Perhaps, he is the one who loves nightmares and makes business out of it. K. Srinivas Reddy catches up with T. Srinivas of Scary House
While one would hear only the screams when someone is scared, there is one who would hear it in a different way. More screams mean more business for T. Srinivas, who has conceptualised and set up the first Scary House at the Prasads Imax in Hyderabad. As the screams became shriller and the subsequent laughs more boisterous, his business too spreads as it has to places as far as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata within four years.
It was literally a dream come true for this engineering graduate, who quit government service to start his own business when reputed companies that run malls all over the country requested him to open his business in their malls. Scary House, where people pay to get scared, is no more a scary proposition. Simply, the Scary House has become an entertainment anchor for visitors to malls.
“People would come to shop, see movies, eat ice cream and for them, entering the Scary House has become a fad. Tactically positioned on the ground floor invariably with the exit into the atrium of the mall, those coming out of the Scary House would naturally be laughing hysterically and that’s my success formula”, smiles Srinivas.
An instant hit
When he threw open the Scary House in Prasads Imax in 2004, it became an instant hit. The popularity among children and youth was so high that a visit to Prasads Imax would be incomplete without a visit to the Scary House. The popularity spread to other cities and now Scary Houses have sprung up in many cities.
It’s not just the reproduction of spooky and haunted houses, creaking doors, whistling winds and the devilish laughter alone. Srinivas branched out into several theme-based shows. Musuem of 15th Century, which he claims, is an upgradation of Madame Tussaud’s. “It’s not just life-size wax models like in Tussaud’s. The models in my museum are animated. They not only move, but also talk. The models range from the forest brigand Veerappan to Mother Teresa.” Similarly, there are other concepts like the Rainforest and the Living Dead.
An interesting aspect of these houses is that Srinivas ensures that the concepts are changed every two or three years. Whenever a new concept is introduced, he, along with his 200 staff members, starts designing models, prepare them, engage robotic specialists to provide movement to models and then release them into the ‘Houses’. And it makes business sense too…each of his scary houses does a business of not less than Rs. 3 crore a year.
Ask Srinivas what scares him? “Well! The scariest thing is that people copy my concepts and have come up with Scary House variants. But they do not know that I have copy rights for all my projects. When I file cases against the copysters, they would certainly be scared out of their wits,” he smiles.