At just 20 years old, digital marketing specialist Aditya Raj Singh has already created a name for himself in his industry.
The wise-beyond-his-years Indian businessman founded his first financial marketing agency Stallion Cognitive at the age of 16, but his entrepreneurial spirit was born years prior to that when Singh saw an opportunity to make YouTube tutorials for video editing software. From there, he became a video editor for other content creators.
“Then soon after that [some content creators] wanted a website, so I started learning about website design, and I started building websites for them,” says Singh. “Long story short, I ended up starting my own agency.”
At a Crossroads
Running a business parallel to his education soon proved to be a challenge.
“I was doing commerce with computer science,” Singh said of his schooling. “That wasn’t something that I was interested in, but I had to do it because of my parents.”
In 12th grade, he flunked out of school.
“I was so into business that I failed. Because of that, I thought it was a good opportunity for me to drop out altogether,” he said. “I took a few years off to focus on my business.”
In time, Singh had learned how to code, how to grow a business, and how to interact with clients. Through Stallion Collective, Singh helps financial businesses with online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and website maintenance.
“I never had to actively market my services,” he says on his website. “I just kept getting referrals and even had to keep expanding just to keep up with the demand and new clients.”
That has changed now, as Singh continues to expand his agency.
“This year I’ve actually started working a lot on growing the agency,” he said. “I’ve actually migrated from client acquisition more toward talent acquisition. Just this month, I’ve hired a copywriter and an SEO specialist. All the cash flow that my agency was generating, I’m not taking my profit out of it, but I’m just pushing it toward growing the agency.”
An edge Singh sees over his competitors is his ability to host a client’s website through his second venture, Acrux Cloud.
“It kind of acts as a leverage and it puts us in a better position than other agencies, because the clients know that we have a dedicated hosting company as well,” he said.
Culturally Conscious Financial Advice
All of his work in the worlds of finance and marketing have provided Singh with the experience and foresight of a trusted advisor. He fulfills this role in his blog Namaste Finance, where he shares financial insights for people across India.
“I write about the basic financial knowledge that everyone should have, talking to an Indian audience in particular,” he said. “A majority of Indian people are really just stuck with the mindset of fixed deposits.”
Fixed deposits, according to India’s HDFC Bank, typically involve putting a lump sum in the bank for a fixed tenure at an agreed rate of interest. At the end of the tenure, according to the bank’s website, depositors receive the amount invested plus compound interest.
“I write about some basic things, such as investing in stocks, mutual funds, and how you should budget,” says Singh. He also hopes to bring attention to 401(K) plans, Roth IRA accounts, and other resources available. “These are all things that are very basic, but yet so out of reach for some Indian people.”
The blog, Singh noted, has content in both English and Hindi, taking some cues from popular finance YouTubers such as Ryan Scriber. Part of his strategy to strengthen financial literacy also includes posting inventive Instagram reels.
Riches Are in the Niches
As for some advice he could provide young entrepreneurs, Singh said businesses should find their niche.
“Riches are in the niches,” he said. “I really live by this quote. Initially, I was trying to offer my services to everyone. I was doing it in two wrong ways. Number one: I was trying to appeal to everyone. Number two: I was trying to offer all the services that I could think of in digital marketing.”
Beyond focusing on a specific field or industry, Singh also stressed the need to find a space.
“Even though you may have a niche and a very particular service, you also have to pick a very specific location that you can expand on,” he said.
The most personal advice Singh can provide is the one he would give his young, 16-year-old self.
“I still think that I’m not experienced enough. When I look around at other investors and people who I know are in this business, I can sometimes still feel somewhat inferior,” he said, noting it can be hard to gather the confidence to advise himself. “I would tell myself to invest more in the business in the initial years.”
Investing further into the business, Singh said, would free up some valuable time that can be spent innovating.
“When I actually started the business, 50 percent of my focus was to actually save a lot of money, which now I think was a bad idea,” Singh added. “If I were to invest money into business, I would be able to hire more people, and in turn give me more time to focus on growing the business. The more you invest into your business initially, the better that pays off in the long run.”