On a happy note with Radhika Mukherji!
Startups work on a sticky pitch. When your philosophy is in place, the growth is unstoppable. However, with some innovations, the game changes. For instance, Mumbai-based Happydemic that claims to ‘spread happiness’ through the medium of music by live performances to people’s doorstep at a comfortable pricepoint. They are live entertainment specialists and cater to all genres of music and more. Founded by Radhika Mukherji, wife of Shaan, the acclaimed singer, in 2016, the company is already receiving rare reviews. Let us find out more about the company as Swati Soni converses with Radhika Mukherji about the highs and lows of Happydemic.
Great ideas lead to awesome businesses. When and how this idea was converted into a great business module?
I have been with Shaan for 20 years now, and I have seen him host a lot of reality shows, host them initially and then he moved on to judging them, and it was on such platforms I noticed exceptional talent. Every reality show has plenty of rounds that go in, and you have over hundred kids with exceptional talent, but finally there's one winner. So the idea behind Happydemic was to actually help the other 99, to bring their talent up, to not let them spiral down because they were as popular as their last season
Offering music as a service can be quite challenging, what’s the difference between the deliverables then and now?
Yes absolutely offering music as a service can be quite challenging because you have to not only be careful about the gayaki of an artiste you also have to be careful about his/her performance the stage presence, or the enigma that the artiste may have. The difference between music then and now is that before music was only heard but as time has gone by, music is also seen. So you have to strike a very important balance between stage presence and the gayaki
When the right talent is inducted everything goes right? What’s your induction process like? How your company identifies and scale up talent?
Initially we use to reach out to the artists via different reality shows but now we are gaining a lot of popularity on online registrations (registration is free). Once they have registered, our teams of mentors go through their videos and with their talent, connect with them and then we go live with their profile. We have a responsibility towards our customers, who we promise exceptional performances.
Decisions are considered to be the game changers. What processes are involved while taking and making decisions?
I firmly believe that the process of making a decision should be very simple. Is this going to help me for the bigger picture, if not then I usually decide to drop it off. Any decision you make today will help you get closer to your goals for tomorrow or they’ll help you in achieving the bigger picture that you have in mind for the company.
Right innovation is the mother of sustenance? What are your sustaining strategies please explain with some examples?
Every company wants to grow their business and they want to sustain it looking at the long term. Most mistakes that companies make is that they only think of the next quarter or the next year. I think growing a business requires a lot more than just planning for a short term. What you require is a strong operational foundation that will help sustain growth and reduce the risks that your business may face. The other important part would be the right capital in terms of revenue and intellect. Also, to sustain, these days it's very important to have the right strategic partner and a market that has a demand for your product.
What you also require is great human intellect. Most businesses cannot grow without the right people. To create that momentum for your business doing well over time, you require good people. I think every business should spend a lot of their capital in investing the right person. Then of course there is efficiency in operations, to make sure your work place culture is affective to the vision of your company. It's important to have the right operational strategies in place. There are a lot of talks about how you should get work and generate sales. But there is no talk about that it's okay to say NO. Sometimes you may spend so much time, revenue targeting the wrong people. This isn't good for your business because it's not generating any sales to you. And the last is making some right decisions, for that you need to be a good leader.
The other way to sustain is that you can't be afraid. You can't be afraid to take risks or an unbeaten path or a path less followed. Sometimes there may be no path at all and you may have to pave your own way. All these to me are very important to sustain a business.
Was the company started on pre- seeding funding basis? How the funds are managed to scale it to another level?
We have bootstrapped the venture as well as raised capital from a few investors. We had firm commitments of 5.5 crore from investors. However, we decided to go ahead with only Rs. 2.5 crore as we wanted to be very prudent with our spends. So till date we have drawn only Rs. 1.5 crore from the available capital.
Start-ups and crisis go hand -in- hand. What are your trouble-shooting tricks?
I think my biggest strength is that I'm good at staying calm, I give myself a reality check and look at the bigger picture. So, when I see trouble in the business, I take a moment of breath, a moment to step back and look at the big picture and evaluate what is going wrong. I don't beat myself up on it, but I own up to it. As I celebrate all the successes of the company I like to own up to all the screw ups. The major part is to shift your thinking, evaluating it, change your strategy and then going for it, realising the trick to find out ‘WHAT went wrong and not WHO went wrong’.
If you were to sell your company what would be the tone and the pitch of your negotiations?
Wow, this is a tough one. Honestly, I've never thought about that. Right now, I'm on a mission to get this company to a desired level. Our five-year plan is to make sure that there is live entertainment on everyone's door step, by bringing it down to affordable prices. I wish for every party to go live. I've honestly never thought about selling the company. I think I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. As of now Happydemic is a huge part of my life and is here to stay.
What if company fails?
If my company ever fails, I’ll take a moment, step back, see what went wrong, go head and make sure it’s rectified and revived from ground zero again
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