For our first installment of The Quintessential Business Traveller series we interviewed Vinodh Bhat, CEO and co-founder of Saavn. Read on to know more about his travels…
1) How did the concept of Saavn evolve?
The concept is rooted in the founding team’s collective desire to provide Indian music listeners with a better way to find and experience the music they love. We started out in 2006 working with record labels to license and distribute their music on Apple’s iTunes, eMusic, Amazon MP3, etc. We realized in order to serve consumers globally that we would have to evolve into a consumer-facing streaming service. Despite the widespread use of download and streaming services in the western context, we felt there was (and still is) a major disconnect between Indians’ immense passion for music and the ability to access it legally and with choice, convenience and control — especially in a “mobile first” market like India. We believe the strength of our products should reflect the importance of music in the lives of Indians globally.
2) What are the life mantras that you swear by?
There are many:
· Be thankful and constantly remind yourself and everyone around you that we are very lucky to be doing what we are doing
· Bring passion and tenacity to everything that you do
· Visualization helps focus the mind
· Know that you will be knocked down – the key is to get back up
· Be intentional about everything
· Continue persisting and fight for what you believe in
· Never hold grudges
· Don’t focus on money; it’s a healthy byproduct of creating value
3) Which is your favorite business destination in India & why?
Mumbai and Delhi are both cities we visit often. I enjoy them both for different reasons. The energy of Mumbai is like nowhere else in the world. Delhi is a bit more measured, but equally as important as a major business hub.
4) What is it about travel that inspires you?
You could say Saavn itself is inspired by travel! When you’re helping run a company that caters to a vast international user base, it becomes an absolute necessity to immerse yourself in your users’ culture in order to keep delivering a service that they love and relate to. India is a vibrant web of unique cultures and languages, and I learn something new every time I visit the country. It’s as personally enriching as it is vital to Saavn’s business model.
5) What’s on your travel bucket list for 2014?
Given the demands of our schedules, most travel is for work. However, we always try to take some time to discover the charms, uniqueness and culture of new destinations. I’d love to explore neighboring South East Asia! We expect to spend more time in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other parts of the region in 2014.
6) Share an interesting travel experience that you’ve faced while travelling on business:
In India, there is such a wide spectrum of personalities, wealth, education, status, etc. across the population. In a single day, we can be in one of the most opulent environments in the world for a business meeting and then among thousands of people living in destitution. Music can be an incredibly powerful agent to create awareness, ignite action, and directly and indirectly support social, health and educational initiatives. We are beginning to formulate some ideas for how we can integrate this at Saavn.