This startup used The Bamboo Strategy to bootstrap their online venture,
25th, May 2017 - Tech Startup
The main pain point of an Artist is not getting good numbers of events to show his talents and earn his sustenance. BigMyGig, a search engine for the artist is on a mission to solve the problem of artisans.
Ramalingam grew up in Ahmedabad, a city of business. “Out of every 10 people, 11 do business,” says Ram. This is where the seeds of being an entrepreneur were sown in him. “I always wanted to do business. Be it a computer game, a board game or real life. I always wanted to be a Tycoon. But never for the money” says Ram. And true to that, in just his 2nd year of engineering he went out to start a small event management business with his friend and partner Sabari Iyappan. “Splash my event management firm gave me a taste of business and made me face the realities of life”. Splash had to close down due to the inability on the part of the founders to do business. This hurt Ram a lot. Although he had a growing career with Tata Consultancy Services, he wanted to learn more about business. He worked hard on his dream and got an admission into Bajaj with a near 100 percentile. “Bajaj changed my life and gave a whole new dimension to me,” says Ram.Pratik Rathod has a different track. “I always wanted to do something in music,” says Pratik. A musician for close to 12 years now, music is his passion. A Bandra boy, he knew how to get things done. A hustler at a start, he calls himself lucky to be at the right place, at the right time. He believes he was fortunate enough to be a part of the competition and later on BigMyGig. “There are two kinds of people, ” he says. “One who are scared and others who are ambitious and brave. I was the latter”. Pratik always wanted to work hard and party harder. This is something that he expects from all his employees now.
“Online artist delivery is still at a very nascent stage in India. With event industry (minus weddings) being Rs 15,000 Crores, we are looking at whooping Rs 1500 Crores being spent on various artists in the country. Adding the weddings market, we see another Rs 400 Crores being spent on various artists annually. Again with weddings becoming grander and events being a high engagement tool for experiential marketing, the future seems to be bright.”
Bootstrapped Model – ” The Bamboo Strategy”
Coming from a humble background we understand the value of money. We know that each penny must be spent wisely. When we were approached by various angels in the past, we had to decide whether the idea is strong enough and bankable. We had decided that we would not raise funds to start off the business but use it only as a tool for growth. This way we expose the investor to lesser risks and offer greater returns. Secondly, unless we are confident of the product and not just passionate, it doesn’t make much sense to raise funds and take up liabilities.
Now that we have tested the product and have ironed out the challenges, we now feel that this is the right moment to grow. Hence we have actively started engaging with investors to raise funds. As founders of the business, e now have enough knowledge on the business and the future of it. Now we are in a better position to take up decisions and strategies the way forward. If we had taken the money we would have been chasing a dream plus liability would have left us with little room for changes. By enduring a tough decision at start, we have come out to be better business men and have a better idea of running a venture.
While working on the business model, they understood the realities of the market and decided to bootstrap it till the day they were confident about it. This is when they used a strategy called “The Bamboo Strategy”. The Chinese bamboo takes 5 years, 3 months to grow to its whole height of 80 feet. Yet, for the first 5 years, you only see a tiny green shoot, but in the next 90 days, it grows into a full-fledged tree. But in those first 60 months, it is growing its strong network of roots underground, to support the tree.
This was a strategy that they followed at BigMyGig. Instead of purely creating a marketplace model, the duo worked on an offline first model, where they setup the strong network. Today they boast of 1250 artists across 50 different skill types and 100+ genre of entertainment. They have reached 650 event managers across Mumbai in the meantime.
BigMyGig was started with a single focus. An artist doesn’t get enough shows because of poor reach and improper representation whereas a user doesn’t have many avenues for reaching out to the artist of his/her choice. We are trying to bridge this need gap through a convenient online solution.
For the Event Organizer, the tool enables them to search through over 1250 digital portfolios, filter, short-list and book the portfolios that they like. The search engine works on the principle of relevancy. This ensures that every artist requirement is accurately serviced. Using the Packages feature of the tool, the event organizer can book a complete Entertainment Package for that memorable event.
On the artist front, this tool uses a 3 stage filtering process, known as the Invitation Model. Here, artists can send requests to join BigMyGig through dedicated links on the website, post which a screening process is undertaken. Artists are invited only when they meet stringent quality parameters. This ensures that every artist on BigMyGig is verified and validated, ensuring 100% quality to our patrons.
The tool is built on the basis of trust & transparency which forms the backbone of the entertainment industry. Artists can set their own price and also involve in Direct Negotiations with clients, with BigMyGig playing the role of a facilitator. With the security of payments, artists can now safely focus on improving their talent while relying on BigMyGig for their business. With features like direct negotiations, pre-payment guarantee and real-time portfolios, BigMyGig is redefining entertainment delivery.
“We believe after Roti, Kapda and Makaan, Entertainment is a fundamental need for every human being. We are trying to improve the quality of entertainment here”.
BigMyGig revealed their plans to expand into more cities over the next 5 years. They believe there is a lot of hidden talent in the interiors of the country, which need to be show cased. Dying art forms needs to be revived and given their rightful position.
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