Sound of Mu­sic

Manu­jen­dra Singh Ah­luwalia 28 Vi­neet Sethi 28 OWN­ERS Hys­te­ria store, Ban­ga­lore

India Today - - THE IDEAS FACTORY - By Devika Chaturvedi

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.

One-stop Shop

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

SAN­JAY RAM­CHAN­DRAN

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