Q. Please enlighten us a little about yourself?
I am a serial entrepreneur, author, cyber forensics expert, and a novice music composer. Kunal considers himself as Master of all trades. Often juggles between multiple roles across multiple startups and ventures. He is a CEO and Founder at Something Cool which has over 15 startups under its umbrella. He is also the CTO at DTF Legal Services, a cybersecurity, and forensics investigation law firm. He founded Ethical Hackers League, a non-profit in the cybersecurity awareness domain. Kunal was featured as Entrepreneur of the Month in World SME News and has been awarded the prestigious Cyber Crime Helpline Award and SME Excellence Award under Promising SMEs category. He is often invited to events and conferences as keynote speakers and has been quoted numerous times in media like Entrepreneur India, Economic Times, TBS Planet, Scoop Earth, Wext, Zoopah and many others.
What is your startup all about?
World of Studios is a booking platform for recording studios enabling artists and users to find and book audio video music recording studios.
Finding a good recording studio is a difficult task, however with the use of Google and JustDial or directories, one can find studios, but booking them online is a pain area. We cater to users like ad companies, musicians, music labels, artists, movie makers, radio stations, tv channels, youtubers, etc.
What was the sole purpose for you to start the business?
I got the chance to learn the art of music composition through some DJs and renowned artists, however when I wanted to practice and master the craft, I was unable to find good recording studios and craved for a better system to find and book studios just like we book hotels online. Being from a tech background, I decided to change that and built World of Studios.
What were the obstacles that you faced during your early days of starting up?
Finding a good team is still one of our pain points. Apart from that, we are trying to organize a very unorganized market where most of the bookings happen over phone or just message exchanges. We are trying to change the system that has been in practice for years, it comes with its own challenges.
What are the eminent lessons that you have learned in your startup journey?
We were newbies in the music business, but we devoted ourselves, our time, our efforts and now we also consult people who wishes to start their own studio. We know the business now.
So the learning is basically – if you make up your mind for something and give it enough time, there is nothing that you cannot do and achieve.
What are your views on networking and networking events?
I have been neutral about such events. I see a lot of talk happening in these events(most of them) but no real actionable outputs. There are speakers who advertise themselves and their services but don’t contribute much. Events for networking should be filtered and customized so that like minded people willing to pull each other can participate not just anybody who pays for a registration fee.
How were you able to build a strong team and retained them?
Our core team is made up of close people, or people through good references. Even in case of studios, I first reached out to my network and people whom I have worked with before and invited them to come onboard.
We have hired few good resources from social media and few connections from networking events too.
If you get a chance to restart your career, what would you do differently this time?
I would definitely would prefer to start early. I have had this idea for quite sometime and took a long time to structure plan and act on it. The early bird catches the worm, is indeed true and I would rather become the first one to pick my worms.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?
We are currently on an expansion spree. We have received interest from entrepreneurs overseas to replicate our system in their geographies and work together. Most of these have connected to me over LinkedIn or Angellist. By the end of the year we will be in 3 continents and over 5000 studios onboarded. In next 3 years, we plan to operate in all 7 continents, serving to musicians and artists worldwide. We are also targeting hugely to cater to Bollywood and other movie industries for providing end to end audio video production services via custom packages for movie makers.