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Entrepreneur

Meghna & Madhusudan, Founders, MAM Movies

Team YS
28th Mar 2009
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Graduates of the famed San Francisco's Academy of Art don't often make films about the lives of rat-killers and slum children with precious $3000 cameras. Yet, that is the warming twist in the story of Meghna and Madhusudan Agarwal, who returned from the US with bachelor's degrees in filmmaking, an anonymously gifted camera and the determination to use it to pioneer social change. In April 2006, the couple launched MAM Movies. With 6 employees and 100 percent growth rate in the number of projects in the last three years, MAM is a mission in progress. The couple's vision for 2010 -

To have a community center with an open source resource hub providing support to filmmakers and organizations which want to use media for social change


Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you not pursue a regular job?

We felt the need to create a self-sustaining resource center for filmmakers who want to use media for social change. There was a motivation and desire to do something bigger than our individual dreams which inspired us to become entrepreneurs instead of falling back on the security of a regular job. And our of this motivation, MAM Movies was born.


Can you tell us something about the initial years- what kind of challenges, struggles did you face?

When we launched MAM, there was clearly no support system for what we were trying to do. It was experimental and thus it took time to convince corporates and organizations to sponsor projects. We started with just our computer and a borrowed table at a friend’s place. Instead of constraining us within our means, the lack of resources allowed us to think of different ways to improvise. We did not have anything to lose so we were fearless in our experiments. Since we had limited resources, we worked mostly with volunteers.


What was the turning point in your business /career?

The turning point in our career was definitely our meeting with Dr. Nachiket Mor of the ICICI foundation. Dr. Mor believed in MAM Movies and what we were doing and said to us “ Don’t worry about the resources, good deeds will find the means.”


Did you at any point feel like giving up and getting back to a regular job or doing something different?

We had our low moments - moments of failure and roadblocks - but quitting was never an option. We just couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else.


What drives you?

MAM Movies was born of a desire to create something, which would contribute to global oneness.


Could you please elaborate on business – the operating model, the differentiators of your business, plans to scale up etc?

Currently MAM Movies is working in 3 major areas:

1.   Engaging young filmmakers to volunteer through their talents and help in creating films on social causes.

2.   Creating professional videos for non-profits at very economical prices.

3.   Setting up video units for lower income communities and organizations, and to enable them to tell their own stories.

 

What are the growth drivers / vision for your enterprise?


For MAM, our vision is to create an open source community center or media institute which would focus on using media for social change. It would be a resource hub for filmmakers and voluntary organizations. It will help in creating citizen journalists and participatory video communities.


Tips for budding entrepreneurs

In the words of Prof. Anil Gupta, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad: “Dream for the next 2000 years. Dream so big that you look very small before your dreams. And your ego of sense of doing melts away.”


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