Exclusive Interview with the Founders of the Singapore Indian Models Agency



How did your journey with modeling begin?
It all started in 2008 when I joined Manhunt Singapore 2008 contest and it was actually not meant to be. I was denied a place in that contest as I had applied late and I was preparing physically well for it. But, I was denied.

Prior to my contest, I had approached many modelling agencies in Singapore with my pictures to join them as a model. Everybody rejected because of my ethnicity, looks, physical attributes etc. I thought I was not cut out for modelling but it has always been a passion of mine since young. And then one day prior the Manhunt Singapore contest day, I was called up as one of the contestants had dropped off. I was called up and was given a chance. I went to win 5 sub awards and was in Top 5. I was chosen to be ambassador of Labseries skin care product and was given a 1 year contract.
 


From there, everything fell in place with shoots after shoots and paid jobs and fashion shows. As an Indian, it is and will be tough to break into the international market or even the local market but it is not impossible. With the right attitude, commitment and passion, things do come by your way.


Your Co-Founder of SIMA happens to be your  wife as well. How did you 2 meet?
Kavitha was love at first sight and I met her while I was surfing in overseas. She is also a surfer and we got to know each other from there. She was into modelling as well and that brought us together I guess. She was doing shoots and pageants in Singapore but mostly in in the Indian market while I was more into the local international market.
 


We have a lot of similarities and outlook of life and thus within months we got hitched. Both of us are mirror reflections of the other. Same attitude, commitment and passion in modelling and we both encourage and support each other in our assignments and fashion shows. After all, love is all about supporting each other and till today, we been there for each other and will always be there elevating each other to achieve greater heights in what we mutually love, modelling.
 


How did SIMA happen?
We realised that in Singapore, there is no any Indian agencies to represent Indian models. Mumbai has the biggest market followed by Malaysian market. But why is it that in Singapore, there is no one to represent and groom Indian women and girls? Indian girls are the most beautiful girls on the planet and there are plenty of them in Singapore but they do not know they have the capacity or calibre or any venues to turn to.

They always get rejected by local Chinese and Caucasian modelling firms in Singapore. In Singapore, only the caucasian models are sought after. We wanted to change that perception. We want to see our Indian girl pictures, adverts up at orchard road stores and high end outlets. Thus we decided on opening up SIMA to represent and groom Indian models in Singapore and challenge the system and break into the Caucasian market.
 


How did you put that idea into action?
We took 3 months to plan the agency, its vision and missions. We were hesitant at first, as we were not sure how many will come forward, given the cultural aspects of Indians in Singapore and the rumours and stigma it brings of modelling.

But we decided to press on and never to look back. We are the first agency to recruit potential models and groom them through a series of courses that we, in our experience and capacity, thought will be necessary for any individuals to have to become a trained model. Thus we hired course instructors from different backgrounds to help us train the girls into models. We have fitness, social ettiquete, make up, dance, acting, confidence building and most importantly runway courses for the girls. All SIMA registrants, be it existing models or newbies, have to go through the courses to bond with each other and better prepare themselves.
 


Tell us more about the launch you had in late last year.
We decided to have a small launch on September 24th to show people that we are here to recruit and groom Indian models.  However, to our surprise, we had a lot of support from the media and social sites.  Because of the overwhelming response, we had to sell tickets for our launch that saw 150 people attending and congratulating us.
 


We had planned a runway show for the launch as part of our efforts to market SIMA and we were saw 20 girls signing up for SIMA. After the launch, we did 2 recruitment drives that saw another 35 girls joining SIMA. We are sure that we can groom and make this girls into professional models. And thus we did. We marketed SIMA through a series of video adverts, YouTube licensing and website promotions. We also did a Fashion Film for Diwali 2016.
 


Fashion films are always done only in Milan and Mumbai and in Singapore we realised no agencies have done that. Thus, SIMA, being not just your mediocre and usual agency in Singapore, we went ahead with the Fashion Film shoot showcasing sarees and it hit off very well on social sites that we had more Indian girls joining SIMA. Notably, we also were featured in ‘Lush’ magazine, a famous online magazine that has a 20k viewership during our debrief session with our first batch of models. The next 2nd batch intake will be during our show on 4TH FEBRUARY 2017.

How has SIMA grown since its inception?
We have had 4 paid jobs so far and we have been booked for 2 upcoming shows in Esplanade in Feb and March. SIMA also organises fashion shows and our very first fashion show in on 4th Feb 2017.

It is called SINGAPORE INDIAN FASHION RUNWAY (SIFR 2017). Our clients so far include, MNC Corporations and various outfit companies in Singapore. SIMA will also send her models for the various pageants available in Singapore. SIMA also does overseas photo shoots and videography for marketing purposes.
 


What are the future plans for SIMA?
Future plans for SIMA are a plenty. We want to franchise our fashion shows in Malaysia and in Mumbai. We will want to continue giving our models the best grooming and courses and make them shine not just locally but globally. We will tie up with Milan and Mumbai in time to come to market SIMA and we want to go global.

We also want to work on local as well as international brands to use our Indian models as their ambassadors and models. Nothing is impossible if you put your heart and soul in it. As for me and Kavitha, my wife, we still have our different shoots and assignments and as models ourselves, we can better connect with the pressures and problems of our girls and are able to encourage and better prepare them to become professional models.
 
For those aspiring models and anyone who might be interested in fashion, act right away to catch the Singapore Indian Fashion Runway 2017 now. The Ticked includes admission, food, drinks and goodie bag worth $1000. (while stocks last)
 


Ticket Prices
$60 NETT (SELF COLLECTION & BANK TRANFER)
$67 NETT ( ONLINE; MASTERCARD, VISA ETC)
$80 NETT ( AT EVENT DOOR)

Saturday, Feb 4, 2017, 06:30 pm
The Pavilion @ Far East Square Singapore, Singapore

Contact Details For More Information

SURYA 
93269601 
simaindianmodels@gmail.com
Vanitha 
81613496 
vanzstyle.etiquette@gmail.com

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