Here’s a little story about dreaming big, embracing creativity and leaning into the expertise around you.
Sid Umesh has been movie-obsessed from a young age and carried this passion into his career. Born out of a love for the moving image is Hsemu House, a dynamic video production and content creation company based in Narre Warren. Out of school, Sid first dabbled in entrepreneurship by creating a clothing label. However, his passion for the screen soon saw him create a TV show, ‘Kickers’ which then led to requests for corporate video, and the rest is history.
Prior to establishing Hsemu House, Sid gained some key business skills when working in the retail trade
“After my clothing label ran its course, I worked in retail for a few years, which gave me a strong insight into customer service and the importance of customer satisfaction when running a business.”
However, the entrepreneurial spirit was strong and leaving his gig in retail, Sid got back into video production. Not one for formal learning, he started by simply embracing what he loved doing. “The theory side of things and classroom learning didn’t really resonate with me” said Sid “I just loved making videos.” Sid then created Kickers, his TV series set in Melbourne’s suburbs, which was aired on Channel 31.
It was after this initial foray into commercial production that the business was formed. “I was lucky to have some business mentors who helped me set up the foundation of the company and our operations,” said Sid, who later undertook media studies to fill in the gaps and consolidate his existing technical skills.
Today, Hsemu House is a busy family business, with Sid’s brother Yad on board as Business Development Manager and Lead Producer, and wife Adele taking the Chief Marketing Officer role.
The value of focusing on client satisfaction has paid off in droves by resulting in plenty of organic referrals (about 80% of their clients) “we’re primarily a business to business (B2B) company, so when we have clients who are happy, they’re quick to tell other businesses. The quality of our work also speaks for itself.”
As a business owner, there are challenges around every corner, reflects Sid “everything is a hurdle until you figure out how to get over it.” For Hsemu House, managing third party client expectations and communication has been a new experience.
“When dealing indirectly with clients, we had to work out how to capture testimonials for our work, among other things.”
Expanding into new types of work has also stretched the company’s technical capabilities. “Recently, we’ve made our first TV commercial. It’s not something we’ve previously focused on, as we specialise in video marketing campaigns that are produced and designed for web and social media platforms - We've learnt so much through this experience.”
“We primarily produce content for Victorian businesses however, we can find it challenging to produce content as promptly for our interstate clients.”
The City of Casey’s INNovation Crowd program has been one tool that Hsemu House has used to up its game. “Having a free program right on our doorstep, which is designed to support innovation and entrepreneurs, has been really fantastic” said Sid. He’s attended various events as part of the program, including a special bootcamp where entrepreneurs were invited to bring along problems faced by their business and map out next steps.
“Having a sounding board for my ideas and experienced mentors has been incredible. I’d encourage others to learn more and get on board, it’s such a supportive community of like-minded people who aren’t afraid to dream big! The opportunity to network and form relationships with other local businesses is really valuable too.”
I share my vision for the business with our team. Keeping them in the loop about where we are going ensures they are part of the journey and as excited as me about what’s around the corner.
I’ve always had amazing mentors. Having someone who’s walked in your shoes is absolutely vital, find someone who understands business and can relate to the challenges you’re facing – even put them into perspective.