Whether you are staging a major conference or special event such a wedding, or you need to produce a video that tells your corporate story, it’s essential to bring in the specialists. In Mauritius, one passionate photographer, Roomila Roothoorodoo, founder of Focus Events, is bringing her creative talents to the table.
LoA chatted to entrepreneur photographer, Roomila Roothoorodoo, to find out more.
What does your company do?
Our business is all about photography and videography services. We provide our services to individuals, organisations and even different companies. We provide basic event coverage like weddings, parties or ceremonies. We also provide a service of large scale coverage where the client needs 3 to 5 photographers at one time during one event. Our video services are same; small and large scale. However, we also provide Editing and Montage services according to the taste or theme requested by our client. We have started this year with the services of on-spot Montage and projection. This service became in demand for conferences or seminars, where a video of less than 5 min is projected to show the best moments of a seminar, projected during the gala night for example. We are also very flexible and we remain very attentive to all requests of our client. We also produce video publicity which is displayed on the net, cinemas and tv. We also provide drone services, graphic designing services, personalized photoshoot, voicing services including voice off for advert or documentary. We are open to the smallest or largest projects.
"We started out as a group of friends, some did their courses in photography and others in videography. We had the same vision, we wanted to have our own company where we would provide these services."
What inspired you to start your company?
I have always been fascinated by photography. As I finished my secondary studies, I joined a course of Digital Photography. I was soon identified as the most dedicated student of my batch and my Trainer, Mr Sharma, once invited me to be his shadow for a press conference (shadow: first assistant of a photographer). I was totally amazed at seeing so many journalists working together, and I was encouraged to take some photos. At the end, I came up with some very interesting results. Mr Sharma encouraged me to come forward and be more confident. We started out as a group of friends, some did their courses in photography and others in videography. We had the same vision, we wanted to have our own company where we would provide these services. Then, he proposed me an idea, why not use FOCUS, which is a recognised name in the world of photography in Mauritius, but still it was just a small school of photography. I immediately agreed about the idea of FOCUS, for most, it has been where I studied photography. Since its creation in the late 2009, Focus Digital Photography has been offering courses only. Now, we have photography, photoshop and videography course and all our courses are MQA approved. But now, it has changed the entire aspect. It is not just a training centre and service provider, but also a job creator. When we have the request of a big team of photographer and cameraman, we propose qualified students to perform. It helps a lot for any beginner.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
1. Their experience with us; we have a good relationship with all our clients and we communicate well with them.
2. Service benefits; We do our best to reach our place of work before and we deliver all works on time.
3. Our trustworthiness and reputation; We protect our good name, and do everything in our power to ensure that our customers, friends, employees, and colleagues view us as a person of value. Keep in mind that our credibility, plausibility, and truthfulness will also win far more customers.
"I would like to put forward a larger palette of services to the client and empower young girls in the field of photography, as in Mauritius, the field of photography is male dominated."
Tell us a little about your team
I never work alone, we are a team and all members of our team are very motivated and hard working people. We are a group of less than 10 persons working on full time basis and when we have big projects or several work on the same date, we have freelancers working with us. They all wear their uniform; formal or casual when they are working on field. Our team includes:
1. Miss Roomila; Director, I take care of all the administrative work.
2. Mr Sharma; Trainer, Team Leader and Manager.
3. Mr Nouroudin; Videographer and Editor.
4. Mr Saleem; Trainer, Photographer, Photo Editor and Graphic Designer.
5. Mr Varun; Photographer, Photo Editor and Videographer.
6. Mr Koushal; Photographer and Photo Editor.
7. Mr Ashil; Drone's Pilot
8. Mr Jaabir; Videographer and Editor
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
No, I'm not from an entrepreneurial background, we are a group of friends who want to achieve in life.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to have my own training centre and a big office with more spaces. I would like to put forward a larger palette of services to the client and empower young girls in the field of photography, as in Mauritius, the field of photography is male dominated. True, there are many girls who are interested in photography, but less want to be behind the camera.
"As an entrepreneur you have to be ready for sacrifice, specially when your services are entertainment related. Most of the times, work is during festive seasons, where others will enjoy the front stage, whereas as a photographer you are working backstage."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I am personally satisfied, specially when my clients are satisfied. Almost like self satisfaction. However, I am preparing myself for even more.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
It is becoming more and more difficult to get a job in Mauritius nowadays. On the other hand, many youngsters think that being self-employed is “cool”, you can take holidays whenever you want, there is no stress of having a boss at your shoulder and so on. But I have seen a much greater challenge. As an entrepreneur you have to be ready for sacrifice, specially when your services are entertainment related. Most of the times, work is during festive seasons, where others will enjoy the front stage, whereas as a photographer you are working backstage. I’ll add more saying that a disciplined mind is important, as one needs not only to have a strong head on one’s shoulder but also have a good sense of respecting the audience and client. If you are attentive to your client and provide what asked for, you can be sure of having client satisfaction which is more than the pay at the end.
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Why LoA loves it….
It can be tough for a woman entrepreneur to break into a traditionally male dominated market, and in Mauritius, the world of photography and videography is one such market. Yet for entrepreneur Roomila Roothoorodoo, her passion for photography and her desire to build a business with like-minded friends who share that passion, has led to the creation of a growing specialist company. Today, they are capturing special and pivotal moments for their clients by harnessing the power of video and photography, carving out a successful niche for themselves in Mauritius. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa