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Pioneer of the Week: Light Efforts

New and Networking

Pioneer of the Week: Light Efforts

Our latest Pioneer of the Week is Ramesh, founder of Light Efforts – a campaign to raise awareness of  the importance of using lights when cycling with no lights.


1.     Tell us 3 important things we should know about you.



  • I’ve cycled over 140 miles in London with my camera gear in my rucksack setting out at 5am in all weather conditions.


 

  • Cycling in the evenings in London,  I noticed many cyclists were hardly visible with no lights,  low batteries and/or dark clothing. After talking to bike shop owners, one remarked ‘you should put something on Youtube’.  That’s when I decided to start work on a campaign . As a freelance photographer on other people’s campaigns, I had a bit of experience behind me.


 

  • I played (and lost!) a point with Andy Murray the day after he won Wimbledon in 2013.


 

ramesh-shoreditch-light-trails-1474

 2. Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?


Cycling in the evenings in London,  I noticed many cyclists were hardly visible with no lights or dark clothing. After talking to bike shop owners, one remarked ‘you should put something on Youtube’.  That’s when I decided to start work on a campaign . As a freelance photographer on other people’s campaigns, I had a bit of experience behind me.

 

 

3.     What do you love most about running your own business?


 

Launching something new or different from what the market expects is easier when you’ve got your own business.

 4.     Tell us about a challenging experience you’ve faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.


 

Normally brands approach agencies with a brief, which then gets turned into a campaign. Here I was working on a campaign  which had no brands behind it . The solution was to research and provide details on how popular cycling is in London. Did you know that  approx. 25% of rush hour commuters in London are on bikes ?

 

ram-virginmediapioneers-770px-433px light-trails-bikes-blue-2900

5.     What advice could you give to other startups (not necessarily competitors) about starting up in your industry?


You’ve secured the famous first coffee/tea meeting with a potential partner or sponsor. What’s next ? Emailing a link to a short product/service video will help  a lot. Your video need not be public. YouTube offers a private /unlisted video option perfect for this.  This gives them time to think and explore the partnership before your meeting.  Additionally, do something to  standout. Brands can get 1000s of sponsorship requests each year – otherwise they may say ‘on your bike !’

6.     Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward? (Could be a conversation, getting funding or training)


 

I played a short 15s video on my phone to two agency directors at a trade show in London and they both told me to just go for it.

 7.     Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it? (Please include an image, see below)


I work in cafes, a desk in a friend’s office and at home. It’s good to change location - even a different spot in a café or office  can help boost your creativity.

 

 8.     What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?


 

  • If someone offers you a telephone conversation as they cannot meet ask if they Skype. After meeting face to face, it’s the next best thing.


 

  • London & most major cities have great co-working spaces for between £70 -£400+ per month. Great for networking , especially if your service or product  offering complements other agencies/businesses.


 

  •  If you’ve got a product video online , save it on your phone/tablet/ laptop as well. You could have an opportunity to demo and there may be no wi-fi.


 

 9.     Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?


If you know a brand who would like to advertise their product or service to London’s bike commuters send me an email. Happy to meet or Skype ! Ramesh at pixriver.co.uk

 10.  Finish the sentence:


To be an entrepreneur… is to startup as you mean to go in.

To find out more about Ramesh and his campaign, head to www.lightefforts.com or follow him on Twitter.