IHC catches up with Sandesh Shenoy, the founder of Bollywood Crypt, the only company that offers licensed merchandise based on Bollywood horror films. Here’s the interview.
1. What inspired you to start this?
Well, I’ve been a big fan of horror movies since my childhood and in fact my dad got me into it. I remember hanging out in my early childhood with my friends in 6th standard and watching classic movies from the Ramsay brothers like Veerana, Dak Bangla, Bandh Darwaza, and many other movies like Khooni Panja, Roohani Taqat, Kabarstan by other directors. The idea of Bollywood Crypt had been brewing in mind for the last 3 years and I thought why not do something with it since I was going full time with my extreme music label.
2. How was your journey from conception to execution?
Well like all journeys that require a leap of faith, it’s definitely never been a walk in the park. Starting from conception to execution it required a good amount of dedication, handwork and business sense to pull this off along with the most important ingredient – Love for the genre! Hours were spent conceptualizing artwork, working with graphic artists around the world, suitable vendors and there many pitfalls on the way. Doing a concept as unique as this in India is no joke. It takes a tremendous amount of patience to get quality of products you wish to put out to customers.
3. Any difficulties that you face?
The concept of doing merchandise for horror movies and darker aspects of pop culture is a completely new phenomena in India. Like I earlier mentioned if you want to put out quality work it requires a lot of effort here right from finding the right vendor to the right courier service. After biting down on many bad experiences, things have finally settled down to working with some trusted people to deliver quality, so that we may always keep our customers happy!
4. What would your suggestion be, to an Indian entrepreneur today?
Entrepreneurship is definitely not for everyone especially if you are afraid of taking risks. If you want cut your teeth learning, it’s important to note that 90% of your efforts will result in failures, but the 10% success will be very sweet. It’s not enough to just have passion and drive, one needs to have enough of a back up in case things fail and adequate planning must be done before even stepping into the arena!
5. You say all the products are Ramsay approved. How was that experience?
All the merchandise that I have put out related to the Ramsay brother movies, I have merchandising rights to (including any still images, content etc) to use for Bollywood Crypt Merchandise. The experience has been nothing less than stellar. Dealing with these fine gentlemen has been an absolute pleasure and I really was wowed by the humility of Tulsi and Deepak Ramsay when I met them. I’m glad I have become a part of their cinematic journey.
6. How have sales been?
The concept of horror merchandise is a fairly new concept to people here, but there has been a good amount of support right from the people who supported my music label to the average Indian horror fantastic. The sales have been picking up and I’ve been receiving orders from all around India from places like Daman and Diu, Utttar Pradesh, Goa, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore and many other cities like Guwahati etc. As more people discover Bollywood Crypt more, I’m sure there will be a lot more interest in the merchandise.
7. Tell us the products that are available?
Currently we have short sleeve T-shirts, Mugs, Fridge Magnets, Coffin Keychains in the store for movies like Bandh Darwaza, Veerana, Nosferatu,and Haxan. In the near future we plan to expand our products by adding wall flags, tote bags, long sleeve tshirts, coasters, enamel pins, coozies and many more items from different horror movies all around the world with a big focus on Asian cinema.
8. What are your plans for the future?
Bollywood Crypt intends to be a hub for all things horror and Asian. There are plans to expand the concept to many other areas and some of the stuff I can’t reveal yet at the moment. For now we will function as an online store to our customers in India and abroad and we will soon move to more interesting things in the near future. Hopefully in the near future there will be a Youtube channel with a lot of exciting promos, videos, unboxing videos etc.