Having worked globally, Vivek Davos sees immense potential in the Tier two and three cities of India. With his online photographic store and training programme, he hopes to help students excel.

A digital SLR camera works like magic for aspiring filmmakers. Vivek Davos, CEO of Caro Techs, quotes the example of Balaji Mohan, who started off as a short filmmaker with a digital SLR camera, captured his first film, a refreshing love story “Kadhalil Sodhappuvathu Yeppadi” in his digital camera, and wowed the audience.

“There are many more talented youngsters like him out there wanting to make it big,” Vivek says. He hopes his online photographic store www.studioparts.com, a one-stop shop for all studio requirements, will be a bridge between filmmakers and their aspirations. It provides complete studio level equipment for photography and movie making to dubbing and mixing equipment, sound, speakers, and microphones; the online store has 2,000 products of more than 48 brands. The lens section alone has 30-odd types to choose from.

Giving direction

“Youngsters upload their videos and short films on Facebook and YouTube, show off their skills and get a thrill out of it. It creates an aura and they bask in it. We are trying to capture their needs and give them direction. With social networking and photographic media such as Flickr, the digital platform has grown phenomenally. It's big in India,” he says.

“Many visual communication students do not have the right equipment and right technology to deliver a good film. There's a lot of talent but they need exposure and guidance. A monetary channel to distribute and accept such short films need to be enhanced too. Not just these students, even young professionals who have good disposable income explore photography and filmmaking,” he says.

Bridging a gap

Vivek's first entrepreneurial attempt was www.backdropsource.com, an online store for just photographic accessories, which he set up in the U.S. in 2005. “We figured there was no retail outlet that dealt exclusively with accessories. There was a gap, which we tired to fill with quality products and backed it up with round-the-clock customer services beginning with on-time delivery,” he says.

He set up a plant in China, supplied lights, the background cloth, photographic kits and accessories to customers in the U.S. Later, a warehouse in North Carolina to meet the demand, and then in the U.K. Now Vivek has extended his market to customers in France, Australia, and UAE. “Last year, we launched in Germany, and this year we are going to Italy.”

India, says Vivek, is a different beat altogether. A rebranding was necessary, and therefore www.studioparts.com came into being. Students need to be educated a lot more, he says. “We want to concentrate on Tier II and III cities, provide them access to a variety of products, and entice them with best price deals. The digital way is the future of photography and films. It is bound to grow by leaps and bound, and we want to be there when that happens — as a link between equipment and training. We have a rapport with photographers and filmmakers across the world, and we want to bring in the expertise to help youngsters, amateurs and professionals here.”

Vivek says a creative person with a good idea can work wonders with a digital SLR. It can be used for both photography and video filming. One of the high-end products available at Studioparts is a DSLR rig, the shoulder mount and rails system that can be configured to your requirement while you shoot. It is stable, comfortable and versatile. Among others, there are 11 varieties of Benro tripod, which can be used to dock a DSLR wherever you want to shoot. “Such gadgets provide creative freedom to youngsters as they make films.”

For students, Vivek has set up Mad University (mobile application development). It is a job-driven three-month programme that includes 45 lecture sessions followed by a live project. “This will fill a huge talent gap. Companies such as www.monster.com, .net and java developers are always on the look out for people who can develop smart mobile phone applications. The course is an opportunity for students to develop applications for Androids, iPhones and smartphones and sell it quickly.” Mad University has taken in 43 students already, and in a month's time there will be 45 new applications that will be out in the market, he says.

Vivek explains how “a mobile is a ‘dial a friend' who tells you everything you want to know”. Vivek's vision is to encourage and empower youth to take two paths — artistic (with filmmaking and photography) and technology (with mobile-based applications). “We want to help the students from Tier II and III cities excel in aesthetic, artistic and technical arenas.”

Coimbatore bound

Vivek wants to set up www.citepost.com, location-based deal alerts. For example, when you enter the Brookefield Mall and if the cinemas have an offer of free popcorn, you get an alert on entering the mall. Earlier, when you entered a shopping area, you had people shouting out the offers. Now, the mobile phone does the job. He wants to develop www.citepost.com on the lines of local twitter that lists local happenings.

Very soon www.kovai.caromart.com will deliver your monthly provisions right to your doorstep

How he started

A textile engineering graduate from PSG College of Technology, Vivek Davos completed did his M.S. in Industrial Engineering in the U.S, and worked with General Motors. Later, he joined Oracle. “Sarbanes-Oxley is an Act passed in the U.S. for the software industry, a legislation to stop frauds. We created a product to ensure this in the software industry.”