- In 2007 Mithesh Bhatia starts renting audio visual equipment on a freelance basis
- Through word of mouth, Mithesh's business increases
- 2011, Mithesh launches SoundKraft, an audio visual (AV) company
- Today, the company deals with an inventory of more than Dh16 million, with an annual turnover hovering around Dh10 million
- Mithesh's personal net-worth is said to be running in millions of dirhams
Dubai: Mithesh Bhatia, 34, dabbled in business way back in 2007. He had saved Dh5,000 from working odd jobs and was studying at a Dubai-based university at the same time. And this [the Dh5,000] became the start-up capital for his very first venture in the UAE.
That meagre start-up capital was an unthinkable and daunting amount to launch a business, admits Mithesh in a candid interview with Gulf News.
Fast-forward from this initial capital and Mitesh is now at the helm of running a massive audio visual business in the UAE, with a total inventory worth more than Dh16 million.
The turnover of the company is currently Dh10 million upwards and Mithesh’s own personal net-worth runs into multi-millions of dirhams.
Say hello to Mithesh, founder of SoundKraft LLC, one of the UAE’s well known audio visual (AV) company that provides technical turnkey solutions in lighting, sound, audio-visual, rigging and trussing, staging and fabrication and special effects.
“Dedication, passion, professionalism and doing it right at the right time, in the most artistic way, is the philosophy that stands by SoundKraft. We are backed by years of professional experience and trained experienced engineers. And this has been one of the main reasons for our success,” said Mithesh, who was born and raised in Dubai.
Today SoundKraft is pretty much a household name. Check any major event happening in Dubai and there is a good chance you will see the name of SoundKraft mentioned in the brochure for audio visual services (AV). “Basically, we are a one-stop solution for all sound, light, staging and audio visual (AV) requirements,” said Mithesh.
Be it weddings, concerts, gala dinners, fashion shows, a corporate conference, public or private events, SoundKraft provides all the necessary audio visual (AV) services.
“We have invested a massive amount in high-end technology, latest equipments, in-house technical staff with the best creative ideas in town and all this has made SoundKraft a success today.”
Mithesh said a major strength for SoundKraft has been that they have been able to hire some of the most talented designers, engineers, technicians who have helped come up with some creative audio visual effects and designs for various events in the UAE.
“We are all one big family. I am hardly a leader who likes to boss around my staff. I am one who likes to deal with my team like they were my family. Every day we are becoming closer as a team. We are one big family today. Our greatest attribute isn’t the name we’ve worked so hard to establish or the selection of gear we have attained, it is the blood sweat of our truly inspirational team that keeps us doing our best day in and day out every year.”
Mithesh’s father ran a small stationary business that dealt in stationary trading. What Mithesh has achieved in his business is way higher than that of his father’s, and is a self-made person in that sense.
“What I have learnt from my father is the ethics of running a business. He taught me how to deal with customers, meet challenges in business and he taught me to persevere. Success does not come overnight. There are fair number of challenges that one has to deal with on a day to day basis.”
Mithesh said his career in business started back in 2007. For the first couple of years he was just freelancing. “Back in the days, if someone was having a party at home and wanted to rent special speakers it would be way too expensive. There were few players in the market and because of this, renting the equipment was way too expensive.”
“I had so many friends who wanted to throw big parties in their house, but could not do it as they did not have the necessary equipment to hold a dance party, for example. And why were they not able to do it? Because hiring equipments was way expensive. There were few players in the market and having a good audio visual service came with a hefty price. This gave me an idea to start something on my own. I found a way to hire slightly cheaper equipments and lease them back to potential clients. Soon the word of mouth began to spread and people started hiring equipments from me.”
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With limited cash in hand (remember he started with just Dh5,000), Mitesh hired some equipment and leased them back to friends. “It was me, me and me working. And so there was no assistant available to deliver equipments to clients. I would carry the equipment myself, fix them for clients and pick it up after their parties. It was hard work but one I was willing to do as I just began to take a liking for my job,” said the young successful businessman.
Until 2011, Mithesh kept doing this on a freelance basis until one day he thought enough is enough. “I barely slept. My equipment were always in the back of my car, and it seemed like I was always on the move. Soon I had started accumulating little profits from the rentals and I pooled it all back into renting better and bigger equipment. As the word of mouth spread across UAE, I started getting more contracts. They varied from parties to weddings to corporate events. And so I decided to start my own company and SoundKraft was born in 2011,” he said.
No looking back
Finally, Mithesh was ready to leave his father’s nest and be on his own. Today, his multi-million dirham business has surpassed that of his father’s. “He [my father] is proud of my achievements. And I am glad I have made him happy.”
SoundKraft has successfully executed supplying AV close to more than 750 events in 2018. The company has collaborated with big agencies and organisations where we were chosen as key suppliers. Furthermore, our projects include supplying from large concerts to exhibitions, conferences, launches, award shows, weddings etc equipping government, semi government and private agencies. These alliances have helped us build a prestigious reputation and establish stronger ties that led to continuous and regular collaborations.
Mithesh detailed the company’s current equipment range include a portfolio of highly advanced lighting, audio, video, Led screens, stage, truss and rigging, SFX by supplying to large-scale concerts, exhibitions, conferences, product launches, weddings and the like. “Our main focus is re-investing our money in some of the best industry equipments and technology to cover the gap in the market.”
Where is SoundKraft heading
SoundKraft had provided support and was part of the BAPS Hindu Temple stone keeping ceremony at the Dubai site.
Mithesh's company is also one of the firms to clinch a contract for Expo 2020.
“It is going to be an enormous event for SoundKraft as supplying AV equipments to exhibitions and events are our core expertise and area of focus. Our role is to provide technologically advanced equipments which are available for immediate rental and that’s where we find ourselves in the show. The exhibition will be demanding highly advanced audio visual equipments. But we are ready to meet the demand.”
“Stay focussed in your job and ambition. Young entrepreneurs tend to drift away. Don’t! That is my advice.”
He said there is no road to quick success. Struggles will always be there. Stay at it, is the advice he shared to millennials.
Mithesh said the biggest challenge in the audio visual (AV) business is handling money and investment. “It is all about the give and take of money.”