Having been brought up in the quaint valley of Dehradun, my love for movies started very young. Every friday – single screen theater, a rickety bench and the twinkle in my eye ! As I grew up, I did not want to join by 130 year old family business. I had an itch to move out and do something on my own. MICA happened, Asian Paints happened, the itch continued and so did the joy of celebrating movies.
Saurabh Singh, a fellow colleague at Asian Paints was also a fellow movie lover. We often discussed movies – the good, bad and ugly at length. After spending 11 years in Asian Paints and donning several roles across Sales and Marketing, the fire of starting something of his own had never died in his heart and he always wanted to do something related to movies.
The personal pain point
Every weekend, we would struggle to find movies at home that we would love to watch. We would spend hours searching for movies as per our taste and preference and often ended up spending more than 45 minutes just deciding what to watch. We would Google, read film blogs, go to IMDB just to decide that one elusive movie. Once a movie was finalized, we would then spend another 30 minutes searching for that movie online. It was a big pain point. The search process itself would take 1 hour without any surety that we would love the chosen movie. And every weekend, we would go through the same process all over again.
One fine Monday morning, over a cup of morning coffee, Saurabh suggested that there has to be solution to this problem. In today’s world when all problems are getting solved through technology, one has to have a technology solution for this as well. We sensed a business opportunity and said that if someone has to build a tech solution around it- it has to be us.
The problem of finding movies online aggravated with the shutting down of Torrentz. Though they were always illegal, they were popular.However, with the government clipping the wings of Torrents, it has become increasingly difficult for users to find the movies online. At the same time, various legal streaming players are making it easier for users to consume and buy content legally but the entire market is too fragmented. A user will be hesitant to download 20 movie apps on his device.
We could sense some business opportunity there as well.
We knew what we wanted our platform to do. What was missing was a partner who not only enjoyed his slice of movies, but also understood the magic of its coded backend. So entered Nagender Sangra, a doctor by education, but a coder who brought our ideas to ‘machine-like-life’. Nagender was related to me and I always knew his passion for 2 things- movies and technology. We knew he was the perfect fit for us having coded various machine learning based softwares in the past. He agreed to join us and were fortunate to complete our founding team in such a short span of time.
Flickstree started with a very basic premise – make movie discovery simple and personalized. Also, to be the one stop destination to help you find the suggested movie online – legally.
Yes, there were stumbling blocks.
Yes, there were debates.
Yes, there were a few sleepless nights too.
But we – Saurabh, Nagender and myself – always knew what we wanted our platform to achieve. A product which we believe packs in a punch of all things movies – advanced searches, calendars, flick-ins, reviews, ratings, watchlists, critics, trailers, viewing platforms – with movie discovery at its core.
The biggest roadblock was to convince ourselves to leave our cushy and well-paying jobs at Asian Paints and start our entrepreneurial journey. It was a tough decision but we were fortunate that our better halves were supporting enough to help us hop on to this journey. We pooled in our savings and started Flickstree.
We have a total of 34 years of experience between the three of us. Our varied backgrounds – mathematics, electrical engineering, media, sales, medicine, programming, gets us a lot of different perspectives while we work. But what keeps us pushing 110% ahead are the questions from the wives back home – ‘So ! What happened today?’. When people say ‘You don’t start up alone’, they aren’t saying enough. It’s the family and the special ‘inner circle’ that keeps motivating you to do better, asks you the tough questions and keeps the spark alive.
Our journey has begun with the most popular- Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Going ahead, we will add regional movies, world cinema, TV shows and other digital content. Our vision is to make Flickstree the world’s largest content discovery platform in next 3 years.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication