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TalentNext.com to reach Tier II & III cities by Apr

MUMBAI: Bagging a big break in the entertainment industry is a huge deal, and it gets difficult especially if you are from a small town and you don’t have contacts. Recognising the struggle of upcoming models and musicians, TalentNext.com, an online portal that was launched last year, is all set to expand its reach to Tier II and III cities by April 2017.

Started by Shekhar Purohit, the portal will now focus on the regional markets in India like Maharashtra, Telugu, Tamil and Punjab.

Recently, the company also secured a second round of funding of $1 million from angel investors. The latest funding has proved quite beneficial for the platform as they have succeeded in creating an end-to-end ecosystem across metropolitans. They are planning to use this funding to support their plan of expansion in Tier II & III cities.

Purohit states that this investment has helped the company to expand to hundreds of cities in India and provide millions of talent and casting professionals with direct access to each other—through TalentNext.com.

To connect talents to the recruiting and casting community within the entertainment industry, the company has partnered 30 casting directors, credible films and TV recruiters such as Viacom 18, Sphere Origins, Dharma Production, AGPPL, Balaji Productions, Vishesh Films, Tip sand Eros Entertainment.

Purohit, who is an MBA in strategy and finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a former Lionsgate Entertainment MD, India, is also looking forward to representing Indian talent on international platform with talentnext.com. The platform is working with some companies in the Middle East and Australia.

The founder has kept the revenue model quite simple and accessible. The talents can sign up for free and create a basic profile on the platform. With a monthly sum of Rs 500, they can upgrade to a tiered membership model that allows unlimited access to casting opportunities.

“We charge a monthly subscription fee of Rs 500 in which artists can apply for unlimited jobs. We are not charging artists for casting, but for giving an access to these jobs. When an artist gets a job, we charge a standard commission of 10 per cent. In the industry, the commission rate varies from 10% to 40%. So, when an artist gets the job, we take our 10% commission but return Rs 500 to the talent,” he adds.

“From a business reality perspective, TalentNext will make sure that all performers get the right information needed to succeed. In the industry, the biggest hurdle for a talent is to get represented and paid accurately. We as a company make sure our talents are represented and paid well.”

TalentNext currently has over 542 jobs and around 21,097 registered talents. They are planning to host an on-ground activation of a road show to discover fresh talent in March 2017.