32-year-old Arun Kumar S is a consultant in the Aerospace & Defense space, but his true passion lies in cinema. After years of watching average local fare, however, he became so annoyed that he decided to start making his own. This is the genesis of SUMMA Productions Private Limited, an online platform offering “Intellectually Challenging Entertainment”. Together with 22-year-old Veeramani D, a trained actor with TV experience, Arun Kumar has begun making short films that can be viewed online at just Rs. 15. We spoke with him regarding his journey as an entrepreneur, the pain point he wishes to fix and his online theatre.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
As a result in the decline of variety in films in the Indian market, I, like any other member of the general audience resorted to consume international content. While not being able to enjoy content of my taste in my native language was hurting me, I had access to international movies which kept me going. This state of entertainment-suffocation reached a tipping point when I could not enjoy movie experience here, be it alone or with my family. I realized that, apart from reducing content quality and variety, there exists a logistics problem that prevented diverse content from getting the screen-access they rightfully deserve. After reaching a stage where I could not bear the insult of being made to pay and watch content that, I decided, as a frustrated member of the audience, to bring about a change in the industry. This is how I became an entrepreneur.
Tell us about your venture. Can you elaborate on the pain point you want to fix?
We are Summa Productions Private Limited, a film production company specializing in Intellectually Challenging Entertainment that is affordable and accessible. We have built our proprietary OTT platform, our only online theater, where we release our films. Based on the little we know, we are the first film production company to have delivered its film on its own web-based platform. We want to establish a business model where the audience can access Intellectually Challenging Entertainment in an accessible and affordable manner. Our film costs Rs.15 to watch and it comes with English subtitles on a mobile-optimized web based platform.
Who came up with the idea? Tell us a bit about the founding team?
The state of really bad films combined with watered soda and popcorn costing a fortune thrust the idea into my heart. I am lucky to have partnered with our Creative Head Veeramani who helped me mobilize the venture. Veeramani is a trained actor who has tele-serial experience and a passion for film-making. He is in charge of the content and I am in charge of the commerce side of Summa Productions. A shout out to our service providers here for supporting us. Our streaming solution provider is a UK-based business and our web hosting service provider is a US-based business and our web platform development and maintenance is being done by an Indian business. Accessing such high-end technologies and services within the small budgets was a challenge and we are thankful to our service providers for making it happen for us.
Have you built the product yet? If so, what has feedback been like from your customers?
Yes! Our platform is live! Check us out at https://www.summamovies.com/. Our customers feel positive about the delivery mechanism and our content is getting mixed reviews. We have created a disruption where members of the audience who are unaware are not sure how to access the film on our site. Also, the idea of paying for the content and being able to share the content (48 hour limit) is being welcomed as it enables our customers share the content they paid for without imposing a payment on their friends. Also, this takes away the need for any act of piracy. We are still in the nascent stages to conclude on overall customer opinion as we are still in the middle taking them through a whole new experience of film watching.
What is the best thing to have happened to your company since inception?
Getting connected with technicians with experience is the best thing that happened. For instance, we hired an experienced cameraman with over a decade’s experience and so far none of our audience have made a negative comment on the cinematographic elements. Also, trained actors whoa re good friends with us supported us with dubbing. Experience artists and technicians agreeing to work with startups with small budgets such as us is the greatest thing that could ever happen in the entertainment domain. Disruption by nature is a collaborative effort and we will remain grateful to those who helped us (in some cases without taking a salary!) in our early stages.
Summa Productions Private Limited was incorporated by Vakilsearch.com.