Meet Vishwaraj Mohan: A pioneer in the live Indie music scene in India
Along with his team at CC, Vishwa has successfully organized over 1,000 audio-visual events for over 110 brands including Coke Studio, Sprite, Sony PlayStation, Bingo and Monster.
Meet Vishwaraj Mohan, a rootless cosmopolitan intent on challenging the single-city syndrome that the Indian entertainment scene limps along to. His focus is on creating the alternate narratives that the country deserves.
Founder of CounterCulture – dedicated to organizing live shows across India in a world where the smartest catchphrase to go trending in the last decade is 'Netflix and chill', Vishwaraj Mohan has taken it upon himself to understand and rewrite at least a bit of the evolution story as far as Indian youth is concerned. His entry point was – still is – live entertainment. He recognized the need for a revival in the desperately-lacking live entertainment industry well over a decade ago. The decision to found CounterCulture Entertainment, back in 2011, was instinctive in its timeliness, but it was a result of years of observation. His addiction to music made him a part of it early on, first while growing up in Bangalore, and then more astutely during his formative years in Mumbai.
These days CounterCulture collaborates with open-minded brands to create live entertainment experiences through stand-up comedy shows, e-sporting gaming tournaments, music gigs and music festivals. It doesn't just fulfill the experiential marketing needs of brands; Vishwa has his clients rethink their basic perception of a young audience before drawing a strategy forward.
More than 50% of India's population today is below the age of 25, 65% of it is below the age of 35. Leveraging the interest of these young Indians, CounterCulture 2.0 – a newer, bolder, more authoritative version of the original CC – aims to cultivate the novel habit of watching live shows by purchasing tickets instead of monthly OTT platform subscriptions.
CC is his first entrepreneurial venture, and like all firsts it has grown on passion. Vishwa believes in programming of events that speak to the desires of the current generation by designing quality experiences. The defining characteristic of his brand is what he calls a 'streak of energy' – the kind that gets things done. For Vishwa this energy is something of a lifestyle choice, but also a prime requirement for anyone else coming on board. Along with his team at CC, Vishwa has successfully organized over 1,000 audio-visual events for over 110 brands including Coke Studio, Sprite, Sony PlayStation, Bingo and Monster.
Talking about his personal view on the industry, Vishwa says, "There is a lot of work to be done and we require more sensitised and educated content. The whole country is not Bollywood. What it needs is a new and refreshed narrative outside of the current control centre."
At 36 years of age, Vishwa is already considered a pioneer in the live Indie music scene in India. He holds an Engineering degree from M.S. Ramaiah in Bangalore and started his career as a business development executive at a digital agency called i-Vista. He grew up in a family that travelled frequently, yet with enough time in between to attend gigs and learn to sense where the scene was stagnating.
With a 50-strong team, the employees at CounterCulture follow a very extensive review process before executing their strategy. A detailed mind map is created to make sure all aspects are checked before moving forward. They question and introspect on everything they do for the finest, most potent delivery. It's the kind of process that Vishwa finds addictive; with it he translates brands into a 'live' language for young Indians.
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