India’s media industry is booming. There are a slew of online blogs all vociferously promoting their content, new TV channels come up every week, and hundreds of independent videographers are trying out their luck on Youtube. These content creators, however, are working in silos. There’s no platform for them to get together, collaborate and discover new partners. There’s also no simple way for production houses to look for talent.
“Right now, producers look for creative talent through coordinators, friends and family and even Facebook!”, says Lakshmi Balasubramanian, a 10 year veteran of the TV industry. Seeing first-hand how cumbersome it was for production companies to recruit creative talent, she along with partner Praveen Koka founded Greenroom in March 2015.
“Greenroom is a first of its kind talent marketplace where artists, crew & content producers can connect and collaborate for work.”, says Lakshmi, who’s had stints with Star Plus, NDTV Good Times and Sun TV during her career. “Our mission is to bridge a huge gap that exists today, between talent and opportunity. On one side, there is immense creative talent that often depends on grapevine and contacts to get a ‘break’. On the other side, the casting and crew process for productions has always been very tedious and chaotic, and more often than not, people go with what is easily accessible to them, purely because of lack of resources to connect with a wider network.”
Greenroom works by allowing talent – anything from actors, models, musicians, the like – to create profiles on the site. It also allows content producers to post their talent requirements. The job details are then sent to relevant people, who can apply to the ones they are interested in. This lets the content producers access their contact details and take the conversation further.
The site already has close to 3000 talent sign ups. Greenroom has also partnered with Radio Mirchi, Star Vijay, Photon Kathaas and Balaji Telefilms amongst others, who looking for talent on the site. Greenroom is powered by a team of 7 employees.
This is Lakshmi’s first entrepreneurial venture, while her partner Praveen Koka has run a GPS-based startup in India and the US. “The biggest challenge has been to recruit people who understand our vision and share the same amount of passion. Also this is a very chaotic industry, so to get some order to the madness is very challenging, though this is something we were well prepared for.”, says Lakshmi.