Engineers by education and musicians by passion, Sahaj Nalgirkar and Aditya Hanchinal have launched GetSetGig, an online platform that helps individuals and corporates hire artistes for live performances and events.
The realisation struck early. Like so many fresh engineering graduates in India, 25-year-old Sahaj Nalgirkar woke up to the fact that he wasn’t cut out to do an engineering job. His interest lay in being a music composer. So he joined hands with another friend, 23-year-old Aditya Hanchinal, a singer, keyboard player, sound arranger, composer and also an engineer, to explore the world of music and performance.
Both engineers decided to start their “gig” but ran into a huge challenge: Discoverability. When they first started, they were able to manage two gigs. Over time and with word-of-mouth reference, they were able to find work.
Now that Sahaj had observed the gap in the market, he zeroed in on the idea of an online platform that lets individuals and corporates hire live performance artistes for their events. And that's how GetSetGig was born.
Sahaj says: “Singers, bands, musicians, DJs, standup comedians and anchors can create their profiles on the website. Our work is to provide them with leads.”
The duo launched GetSetGig in Mumbai in September 2015 and claim to have done business of over Rs 15 lakh since then.
“We started offline with a small band called Modern Melody four years ago and tried to figure out how to get gigs for bands. In the process, we did some gigs, we made a few connections and got a lot of advice,” Sahaj says.
Their idea is to ensure that musicians and performers get signed for stage performances, for which they can be paid, and individuals and corporates find good performers.
GetSetGig claims to have over 2,000 musicians and 267 bands on its platform, who have completed 112 gigs for 61 clients so far. The team says that they are now doing 25-30 gigs each month at venues like JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt, Oberoi Trident and Aamby Valley.
“We get enquiries from Wizcraft, Weddingz.in and many more such event management companies and wedding planners,” Sahaj says.
Since they were musicians themselves, they didn’t find it difficult to on-board the performers.
The problem was with the clients, who didn’t appreciate a long turnaround time in putting together a gig. So Sahaj and Aditya put their engineering degrees to good use and built a tech-driven back-end process that helps them track enquires and service them in 24 hours.
Explaining how this works, Sahaj says: “We are not a listing website of artistes. Our clients don't have to go through hundreds of options and select what they want. We came up with this simple process where clients post their requirements and we get back with the best possible options and availability.”
The team also takes the responsibility for the gig to ensure that the entire process is seamless. While free for artistes, listing with them, GetSetGig charges a percentage from the clients, depending on the size of the event.
Artistes can register on the website and get a dashboard where they can see relevant leads. They can apply to the leads and monitor their status.
Sahaj says: “Our work is to verify the leads and pitch relevant artistes to the client when they inquire. The artistes active on the website are also curated by us.”
The Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to touch Rs 2.26 trillion by 2020, according to a report by Mint. The events and live entertainment segment is especially growing fast.
Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO, Viacom 18, said at the EEMAX Global Conclave & Awards that the events segment is seeing 28 to 30 percent growth and will be worth over Rs 5,800 crore by 2020.
However, Sahaj says that while the events space has great potential, most things are done manually and the sector is disorganised.
Currently there is one more major player in the space. Gigstart, started by ex-JP Morgan employees, also helps book artistes for live events and performances. Last August, Kwan Entertainment, a celebrity management firm, bought an 85 per cent share in the company.
The GetSetGig team is now aiming to move to an app for artistes so that leads can come up on mobile phones. They also are coming up with methods to showcase the talent that they come across while legally protecting their proprietary ideas. A special division, GetSetGig Star, is in the works and will help change the way celebrity artistes are hired.
“We have also launched a short-term artiste management programme called GetSetGig Step. This is essentially a launchpad for artistes who are starting out,” Sahaj says. He’s clear that he wants GetSetGig to be “the first step of artistes when they start their career and the last step before they achieve their fame”. We can’t help but applaud the idea.