Sam Ramlu is the Managing Director and Co-founder of Method, an award winning creative innovations agency, and she's just been nominated for the Most Creative Awards with Idealog in the Digital/Data section. She will be a panellist at the PwC Herald Talks - Internet of Things, starting on October 18 and visiting Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
We get to know her better ahead of the events.
1. In a nutshell, what does Method do?
Method is a creative innovations agency specialising in digital and new and emerging technology. We bring together strategy, technology and design to create experiences that transform brands and grow businesses. We provide solutions and effective results for marketing, communications and entertainment through web, mobile, virtual and augmented reality, games, emerging technology and data solutions.
2. How did M Theory come about?
M Theory is the specialist AR and VR arm of Method. It focuses on delivering interactive, immersive and awe-inspiring experiences through a range of AR and VR services. This includes 360 capture and video post-production, 3D modelling and digital storytelling, along with computer-generated imagery, app and game development.
M Theory was set up to focus specifically on augmented and virtual reality projects, and as a vehicle to launch products in the entertainment industry both locally and internationally.
3. What is your favourite thing about New Zealand business people?
I think one of the things that keeps coming through for me is how inherently creative and humble we all are. I see this across the board, no matter the industry we find creative solutions and have unique ideas on how to approach a problem. I’ve met a lot of amazing Kiwi business women and men in my years and despite how successful they all are, most of them manage to stay very humble and grounded. I think that’s what I love the most, the ability to have a very normal and open conversation with people who are nailing it in the business world.
4. What is your top tip to anyone looking to found their own company?
It really depends on what you want as a longer term outcome. On the whole, starting out on your own has to be for the right reasons. It can’t be to escape a job or to get a title that’s out of reach or to be a multi-millionaire overnight. Most likely you’ll be working harder than you’ve ever done but for the most part you’ll enjoy it because you’re doing something that you’re really passionate about. We’ve worked with start-ups who’ve created a company simply because they saw potential for big money – they didn’t have an interest in the product or service they were offering. These businesses almost never work because there’s not enough to sustain the owners.
In a nutshell – do something you love.
5. If you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Trust your gut, always. (Oh, and, exercise more!!)
6. Who is your business role model and why?
I don’t have one specific role model as such. I do take inspiration from a lot of different women and men and for a host of reasons. Jacinda Arden for her relentless positivity and determination, Elon Musk for his bigger picture thinking, Frances Valintine for her passion for education, Alexia Hilbertidou for her drive, Taika Waititi for his creativity and humour, Bill and Melinda Gates for their generosity, J K Rowling for her imagination – the list goes on!
7. Do you have a motto that you stick to when it comes to how you do business?
Ah, it’s probably a pretty lame one… To always be a decent human being and to never undermine what someone else is doing. I don’t ever want to get ahead at someone else’s expense (cue violins).
8. Do you have a favourite campaign you’ve provided for a client?
I’ve been involved in some amazing creative and innovative projects over the years – I do wonder sometimes how I got so lucky! But, and it’ll always be my favourite, the Born Fighters campaign we did for Heart Kids starting 2015 is the one that is closest to my heart (pun always intended!). Our son Jesse was born with a congenital heart defect in 2014 and we started working with Heart Kids soon after. To be able to give something back to a charity, especially one that has a personal connection, has been wonderful on so many different levels. Also, it’s a kickarse campaign with my son as one of the heroes – nothing more to say really!
9. Has your career path changed in response to the development of technology?
For me it’s about making sure I am always ahead of the game so I can lead and develop our company to also always be one step ahead. While we work with and in tech it doesn’t drive what we do. It enables us and gives us more ways to communicate, to solve problems, and above all, to share amazing stories (be they brand or otherwise) and connect with people.
10. What are you most looking forward to at PwC Herald Talks – Internet of Things?
I’m fascinated to see how some of the other panelists are using IoT in their businesses and how they’re finding it’s changing their customer engagement. Also to hopefully make the idea of IoT a lot less intimidating for some people. See you there!
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