Poompuhar Craft Cafe

On  Mount Road, Chennai,  opposite to the iconic LIC building, is the main showroom of  the Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (TNHDC, www.tnhdcltd.com, www.poompuhar.org), popularly known by its brand name “Poompuhar”. TNHDC trains artisans to help improve their product quality and provides them social security by marketing their craftwork.

On the same compound is an interesting entrance you can hardly miss. The entrance is adorned by exquisite and intricately carved bronze idols. A huge statue of “Nataraja” welcomes you to the “Poompuhar Craft Cafe”, an innovative and interesting themed cafe conceptualized and executed by Dr.Santhosh Babu IAS, CMD of TNHDC, and his team.

The Cafe

The entrance, corridors that connects the cafe with the entrance and the walls are decorated with Bamboo. There are various artefacts and idols that add grace to the ambience. For the past 30 years, the place was used as a dump yard. Tremendous efforts have gone into converting the dilapidated go-down into what it is today.

 

 

The Food

Ms. Mital Surendira of Sanskrriti runs the cafe.  “Here you will get the best traditional vegetarian Tamil cuisine that probably you won’t get anywhere else in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the creative genius of Ms.Mital Surendra, ” says Santhosh Babu. As the tagline says Poompuhar Craft Cafe serves the forgotten flavours from Grandma’s kitchen. You will get the most authentic healthy and tasty South Indian delicacies of yore that includes the Tamil Nadu Meals and snacks.

So if you are a foodie and appreciate tradition and artefacts, ‘Poompuhar Craft Cafe’ is place you must visit in Chennai.

Devil Does Care: More Bang, Less Bucks! By Pravin Shekar

My good friend and an outlier himself Pravin Shekar has come up with a wonderful book on Marketing techniques mainly targeting Startup Entrepreneurs

An easy and engaging read with full of wit and wisdom. Book has the right mix of Interesting illustrations and examples that makes the subject easy to understand

The concept of Outlier Marketer is clearly described

Another highlight of the book is the witty one liners or quotes. Here is one for sample,

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has at least two! And sometimes they stink!

A must read for those who want to excel in their fields, those who wants to become outliers.

The Kindle version of the book is available here

33 years of ‘Akkare’!

Akkare ‘was my dad’s short story, first published in Mathrubhumi in 1983, the year when Kapil’s Devils brought home our first Cricket World cup.

In 1984 Akkare hit the screens, directed by K N Sasidharan, starring Bharat Gopi, Mohan Lal, Mammooty and Nedumudi Venu. Akkare was selected at the Indian Panorama.

When I go through the story now, I feel the thread is still relevant.

E-Commerce Scene In India

I ordered a book on flipkart and gave my North paravur address. The guy asked me to come to the location where they had parked the delivery van. When I go there, I see at least 5-6 youngsters queued up to collect what they had booked. Goods varied from electronics to shoes to books. The funniest part is the location is the municipal shopping complex and when I look around I see a shoe shop and electronic shops

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Digifaktory: 360 Degree Film Marketing; Movie market mantra

Digi Faktory featured in today’s “The Hindu”, Kochi edition.

Thanks to Riya Datson for the article. Thanks to Dhanoop Vd for the click

Here is the link to the article and read the article,

The DigiFaktory team that marketed ‘Premam’ talks of unorthodox and out- of-the-box ideas to market a film.

No Malayali who is a film lover would have missed ‘Premam’ that rocked the boxoffice even after 100 days. The fact that the film had three heroines was a suspense to the audience, who expected to see only Anupama Parameswaran, the lead actress featured in the songs and posters released initially. It was a delight for the audience to watch Nivin Pauly in three different ‘avatars’ and romancing three different heroines. What was even more amazing was that ‘Malar’, who never appeared in any of the initial promotional posters, eventually stole the show. The planned marketing strategy pulled off the suspense factor and added to the whole experience of watching the movie, which of course went on to create history. Although it was a team effort, ‘Premam’ was Digifaktory’s maiden venture in movie marketing. Digifaktory, the brainchild of Krishnabhaskar Mangalasseri, Sandeep Varma and Gokul Nath is a 360 degree film marketing company that offers both online and offline marketing for a movie. “From the very beginning, the director, Alphonse Putharen and his entire team were clear that there was a need for an element of suspense. So the promotions were planned in such a way that it was projected as a single heroine movie. The tactic worked!” says Sandeep, strategy head.

