- According to Arian, Twente offers the perfect climate for young companies, and space for them to grow.
- Through his company Tiny Giants, Arian wants to use his creativity for sustainable and social goals, in addition to and thanks to commercial success.
Arian knew from an early age that he wanted to live in the Netherlands. His roots are in Iran, but he grew up in Germany. His love for the Netherlands came from his mother’s friendship with a Dutch couple. When they came to Germany from Iran, the family went through a difficult period. However, the friends of Arian’s mother were always there for them. When Arian was done with high school and could choose where he wanted to study, he chose the University of Twente. He could live in the Netherlands now and still be fairly close to his family in Germany. “For me, Twente was the perfect place to live”, Arian says.
“I have been living here for eight years, and I am very happy. I have found great friends and the love of my life here.”
“Besides that, it was very nice to be able to study at the UT as an international student. I was welcomed here by the, in my opinion, most impactful student movements, namely DesignLab and University Innovation Fellows. They treated me like family and even enabled me to study at Stanford University in Silicon Valley.”
An important moment in Arian’s life was the founding of his own company. His company is called Tiny Giants and is based in Enschede. “We are a digital content studio creating mainly 3D content to make stories for brands, organisations and companies. We are a smart, young and creative team.” Arian and his company are also affiliated with New Imaging Co. in the Performance Factory. New Imaging is a collaboration between several companies that, as a multidisciplinary team, are involved in the production of high-quality content: filmmakers, photographers, illustrators and animation artists such as Tiny Giants.
During their Creative Technology study at the UT, Arian and his fellow students and best friends Bart Brinkman, Sebastian Helmig and Ivan Rinaldo de Wolf came up with the idea to create this company. Together, they enjoyed making creative content at home. “When we found out we were doing quite well, we had confidence and believed in ourselves. We thought; we should do this professionally. We then founded the company during our study. That turned out to be the best decision ever.” Without a doubt, his creative company has now become a “tiny giant” in the content industry and will only continue to grow and create beautiful things. “We are reaching a higher level, larger customers and bigger assignments, and we make a living through our passion.
According to Arian, Twente offered him the perfect climate to start his business, make mistakes, learn, grow, and eventually flourish. “You don’t have to try planting a tree in a forest already full of trees. It is better to plant this tree in a place where there are no other trees.” That is what he has done with his content company. In the Randstad is an abundance of competition, while Twente has space for such startups. Arian likes this less competitive environment. Small businesses benefit from being able to start with less pressure.
“Twente is indeed perfect for when you start small; you can be yourself and find out what you want. That is why I am very happy with the choice I made.”
It has not stopped him from being successful. From Enschede, Tiny Giants does productions for major international names. “We have to get rid of the mindset that you can only be successful from the west”, Arian says.
Together with New Imaging Co., Tiny Giants has worked on many beautiful big productions for companies such as Vredestein and Nedap, and Adrian talks about this with pride. His other big passion, besides commercial work, is creating meaningful content. Arian likes to support companies and organisations that have sustainable or social goals. For example, Tiny giants made content for Solar Boat Twente as a sponsor. Arian is also involved with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in the Netherlands, and the SDG Young Professional program from GCNL. “We have learnt a lot there about how we can use our creativity for sustainable and social purposes. We went back to Twente with this knowledge, to commit ourselves to ideas with impact.” Arian also finds it important to realise that sustainable business does not mean losing money. “You can actually earn more money”, Arian says.
Arian has a message for companies in Twente and for Twente in general:
“Show how freakin’ awesome we are in Twente! We are far too modest. We should shout out: look at what we are doing!”
For young talent, finding out what possibilities exist is still way too dependent on their own initiatives. Whether it is the potential to grow professionally or, more importantly, according to Arian, enjoying a happy and varied lifestyle where music and culture initiatives are central, these initiatives still deserve a louder voice and more attention according to Arian. He has already found his voice in Twente as a member of Platform Ondernemend Twente. The platform is a voice for both small and big companies. In addition to developing into a region where high-quality systems, products, materials and services are manufactured, efforts are also being made to strengthen the regional labour market and develop Twente into the most “talent-friendly” region. “It is a very nice team. A group of positive people. I have been asked to take a seat at their consultation table from a perspective of diversity. They have opened the door for me and said: “Arian, we really want you to participate”. We are working on beautiful goals together. You can see Twente listens to young talent. When I am there, it is not just for show. I can say what I think or feel, and they will listen and work together with me to solve it.”