Performers often face a tough time with the clients. The money they are offered is never at par with their talents. Also, the entire industry is unorganized, and it is really difficult for party planners to arrange performers as per the requirement. This creates the demand for a common platform that could bridge the gap between musicians and clients. Gigstart is the ideal haven for people wanting to book entertainers for their events!
About Gigstart and the story behind it
Gigstart is an online platform that connects performers and clients. It enables performers to create a profile, upload samples and get booked by suitable clients. The startup is founded by Atit Jain and Madhulika. An adventure freak and a foodie, Atit is a graduate from BITS Pilani. He has a 2 year work experience in JP Morgan. Madhulika is an MBA by qualification and she loves reviewing movies and food. She has earlier worked with Bharti Airtel.
While working on a pet project ‘The Weekend Consultant’, Atit and Madhulika had to handle many queries regarding the booking of musicians and venues for various events. Contacting musicians turned out to be a hassle for them. The market was quite unorganized, mostly dominated by event planners. The services provided by event planners did no justice to the amount they charged. This is what lured Atit and Madhulika to form Gigstart.
Marketing, Journey so far, revenues and competition
[pullquote align=”right”]Gigstart is all set to launch on 15 May 2014. With 2000 per-week visits, 350+ artists have already signed up for the website[/pullquote] As for marketing, Atit explains, “With even mainstream media taking social media route, we decided to stick to social media for now, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are Gigstart’s second home for interactions. Gigstart seems to be accepted easily on Facebook and twitter and we bestow the credit to our talented artists for the same. Naturally our clients posted reviews on Social networking sites and it was fun to watch people getting excited over it. Although Gigstart has also made its way to Blogs and Posters/pamphlets and we look forward to taking more of that.”
Gigstart charges a 10% transaction cost. This charge is paid by the artist. In the future, the startup intends to charge a listing fee. Additionally, Gigstart offers services like digital portfolio, consultancy and online reputation management. As for competition, Atit says, “We don’t think we have a direct competitor yet. A lot of initiatives are directed towards indie bands and are necessarily working to uplift the music scene. Gigstart as a business works for Bands and puppeteers alike and we welcome all the art forms on Gigstart. We are working hard on multiplying our pool of talented artists so that no query goes unfurnished. ”
Challenges faced and first five signups
[pullquote] ‘You have to do everything on your own’ and ‘There are more than 10 productive hours in a day’ were the two myths busted. [/pullquote]Finding a technology expert for Gigstart turned out to be the biggest challenge. Atit suggests budding entrepreneurs to openly discuss their startup ideas with the target customers and obtain a feedback.
As for the first five signups, Atit says, “Fortunately for us, artists really value what we are doing and that every time reassures me that I was right in believing myself on the idea of Gigstart. When we approached our first few members, it wasn’t difficult to explain the concept. The only thing that matters is transparency, once we tell them how we work, they seem to understand and appreciate it and that ultimately seems to set things straight then and now. If we talk in terms of numbers then the number of artists willing to explore this opportunity is much more than those who turned a blind eye to it.”
Funding, future plans and accomplishments
Gigstart is completely bootstrapped by the founders. The startup intends to expand itself to various cities in the country as Atit believes, ‘Art is everywhere’. Recently, an acclaimed jazz player who was out of business for 2 years got hired through Gigstart. “We used offline channels to reach our customers while we were in the process of getting Gigstart portal live. We will be utilizing all conventional online mediums to reach our customers now as the website is up and ready.”, says Atit.
As for lean startup principles, Atit explains, “Being a startup we had no choice apart from being lean. But we believe in seeing the big picture and not being ‘Penny wise pound foolish’.”
Gigstart is a great place for performers to reach clients and gain recognition. With gigstart.in, clients can easily browse and book performers. Also, music fanatics can explore and discover new artists. With marketplaces on the rise for every possible area, Gigstart aims to disrupt the event industry by match making event planners and performers. A lot will depend on the trust and transparency being built in the platform. TTP wishes Gigstart team all the very best!