It has been 8 months since I moved back to Bangalore from Mumbai; a lot has changed since then. The direction of my professional career has changed from a totally film making focused life to a new venture, the online learning platform at InfinumGrowth, that of course, has films as a part of it.
Resistance to Change
Emotions were running high at that time, as I was hesitant to leave Mumbai, my workplace for over 2 years, on a permanent basis and come back to my comfort zone. Leaving Mumbai meant, leaving my independent life; that was the toughest decision to take. But that was the need of the hour since we were launching a platform that needed my full attention.
So, the inevitable happened. I was already in Bangalore when the lockdown happened. This prompted me to take a quick decision to shift.
Aligning to new priorities
A few months before that, at InfinumGrowth, we were thinking of moving into online training, as the world was rapidly moving online. We saw a good opportunity in making a platform for learning videos, to provide a convenient method for working professionals.
Having started the platform development work six months earlier, we were ready to go live on 31st march, to be precise. As we launched, the lockdown happened, the timing, in retrospect, was apt.
Once we launched there were a lot of small issues that were cropping up, which needed to be addressed. The initial two months of running the operations were hectic and the work load was increasing day by day. It was not easy managing the platform as it was all so new. The experience of running an online platform was challenging for me, while, at the same time, it was fun and exciting to learn new things every day.
As we run the platform, we continuously assess and see what’s going right and what needs to improve. We had done almost 10 programs between April 1st and May 31st, that was a lot for a new startup. All of them were live, interactive sessions introducing a range of topics by different facilitators.
Since it was live, in each of the programs I would sit through and actually experience each trainer facilitate the program and understand new aspects of life and work. I was constantly learning with every program.
It’s a unique situation, where you’re running a business and also getting to be a part of a learning process. It’s been a fascinating experience and I’m enjoying this new phase in life.
Adjusting to work from home
Thanks to the lockdown, there were days when I felt low and down. It was frustrating to be tied down, not being able to do outdoor work like I used to earlier.
As I kept working with the new business, I felt good and realized, we have to be patient and not rush into things.
There were many challenges during the lockdown which I faced personally as well as professionally.
- Accepting the new change – It was initially very difficult for me to accept that life was moving to a “work from home” environment. After a largely outdoor work scenario in filmmaking, I had to really push myself to see things from a different perspective. The change was drastic. It has had an impact on my personality too.
- Some plans getting changed or postponed – Even though the platform was planned well before the lockdown happened, some of the ideas that were put in place couldn’t be executed at that point in time.We wanted to focus more on creating learning video content, which would have been a new way to deliver learning. Unfortunately, we had to put that on hold and resort to doing online, live, interactive sessions. We adapted to that form quickly, which has today helped us get a sizeable audience and at the same time given us insights on what is working and what could be the way forward.
- New ideas for adding features – As we conducted the programs, saw the reactions and discussed with facilitators and others, we have some new and interesting thoughts to work upon. So we would soon be launching some new features.
- The film making opportunities are coming back – While the focus was totally on the online business, I was so glad to see old clients start calling and asking for some filming work to be done. Slowly, but surely, despite the restrictions of social distancing, I am hoping to see the return of my earlier work opportunities again.
Looking forward to some enjoyable times
Now when I look back to the 8 months, I am glad I took this decision of moving back to Bangalore and starting this business. With the pandemic creating a major shift in the way we work, businesses have gone online. There have been times when I have missed my filmmaking work, but nevertheless this has kept me quite busy to say the least.
Except for the odd days, this business has helped me stay positive and keep myself grounded in these tough times. I am glad to have been able to tide over the very difficult period of the lockdown by keeping myself occupied in the new project.
As things have started opening up, films will continue to play an important part in my life; as a major part of the online learning business as well as for other clients.
It’s still early days in the business, but from whatever I have learnt, I can confidently take my business to the next level.
I leave you with a shortfilm which I made, completely on zoom, about our journey in these 8 months.
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