When we go out to chill, we have fun, come back and doze off! When these young visionaries and co-founders of TommyJams Parth Saxena and Nikhil Kapur, computer Science graduates from Delhi college of Engineering (DCE), went out to chill and found TommyJams!
Let’s tell you how exactly “Tommy Jammed,” one evening while they were chilling at Hard Rock Cafe© in Hyderabad in 2011, they saw a band perform who they found really amazing with a lot of potential to grow big, but they lacked the right resources and contacts. Now just like any other industry, live entertainment industry also ran completely on good contacts and referrals ONLY.
So that is when it struck them that what if they created a platform where they could bridge the gap between the venues and artists. Now the idea was unique and creative and by all means different than the rest, but at the same time needed a lot of research in all aspects.
So with all the excitement and passion and eagerness to start, they quit their jobs at Texas Instruments and Microsoft, and landed at the Stanford University Program to understand the tips and tricks of entrepreneurship and came back with complete conceptualization of the project, market research, venue structuring model for the business.
Ready to fight a half won battle, in October 2012 with INR 9,000 each, they formed TommyJams and entered the $700 million live entertainment industry.
The basic idea was that if a Venue required artists then they posted their requirements like the kind of artists they needed, amount they were willing to pay, duration of the event, etc., and artists registered on the site could respond by applying to perform.
Their whole idea was to connect the artists like Bands, Musicians, DJs, Stand-up Comedians, Painters, Photographers, Fire Artists etc., with venues such as Bars, Pubs, Cafes, Restaurants, Hotels, Music Festivals, Campus Festivals and International Festivals etc.
Within a short span they went viral and the start-up managed to break-even in the fifth month itself, after just 30-40 shows. At that time, they had a simple business model wherein they took a 20% cut in the fee paid to the artiste by the venue.
Soon they got incubated at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Bangalore in 2013 and within a blink of an eye they now have more than 900 music bands registered on the platform such as Agam, Parvaaz, Agnee, The Indus Valley Project and Until We Last along with 100+ renowned venues such as Stanford University, Startup Festival, Radio One, Grallo, Mewsic in their kitty. They have managed to cover major cities like Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai and have managed to perform approximately 600 events.
They also have managed some international acts in India from bands such as “KarmaFlamenco”, a band from Spain, “The Bahh Band” from Ireland, “We hide you seek” from Sweden and a few others from USA, France and Russia.
The company is making around INR 4 lakh in revenues per month and with global ambitions in mind has recently been funded USD $40,000 without any equity by the Chile government run accelerator, Startup Chile programme.
With the funding in hand, they plan to increase their 4-member team with some more quality designers and developers. They also bought in more of foreign artists and venues from countries such as Chile, Brazil, US, UK and a couple of European economies, etc. They are coming up with a mobile technology that is supported by AppCampus Finland, a Microsoft and Nokia collaboration. TommyJams also organized it’s first music festival – Solstice, the concept of music festival that originated in France 30 years ago and is celebrated across 800 cities around the world on 21st June.
They have also revised their business revenue model and now apart from the 20% cut in the fee paid to the artiste by the venue, they also include Advertising on the website – For businesses revolving around the music, art and live entertainment markets & also have Marketing packages – For event organizers to reach out to more number of people using on-ground as well as online strategies.
The Startup is not leaving any stone unturned to reach their audience. Parth, in his blog update announced that they would be launching a mobile app soon that would be smart enough to suggest the best shows to attend in your vicinity, book tickets and invite friends to attend performances. Along with this they are also working on giving access to venues to live stream the shows being organized by TommyJams.
The duo was always a perfect match for each other. Saxena, had worked part-time as a freelance guitarist and vocalist for different music bands in the city so obviously had a huge network of artistes and bands to tie-up with; whereas on the other hand; Kapur had the skill of venue management, which had begun as an interest at his previous employer Microsoft, who hosted several events.
In a span of 2-years, the duo who went out to chill has managed to revolutionize the live entertainment industry and have got the unorganized genre organized!