I reviewed BeatofIndia a few days back and honestly, I am very impressed with the whole idea. It takes real guts and courage to do some work at the grassroot level and most importantly, impact the lives of so many Indians.
Here is presenting our interview with one of the founders, Shefali Bhushan.
- Please tell us more about BeatofIndia. How it started? And if possible, a little bit about your past prior to BeatofIndia.
Beat of India arose out of an effort to work with music. After tiring of trying to find options for working on music on the Television medium, we decided to explore the internet for its growing audio video potential.All of us work in different areas, I was doing documentaries, both independent and for TV. One of my partners N K Sharma is a theatre director, conceptually, Beat of India was his idea. Another partner Prabhat Agarwal is an Enterpreneur, he provided the necessary business guidance and I was the one who took it on as a full time task.
- Could you please share the operational details? Who visits these villages, records the music, digitizes the music?
We work with a very low cost model. I am part of the team (of 3-4) who visits the villages. We try to involve at least one local person with knowledge of local traditions with the team. We do all the post-production back in Delhi, in-house.
- What are the other challenges that you people have faced?
Challenges are trying to market the music. In a world where advertising creates products… it is hard to survive without big monies.
- Do you people get ample support from folk singers?
Yes, they open their houses to us and welcome us with open arms. They are also finding it hard to carry on the traditions so any glimmer of hope is a Godsend for them.
- Have you raised any fundings? Private or Govt.?
- Could you please share your financial state? When do you think you will break-even? Are you looking for some funding?
We are at an operational break-even, ie we meet our operational costs but it will take us a few more years to recover our investments. We are always open to funding.
- Any support from Govt.?
- Please share few of the big positives feedbacks/stories [from listeners as well as folk singers].
Have a look: http://www.beatofindia.com/mainpages/user_comments.htm http://www.beatofindia.com/mainpages/artist_letter.htm
- You people remind me of Rang de Basanti heroes! While others crib about the situation [and do nothing], you have taken the initiative! What drives you people to address this market?
Passion for the music and a desire to see it becoming popular as it once was.
- In general. working at a grassroot level requires lot of personal sacrifice? Please share your experience.
I wouldn’t term it personal sacrifice at all. One does it because that is what one loves to do. In the course of this work one has had very enriching experiences.
- Tips to entrepreneurs?
Don’t be in a hurry, do not lose patience. Things take time to find their space. Do not feel scared to try out an unusual idea if you feel passionate about it. Use the medium of the internet, its a low cost and fantastic tool.
If you have any questions for Shefali or other founders, please leave them in the comments section.