Info-tech

This Greenroom connects artistes, crew with producers

N Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 07, 2015

Lakshmi Balasubramanian

Praveen Koka

Web portal helps musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, film crew, MCs find work

A green room is a place in a theatre where performers can wait. But this Greenroom is an online marketplace that connects artistes and crew with those needing them.

The brainchild of Lakshmi Balasubramanian, who has spent more than a decade in the television industry as a programme producer, and her husband Praveen Koka, a tech serial entrepreneur, Greenroom came about because Lakshmi realised the difficulties in getting talent when she relocated to Bengaluru from Mumbai.

“I was trying to work independently, producing videos, which is when this problem hit us. There was a problem trying to source people, whether it was actors, models, editors or crew,” said Lakshmi, during a recent interaction in Bengaluru. This, despite having worked in the industry and having contacts — “you change geographies, you immediately lose your set of connections”.

Tech idea

It was while discussing this problem that Praveen came up with the idea of using technology as a solution.

Almost 80 per cent of the hiring process, according to Lakshmi, happens on a freelance basis for crew, while the performing artistes are hired on a project basis. Thanks to Praveen’s technology background, they hit upon the idea of having a portal where the artistes and crew could meet with the producers who need them. They launched the portal in March.

How it works

According to Praveen, the portal has about 400 project listings. Those in need of talent post their requirements on the site, and the more than 6,000 artistes and crew members who have registered with the portal respond. Everyone was brought on board through social media, Lakshmi’s network of contacts in the industry and Google ads.

Meteor platform

“We cater to all kinds of talent who are creative — musicians, models, actors, dancers, entertainers, comedians, film crew, MCs, writers, film makers, graphic artists and editors,” says Praveen.

Greenroom, according to him, decided to use a technology platform called Meteor for rapid development and supports both web and mobile. “Within two months we had the first version out and we go on iterating. Every week we push out new features,” says Praveen.

The two have invested their personal money in the venture. They started monetising the platform in August. Greenroom will earn money from two channels.

First, through commissions for finding the talent that a producer or director wants. And, the second, which is yet to be implemented, will be through subscriptions, which will come about when the venture scales up. Though artistes and talent seekers from anywhere can sign up, Greenroom now focuses on Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

The plan is to take it pan-India, which will require higher advertising and marketing spend. To fund this, they have started working on raising money from investors.

Published on December 07, 2015
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