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Ariya Behjat is the co-founder and CEO of Axenic Studio. He founded the company together with his friend Lewk back in 2015. The company is a creative agency that provides disruptive branding and marketing solutions to first-tier businesses. Since its inception, the company has expanded to a multi-million dollar business with operations in Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, Milan, Dubai, and Calgary. Axenic’s notable clients include Dolby Audio, Mastercard, Lamborghini, Uber, Dj Snake, plus many more. However, this accomplishment was no easy feat. It took the mastery of the two entrepreneurs to grow Axenic into a globally recognized firm. It all began with serving startups. When Ariya and his partner, Lewk directed their focus on startups, everything changed. Ariya recalls how in 2016, they earned $50,000 from the first zero-staged startup they served. They re-invested the money and in the course of doing business, signed up a Swiss company. The duo made $1.4 million that year from that company, a fete that enabled them to hit the $2.2 million mark in no time. Today, thanks to Ariya and Lewk, the Swiss company is now worth $10 million.
A Man with a Vision
Ariya is a risk-taker and a man with a vision. He dropped out of college to pursue his passion for photography. “I started photography professionally when I was 15 years old. It was back in Dubai where I worked as an Assistant for Lasheen Usif,” he says. English is Ariya’s third language. He was raised in Dubai, a region well-known for design and architecture. The transformation taking place in Dubai inspired him to pursue architecture and industrial design. He moved to the U.S to study industrial design in the Bay area. Half-way through school, he was hired by some of Silicon’s valley tech and athletic companies to design and develop products. The volume of opportunities that he received while in school motivated him to drop out and pursue a career as an independent contractor in industrial design and photography. “I was doing freelance design work while touring as a music label photographer. I have toured with music legends such as Above and Beyond, Steve Angello, and Arty. I was self-taught in marketing and branding. I did not have the privilege of strong family support when it came to being an entrepreneur. I lacked the means to expedite my opportunities. However, I knew what I wanted in life. I wanted to be identified as an artist,” says Ariya.
Ariya’s pursuit of entrepreneurship led him to link up with Lewk. The two entrepreneurs ventured into disruptive marketing and branding. The accomplishments and experiences of Ariya as an artist offered a strong background for the firm’s success in the field. “I believe that when one has a vision, they could communicate it in any medium. I always wanted to, at least visually, improve everything in my surroundings. The same plays into Axenic, as I truly immerse myself into empowering a brand visually and solving their problems with a wholesome approach.”
Building a Multi-Million Dollar Agency from the Ground Up
In a niche saturated with businesses, it is a puzzle to understand how Axenic was able to stand out. According to Ariya, the key to their success was networking. “After helping a few brands succeed with our services, we earned enough capital to travel the world, as a “business tour.” We did this to identify a robust and unique value proposition for our clients; which was to be able to execute global branding and marketing strategies, authentically,” he says. In the first year, the company started with visual branding and marketing for some of the top music groups and brands such as Above and Beyond, Swedish House Mafia, and Dj Snake. The company also participated in events such as Coachella and the Electric Daisy Carnival. They used the capital obtained from their first clients to engage in exclusive global events, programs, and conferences. “We had three main goals: build relationships, partner with businesses, target potential clients, and seek global marketing,” he says. The tours helped Axenic build a large team of about 30 contractors and employees. It also helped them gain countless clients and international contractors.
Axenic was able to grow through networking. “Relationships are everything to us. They include internal and external relationships,” he says. Through these relationships, the company was able to target the right clients and build its brand in the market. Most of the firm’s clients have become their partners. “Most of our clients find our unique expertise and work impressive. This satisfaction provides us with an opportunity to introduce a business to business relationships amongst our notable clients, as well as investments, sponsorship opportunities, and global developments. This relationship is one that our clients only find with us.
Leveraging Target Marketing and Quality for Impressive Conversions
Axenic’s $2.2 million in sales in a matter of about two years is a significant success. The three factors that contributed to this success are target marketing, exceeding in terms of quality service, and conversion of clients to customers. “We like to find ourselves working with brands and companies that we believe in, companies that share our values and purpose in influencing the market and social trends,” he says. The company always strives to offer services that go above and beyond the client’s expectations. “When working on something we are passionate about, we find ourselves exceeding our quality standards, delivering more than promised, and most importantly, enjoying our time doing the job,’ says Ariya. Lastly, by converting their clients to partners, the company was able to expand without depending on bank loans. “We tend to connect our clients. We also connect them to potential investors and sponsors. This interaction, in turn, improves our firm’s results,” he says.
The two serial entrepreneurs have mastered the strategy of getting the right clients and converting those clients to their partners. Each year, they take a moment to reflect on their accomplishments and whether they have achieved their goals. “This helps us to get prepared for our upcoming expansion base in the coming year.”
Ariya Behjat’s success was a matter of strategy. From the onset, the two serial entrepreneurs were able to network with the right clients. Also, their first-class products and services enabled them to develop a loyal client base which became their partners. Axenic’s future is bright.
“We have many exciting plans for 2020; we are acquiring a digital media agency based in New York (Mercy Agency), we are shopping around for business properties in West Los Angeles, starting a branch in Las Vegas, developing our office in San Francisco, and exiting some of our notable startup clients. We are very excited to see what the future holds, and we hope to always be thrilled by exceeding our expectations.”