Exclusive interview with Mr. Ram Mishra, Founder and Managing Director of Damroo
Mr Ram Mishra set foot in the Indian music industry more than two decades ago, around a time when the world was celebrating the dawn of a new millennium.
Having started as an Executive, he swiftly went up the ladder to not just produce and manage grand-scale TV Reality shows, LIVE Events & top Artists, but also spearhead leading music labels & Media Production companies across India and middle east, before introducing Damroo, India’s first and only regional & independent music-oriented ecosystem that caters to the Poorly-served Richest Bharat.
An entrepreneur and a creative thinker, Ram Mishra has traversed through different geographies in India as well as internationally to gather manifold experience across music, media & entertainment space.
His entrepreneurial journey with Damroo began in February 2021 when he envisioned a music-oriented 360 degree ecosystem that caters specifically to regional and independent artists, vernacular listeners and localized businesses.
Daring to defy the norm of toeing a populist approach, he took a disruptive approach while bridging the gap between Artist-Audience-Brands.
During his extensive professional experience, he closely witnessed the challenges regional artists as well as consumers faced despite abundance of resources. This encouraged him to build a platform that can empower the independent & regional ecosystem per se.
His brainchild Damroo is enabling affordable content creation, distribution and marketing services for regional Artists while offering regional listeners with exclusive playlist and facilitating brands with affordable and copyright-protected music sync licenses. It recently won the Clef Music Award in the Editorial Choice ‘Movers & Shakers Category.
An alumnus of the prestigious Calcutta University, Ram ticks the founder-business fit aspect perfectly, with his previous experiences being Business Head – Digital (International) at Saregama India Ltd., Head of Talent – Zee Live at ZEEL and Chief Operating Officer at Fathom Pictures, among others.
His philosophy in life is – Be yourself and always be proud of what your parents have done to raise you. Strongly follow family values, personal integrity and take the responsibility of every action taken by you.
Tell us a little about yourself
Ram Mishra: I hail from the state of Bihar, and I have been a part of the transformational phase of the Indian music industry.
After my education at the prestigious Calcutta University, I stepped into the music industry just around the dawn of the new millennium.
I started my career as an Executive and over a span of nearly 22 years, I climbed up the ladder to hold key positions such as Business Head (Digital) at Saregama India Ltd, Head of Talent – Zee Live at ZEEL and Chief Operating Officer at Fathom Pictures, among others.
During the course of my career, I managed top notch artists, handled grand scale LIVE events and shows, and eventually explored diverse domains of the ever-growing industry.
With such widespread experience, I have been able to develop an in-depth understanding of what the industry really demands, gain expertise pertaining to the intricacies, which eventually lays the foundation of my journey as an entrepreneur.
Can you tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur and what inspired you to start Damroo.
Ram Mishra: I started my career at a time when the independent music saw a boom. Then the country experienced populist approach with the growing popularity of Bollywood music.
The regional and independent artists had immense talent but their path was riddled with difficulties as they never got the kind of exposure that was needed.
There were a number of regional and independent talents like Daler Mehendi, Mika, Lucky Ali, Lopamudra Mitra Hariharan, Papon, Malini Awasthi, Shaan, Ila Arun and Jubin Garg to name a few, who became globally popular with the help of some of leading music labels.
But there’s surely a lack of proper attention to regional talents nowadays. They are making music but their discovery and reach is missing.
I saw great potential in artists as well as the ecosystem when I realised that there was no link between these artists and listeners who wanted regional music.
The regional brands also faced a shortage of regional music that they could use in their marketing videos.
It was the realisation that Richest Bharat is Poorly Served Bharat which inspired me to start Damroo. Traversing different geographies across India and at international level, my experience in music, media as well as entertainment space made me create an ecosystem where we can connect independent creators directly with audience, distributors and also brands that require the same.
Could you elaborate on the unique features and offerings of Damroo? How do you ensure that regional and independent artists receive adequate recognition and support through your platform?
Ram Mishra: In every corner of the country we will find beautiful musicians whose music will touch your heart and soul. However they never get the right exposure.
Damroo was founded in 2021 with an aim to resolve this bottleneck. Damroo is bridging this gap with its 360-degree approach.
Damroo offers its artists end-to-end solutions ranging from mentorship by top professional artists to A&R, collaboration between singer-lyricist-composer, audio & video production, distribution, marketing and collection of royalties from all over the world.
Comprising of specialized verticals- Damroo Streaming Service, Damroo Distribution Service, Damroo for Brands and Damroo Live which come together to ensure discovery and reach of regional artists who may not get space in mainstream media.
Damroo provides a world of unlimited opportunities to these artists. Here, the artists can earn, grow further by reaching out to a wider listener base and also earn through a transparent royalty system.
The artists on Damroo get the sales royalty for their content and this helps them create quality content more frequently. Independent artists, belonging to remote areas have been able to benefit immensely from this app as it helps them reach out to listeners across the globe.
Damroo defied norms and disrupted the country with this platform that is a bridge between artist, audience and brands.
Building a music streaming platform involves licensing and partnerships with artists and music labels. How did you navigate these challenges and establish relationships with regional artists and labels?
Ram Mishra: Thanks to my network in the industry for so long, I had a great relationship with labels, artists and distributors.
From my experience and the feedback of the artists, there was a need for content partners to have a space, a store where they can have region focused content to boost their earnings.
In this short span of time many artists are joining us and providing their content after seeing our active and continued efforts in placing content through our various playlists, social media promotion etc.
Today we have more than 2,50,000 tracks in about 20 languages. And it is with this concerted effort that we have been swiftly able to emerge as a brand of recall that defies the populist tradition.
Damroo focuses on regional music, but do you have plans to expand internationally or collaborate with artists from other countries in the future?
Ram Mishra: While our focus is definitely on independent and regional music of India, we have recently announced our exclusive partnership with Horus Music that is a UK headquartered award-winning music distribution company that also provides artists, label services across countries that include Nigeria, India and Brazil.
We will now be able to amplify the visibility of the independent and regional artists, thereby enabling us to increase the listenership and amp up the fan base internationally.
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