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IN THE FRAME Sujith, Binoy and Sean

IN THE FRAME Sujith, Binoy and Sean  

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After attending a wedding in Jakarta and getting an instant photograph, Sujith John McKumkal decided to set up a photo booth in town

Today’s marriage ceremonies are larger than life, to say the least. Creating a niche for himself in this competitive market is Sujith John McKumkal with his enterprise, Pictureculate Photobooth ( >www.pictureculate.in), an event management company with the primary focus on photo booths and other photography related services.

“I attended a wedding in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2012 where I was given an instant photograph as the wedding takeaway souvenir. The picture had my friends and me with colourful props against a themed background. Later, during my MBA in the Philippines, we had a photo booth on two different occasions and I noticed the enthusiasm and buzz among my classmates in taking whacky, funny and creative pictures. It got me thinking and I started researching on this concept in India only to find that it was still at a nascent stage here. During my 10 week summer internship break in June 2013, I returned to Bangalore and started Pictureculate Photobooth with two of my friends, Binoy and Sean.”

Sujith and Binoy come from a management background and have worked with Goldman Sachs and Intel respectively while Sean has completed his Masters in Mass Communication and Finance.

“We have a variety of options at Pictureculate Photobooth,” says Sujith. “Our USP is customising everything from the props and the backdrop set to the frames that the photographs are handed over in. Every wedding/party/event we’ve done has had a different backdrop according to the specification of the customer.”

“We realised early-on that if we wanted to remain the best in the market, we had to invest in the latest technology – hardware and software - to ensure high customer satisfaction. Our equipment and software are from the US while we import the props directly from markets in Asia,” says Sujith.

Ask him if they had a Plan B in case Pictureculate didn’t take off as expected and Sujith responds “We were sure the idea would sell in India where couples, party hosts and corporate folk are well travelled, aware and want their weddings/parties to be memorable and unique. Also concert organisers are looking at new ways to promote their events and this concept was in alignment with theirs. Adding to that, with the success of Instagram and Facebook pictures, we were confident the idea would sell.”

He adds: “Previously amateur and studio photographers tried their hand at photo booth services but due to the lack of knowledge and exposure, and unavailability of professional photo booth equipment in India, the output in terms of quality suffered. Instant prints too were not offered. This is where we saw a gap and realised that there is a huge potential.”

Of challenges, Sujith says: “Initially, we would brainstorm every day from 7 p.m. till 2 a.m. on how to make the customer experience better. We didn’t want to compromise on quality of the product and had to wipe out our savings to invest in the best hardware, software and props. After we started, we had to educate customers about the value proposition it brings as this concept was very new to the market. Even today, not everyone knows about the photo booth but it’s slowly becoming a showstopper at various social events.”

The trio have already held photo booths in Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, and Kerala, and are looking to conduct events in other parts of India. “We are also looking for opportunities to franchise the model. Currently we’ve expanded into photography and other creative solutions and want to get into being a full-fledged event management company,” Sujith says in closing.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:36:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/pictureculate-photobooth-the-trio-who-customise-everything/article6331769.ece

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