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Rising Star: Jatin Varma, Founder, Twenty Onwards Media

He may have been felicitated the Golden Kela Awards but as he unraveled his ‘Kela’ journey with us, we crown him as the “Golden Bheja award”!

By Neha Saraiya

Last year, when Abhishek Bachchan tweeted the second Golden Kela Awards and flaunted his sporty side by acknowledging the ‘Dara Singh Award’ for his frivolous attempt of flashing American accent in Delhi 6 in front of the media razzmatazz, deep down under, Jatin Varma’s, conviction on his concept and his funny bone got more firm…As the name suggests, the Golden Kela Awards are a direct lift from the Hollywood’s Golden Raspberry Awards, a popular spoof on Oscars.. But this phenomenal success came much earlier to him.. For Jatin Varma, 26, Founder, Twenty Onwards Media sparks flew off in his carrier in 2007, right after completing his economics graduation from University Of Washington, Seattle, when Jatin rolled out his own outfit- Twenty Onwards Media.

Juxtaposed to any other humble-mumble, business grad, Jatin as he claims had no second option but to get his name inscribed in golden letters in the field of art and culture, “I seemed to have an inordinate amount of knowledge with respect to Pop culture and I enjoyed writing, so I knew that I would need to join this field. The idea of setting up the company came later as I realized I wanted to work on my own. Like I mentioned, I have an inordinate knowledge about pop culture facts and figures and I guess I have the right temperament for this field. Being creative as well helps! Thus my company was essentially my first job, and I really did not have a long enough career before it to even mention.”

Thus soon after its inception, his agency started ruling the roasters in its own way with a snappy lifestyle magazine- ‘Traffic’ and a recording studio that created Ad jingles, radio spots as well caller tunes. But eventually it’s the bottom-line that matters, rather matters a lot, thus despite a favorable response, Traffic did not turned out to be raking moolahs for Jatin, thus soon after wrapping it up, he unpacked- Random, India’s longest running humor digest.

Thus within one year of its launch, Random was extended further into the field of Television Production and was the brain behind some of the most youth-in-face shows such as Dare 2 Date, Date My Folks, Love Net, Campus Blogs on Channel [V].

“The industry I believe is essentially like a living organism, always evolving, nothing is constant. So, one needs to be on their toes to keep up with the latest trends and movements and constantly innovate. My motto is content is king, if you have the right content, it will be sell, doesn’t matter what platform, whether television or publishing.”

But as an impatient sole that rests at nothing, Jatin too, riding high on the success of Random, created the Golden Kela Awards for the first time in 2009.  And since then the events has also been an integral part of Jatin’s growth strategy.  So much so, that in thefourth year of a healthy run of his company  with a turnover of over 4 crores, events forms up to around 25% of his total revenue, while other businesses including Television Production, Recording Studio-Radio Spots, Caller Tunes and  Publishing businesses contributing  40%, 25% and 10% respectively.

Needless to mention, Comic Con India that took place in February this year, generated a sales of 25 lacs in just two days along with a racket of 50 participants, including 35 exbhitors and 15000 fans. And it would not be out of place to mention that the man behind it literally provided the last fertile whiff of breath to the dying Indian comics Industry!

And not to forget his recent offering- 4 different graphic novels and comics named as ‘The Random Anthology’, ‘The Itch You Can’t Scratch’, ‘Uud Bilaw Manus’ & ‘Retrograde’. But that is not all! The next challenge for Jatin is even humongous as he says, “The first and foremost struggle for us as a company essentially focused on selling concepts was to turn profitable and that was one challenge we overcame successfully. Now, the next challenge is how we move from being a startup to the next stage as we grow bigger.”

Now this is one obstacle that Jatin understands deeply and has thus, guarded himself from it by stretching out a well-worked plan that includes a) aggressively expansion of his television operations b) release their first feature film out in the next two years c) Televise the Golden Kela Awards d) Expand Comic Con India as well as Pop Culture Publishing e) escalate the revenue to over 10 crs in the next 2 years. Phew!

And what’s his piece of advice for the toddlers who look up to him and aim at creating a bigger dent in the industry? “Well, all I could suggest is when it comes to figuring out what you wish to do in life, just go with your gut feeling, take a chance, otherwise you’ll end up regretting it the rest of your life,” he says. Point, duly noted!

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Rise n shine all you stars! Write to us at RisingStar@BestMediaInfo.com if you are the shining star, and we shall spread the word far, quite far…

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