Full House Labs is a Bangalore based company started by Akash Satheesh and his friend in 2010.
“Full House Labs was mainly focused on the creation of quality short films, with stories from our imagination. The curiosity and overwhelming enthusiasm about Cinema and the concept of working as a group towards delivering a 2 hours wonder in full screen, and the time-tedious processes involved, both the technical and non-technical aspects, made us think about a startup like this”, says Akash.
We got an opportunity to talk with Akash, the co-founder of Full House Labs. And I am sure; his story will inspire you. Let’s look at the journey.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Myself Akash Satheesh. And my startup’s name is Full House Labs, which is a media production house started in 2010, founded by me& my kiths and later onwards handled by myself, primarily focused on advertising, e-commerce, print ads, TV & theatre commericals. Later on, In 2017 October, I established the sister venture of Full House Labs, named Haze Studios, dealing with the premium wedding photography, videography & corporate event coverage and filming.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
To start with, Full House Labs was a small venture established by me and my friends(who were supposed to be Engineers 🙂 ), who was so very enthusiastic about Films, its technicalities involving cinematography, editing and related stuff. We coined the name Full House Labs for our venture. Full House Labs was mainly focused on the creation of quality short films, with stories from our imagination. The curiosity and overwhelming enthusiasm about Cinema and the concept of working as a group towards delivering a 2 hours wonder in full screen, and the time-tedious processes involved, both the technical and non-technical aspects, made us think about a startup like this. We were Engineering students from different branches, who created soulful stories and shot it using the very minimalistic equipment after college hours. It was during the early 2010s when we started it up and released our first short film, which was funded by Startup Village. And we published it in social media and the response was overwhelming, that it inspired us a lot to create vivid contents thereafter. So a team like Full House Labs, was a dream for many younglings out there during our college time, who were real aspirants of Cinema, and we were able to inspire, at least a few with the concept of a startup, to give life to our imaginations and concepts.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am an Engineering graduate (in Electronics and Communication Dept.) from College of Engineering, Thalassery, in Kannur, Kerala. During the course of time, most of the friends who were there with me, during the initial phase of startup, got diverted to different fields like Engineering, banking and all. Some of them, moved to Film industry itself. Since my curiosity to learn more about advertising, filming and all grew more than ever before, I decided to assist, some of my friends, who were working in an advertising startup in Kochi. I learned different dimensions of photography, designing, graphics, cinematography and art direction from them.The arena of vast possibilities in the same created a perseveration in me, to become a master in it.
I came to Bangalore and joined Pixelloid for a course in VFX graphics and photography. It was a turning point in my life. In order to earn the bread, I started actively searching for part time jobs, to do parallely with the course. I joined in an Arts and Crafts business, as an internal photographer cum social media manager for the same. I started doing the products photography for the items in the showroom, which paved the way for growing myself as a photographer. Initially, I started clicking the pictures using a table lamp lighting.Later when I started doing the product photography for Snapdeal and Amazon, I decided to upgrade myself by buying a new camera and lights for shooting.That can be considered as the second major turning point in my life.
Meanwhile, I got an offer from the company ActsFolio, in the role of media production head, involving cinematography, advertising, photography and all, wherein I worked for an year and due to inappropriate staffing issues, I had to quit the company.I joined Moshi-Moshi, a startup by youngsters then, as the media head. Later due to financial crisis, the operations of the company was shut. During that time, I got an offer from Denture Capital, wherein my friend was also working. It was dealing more with startup videos and news.While I was working there, I got more exposure and I started getting lot of freelance works. I have been doing these freelance works under the banner of Full House Labs.Even though there was a break for Full House Labs, in between, due to different reasons, almost all the freelancing works I took up during the course of time, were published through Full House Labs only.
