Vivek Anand, Founder and CEO of Filmojo
Today its time for us to know about an entrepreneur, who founded a startup to help startups. Vivek Anand, CEO & Founder at Inc Labs and Filmojo, and also he is a Convener at Hyderabad Entrepreneurs Society. Vivek is a Electrical Engineer, who did his studies at National Institute of Technology, Calicut. Filmojo is a niche social platform. Now lets see what Vivek would like to share with us about his Startups.
1. When was IncLabs started and how is the progress till date?
We started IncLabs around October 2013. And work on Filmojo, our first product, started by the end of November.
It has been a very exciting journey so far. We have developed 3 builds and we are almost ready for our Beta launch. We have a small team of around 5 people. Each person in the team comes to office with a lot of excitement about what he/she is working on. The culture is that of a war-room with people constantly moving, talking to each other, trying out new ideas and building a solution to something. Recently, we raised pre-seed funding with TiE Hyderabad and one private investor. So, we are moving fast and I have a very good feeling about what we are doing.
2. Tell us something about Filmojo and also, what inspired you to come up with the idea?
Filmojo is a niche social platform. The future is going to be that of niche social platforms as opposed to the likes of Facebook which are dominating today. The stickiness of Facebook is going down as people are realising less and less value for the time they spend on Facebook. On the other hand, users are getting hooked on to platforms like Quora and QuizUp.
I love movies. And I like reading reviews. The idea originated when I had to download multiple apps to get movie information and read reviews from multiple sources. Filmojo started as a place where you can get all movie information at one place, including reviews, ratings, showtimes, etc. But over time, Filmojo has evolved based on the feedback we got from our intended users.
Filmojo is a social network which revolves around rich content pertaining to the user’s interest. Say, you love movies. You like discovering new movies and learning about them. You also like to find out what people are saying about your favourite movies and actors. You like to express your own views, as well. Filmojo will enable all of this in a social interaction model which, I believe, will change the perception of user engagement on social plaforms. Today, we’re talking about movies. Tomorrow, we will do the same for sports, music or books.
3. What according to you was the tough time Filmojo had to go through?
Well, you work on something passionately and invest all your time and resources. Once you burn out all you had you need more. And then you have to find people who share your vision and have faith in your product and in you. And they should be willing to back you. This is a difficult time. We had to go through it, too. But luckily, we found patrons soon. Startups have to face touch times each day when they have to make difficult decisions. With experience, you become mentally tough enough to persevere.
4. How does it feel when you see yourself covered by the top media across the world?
It feels great! I love to talk to people and share my stories. At the same time, I feel we have a long way to go. I, personally, have a lot to learn. And more important than getting covered by top media is to deserve the adulation. I think I am yet to deserve the attention.
5. Are you satisfied with your achievements till now?
No! As Robert Frost said – ‘I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep!’
6. What is your favourite quote?
You don’t score until you score! – American Pie III
7. What do you say about startup culture in India?
The startup ecosystem in India is very vibrant. In Hyderabad, it is still very nascent. We need to do a lot to make it a a real ‘silicon valley’ of the east. But it is good to see organisations like TiE, Vijay Anand’s Startup Centre, Cochin’s Startup Village, the IIIT Foundation doing such good work at the grass-root level. And entrepreneur networks like HES (Hyderabad Entrepreneurs Society) are doing their bit, too.
Talking about startups, I would like to stress the need for product startups in India today. We cant build a future with service industry enterprises. This is one place where we lack.
8. Who is your real inspiration?
Many people have inspired me. Steve Jobs with his futuristic vision. Bill Gates with his business acumen. Mark Zuckerberg with his understanding of what people want. But I guess, it is the people I work with and my family who give me my daily dose of inspiration.
9. Your suggestions for the enthusiasts who want to develop their own Startup?
10. A single line about Entrepreneurs Mingle.
I love your platform. Keep up the good work!