Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Young Guns

Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, is a city that gives birth to a many entrepreneurs and successful businessmen. The spirit of entrepreneurship in Mumbai is definitely stronger than any other city in this country; even young graduates from the city dream of and work towards creating successful businesses and companies. The youth of this city is driven by the attitude of creating jobs rather than doing jobs. This is what sets Mumbaikar’s apart from the rest of the country. Today we feature two young Mumbaikar’s who are carrying forward this tradition of entrepreneurship. Supratim Dam and Ria Chauhan, the founders of a creative and innovative media company by the name APWIG.
APWIG – A Place Where Ideas Grow is an end to end media house doing Corporate Films, Design, Digital Media etc. Supratim and Ria came together as a team when they were in college. While working together on several college projects they realized that they made a great team. However, the two come from very different backgrounds. Supratim is from Guwahati whereas Ria is a true Mumbaikar. Supratim is into documentary films and parallel cinema, he is the one who comes up with an idea and also devises the strategies and execution. Ria on the other hand is a painter and visual aesthetics are her prime focus area. Together the two make up a great team, their diverse backgrounds helps in bringing out a lot of different ideas to the table.

APWIG was born out of the need for a job that would justify their skill sets. Both Supratim and Ria have interned at media houses but it was difficult finding a good job after graduation. They felt that they were over-qualified and underpaid for the work that they were doing. The spark that ignited the fire was a call by Supratim, when Ria told him that she wanted a job where she could put all her skills to work, Supratim replied to her with “Create one”. “Our country has the second largest population in the world. There are so many people competing with each other for that one opportunity. The solution we saw was not in wining this competition but in creating more opportunities for ourselves as well as others”, says Ria. Thus was sowed the seed of entrepreneurship which germinated and grew into a full-fledged start-up – APWIG.
Having an idea and even will is one thing, but going out and executing the same requires a lot of hard work and courage. And these guys have had their fair share of challenges like every other start-up. Right from looking for an office, bringing people on board to arranging for logistics, everything was a monumental task. Their biggest challenge, however, was the issue that given their age no one considered them seriously. From CA’s to attorney’s and the initial clients that they approached, all smirked at their age. But the guys kept on working with perseverance, their faith in their abilities and work never dented. They would regularly seek advice from friends and families; every bit of criticism was invited. Professional guidance was avoided as they believe that creativity should not be confined in a set business model.
On the marketing front the team decided to let their work do all the talking. They presented their unique ideas of personalized comic book and videos to a few people, some turned down their ideas; some on the other hand felt that these were the best gifting option ever! They made some videos and put them up on YouTube and there was no looking back afterwards! They use social media diligently for the purpose of visibility, “After all you need people to know that there is a company called APWIG”.
The products which make APWIG unique are ‘personalized comic books’ and ‘gift a video’. For these personalized products they conduct interviews with their clients and try to capture every bit of detail possible. These two products have been receiving great response from customers. People love the idea of having their lives imprinted in a comic book. The videos too are doing well. The personalized touch is the heart of these gifts. A video is a great way to convey your feelings for someone. The good part about these gifting options is that they have a long shelf life. Even after a few years you can pull out that DVD or comic and go through those good old memories. These gifts are eternal and filled with memories which hold a special place in your life. This is what makes these gifts so unique.
There are a lot of plans in the pipeline, but for the time being Supratim and Ria want to take one step at a time. However, they did admit that they visualize themselves making some great documentary films, winning film festivals and having their films aired on BBC. The duo doesn’t let the tag of ‘Entrepreneur’ get to their heads. They know that it’s a big word with a fancy meaning. For them entrepreneurship is much more, it is a path to future leadership. These young entrepreneurs are a motivation for other young graduates to start off their own businesses without worrying about age and experience. “Everyone who tells you it is impossible, or you are too young and in-experienced, prove them wrong. Even 10 years of doing a job does not give you any experience at being an entrepreneur. It’s never too early.” We definitely agree with them! So what the two think about Mumbai – the city that has given them the opportunity to put their ideas into action; “Mumbai is the city of blinding lights, sleepless nights and space crunch fights”.
You can follow APWIG on their Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/smapwig
or their Tumblr page - http://apwig.tumblr.com/
You can also check out their website for the full range of services that APWIG offers - www.apwig.com

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