How Shaan and his team are setting out to change the lives of musicians with this startup


Are you following a reality show? Rooting for your favourite contestant? Voting for him/her at every given opportunity?

Let's do a quick recap,

Was there a reality show you were rooting for maybe last month or last year? Ever wondered what happened to your favourite contestant from the show? You will notice that, barring a small handful, most of the promising talents slip into oblivion after their 15 minutes of fame.

While these shows are great for talent discovery, there clearly is a need for platforms that help these artists sustain in the industry. Happydemic sets out to fill this very gap.

Started by renowned Playback singer Shaan Mukherjee, wife Radhika, and finance professional Amar Pandit, Happydemic is a live entertainment platform that caters to all genres and category of artists. The team is looking to make a real difference in the lives of artists. The initiative aims to help talent globally to be discovered and create happy experiences for customers.

"Our country lacks a quality platform where artist meets customer and vice versa. There is a huge demand for quality entertainment in our country. The existing aggregators are quantity focussed and more like a listing of service providers. Happydemic aims to be the best if not the biggest platform for artists," says Shaan speaking of the venture.

The startup will follow a B2C model to bridge the gap between a customer and an artist. The mission is to help a customer find their perfect artist or act and make the booking process seamless.

The team

While Shaan is the face of the brand, his wife Radhika was inspired to startup after looking at how precious talent was not getting the platform it deserved. Co-founder Amar on the other hand comes in with a vast experience in the field of finance and is the founder and Chief Executive of My Financial Advisor, a private wealth management firm. Having handled finances of various personalities in the creative field, it is providing the right creative talent with managerial expertise that gives him the kick. The founders at Happydemic have carefully picked a team of nine seasoned industry veterans who know the trials of the industry. This move they say is helping them largely in making the whole process as curated as possible.

How it works

After registering on the platform, the artist has to submit work samples that will be reviewed by a team of experts whom Happydemic calls 'Talenthunters'. These talenthunters are qualified professionals from relevant arts and music fields. The artist's profile will then be listed on the website within 24 hours of the evaluation process.

"In this era of technology, everything can be tweaked and tampered with. Our Talenthunters will ensure that the artistes listed on our platform are authentic and of top quality," says Radhika

Similarly, customers can also register on the website. Happydemic will suggest shortlisted artistes to customers based on their requirements. Once the customer has made a choice, Happydemic sends out an enquiry E-mail to the artist who has 48 hours to confirm the request. They will also be notified with constant reminders. After the artist's confirmation, Happydemic shares the contact details of both parties with each other. The team also readies a few backup options in case of foreseen emergencies.

The average cost for booking an artist is Rs 25,000, out of which Happydemic charges a commission of 10–20 per cent. The artiste is paid within three days of the date of performance.Happydemic has so far raised Rs 5.5 crore as seed funding from family and friends. The founders say the money will be used to expand the talent base and clinch corporate deals for events. Launched on April 17, 2016, the company already has 120 artistes listed. While it currently offers services in Maharashtra, the company is looking to expand to metro cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, and subsequently other Tier II and III cities in the coming days.

While most event companies cater to large scale events, Happydemic is looking at making the process more intimate by providing talent for private events like proposals, etc.

"We want to make the booking process transparent and happy for the customer. At present, there are very few avenues for the customer to make a choice as there are limited options," says CFO Amar. "Scale is directly proportional to quality and it is quality that is going to be our USP," he adds

The market has evolved in the last couple of years with the entry of players like Qyuki, Gigstart along with old players like Artist Aloud and Tommyjams among others in the domain, with revenue generation being evaluated close to Rs1,000 crore per year. In the year 2010, Hungama Entertainment launched, a digital platform for artistes that provides access to the consumer to unreleased music for sampling, sharing and purchase. Bangalore-based Tommyjams is also working with artistes by connecting them directly with pubs, bars, malls and cafes. In the year 2012, industry stalwarts Shekhar Kapur and AR Rahman launched their Cisco backed artist focussed social media platform, Qyuki. Delhi-based is also creating a platform to help artistes discover the right opportunities and have access to the right people without charging any fees.

Amongst established players like these, it will be interesting to see how Happydemic with its team of experts and fresh approach will make a difference in the lives of upcoming artistes.



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