We had the good fortune of connecting with Ruwel Sarmad and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ruwel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
This time a year ago, I was working as an IT auditor for a large corporation (The Coca-Cola company). Although I got a lot out of my career after being in corporate America for 5 years, I was at a point where I was not using or developing all of my passions and skill sets. I was not happy or feeling fulfilled.
I always wanted to have my own business. So after a lot of careful thought, I decided to take a risk, quit my job, and dive into videography – which I had been thinking about doing for quite a while.
Growing up, I really enjoyed putting music and pictures together, and I always had a great time doing creative and fun things with the use of technology and gadgets. Video Production was a way to combine technology, visual creativity, and storytelling. The final piece of the puzzle for me was realizing that I wanted to tell stories for businesses, entrepreneurs, and creators.
I started taking comprehensive and in-depth online filmmaking courses, and during this process, I taught myself a lot about various aspects of video camera technology and editing and image processing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t simply create videos, I help to tell a story. It’s not enough for me to just create visual imagery; I love helping people create their vision and articulate their message. I am often most excited when I sit down with a client in the beginning stages of production, where I can listen to them describe their business or initiative, and then craft a narrative that shapes the entire creative process.
Ultimately I own the entire video production process from beginning to end, and it’s important to me to maintain a high level quality throughout. I wear multiple hats during the process – from director, to videographer, to script consultant, to editor, and beyond.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love Decatur. I love the people, the diversity, and all the good food it has to offer.
One of my favorites is Scout in Oakhurst, which has an excellent brunch menu. They serve a delicious plate of Nashville hot chicken and waffles. And No. 246 in Decatur is a great Italian spot where we frequently take our out of town guests.
I have also been a member of Dance101 dance studios for years. The instructors there are incredible, and it’s one of my favorite places in the city to go and learn a variety of dance styles. Even when you’re having a bad day, one can walk into this place and come out feeling revitalized.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first IT audit position was at RELX Group. The VP of our team, Asim Fareeduddin, created an incredibly diverse and welcoming and supportive work environment, and he always encouraged me to be the best version of myself in the professional world.
At every turn, he pushed me to succeed and to try new things. He encouraged me to join ToastMasters, to obtain professional certifications, to take writing classes, and to network as much as possible. He is a really funny guy as well. He made everyone laugh even while checking on us and keeping us accountable.
I also want to give a shout out to my former Coke colleague and a good friend Farha Huda. She has provided me with a great deal of support and encouragement every step of the way. She’s helped me to connect with some really great people to work with, and has even stepped up to be my production assistant on some of my earliest and most important video shoots. She’s also provided a lot of great communications support for my business. A fun fact – she also quit Coke four months after I did, and we will be working on some future projects together.