Samuel Abrahams: Keeping Clients Interested

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ONE fast growing industry today is the modeling industry. This includes model management, which is very much needed as models are in great demand in Indonesia, where marketing largely depends on advertising and other methods of promotion. In view of this growth, Samuel Abrahams established Twenty One Millimeters Management.
“Models play a major role in enticing people to buy products, so beautiful and unique models must be made available. Twenty One Millimeter Management can supply such models,” said Samuel.
Twenty One Millimeter Management also helps those who want a career in entertainment and fashion. Hence Twenty One Millimeter Management often holds casting and talent scouting sessions in Jakarta and other major cities. “Usually we hold events at malls in various cities because there are many beautiful women not only in Jakarta but also elsewhere who have what it takes to become models or entertainers. So we provide them with the opportunity, and through Twenty One Millimeter Management I try to enhance their skills and capabilities,” he explained.
Twenty One Millimeter Management was established on Aug. 27, 2007 but is able to compete with other, more established model agencies. Samuel brings in between 17 and 23 foreign models per year.
Samuel said that initially, Twenty One Millimeter Management was set up to focus on artistes so the name at first was Twenty One Millimeter Artist Management. “But finally we removed the word artist,” said Samuel, who is an avid tennis player.
In its early days, Twenty One Millimeter Management had 10 male and 11 female models. It spread it wings after a few months and opened up a talent division to seek talented models. Samuel did not stop there. He kept innovating and added more divisions. As a result, Twenty One Millimeter Management now has four divisions handling actors, talents, models and shows. “The show division handles fashion shows and other model-related activities for product launches and is indeed a promising division, revenue-wise that is. These days we get many orders to organize various shows,” he said in an upbeat tone.
Next year, Twenty One Millimeter Management will open the show division to others so that it will no longer have to supply models for such events. Due to his shrewdness and management skills, Samuel has succeeded in making Twenty One Millimeter Management the largest model agency in Indonesia. “We are among the top three in Indonesia, with companies viewing us with great respect,” he said with a smile.
This makes it only natural that its models frequently get offers from international companies wanting models for their advertisements. “Gucci, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton have used my models,” he said proudly.
Indeed, all this success is related to his shrewdness in seeking models, both local as well as foreign. Samuel said some Indonesians like foreign models. For foreign models, Samuel prefers East Europeans and Latin Americans as they have a specific beauty and are quite different from West Europeans. Russian women, for example, have a European beauty tinged with Asian beauty because of the influence of neighboring China.
He says the women from Uzbekistan have a beauty that blends Europe, Asia and the Middle East as its closest neighbor is Afghanistan. When it comes to women from Latin America, Samuel often brings in models from Brazil, one of which is Mariana.
He said that Latin American models like working here because they get more work than they otherwise would in their own country. Here they can make at least Rp 100 million per month. “I have a Brazilian model called Mariana and here she can earn more than Rp 150 million a month but not in home country,” he said.
The foreign models are introduced to local culture and ethics and are taught a bit of Indonesian so that they can communicate. Generally, they like to stay here as they say Indonesians are kind and they like the culture. Apart from bringing in foreign models, he also exports local models, such as Antie Damayanti, who is 174 cm tall and was sent to China, where the Javanese model will star in advertisements for Chinese products.
Samuel admits that it has not been easy making the company grow into the big agency it has become. A lot of hard work and the right strategy have been required, he said. First, he changes the appearance of models on the agency’s website every six months.
The second step is to introduce a new foreign model every so often so that clients remain interested and retain the services of Twenty One Millimeter Management. He has short-term contracts with the models, ranging from between three months, six months to one year. “The contract for foreign models is usually three or a maximum of six months,” he said.
The third strategy is to be flexible in contracts with clients. The fourth step is to satisfy a client and meet his or her demands. As a professional businessman, Samuel realizes that he has to face competition all the time and he is not daunted by it. He does not see competitors as a blight but more as something that spurs him on to keep advancing. (Faisal Chaniago)
The Jakarta Post, August 04, 2010