dogs we have adopted, Salt and Pepper and Jagan.

[Follow Room Therapy.]

VIII. Global 3D Labs: Think. Believe. Design. Create.

24-year-old Gopal Krishna was working on a few home automation projects, when he hit upon a roadblock: they were facing issues with the final completion of parts. The prototypes they would use to manufacture could not be finished in the right manner because of unavailability of manufacturing customisation.

“We realised the issue was with a lot of other entrepreneurs, students, researchers, manufacturers, so on and so forth,” he shares. “We wanted to solve this problem for everyone and that gave birth to the idea of Global 3D Labs.”

It has been a long journey since then; from building numerous prototypes to getting their first prototype in the market has been an exciting experience. “We have learnt basics of product development life cycles, supply chain management, Research and Development Management and a lot of other things. I have grown individually and so has our company, by leaps and bounds. We have matured and grown alongside into much larger organisation. There have been moments where we’ve felt lost, in the vast space that we are a part of, but overall things have been very satisfying.”

On what makes the company special

“A very vibrant and dynamic team, that is full of enthusiasm to learn and develop something new and exciting all the time. Our approachable management makes the company even more special.”

The Backdrop

CEO/Co-Founder of Global 3D Labs, Gopal Krishna is an engineer by education. He started Global 3D Labs a couple of years ago, in his final year of college with three other co-Founders. “I have done quite a few startups in college and they were quite successful. My other interests include tech and Robotics.”

On the most important lesson learned while running it

“The more you learn, the more you know. And the more you know, the smarter you grow.”

On a typical day in office

“It is more or less like any other company; sales team making sales, trying their best to meet the targets, production team assembling machines trying to meet the deadlines, and research team trying to build new and exciting products. The only difference I believe is the freedom to think and make things happen, without worrying much about the outcome.”

On one unanimously-loved snack in the office

“Since most of us are away from home because of work, we love it when anyone gets homemade food for all of us.”

Who / what would your company mascot be?

“A camel; I think it describes our company the best as I believe it has the will to survive under extremely harsh conditions.”

[Follow Global 3D Labs on Facebook.]

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