We drink, enjoy and crash, but there were two young and brilliant people who went to Hard Rock Café, Hyderabad in 2011 to have some fun but when they came out of that café, they had an idea, an idea that changed their lives altogether. Parth Saxena and Nikhil Kapur, two Computer Science Engineers from Delhi College of Engineering, co-founded a company under the name Tommy Jams. With this, they stepped into one of the biggest industries of the world, a $700 million live entertainment industry.
What led to this brilliant idea?
That eventful night in Hyderabad, they saw a band performing whose members had immense talent but they seemed to lack the most essential ingredient for getting successful in this industry, resources and contacts. This brought about the great idea. They thought of bridging this gap by becoming the contact and resource themselves, bringing out the immense potential of these bands by bringing them closer to people and giving them avenues to develop through. Like Sherlock says that he is the only consultant detective in this world, so unique was their idea that they were the first of their kind. They knew that their fresh idea needed to be carved and it required lot of research to make it more polished and available to people. So, with all the enthusiasm and eagerness, they took their first step. They left their jobs at Microsoft and Texas Instruments.
Leaving their old life behind and following their idea, they landed at the Stanford University program to understand the true meaning of entrepreneurship, the effective market strategies, and knowledge of how to shape up your idea into reality, and also to know the venue business models, its strategies, and market research values.
Finally it was in October 2012 that they formed Tommy Jams and entered into the arena of live Entertainment industry to just begin their battle. Their idea was very clear. If a venue demanded a type of artist, they will just post their requirements, wait for the response, and then redirect them to the venue. They just wanted to connect the artists with the venue who actually want them. Like many pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, festivals, etc. want artists like vocalists, guitarists, a complete band and fire artists etc.
The Ultimate Rise of Tommy Jams
It did not take long for this exceptional idea got viral and many people started registering on it. It took only five months for their set up to break big into the scene, that is, only after they had an experience of 30-40 shows. Until then, it was a small business where they used to earn a 20% cut in the fees paid to the artist by the venue.
After a very short time, they got into Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Bangalore in 2013, which proved to be a huge turning point. It was just a matter of time before they rose to prominence. Tommy Jams now has more than 900 bands registered with them. Some of the top notch bands are Agnee, Agam, Parvaaz, The Indus Valley Project, and Until We Lost are all registered with them. They have 100 plus venues with Stanford University, Startup Festival, Radio One, Grallo and Mewsic as their highest achievements. They have organized events in almost all the metropolitan cities of India like Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore and Delhi.
Tommy Jams goes International
Going international sounds crazy for a start-up, right? But that is what they just did. They went international when they managed to bring some international bands to India like “Karma Flamenco”, a band from Spain, “The Bahh Band” from Ireland, “We hide you seek” from Sweden and a few others from USA, France, and Russia.
The fresh start up is currently making INR 4 lakh per month. Upon seeing their ambitions towards the global market, the Chile government run accelerator, Startup Chile program gave them a funding of $40,000 without any equity.
Future Plans of Tommy Jams
These people are planning to expand their four member team by including professional people like developers, designers and other artists with the funding in their hands. They are expanding their trade on the talented artists from many different countries like Chile, Brazil, US, UK and some European nations also. They are planning to come up with a mobile technology which most certainly will be an app which is supported by AppCampus Finland, a Microsoft and Nokia collaboration. They organized their first ever music festival, Solstice which originated in France around thirty years ago and is celebrated across 800 cities around the globe on June 21.
They have also changed their business strategies. Now, they not only charge that fixed 20% but they also add an extra charge for advertising on their website. They have made marketing packages for the event managers so that they can reach out more number of people. They are currently trying to live stream their events.
Parth Saxena and Nikhil Kapur made a perfect duo and this was the very fundamental reason for the success of Tommy Jams. Parth Saxena worked in his free time for different bands as their vocalists or guitarists. So he made some contacts there, which proved to be very fruitful for them afterwards. Nikhil Kapur, on the other hands had brilliant venue management skills due to his interest in the event management. In a very short span of two years, these two young fellows who went out that night just like any other day have shaken the live entertainment industry and brought a new revolutionary idea into the industry, which a very few would have thought of before.