Over the past couple of years, India has gradually ascertained its right to be considered as one of the world’s biggest music markets. While fan growth and music awareness have been clearer signs of its escalation, the numbers speak as well, with music sales totalling $113 million in 2013 itself! It is now apparent, more than ever, that India and its diverse expanse of fans and genre-selective audience had caught the attention of the world’s biggest music festivals and artists alike. This phenomenal rise and spread of the Indian Music industry and it’s efforts to associate themselves with more international acts forms the basic premise of The Exchange.
The Exchange will be a day-long conference organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in association with Submerge. To be held in Mumbai on November 7, the conference is an endeavour to get British and Indian talent, trade bodies and industry people in the music industry together to understand the region and discuss potential business opportunities. Given that we are at the crossroads of historic ventures that India is bound to see in the coming months, this unique and innovative venture comes at the right time to further boost music business relations between India and the UK. As we inch closer towards the conference, we take a closer look at the premise, intent and the outstanding speakers and delegates that will help curate this historic event.
What is The Exchange?
While the music scene in India has received tremendous support from various bodies in the United Kingdom in the past few years through programs, collaborations and artist residencies, the Exchange will seek to further build on the existing relationship and strengthen it. Beginning with a week-long trade mission, that has been put together by UKTI, in partnership with AIM (The Association of Independent Music) and British labels trade body BPI (British Phonographic Industry), from November 1 to November 8, the Exchange will see representatives of the UK music industry host a program of educational seminars, networking events, conferences and artists showcases in a concerted bid to tap into the fast-growing Indian music market and grow British presence in the territory. Interestingly, this is the first time since 2006 that delegates from the UK music industry have held a trade mission to India and it reflects India’s growing importance as a music market.
The conference will conclude with an exciting three city music showcase tour headlined by Dirty Vegas of the “Days go by” fame and trance music DJ John “00” Fleming , which will also give the visiting UK delegates an insight into the live music space in India.
Here’s what British Deputy High Commissioner, Western India, Kumar Iyer, had to say about The Exchange and music showcase.
It’s great to announce this mission and broaden our engagement into new and creative sectors in India. The UK and India make and produce some of the best music in the world – creating a platform for collaboration and promoting the best that both countries can offer is exactly what this conference is about. Finishing with a concert means that it won’t be boring, in the words of Freddie Mercury, ‘we will rock you’!
India’s premiere dance music brand Submerge are the proud partners for this event and Director at Submerge, Hermit Sethi is pretty excited at the prospects of this venture.
I’m extremely happy to finally put together a forum where the music industry can speak openly. It’s something all of us at Submerge have been working towards for years now. We’ve found great partners in UK Trade & Investment, who, like us, believe this is the service of music. The business opportunities it can generate between India and the UK are immense and more importantly, will be for the greater good of the thriving Indian music industry.
The Exchange will see representation from key names from the music industry, regulatory heads, music label honchos, management agencies, international speakers and Indian and international artists across all genres of music. Here are some of the speakers that will be talking about the Indian music scene and elaborating on the business opportunities between the two diverse music cultures.
Devraj Sanyal is Managing Director of the Universal Music Group for the South Asian region, which straddles both the Universal Music & EMI Music businesses for the region. Sanyal has over two decades of experience & having served as CEO of Percept Sports & Entertainment, COO & GM of Times of India’s below the line businesses in the recent past. Sanyal is also credited as the co-founder of Sunburn, Asia’s no. 1 EDM festival & is a founding member of Brahma, India’s premier metal band which is in it’s 20th year of existence & going strong.
Owen Roncon has been part of the industry for over 15 years now. His team at Oranjuice and Fountainhead are pioneers in experiential marketing, working brand value and consumer connects. During his stint in the business, he has had the opportunity to create some pioneering events such as the Smirnoff Experience, the One Tree Music Festival, Mahindra Blues Festival, The Johnnie Walker Journey and many more.
Ankur Tewari is a singer/songwriter based in Mumbai. He fronts the Hindi rock band Ankur & The Ghalat Family along with fellow members Sidd Coutto, Johan Pais and Gaurav Gupta. Ankur also has numerous solo projects to his name. Besides being heavily involved in independent music, he is a composer, screen-writer and editor, working for a series of Bollywood projects.
Girish ‘Bobby’ Talwar is a lawyer by qualification and the founding member of the band “ZERO” (the bassist) who have performed for over 9 years and have played over 300 live shows across India and abroad. Co-Founder of ‘OML Entertainment Pvt Ltd‘; the company that owns and produces the NH7 Weekender festival, the most popular music festival in 4 cities in India, however he then exited the company in 2013. Currently he consults the leading music school in the country called True School of Music and also some of the leading event and artist management companies like Globosport, Oranjuice, Fountainhead, Mixtape Entertainment. He also is a partner at Weirdass Comedy, the only comedy company in India, that produces the maximum comedy content across platforms and also owns the largest comedy festival called Pajama Festival across 3 cities.
Arjun Sankalia got his start in the music business rather early when he started a mobile discotheque company called “Ear Damage!’ with some friends, while in university, way back in 1990. In 1999, he joined Sony Music India, in the strategic marketing department, and has been with them ever since, rising to his current position of Director and business head of International Music’. More recently, he has been assigned the task of handling the company’s publishing business which in addition to the company’s own Indian works also includes sub publishing for the Sony ATV & EMI Music Publishing catalogues.
Jehan Johar is truly immersed in the music industry, nationally and globally. He occupies varying roles that give him several vantage points and angles of interaction and observation into the already multi-faceted world and business of music and its relevant extensions. From being the Head of Music Programming at Blue Frog, the leading music venue company of India specializing in live music and electronic music, to being the owner of a music production and recording studio business in Goa; Studio Ra, to also being a successful Dj with two highly active projects; Dj Janux, and M.A.N, plus having lived and worked in three different continents, and traveled to over 30 countries across five continents, Jehan’s point of view and positioning in the global music industry is one of solid depth and great reach.
To say that Nikhil Chinapa has donned many an avatar during his career, is a bit of an understatement. He morphs from DJ to VJ to MC to Music Promoter to Festival Director, with amazing fluidity. At MTV, Nikhil has made himself an irreplaceable member of the music fraternity with his years of dedication and persistent to delivering quality entertainment and music. Nikhil was also the co-founder of Sunburn. He is now the Festival Curator and partner of Vh1 Supersonic, Goa’s brand new beach music festival. Co-founder of Submerge, Nikhil has been the brainchild for some of the best acts to have visited the country in the past few seasons including Swedish House Mafia, Zedd, Dada Life, Tiesto, Richie Hawtin, John Digweed, Dave Seaman, The Shapeshifters among many others.
Attending The Exchange
With a host of well informed, reputed and respected speakers from the Music industry of India and UK, The Exchange is definitely the place to be, where you will see history being made. Among so many illustrious delegates and speakers, interested participants can also apply to attend The Exchange by registering here. Remember that it’s a limited-seat capacity event, so you’d better apply quick for the registration process has already begun! See you at The Exchange!