Anindya Mukherjee, Intrapreneur and VP, Sonodyne

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Taking their Sounds Global

Their story is well known and needs no introduction, but for those who came in late, this is how it all began… In 1972 Ashoke Mukherjee, an engineering student from Roorkee University (a premier engineering institution, now deemed Indian Institute of Technology) brought home the concept of stereo sound with his company “Sonodyne”. With an ordinary upbringing in Kolkata, this pioneer was the first of a breed of such Entrepreneurs who were taking chances and making good on their gambles. By the '70s, the release of Sonodyne hifi stereo amplifiers and speakers had met with resounding success all across India. With Loudspeaker systems and the first “Sonodyne” turntables hitting the market in the mid '70s, and component audio systems, in the mid 80s…Sonodyne and hifi had arrived on the National scene.

However the story does not end there as the baton has been passed to the next generation. Anindya Mukherjee has taken over the reins of his Father’s company  “Sonodyne”.

Anindya relates “My father, Ashoke Mukherjee is the entrepreneur and technocrat who started Sonodyne in the early 70s. I consider myself more of an Intrapreneur. A musician, gadget freak, and an audiophile, I don’t think I could be in a better line of work. So when the opportunity arose to enter the family business I did not refuse.”

However it was not such an easy task to manage “Sonodyne”. Anindya soon found that he had a different task in hand. To this he says “My father’s challenge was to overcome many personal and professional hurdles and establish an organization and a brand from scratch; mine are very different. To meet the evolved needs in today’s crowded marketplace the challenge is to fine tune the organization and align it with market needs. This involves changing the mindset within the organization and also repositioning the brand so that its core values are retained while giving it a fresh new look to appeal to an evolved target group.”

Anindya was thus handed the mammoth task of taking “Sonodyne” to the next level while making sure that the original visions of his father were not diluted. Initially “Sonodyne” was a known name restricted to the home audio segment. The turning point came in 2000 when he first attended the Pro Light and Sound show in Frankfurt; he realized that Sonodyne could also enter the professional audio markets. Thus he set upon conquering this new frontier and in the last 8 years “Sonodyne” successfully launched innovative products and solutions and established itself as a major player in professional sound for retail, cinema, studio, and live events, not only in India but also in EU and Australia.

This resulted in not only in new business opportunities but also in technology transfer resulting in a new range of products for home audio also. Like the saying goes “uneasy lies the head on which rests the crown” Yourstory asked Anindya if he ever thought of throwing in the towel and doing something else, he replied “There’s too much to do at Sonodyne, and so I don’t have time to think about this too much, but yes, I would like to focus more on my music.”

It is no wonder to discover that he is inspired and driven by music and revels in the triumph of the underdog. With Sonodyne planning to go Global by 2010, Anindya laid out his plans for global conquest saying “Our line of work is very specialized. It is very research and development oriented. We have to focus on innovations and on launching new products regularly, for India and abroad. Since this mechanism (from idea to product) is in place, we have offerings for 3 specific markets:

Home Audio: For Homes we have specialized solutions for personal audio, stereo, home theater, and a whole house (multiroom) audio system Our products will be retailed through Sonodyne Stores (company owned and franchised: With 3 company owned and 1 franchisee store already in place, we plan to launch at least 3 stores every year)

We also plan to distribute select products / brands that have synergy with our offerings

Professional audio:

We are offering specialized solutions for malls, multiplexes, FECs, studios, Airports, Railway stations (large transportation hubs).These will be integrated into projects by Sonodyne and by select integrators / dealers .We are also focusing on Sound Engineering Outsourcing (SEO) and Design and development of turnkey solutions for clients who need specific and specialized audio solutions. The finished products will be manufactured in 2 factories spread over 200,000 sqft in Mumbai and Kolkata SEZ’s.”

By the year 2012 “Sonodyne” plans to become the largest specialized audio company in India for both home and pro audio. Sonodyne will also be India’s largest SEO for audio products and services while wielding significant brand presence in high end audio markets for both home and professional usage in the UK, EU, US, Japan and Australia. Sonodyne plans to do all this with no compromises on their core values, professional and personal. It has thus summed up the complete journey from upstart entrepreneur to a Titan poised to challenge the Gods themselves. “Sonodyne” is the success story all entrepreneurs aspire to be. Yourstory asked Anindya if he had any words for those seeking to replicate their success.

He says “The more difficult the task and the more determined you are, the better the chances that you, and not someone else, will accomplish it. Just because its not been done before, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done….go for it! You need a team to succeed. So build a good team, respect its members and retain them” Anindya firmly believes that India is ready to nurture the modern dreamer and this is a good time to dream big! We at Yourstory will keep watch by these prophetic words and convey our best wishes to the merchants of sound.