After losing a Rs 40 crore revenue company overnight, Haryana’s Vinay Singhal returned to his village in search of subsequent adventure.
This move became an opportunity to develop a hyper-local OTT platform that caters to vernacular audiences.
In 2019, along with his younger brother Praveen and college classmate Shashank, Vinay started STAGE, a first-of-its-kind OTT platform for local dialects.
“We found that there is no cinema or web series focused on local dialects. And the moment you go beyond cities, you will find everybody speaking in a local dialect,” he says.
“If there’s a true hyper-local content company to be built for India, it will be a dialect-based company and not languages. And that’s what STAGE does,” he notes.
From Khotey Sikke to Gangs of Haansipur, it showcases web series, movies, short films and more with an aim to develop a “true Netflix for Bharat”.
The application has over 1 million downloads on Play Store and currently focuses on Haryanvi and Rajasthani dialects.
It employs over 1,500 local artists and creators in Haryana and over 500 in Rajasthan.
“We have established local Bollywood in Haryana — Harrywood of Haryana. We have up to 30 production houses who make content for us,”
Apart from paid subscriptions starting from Rs 199, the platform also features hundreds of web series, poetry, comedy shows available across genres for free consumption.