Meet Joshua Karthik, one of the three MBAs who are changing the wedding photography landscape in India. Joshua is an alumnus of XLRI (2005) who worked with Asian Paints for more than seven years. Then decided to join brother Joseph Radhik an IIM Indore grad in 2012. They run Stories by Joseph Radhik – an “international award-winning team of photographers who believe in stories; stories of love, laughter and happily ever after”.
Joshua Karthik and his brother are behind the Virat Kohli-Anoushka wedding photos that got 10 million views. Their photos of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas have been viewed 17 million times. What are his business secrets? I wanted to know.
They have been featured in a a wide range of covers from Vogue to Traveler and are the darling of the photography community. What makes them so? Joseph and Joshua along with Arjun (another IIM-Indore grad) run Asia’s largest photography conference called PEP. There, they generously throw open their secrets to every aspiring, amateur or professional photographer who wants to learn. (Must ask him what PEP stands for). This year the conference is in Hyderabad from May 3-5, 2019. Expect to see more than 3000 photographers from across the world (85 cities and 9 countries and counting) there. They have three sections – Art, Business and Craft of photography.
Disclosure: I am speaking there. (Register here)
I asked Joshua what he has learned from running and growing his business. Six tips that I liked:
- You are as good as your talent – so hire right. That means hiring for attitude without getting swayed by previous track record. Hire to make up for your weaknesses. Hire your key people (superstars) first and then your assistants.
- Your business is not a tattoo – change it. Let your work evolve to embrace a new category, product or service, a new method of delivery … anything. Disrupt yourself.
- Try out BOLD ideas. Cultivate opinions that could be unpopular. Don’t expect support if your ideas are TRULY bold. Every new idea that later became main stream was once rejected. In 1931, the artist Salvador Dalí painted one of his most famous works, The Persistence of Memory, which introduced a surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches. The general interpretation of the work is that the soft watches are a rejection of the assumption that time is rigid or deterministic.
- Build a better road for your customers. Make it easy for them to find you.
- Profits matter – not revenue. As you grow the business, with each passing year, inefficiencies will creep in. Keep an eye on what could potentially become a barrier to your competitiveness if not addressed early.
- Listen to customers – especially those who complain. Therein lies an opportunity for innovation. Use the complaints as problems to be solved.