Aditya Basu, Founder-Entrepreneur, Mediakraft Pvt. Ltd.Team YS
“Established in mid 2003 mainly as a Television Production House, over the few years, Mediakraft Pvt. Ltd. has gone through radical transformation keeping at par with the needs of digital content production and digital content delivery of present times.We have witnessed 50% growth this year as compared to last financial year. Presently Mediakraft Pvt. Ltd. caters to Television/Video, Radio/Audio, Multimedia, Webcasting/Podcasting & e-Publishing.”
”Its Web Properties are:
XTVWorld.Com: Infotainment website – You can watch video, listen to radio, read news and play games, send greetings, read astrology and shop for posters and magazines in this site.
PRESSbooth.ORG: This is a Free Press Release Distribution website. Register for free and post your press release to gain exposure to online journalists.
BargainWebTemplates.Com: Why spend huge money in making a professional website? Just download an affordable Website Template and customize it as per your requirement and have a highly professional looking website (Basic HTML knowledge required)!
News4.IN: The Indian News Reader! Its a an online news aggregator catering Indians all across the globe who are interested in knowing what is happening in each and every corner of this amazing country. The site is running in alpha mode and one can read headlines of news coming from various corners of the country.”
Aditya spoke candidly about the future prospects of his company and their field without any exaggeration saying “The scope is huge in the long term considering we are catering never before addressed market segments in India with highly beneficial and affordable web services. Anyone with basic Internet exposure can use our online services. Presently I get around 30,000 – 50,000 unique visitors to the websites and deliver around one million banner impressions per month.”
”For those who want to create electronic media content like Short Films, Documentaries, Promos - we have help for them also in terms of producing audio/video and multimedia content. We take those audio video projects online if so desired.”
Technological Aptness, Service Offering Diversification, R&D, Innovation, and International Standards & Outlook are what make Mediakraft Pvt. Ltd. a cut above the rest. Their market positioning is as a pan electronic media solutions and services provider having their own online web properties, which certainly helps in raking in the money.
Aditya has a simple plan for expansion which he shared with us, he plans to grow by - “Incorporating and attracting investors and by reaching greater depths in existing markets and also by expanding markets with product diversification.”
He started off as an entrepreneur and on further enquiry revealed his metamorphosis to and from the life of the self employed saying “I started as a media entrepreneur in Kolkata 13-14 years back when I was 20/21 - and I did not start in the service sector like everybody I knew.”
”Instead of going for a regular job - from Day One I decided to be a media entrepreneur making documentary and short films. Talking about jobs in electronic media in the 90's ...there were hardly one or two Private TV channels back then other than DD – that was the National TV Industry in 96/97 - so a job was not exactly was the thing I started in Media for - it was more about the passion for film making – being creative.”
”I started back then as an Independent Documentary Film Maker – got my accreditation as a Short Film Director by the Short Film Makers Association of Eastern India. I continued that for almost 4/5 years and then shifted to Delhi to taste the National Documentary Sector in 1999. Coming to a city where you do not have your home and parents to look after you – a job became necessary and I started off and continued with National and Regional News Channels for a few years and gained broadcasting experience, during this phase I traveled extensively across India doing shows for some news channels. After a few years I realized that if I wanted to become what I wanted to become at the start of my career – I won't have much time to become that at the fag end of my television news career. So up came the idea again to be an Independent Producer/Director. I was looking for an opportunity to leave the TV Channel career and when such an opportunity arose I left job and became Independent again around 5 and half years back.”
Aditya has had a crisis or two but there was nothing that he could not handle. He related his troubles saying “Greatest problem is running the business and keeping the revenue flowing so that one can stay afloat with help of own services and products and also enjoy life at the same time! That was my greatest hurdle.”
”Convincing people about my services and offerings was the next big hurdle as people 5.5 years back did not know much about how Internet and TV and Radio can benefit their business and products – so other than money - ignorance of the market was a great big hurdle back then. It still is for most media companies like mine who are trying to work on a converged media platform!”
”The third great hurdle is a small question :) that I faced in this Interview also..."How many Employees do you have?" …. well I guess if I could get as much dedicated media professionals like me who are ready to chuck their television channel jobs or Internet media jobs and start off on their own – I will love to take them in as fellow entrepreneurs as long as they are good enough and are willing to slog for innovation in media services. I don't hire dedicated people for the simple reason is that I won’t get the best – I will not be able to afford the best.”
