It was a pleasure being a part of The Edutainment Show Kolkata, the second time this year. In a new role, in a different capacity. While last year we talked about blogging and social media, this year I wanted to do something different. The crowd is young – aspiring media students, media college authorities and people who are looking forward to new media services.
After a quick chat with Sneha, we decided to have a panel of young entrepreneurial thought leaders who have used the social media and turned it into profit making.
The Panellists were Tanmay Mukherjee, Soumya Mukherji, Rimbik Das and Abhishek Bajaj. It was moderated by me. The focus topics of the event were – using social media in their business, personal branding and using videos.
Although I had guided people and had written scripts for other people to moderate, this was the first time I was moderating a session. The experience was unique. To do some research on the person, prepare questions, at times discuss a few questions so that the speaker does not falter during the event, get enough statistical data to form an opinion and place it forward to ask for the answer, based on which I could go to the next one in the panel.
To have moderated the session in presence of UKC was perhaps the major challenge. The event started one and a half our behind schedule and UKC started reminding of the time after the first ten minutes. The event had to be wrapped up in 32 minutes instead of 45 minutes as promised.
Introduction to the panel and the discussion:
To all the Bengali medium students who take mass communication or media studies, with a secret wish to be a published author and an inhibition of failing to talk or write properly in English, Tanmay Mukherjee is a glaring example of Blogging in Bangla, getting his first book published and sold in flattering numbers and the second book scheduled this year. He blogs in Bangla, gives social media updates in Bangla, has engaged more than thirty-two thousand users on his blog during March 2016 and twenty-three thousand during April 2016, with over thirty-nine thousand following him on Facebook and that translates to his blog visitors.
To all students who think they alone cannot make a difference and should only study, get marks and seek job outside and leave Bengal – the other three panellists are examples they should look up to.
Soumya Mukherji co-founded Mad About Drama (MAD) which is a popular performing arts company, initially tagged as “Youth Theatre Group”. Staging fifteen productions in seven cities across India, Soumya made his debut in Zee Bangla telefilm “Bonolota” as a lead. From making brand MAD to the brand “Soumya”, this restless street smart young man is doing it all.
Rimbik Das, currently a student of St. Xavier’s College Kolkata, is distinguished not only for his academics but for his campus start-up “The Indian Artist”. This is a seven-month old campus start-up and has worked with P C Chandra Jewellers, International Kolkata Book Fair, Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utshob, ITC Sonar, B & A Pvt Ltd, Nataraj Pipes, Government of India and BEE Books to name a few. They make videos, animations, illustrations and graphics.
Abhishek Bajaj is an Alumnus of St. Xavier’s College. His startup “ZeroInfy”, makes class room videos, edits them and takes it online for students to view and learn. Primarily focussed on commerce related streams, they are venturing into engineering departments as well.
While UKC found a comrade in Soumya Mukherji, who studied in the same department and same college as him, Abhishek and Tanmay made themselves very comfortable on their seats. We started with a thirty-seconds pitch for everyone to introduce themselves and pitch their companies.
The conversation that followed had exchange of views on personal branding, where Tanmay vehemently refused to agree that he is a brand in himself instead of having seventy-six percent direct visits to his blog compared to twenty-two percent social media referrals. If not humour and romance, Tanmay would have had a Ghost-Story Blog. We all wish finally has one.
Soumya with all the other panellists agreed that is the content of the production that has made it reach places. They want to create good content for their YouTube channel and he thinks that no group can sustain for four years without good content unless it is a political party. He is happy with social media promotions, regardless of the analytics as long as the halls are filled with people.
Abhishek Bajaj, although young, pitched his company in a skilled manner. He agreed that analytics is important and that blogging and social media would be the key things that would differentiate his company from the competitors.
Rimbik and Anumita, the two co-founders of The Indian Artist, are popular but they understand that the brand needs to be bigger than the two persons. They have used the social media to fetch clients via people who were connected to them over social media. In his maiden appearance, the very soft spoken Rimbik made his slight effect left in the minds of the audience.
We could only take two questions from the audience and numerous questions after the event. The questions ranged from psychology in theatre to team formation for social media promotions, why bloggers got killed in Bangladesh to how much of personal branding should entrepreneurs do.
There were a lot more to discuss, a lot more to learn from the speakers, a lot more business talks left. After the Travellers Meet, The Edutainment Show was another event directed towards business talk. The amount of encouragement received says, this is just a prelude to something big. Let me ask a question: Would you pay to attend a daylong event like this?
The Edutainment Show would always remain special. It gave us a platform where I came across a group of young crowd who is enthusiastic and focussed. Last year, I made a lot of friends and this year as well the enthusiasm post event has been very high. Sneha is a person I can share my thoughts with without any inhibitions and UKC, however hard a task master he might be, he inspires. He had been a dean to my brother Saimantick in his college, Saimantick and Upasana along with others had been an integral part of The Edutainment Show Mumbai. I am looking forward to another concept related to Social Media, Blogging, Personal Branding & Business during The Edutainment Show 2017.