In June 2017, I went to Dubai, and got a bunch of clients out there also and I’ve collaborated with them, in the name of Full House, as a part of expanding the client set outside India also. I’ve worked with famous clients like Dubai Sports City. After coming back from Dubai in October, I renovated Full House Labs in a brand new way. And started to extend our services to premium wedding photography and filming, and also to corporate events. Hence I started Haze Studios, the sister enterprise, in order to deliver the extended services.As a part of the renovation, I’ve opened a new office in AECS layout, near Kudlu Gate and hired more team members too.So now I have a dedicated team for both Full Hous Labs and Haze Studios as well, who have their expertise in the same field, hardworking and enthusiastic.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Full House Labs and Haze Studios, both are Bangalore based startups. But we have worked, all over India as well as in Dubai. We started our office in Bangalore, for the convenience of the majority of the clients, since most of our clients are from Bangalore.And I believe, Bangalore is the best place for my startup to have the root in. People in Bangalore expects International quality work delivered on time, which we surely have been able to attain.Apart from other cities in India, there is some speciality about the people in Bangalore. When they approach us for media related requirements, they do think out of the box and they have specific prototypes and ideas about how the final output to look like, and they have International standards as their references as well.Till this point of time, we were able to deliver exactly what they want and thats why, we are proudly able to say that our clients are recurring.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Until I renovated Full House Labs and established Haze Studios as the sister enterprise, I was paranoid.And I believe, till reaching that saturation point of struggling and frustration that arises out of it, and when you are financial, mentally and physically ready to stand up, take the risk and actually start to work, you can stop being paranoid.Once I’ve stood up myself for my establishment, I never had worries. I believe in the quality of work, I deliver to my clients.So I never panic about the standard of work. There were instances, when we run out of time, because of the parallel no.of incoming works. Hence,on-time delivery, with the limited no.of available team members drives me crazy at times. But that’s just momentarily one. Now the only focus I’ve is to keep up the good quality, that we’ve been delivering. Since we’re pretty confident about ourselves, it never makes me paranoid.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
As advertising, cinematography and e-commerce photography, has been a trending and in-style topic of this era, there is a huge competition in this field. So the no.of competitors are hell lot in number, as there are new production house startups been established every day in and around Bangalore. In product photography, we are one among the top 10 in Bangalore. Competitions will be there in every field.If your work is good enough, standards and procedures are top class, then you will be able to cope up with any situation and amidst any big shots.That’s what we believe in and that has helped us a lot to mark a prominent position among our competitors.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
So far, I’m able to have a work-life balance. I do find time for my personal life. As my teammates, also help me out, during the crunch times, it has been easy for us to deliver work time bound. But obviously yes, at times, it becomes difficult to find time for refreshment activities.But that’s not an everyday scene. And my kiths and kins are very considerate of me, and they understand the difficulties of initial phases of startup life, they do adjust, which I find it as the greatest blessing I have. 🙂
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No.I’ve not raised any funding.This is completely a bootstrap startup.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
As I told earlier, the clients who approach us with their requirement, will be having an International quality work as their reference. We do appreciate their thought process, when they narrate their expected prototype to us. But the main bottleneck lies when it comes to their budget.Although we all need our final output to be the best, the tedious tasks or process involved behind that output, the manpower required for the same or the technology or equipment used for the same are not considered by at least some of the clients. They think its an easy process we’re doing and will stick on to their low budget, which makes it difficult for us to convince them. I’m not generalizing everyone. Alteast some of them are ignorant about the technicalities and the rate of the equipments that has been used. Lack of knowledge about the industry, is also a cause for this.
What gets you excited about this company?
Rewinding back about the entire journey which started since college times, took diversions to different paths, and ended up being in this current state, has always been an exciting thing for me. The struggles and frustrations, the ups and downs which I faced during the course of time, has only made me strong till date. I’m so excited about exploring new ideas that can be implemented in our work, to add new dimensions to it.The feedback from the clients pumps us up like anything.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day starts with one hour well spent in the gym. Usually, we have daily stand up meetings among the teammates. The direct one to one calls that we make to clarify the requirement specifications with clients, make the work easy. I’m usually working on media editing and graphics side.So except during crunch times, our office timings are uniform. I do find time for refreshment activities in the evening, like playing badminton and I do cook after coming back from office. I believe only a healthier body can work actively throughout, hence the work-life balance is a must.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I have a team of 6 people as of now, including myself. Arjun, who is also my best friend, I’ve met him through one of my friends. He is a true aspirant of Cinema and was following his greatest passion. He collaborated with me on the works of Full House Labs. The next sone is Sajin, who is also my college junior and a good friend, is so fond of photography and he expressed his interest to join me in my venture.The third one is Vyshakh Annur, who is so passionate about filming and photography, and a great learner too.He expressed his interest to learn more under me. The fifth one is Gowtham Babu, I hired him for one of my projects. The last one is Anjali, she is my friend cum college junior, handling digital marketing and she is also doing SEO consultancy for us.
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