Left to Right: Aman Preet Singh with actor Rakul Preet Singh. Aman Preet, brother to Rakul Preet is the founder and CEO of the recruitment platform, StarringYou.
Bollywood actor Rakul Preet Singh took part in hundreds of auditions before she entered films and delivered hits such as De De Pyaar De in Hindi and Spyder in Tamil.
Matching talent with the requirements of the film industry can be a long process, the actor said. That inspired her to start an online platform exclusively for aspiring film talent.
“We know people have the talent but do not know about the existing opportunities and not everyone can afford to move out of their houses, come to Mumbai, audition, and wait for the follow-up process,” said Rakul Preet. “It is tough on the casting directors to go through many auditions, meet them personally, and shortlist the talent. This is a year-long process. Digitising this process can help us find talent required faster.”
And this is what the actor decided to do last year when she saw the extent to which the world was connected digitally.
With brother Aman Preet Singh, Rakul Preet started a recruitment platform called StarringYou for film aspirants including actors, writers and choreographers.
“We should have the database of the talent. That’s where the journey began. My parents let me pursue my dreams. And we thought of how we could bridge that gap for others,” said Rakul Preet.
The platform has tied up with production houses and casting agencies and all their talent requirements will be routed through StarringYou.
“We have tied up with 10 companies from production houses to casting agencies and individual directors and there is a plan to add more by next year,” said Aman Preet Singh, founder of StarringYou.
Currently, the platform’s partners include Anti Casting, Pooja Entertainment, Hummara Movie, Luv Films, Venkatadri Talkies, Vision Celeb Hub, and Suresh Productions and music labels Just Music and Salim Merchant.
Aman Preet said there are 15 categories of talent on the platform including actor, dancer, director, model, singer, cinematographer, writer, makeup artist, and voiceover artist. A few categories will be added every three months, he said.
“StarringYou will allow users to create a profile. This profile will be visible only to talent hunters,” Aman Preet said. “We have 10 inhouse talent hunters who are our strategic partners. Talent can get discovered by them or any other talent hunter who is offering a job on the platform. We will try and filter and provide the best jobs for talent on our platform.”
The service is being offered free initially.
“We plan to onboard 10 lakh users by the end of next year,” Aman Preet said.
Rakul Preet put down the initial investment in the venture. More funds will be raised for the platform.
“Till now, we have burnt Rs 50 lakh. We are going to focus on users and getting them jobs and then raise funds for the app. We are in talks with individual investors and venture capital firms, but nothing concrete yet,” said Aman Preet.
There is an opportunity for such a platform to grow considering the high content consumption in India, said Nitin Menon, cofounder of NV Capital, a credit fund for the media and entertainment sector.
He said demand for content creators is high in terms of both short and long form content, leading to more opportunities for those aspiring to make a career in films. He said that for the platform to grow, fundraising and professional management will be of paramount importance. Such platforms are capital intensive.
“So, it is important to see how it will be managed. Also, a good value investor coming into the picture will be important,” said Menon