The Absa Jewish Achiever Awards 2018

Few people can say that within six months of starting their own business, they managed to stage an entrepreneurial show with icon Sir Richard Branson and reach almost 35 million people worldwide. The co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of TILT marketing agency, Arye Kellman, has managed to do just that. His company produces socially-optimised, magnetic content for brands, and works with prominent social media personalities to broadcast the content on their social media platforms. Kellman was Format Creator and Producer at 5FM, Production Manager at production company Afrokaans, and a live TV Presenter on SABC2. Now, he is not only a show host on shock jock Gareth Cliff’s , but a trendsetting entrepreneur taking the marketing industry by storm. Having founded TILT in April 2017, he joined other business innovators in staging the first “Business is an Adventure” discussion event in Africa alongside Sir Richard. “That was a real kick,” he says. He describes his business as a baggage-free advertising agency, which responds to the “real-time requirements of brands and their need for consumer-connecting content”. He is committed to dominating the local influencer market and making world class content. Today, clients include respected brands such as Clinique, Virgin Atlantic, Kellogg’s, Estée Lauder, the Walt Disney Company, and others. Although Kellman wants to make a dent in the universe, he answers from the heart when it comes to the question of his business philosophy, namely, to make his mother proud. “Don’t do anything your mom wouldn’t be proud of,” he says. “That applies to everything: how you treat employees, suppliers, clients… everyone. Make your Jewish mother proud!” Kellman admits that his business undertakings make finding a balance between work and family quite challenging. “Honestly, being a start-up entrepreneur has thrown my life out of balance,” he says. “It’s early days, I’m obsessed with my vision, and making that real is a 15-hour-a-day endeavour. Family will always come first, but because I come first to them too, they’re supportive of late nights, early mornings, and occasional “what am I doing?” counselling sessions. There’s no glamour, and upfront no ‘balance’, in entrepreneurship.” Honoured at having been nominated for an Achiever award, he jokes that he can now boast having common ground with business icon Natie Kirsh. “In 2015, I found myself eating ice-cream with Natie Kirsh in his London home with his daughter Wendy, wife Frances, Sol Kerzner, and Gareth Cliff,” he recounts. “It was an amazing experience, because I was the dumbest person in the room, which is something one should always strive to be. If I ever find myself in that situation again, [Mr Kirsh and I] could have a conversation about the SA Jewish Achiever Awards.” He is grateful to the Johannesburg Jewish community, saying that it has empowered him. “In 2002, as I was finishing off Grade 7 at Emmarentia Primary, I was awarded a full bursary to King David High School Victory Park through Greenside Shul’s Rabbi Rabinowitz, as the school fees were beyond what my parents could afford. It’s really cool to be acknowledged by the community as someone who has taken opportunities like that and maximised them.” Arye Kellman TILT ENTREPRENEUR AWARD Live with gratitude 47