Sound of Music
Manujendra Singh Ahluwalia 28 Vineet Sethi 28 OWNERS Hysteria store, Bangalore
Cushy banking jobs after an
MBA from IMT, Ghaziabad, in 2007, is a great move-up-inlife idea. Except that friends Manujendra Singh Ahluwalia and Vineet Sethi could never get used to corporate suits, corner cubicles and the sheer drudgery of 9-to-5 life. They fell back on old passions— music and superheroes—to launch India’s first youth-oriented concept store, Hysteria, in July 2010 in Bangalore. It sells original, licensed music and superhero merchandise
in apparel, accessories and artwork. The launch was preceded by six months of research and liaison with suppliers. “It helped that the city has a thriving music scene. We were also lucky to get a place at Church Street, Bangalore’s Times Square,” says Sethi. Two years on, Hysteria, which started with an initial investment of Rs 12 lakh, has an annual turnover of Rs 1 crore. The duo opened another store in Pune in February and has also gone online to cater to buyers beyond Bangalore and Pune. “We wanted to do something that resounded with people of our age. And, of course, make a lot of money in the process,” says Ahluwalia. The success has allowed them to do their bit for Indian music too. “We promote many Indian bands like Kryptos, Inner Sanctum, Shepherd by putting up their merchandise at our store,” says Sethi.
Elvis to The Doors, Superman to Batman, if you worship music or believe in superheroes, Hysteria is the goto place.
Now in India
The store has become a landmark for philharmonics who until recently had to pester ‘foreign-based’ cousins to source T-shirts, caps and action figures of superheroes and rock music idols.
From jazz to psychedelic, from rock to trance, every genre of music finds expression in their original merchandise. We don’t find this kind of stuff anywhere else in India.”
Nolan lewis, founder of rockband kryptos
SETHI (LEFT) AND AHLUWALIA