Right out of college, Pawan Kumar would have liked to become a string-wielding musician. But the usual interrogative haunted him – how? – A question that is today on several artistes’ minds. Now, at 25, this Bengaluru bloke is changing the game with the GuitarClub. His platform connects artistes and musicians to their audiences by building a host community of venue owners.
An engineer who worked as a data scientist with big businesses, Pawan put his knowledge of making strategies and helping launch good products to a problem that he believed needed solving. “I come from a musical background, but there were no venues to grow your passion. For instance, a show like Indian Idol can probably launch 10 stars, but what happens to the lakhs of people who aren’t on it?” asks the 25-year-old.
Upon realising that the artiste is an entrepreneur himself, a rockstar waiting to be discovered, Pawan found that these musicians needed constant gigs, monetary benefits and to be able to brand themselves as artistes. That’s when he channelled the guitar, an instrument he once played and the symbol of entertainment and married it with a ‘club’ or community. “We piloted this in January 2016 and since then, we’ve curated about 1,500 gigs – 160 of them every month at least and helped out over 200 bands,” he says, already expanding to other cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi.
Another feather in their rather new, albeit thriving cap includes the community paying about one crore in earnings to these artistes in seven months of their existence! At a time when artistes are haggled with, aren’t paid on time or aren’t paid at all, “Our happiest moment came when a group of them walked into our offices and said they were quitting their day jobs because this was paying them a lot more, and that they wanted to take up music full time,” he smiles. Envy him if you will but for Pawan, work and play involves attending gigs. “That’s my way of unwinding as well,” he notes, his eyes already set on scaling up. “We started with music, and we want to take it across other art forms as well,” he adds....