Rajiv is based out of Delhi-NCR and writes stories on startups, corporates, entrepreneurs of all kinds, and yes, marketing and advertising world. His ‘historic feats’ include graduation in history from Hansraj College, master's in medieval Indian history from Delhi University, and PG diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Another forgettable achievement was spending over a decade at The Economic Times as his maiden job. For the first seven years, he learnt the craft on the desk, and the remaining years were spent unlearning and writing for Brand Equity and ET Magazine. What keeps him going, and alive, apart from stories is the heavenly music of immortal legend RD Burman.
The magician from Indore has pulled a rabbit out of his hat. Let’s look at the hefty backers Raj Shamani has got hold of for his venture House of X, a creator-led house of brands that helps creators launch and scale their consumer brands. From Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Zerodha, Asish Mohapatra of OfBusiness, Shashank Kumar of Razorpay, Sahil Barua of Delhivery, Varun and Ghazal Alagh of Mamaearth to Vineeta Singh of Sugar Cosmetics, the list of investors who have put money on the young entrepreneur and his venture, which is still in stealth mode, is impressive.
There is something else that is equally imposing. His social media prowess: Shamani has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 792,000 on YouTube, 290,000 on Twitter and 131,000 on LinkedIn. In fact, his podcast, Figuring Out, has got more than 100 million views over the last 12 months. The 26-year-old content creator has also written a book Build, Don’t Talk, and is an angel investor in nine startups.
It was in 2013 that he saw glimpses of magic. Shamani, then 16, joined the struggling detergent business of his father, who started a dishwasher brand Jadugar in Indore in the 90s. The youngster shifted the business from soaps and powder to liquid, and rolled out dishwasher gel brand Jadugar Drop in 2013. In 18 months, Shamani scaled the business across Madhya Pradesh and built a vast network of distributors. Over the next few years, the business survived, revived and thrived.
Eight years later, Shamani came to Mumbai to start his social media venture, Figuring out Media, in 2021. “This venture helped me in creating my own brand and reach on social media,” says the serial entrepreneur who started House of X in September 2022. “We help creators launch and scale their own consumer brands,” he says, adding that House of X takes care of the ‘unsexy’ business operations such as sourcing, warehousing, shipping and payments, so that a creator could build her community without any stress or hassles. The trigger to start House of X, he says, was a realisation that people were shifting from intent-based buying to discovery-based purchase. “This is my third venture, and I have always built business on consumer behaviour,” he says. “We are empowering creators to build their D2C brands.”
The backers are excited to support Shamani and his venture. “People are more important to me than ideas or products,” says Kamath. While conceding that not many people get funded at the stealth stage, Kamath underlines that Shamani’s X-factor lies in his personal branding on social media and his experience in building a manufacturing business. “I expect him to win,” he says.