“But I want the Best so I work with highly professional people who are attached in some way or the other with Channels/Radio Stations/Internet industry and some are on their own. I hire them as and when required. The kind of business I have requires a high degree of specialization and that work force is highly expensive and employed by the best media brands in the country. So even though I can not employ them - I can tap them as an when required for my projects. May be after scaling up I will be able to compete with the best companies in the industry and offer pay scales as huge as them to attract extremely expensive media professionals – till that time I don't mind working with them on a project to project basis. I even collaborate with professionals from aboard for specific tasks which require a great degree of specialization.”
“I do not measure success by counting employees and branches. It is more about making money doing what you want to do and do things that others are not doing and bring about services and products that are required by this country and her people. Someone had to do what I am doing now – so I am doing it instead of somebody else. Branches and people will grow as and when it is required. Right now it is a waste of my money.”
Aside from all the tests that entrepreneurial life has put before him, he has also made a few mistakes that have taught him a lesson or two. He confesses to his slip-ups saying “Not to think of money from Day One and give stress on business areas which were non revenue bearing but which were giving high creative and intellectual returns. Nowadays the emphasis is on increasing revenue more than gaining creative and intellectual mileage with my products and services.”
His provident fund amounting to about 75,000 rupees was utilized in pushing his ideas and business. He also recognizes the leg up he got from his kin saying “Got help from sister in Delhi and family in Kolkata as and when required. It is a totally self-funded business. Credit Cards also came in good use back then.”
Mediakraft has also been in the International spotlight. Aditya told us about this faucet of his business saying “I cater to national and international markets both. Some of my services are better accepted in US and UK than in India.”
”I was a part of the International Jury for the 2009 International Digital Emmy Awards, Digital Programme: Non Fiction Category, which was held in Cannes. I participated in the Final Round of Judging from which Final Four Award Nominees were selected. That was a big honor for me and I was selected as a Juror solely because of my present and past work. Unfortunately some projects were running and I could not be at the MIPTV Awards in Cannes where they gave the award. A program from BBC won the award in the category I voted for.”
”Another thing worth mentioning is I guess IPTV World Series approached me from UK for a co promotion deal with my sites – and I am doing co promotion with them for two years now. My site's ads are delivered by 3 International Advertising Agencies that too is a recognition I think.”
Financial troubles have brought Aditya to the brink of reneging on his visions. Aditya says
”On and off it has happened. Some times at the start when I ran really low on money and audio video projects were not happing and revenue was real low from Internet also - I felt maybe I should join some channel. But I hated the idea so much that I kept going on my own again! I guess worth mentioning is I earned $7 after 7 months of hard work -and that felt very good. Ya that was the time may be I would have gone back to a lucrative job, but managed without it gradually.”
In spite of his troubles he has not wavered from the path of the entrepreneur. He explains this saying “Working in a Channel I would never have gained the mileage that I have gained by starting on my own. Other than that I like the taste of freedom. Being in a job one tends to get lazy and becomes less innovative and less hungry for growth – it becomes more about keeping a job and surviving the office politics – those things I hate. So I got adequate reasons to stay away from a job! I rediscovered myself and what I can do after I started off on my own.”
The one time state champion rower expressed his views on entrepreneurship hoping to enlighten our readers. He articulated “Oh yes! I guess when you think you are getting too old to do what you want to do on your own – that is the right time to go ahead and start on your own. Be prepared to go broke, collect your PF in time have some Credit Cards handy and keep family members updated with your plans – and be mentally prepared that nothing is going to come back for the next 6-7 months. Money will only go out. That is the time when you have to prove yourself. I am not an ardent follower of... plan your exit from your present job by doing something side by side with your job – if you are doing it then you are being disloyal to the company you are working for.”
”There is only one way to do it – take a deep breath and quit. When you jump into a pond without knowing how to swim - you will struggle and learn to swim or die then and there.
You do not have many options then do you?”
”But do have a clear vision of what you want to do and know the market size and what you actually can do and achieve...before you quit. The point is do quit your job. Else you will never become an entrepreneur trying to travel two boats together. If you can't do it... try to prosper in your service life and forget entrepreneurial inclinations altogether.”
From what we have discerned Mediakraft Pvt. Ltd. and Aditya have charted their course for success with plans of incorporating it as a Pvt. Ltd company in the anvil and we at Yourstory wish them Godspeed to their destination as should everyone.