S6 entrepreneur Suhit Amin has experienced more ups and downs in the last year than the average CEO – but those who know him will tell you there is nothing average about him.
Suhit decided to launch his own business in January while studying for his Higher exams but he faced more challenges than most start-ups – just one month later the 17 year-old was left reeling after doctors diagnosed him with Stage 2A Hodgkin Lymphoma and told him he would need to complete 12 rounds of Chemotherapy treatment.
Despite the devastating diagnosis Depute Head Boy Suhit, focused on his studies and achieved 6As in Higher Maths, English, Economics, Chemistry, Physics and Computing, receiving his results just a week before his final chemotherapy session.
He also spent time in between his trips to The Beatson planning the July launch of his business Saulderson Media – a talent management and influencer marketing agency. After just four months the company has an expected six figure turnover in its first year. He was also crowned Young Social Media Marketer of the year at the Social Media Marketing Awards in London last month. His success featured in the Sunday Times Scotland newspaper yesterday.
Suhit, who is now studying Advanced Highers at Hutchesons’ and plans to study Economics and Management, reveals it has been a tough 12 months. He said: “Up until this year, I wouldn’t say I have faced any significant personal barriers. I have always thought I have been lucky to have what I think is a great life with so many opportunities. However, being diagnosed with cancer was a real shock to me – I’ve always led a healthy and fit life and never smoked.
“I won’t lie to you, it has not been easy. I’ve been living with this for about seven months and the six months of treatment have been the hardest six months of my life. It was the first time that I’ve really been scared to wake up on a Friday as I knew I’d be heading to the Beatson to get a dose of chemo.
“I coped the only way I know how, I stayed strong and treated it as if it was just a minor obstacle that I knew I could surpass. This experience has been more than anything a learning experience and it was obviously a life changing experience for many reasons. There have been lots of things I couldn’t do, many times I’ve been too unwell to go to school, see my friends. However, I coped by staying motivated and inspired. Of course there’s always that little voice in the back of your head saying, what happens if it goes wrong and I’m not here in five years’ time. That voice really motivated me. If that turned out to be the case then there’s no point in me doing nothing, I had to deal with it and make the best use of my time. I think that I live for the challenge. I feel purpose having a challenge and working my way to a solution to overcome this challenge.”
Since launching Saulderson Media in July, Suhit has quickly established a profitable business. He works with the biggest social influencers around the world, specifically in the gaming/esports and entertainment niche.
He explained: “By social influencers I mean your non-celebrity internet personalities – YouTubers, Twitch streamers and Instagram influencers. Think of it in the way models or actors have management and agents organising schedules, bringing them brand deals, appearances, however, for social media influencers. As well as the personal talent management, I work in the agency sense, in which brands can reach out to our agency (or we reach out to brands or work with other agencies) and run influencer marketing campaigns for them in which we use/source influencers not only managed by us, however, in our huge influencer connection base. We manage the campaign from conception/planning to delivery and manage/track all metrics and KPIs to provide a complete service to our clients and ensure the best ROI.”
Running his own business has been an ambition since starting senior school. Before that he had always thought he would like to study medicine and follow in his parents’ footsteps and become a doctor. That all changed when he realised the potential to make money on the internet. And he is already seeing the financial rewards roll in.
He explained: “I wanted to be a doctor, like my parents are. I was so certain of it. This all changed when I started getting exposed to online media and making money on the internet. It fascinated me how I could take my passions and things I am good at online and monetise them in some way. In 2017 I really got interested in the esports industry which will soon be a $1billion-dollar industry. It’s huge, it’s going places and really globalising at a fast rate. I started gaining a deeper knowledge of esports and the industry as well continuing my experience in the YouTube and social influencer space. In January 2018 I started freelance account management for the biggest esports company in the world, ESL.
“I learned a lot about influencer marketing and talent management working with huge talent and big brands on campaigns - ESL’s main partnership is Vodafone. At the end of June I decided I didn’t want to be contracted to working for one place and following the company guidelines. I decided I wanted to develop and turn my current personal work into an actual company. That is when Saulderson Media was born and now there are some months when I earn more than my mum.
" Throughout this time I have obviously been undergoing my treatment for my condition. My perspective on life and everything changed so much - it has really motivated me to grab every opportunity possible and make something of myself.
“I always had the thought that, if something were to happen to me or I was going to leave this world, I want to make something of myself and the most of my time. When I was diagnosed and things really took a turn, this perspective strengthened. This motivation has stayed strong with me throughout my treatment and even after.
“People get highs from many things, for me I get a high from working on my business and seeing the successes from it, whether that be signing a new client or influencer, a campaign going well or even just the small things.
“In terms of my condition and the struggles I went through, I feel this was sort of a distraction. Sometimes I’d just be so engrossed in working on my company, I would forget about the circumstances I was in. I just felt like I could do anything and everything was normal. I live for the challenge and knew that I could beat this one. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
“Just because I am a schoolchild, doesn’t mean I can’t make something of myself, leave a legacy. I can’t stress enough how I want to make a positive change in the world as an entrepreneur and leave a legacy. Hutchie has taught me to work hard for sure and also to be the best I can be. The school has encouraged me to be independent and work for the benefit of myself, which has certainly heightened my entrepreneurial spirit. As well as this, Hutchie has given me an inherent determination and has always taught me to strive for the very top . Hutchie is a naturally competitive school; in which everyone is always trying their hardest to be their best, and do as well as they can. This has been ingrained into us from day one at the school and has had a lasting effect, as I always work hard in everything I do, whether that be school work, sports, business etc. My experience at Hutchie has certainly had a positive effect on me, and this can be reflected in my determination to excel.”
Rector Mr Gambles said: “Suhit told this story to the school in assembly and his audience was rapt. His messages of resilience, overcoming challenge, being true to himself and success could not have been delivered better. He is an amazing role model and we are hugely proud of him. We shall watch his continuing progress with admiration and enjoyment."