Student entrepreneurship in India is showing a whole lot of promise, and it’s good to see the movement spreading all over the country. There is still a lot of work to be done, but youngsters are slowly stepping out of their comfort zones. Back in 2010, one such bunch of college students got together to form an Event company, Shotgun Media, a production house that started handling some well-known brands in a span of two years. It currently consists of five members; Sumedh Natu, Soham Hundekar, Nikhil Iyer, Siddharth Sharma and Saiyam Wakchaure. All of them are former students of SIMC-UG (Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication)
We met up with Soham Hundekar and Saiyam Wakchaure over some coffee. Here’s what the two 22-year-olds have to tell us about their journey so far:
How and when did you guys decide that you wanted to work together?
We were in our first year in college and started hanging out together, especially during our college festival. We received a huge sponsorship for a band competition, and realized we work well together. We did quite a lot of ‘projects’ together- volunteered at NH7, shot documentaries of the band scenes in Pune, covered many gigs, even sold tickets! We shot a video for our college festival in the second year and it went viral. People started noticing our work, agencies started calling us, and there’s been no looking back since.
Why the name “Shotgun” Media? How did it feel forming a company of your own?
We’d say “Shotgun” as a way of calling dibs. It was something that connected us. And honestly, when we registered our company we didn’t even know how to fill in our tax returns. We’ve come a long way… and it has all been good. A positive learning process.
How did it feel to be in the limelight at such a young age?
Initially we didn’t really understand the gravity of the situation. We’d cover gigs and events for free food and drinks (laughs). Sumedh joined in and we got our first major paid project through Rotary Club, Pune. We were then noticed by OML (Only Much Louder) and were signed on for shooting NH7 videos all across the country. And things picked up from there.
Did you get adequate support from your friends and families?
Initially our seniors didn’t really think we’d be able to crack this. They thought we were doing this for money. Convincing our folks was another challenge. Eventually they did give in to our requests, and helped us purchase major equipments like laptops, cameras and other shooting equipments (money that was borrowed from the folks was returned to them in monthly installments).
What other challenges did you face?
The biggest challenge is age- it’s a factor that works for and against us. There are companies hiring us because we have a fresh outlook and new ideas, and there are some who almost sign contracts with us and back out when they realize we’re students fresh out of college. The lack of experience in any other job is what goes against us. But we’re slowly learning a lot on the job and we have mentors who’re helping us on our journey.
What is the USP of Shotgun Media?
We’re a bunch of hard-working, crazy, enthusiastic, talented, creative guys with a desire to learn. We love challenges. We are open to possibilities and never say no to any work that comes our way. There’s no rule book that states we need to stay inside the box. If you can imagine something, we can shoot it.
How do you manage the workload? It must be overwhelming at times…
Currently we’re five of us and we outsource a lot of work to freelancers. We encourage a lot of students to work with us, because we want to provide them with support that we know they would want. We have an office space in Mumbai and we definitely plan to fan out into other cities as well. We have shot all over the country, so we know we’ll get there slowly.
Any special message for the readers?
Follow your dreams. If you’re passionate enough, your work will speak for itself. Stay patient and play it smart.