Gokul Nath, business head at Digifaktory, has over a dozen films to his credit. He was one of the masterminds behind successfully marketing films like ‘Neram’, ‘Om Shanthi Oshana’, ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie’ and ‘1983’. The popular number ‘Pistah’ sung by Shabareesh Varma from the film ‘Neram’ was an experimental online marketing project for the Digi team. The song has since then crossed 98 lakh likes and has also won the ‘Most Viral Video’ award in the Social Media Day awards, 2014. The concept of marketing a movie online or offline is relatively new to the Malayalam film industry. Until recently film promotions stopped with printing banners, posters and flex boards. Companies offering online promotions took it to the next level by including the social media. Creating websites, facebook pages of upcoming releases, tweeting, releasing clips or trailers on you tube has now become a fad. “There is a need to combine the old and the new, to reach out to audience across all age groups through social media, WhatsApp, media houses and radio stations. Online promotion is just a fragment of marketing, controlling online content, crisis management, integrating various platforms, managing social initiatives like creating awareness about piracy or negative reviews are also part of our profile,” explains Krishnabhaskar, creative head. Although the concept of movie marketing is dominant in Bollywood and Kollywood, Digifaktory is one of the pioneers in Mollywood to offer a complete marketing package starting from day one with the Pooja up to the 100th day celebrations. “It is important to believe in the product that you are marketing. Quality of the product builds the brand and a brand name that promises quality entertainment is our core focus,” says Gokul.

‘Answer this question correctly and you could be the lucky winners to earn tickets for the first day first show!’ is a statement we often hear on the radio these days. But little do we know about an entire team of people who work on the game concept, execute it and coordinate the logistics behind the scene. The ‘first day first show’ is crucial for any movie and so it is vital to plan an effective strategy to attract a sizeable audience for the event. “When it comes to marketing a product that is worth a couple of crores, there has to be a collective effort from various quarters. This is a highly unorganised sector and there is a need for setting up proper channels of communication in terms of PR and marketing. Having tie ups with multiple platforms like TV, radio, online promotional companies and event management groups is very important,” echoes the trio. The ‘Monsoon Mangoes Micro film Mela’ is one such online game that the team has planned as a part of the marketing strategy for Fahad Fazil’s upcoming release, ‘Monsoon Mangoes’. DigiFaktory is also working on a lot of interesting ideas for Nivin Pauly’s new release, which is an action packed entertainer.

The ‘DigiFaktory brand’ is slowly making its presence felt in the Malayalam film industry. They have been invited to present their success story at various management summits like the TIE in Chennai, TKM Institute of Management and the TRIMA, trivandrum. When asked about future plans, the trio said that they hoped to step outside Mollywood, to set DigiFaktory as the thought leader in the movie space and in the long run, add a production wing to the company.

 

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Digifaktory: All About Film Marketing

We have arrived !!

We already did this a couple of years back, with Neram, 1983, Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, Vikramadithyan, Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Premam and many more, but team DigiFaktory- the first 360 degree marketing venture for movies has its website officially launched now.

Seen here is Nivin Pauly, The new Star of Malayalam cinema launching the website of DigiFaktory, www.digifaktory.com

Along with him are the founders of this venture, Gokul Nath G, Krishnabhaskar Mangalasserri and Sandeep Varma.

We are ever great full to our dear Nivin for showing his support to our venture.

DR. M.M Alex

Premam running to packed houses throughout Kerala and outside. Feeling so proud to be part of this wonderful movie. But then, this is the time success shouldn’t get into one’s head. What better way to be humbled and be grounded than be in company with people like Alex Uncle.

Dr.M.M Alex needs no introduction for the people in film industry. But for the sake of ‘New Gen’, let me try introducing him. Alex uncle has acted in more than 80 films, covering several languages. He has worked with legends like P. Padmarajan and Bharatan. His most memorable role is of “Babu “, the bus owner in Padmarajan’s cult movie “Thoovanathumbikal”. Remember the dialogue ” (ദേവി ഇലട്രിക്കൽസൊ? ദേവിക്ക് ഇലക്ട്രിസിറ്റിയോ?? ) and the epic bar scene where he throws up the empty beer bottle into the ceiling fan. When he was at his peak, Alex uncle left the films and the glamour attached to it.

Dr. M.M Alex made close to 250 documentaries, he was the first person to document the rituals at Sabarimala temple. He is the Director of Ancient Integrative Therapies and Vedik India Society. He is full of path breaking projects and relentlessly working towards realising them.

And when I am with Alex Uncle, I am firmly grounded myself and realise that there is so much to be achieved and have miles to go.

Kiruba Shankar: The Book Coach

Its a full circle!

In 2010, when I was working with good friend Kiruba Shankar, I shared the idea of travelling through Malabar region and capture the football frenzy. He encouraged me to go ahead with the plan. The idea was to write a series of blogposts. Later in 2013, Kiruba conducted a “Book authoring retreat” at his lovely farm house Vaksana Farms. There i decided to make this as a book. Atlast in 2014, I met Kiruba with the book.

The name of the book is FIFA World Cup: Festival of Malabar! Here is the cover design!

The Kindle version of Book is available here