Scaling an Event Based Startup and Surviving to tell the Tale
Events Industry’s Rocky Ride
Scaling an Event Based Startup and surviving to tell the tale sound like a contradiction in terms. This is because scale comes after survival. However, this is what has happened with HighApe.
As is customary for Indian Media and Newspapers, in the year 2017, The Economic Times declared that Event Based industry was going to cross Rs.10,000 Crores in 2020-21. It also declared that it was going to surpass the Media and Entertainment Industry which was larger at that time.
So, how did 2020-21 pan out for Events? The opposite has happened. Covid has inverted that growth curve. Media and Entertainment has taken off while events have crashed. However, HighApe seems to be surviving this latest assault. But that is not an accident. It seems like the Company has quite the knack for it.
Aman’s backround and growth at HighApe
Some professions and roles evoke a feeling of exoticness in us. One such profession is that of a Marine Biologist. Fascinated by it, Aman became a Marine Engineer and even worked for the Merchant Navy but stagnated. He broke out and tried his hand at selling T-Shirts which kind of worked out but didn’t scale.
He tried his hand at propelling civil activism thru a platform called Write for India. Eventually, realizing that creating wealth is the best way to make impact in India, Aman Co-Founded HighApe. Their early launch is similar to other stories we hear about event based startups. Yet, Aman is here, scaling an event Based Startup and Surviving to tell the Tale.
How did they survive the graveyard of event based startups and another startup graveyard called Covid? How did he make the transitions?
Create scale but how?
According to a now famous quote attributed at times to Abraham Lincoln, Peter Drucker, “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Invent it” or create it.
In a movie called New Delhi (shot and released in Malayalam and Kannada), released in the year 1986, the protagonist secretly creates his own news events eventually publishing them as scoops. Since he is the one who creates the event, he has the first scoop on each event. This becomes sensational making his publication highly popular. A movie highly worth watching!
Create Events to Scale
What HighApe did was almost identical. The events industry has a concept called promoter where one creates and promotes an event. Without paying heed to the lack of events, HighApe resorted to a hack becoming a promoter. HighApe eventually hit 3 Million users.
However, the story is not linear like we make it out. The events based industry is a startup graveyard riddled with dead startups with Covid dealing the final blow.
How did HighApe do it? Listen to the whole episode to find out!
Here are some excerpts from the episode:
I’ve been fascinated with technology since my childhood. That fascination really started when I was back in high school during my class seven or eight. And I got introduced to my first language, which was Qbasic back then.
And under the guidance of my teachers, I started building a few games on Qbasic. So earlier, I was addicted to computer games. And my mother was always after me, asking me to stop playing those games.D S Aman 0:52
So we did that theme event, we did Harry Potter themed event and it’s kind of took off, it was everywhere on social media, even Hindustan Times covered that there are two youngsters out there in Bangalore and they are changing the complete party landscape. So they wrote a long article about the things we were doing.D S Aman 24:01
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