Lights, Camera, Action! How this Bengaluru-based digital startup supports film professionals
Studies show only two percent of film professionals get through the right opportunities, while the remaining 98 percent stay in the same positions.
The co-founders ofSudheer Kumar Yandapalli and Nanda Kishore, “saw this as a huge opportunity to build a platform.”
The Bengaluru-based digital platform provides digital resumes for film professionals, including basic information, educational details, experience, portfolio, videos, audio files, and documents.
In fact, the startup enables users to connect with film professionals from over 30 categories like actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, directors, etc. It also hosts a job portal, exclusively related to the film industry.
“Moviemakers haven’t had a dedicated platform to find aspirants for relevant roles. As per a survey, an average of five crore people will come to the industry as aspiring filmmakers from across India. Our goal is to cover at least 20 percent of it,” Co-founder and Managing Director Sudheer shares.
A mechanical engineer-turned-aspiring filmmaker himself, in 2015, Sudheer quit the industry due to a lack of the right opportunities. Later, he met with nearly 500 aspiring talents and studied the challenges beginners are facing.
CEO Nanda Kishore — a high school dropout and former co-founder of logistics and supply chain startup XChain Technologies — met well-known movie directors and production houses to understand their challenges.
Some of the common challenges were: lack of source – not knowing when and where auditions are happening; lack of connectivity – about 40-60 percent of recruitment for any film or web series happens through reference; professional portfolio; traditional audition culture; and location hunting.
“To overcome these challenges, we started Filmy Profile — owned and operated by Sakuni Techie Minds Pvt Ltd — in 2019,” the co-founders tell YS Weekender.
Filmy Profile helps every film professional build a digital resume, which they can send to recruiters, and an option to conduct auditions online to save both time and money.
The startup also provides an option to search and connect with other professionals within their city, and a platform for filmmakers to post their requirements and tasks for applicants, and for actors to record and submit their videos.
Moreover, a filmmaker gets a detailed dashboard to manage applicants and their submissions. “At present, filmmakers are using WhatsApp and Gmail, which is hard to manage with 30-40 applicants,” says Nanda Kishore.
He adds, “We provide a profile link, which can be accessed by any person who is on our platform, and also helps users share their profile in an organised way as a resume to get more opportunities.”
Filmy Profile has a team of 15 employees.
The way ahead
At present, India has eight major film industries like Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, etc. Interestingly, Bollywood produces around 1,000 films in a year, higher than Hollywood, as per a survey.
"As we have 30 different departments works for the movie industry, and we have aspirants to work in each department of the movie-making process. On average, we have 10 crore individuals who are working in the movie industry one or another way in India,” says Sudheer.
Filmy Profile has its Android and iOS apps and is also available on its website. The startup has more than 10,000 users and has created over 200 opportunities since its inception. The startup aims to reach one million users and over 10,000 opportunities by 2022.
While Filmy Profile’s competitors take casting commissions, the company provides a yearly subscription for Rs 500 per user. The startup gets its revenue through this premium subscription.
Filmy Profile competes with the likes of TalentTrack and CastYou, among others.
“We generated revenue of Rs 15 lakh for FY20-21 through subscriptions and pilot operations like shooting location booking commission and OTT collaborations. Due to COVID-19, the movie industry was shut down, and it has been active for the past two months,” Sudheer says.
The startup charges a 10 percent commission on the shooting location booking price, for which the average booking price will be Rs 30,000 per day for 15 days. At present, it gets four such bookings per month.
“Our current monthly revenue is Rs 1,80,000, and we are targeting Rs 6 lakhs in the next quarter,” he adds.
Filmy Profile operates in all major cities of India. In the future, it aims to launch a shooting location booking platform and connect with OTT and filmmakers to help in content selling.
The startup was supported by NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore, through its Launchpad 14, It was also part of NASSCOM 10000 Startups in 2020.
Filmy Profile has already raised $70,000 in a seed round to kick off its campaign. The funds are intended for technology and business expansions in other states and marketing efforts.
“We have over 200 paying customers and counting. Our future growth plans include expanding our business into all film industries in India, and providing 360-degree solutions for moviemakers, including shooting location reservations, post-production tie-ups, OTT connections, and content selling,” Nanda Kishore says.
He adds, “So far, we have managed to enlist major productions houses in Sandalwood (also known as Kanada Cinema), and top directors like Pawan Kumar, Simple Suni, Pannaga Bharana, A Harsha, etc., as our clients.”