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Story 3 - Likith's Blueprint: Designing success from Freelancer to Co-founder.

In the vibrant world of design, where creativity meets business acumen, one young entrepreneur stands out for his remarkable journey from a freelance designer to the co-founder of a thriving design studio. Likhith, the co-founder of Design101 Studio, exemplifies how passion, perseverance, and strategic thinking can transform a solo venture into a successful enterprise.

Likhith's journey began in college, where his early interest in video editing set him apart. With a keen understanding of video editing software, he quickly became the go-to person for creating videos in the college. This early experience laid the foundation for his future career in designing. While studying at BIT, Likhith took a significant step by creating a video for a college event. His work caught the attention of the various Clubs at BIT, who approached him for different projects. Despite initially lacking editing skills, Likhith’s visualization abilities drove him to learn and master video editing and also enhance his designing skills. He then started to offer freelance design services. Likhith’s approach to freelancing was straightforward and dynamic. He didn’t overthink projects but started working on them instantly, seeking inspiration and references whenever he hit a roadblock. This method allowed him to continuously challenge himself and explore new creative territories.

A significant breakthrough came when Likhith joined a preincubated startup in IIM Bangalore startup cell as a designer in his 5th semester, through which his work came to light. This opportunity not only elevated his studio's profile in the later years but also solidified his reputation in the industry. Following this, IIM Bangalore offered him an internship to design for them. However, Likhith chose to prioritize on improving his design knowledge, get more exposure in the industry and build a strong network over financial gains. IIM Bangalore played a crucial role, allowing Likhith to network with startups and participate in events, providing him with a platform to showcase his talent.

In his seventh semester, Likhith meticulously planned the launch of Design101 Studio. He pitched his business plan to a friend and, together, they bootstrapped the business. Rejecting full-time job offers, he focused on building his studio from the ground up. Convincing his family and peers about the legitimacy of his work and his decision to pursue design full-time was challenging. Yet, his strong network and referrals from satisfied clients made starting his business easier. Few ongoing projects from both Likhith and his business partner, including other networks built from the college helped their venture during the initial days.

Design101 Studio thrived on referrals within Likhith's network rather than extensive digital marketing. Retaining old clients through excellent customer relationship management (CRM) was key. Likhith emphasized being flexible, responsive, and maintaining great communication, which built a strong rapport with clients and ensured their satisfaction. Design101 Studio was recognised and awarded as the "Most Trendsetter & Promising Brand strategy & Design firm of the year 2023 Karnataka" at The Great Indian Startup awards. Likhith was also awarded the "Most promising entrepreneur of 2023" during the same time.

Looking ahead, Likhith envisions expanding his team and transforming Design101 Studio into a full-fledged design agency offering end-to-end services. He believes that formal education is valuable but insists that consistency and daily practice in designing, whether creating new designs or replicating existing ones, are crucial for mastering the craft. His

Designer mantra is simple:

Observe - Understand - Replicate - Practice.

Likhith’s story is a shining example of entrepreneurial spirit and creative prowess, reminding us that with the right mix of talent and tenacity, dreams do come true. 

Check out Design 101 Studio page:

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