Kapil Srivastava is a musician and a successful entrepreneur who runs the largest chain of Guitar Schools in India. He is the founder and owner of Guitarmonk. With over 10,000 students from around the world, this chain of guitar schools is a popular platform for students around the world to learn music from well talented guitarists and musicians.
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Kapil Srivastava about his success story as an artist and a music entrepreneur. Below is the interview we had exclusively for the emerging entrepreneurs and readers of We Heart Entrepreneurs.
1. Hello! Can you please tell us about yourself?
Hello from India and heartiest thanks for bringing me at your platform. I am Kapil Srivastava, born and brought up in India, an artist, basically a composer-guitarist and a music entrepreneur.
2. When did your interest in music start? How did you decide to start Guitarmonk which is a leading Music School in India?
I somehow got connected to beauty and tone of guitar during my school days even before I was 10 years of age. I got to hear some great guitar music in Bollywood movies, which inspired me to play all those pieces on Guitar. I was basically a flute student till that time but then Guitar captured me. And that’s how my interest in music started.
Guitarmonk is a mix of two words Guitar and Monk, which also symbolizes west and east, new and old. Guitarmonk happened as a philosophy of strength, success and solutions for me in my musical journey. Guitarmonk was a figure I visualized as a unique and pioneer brand in the country and globe. That’s how it started as a school with one center and now has reached 100+ places in India.
3. Who Are Your Musical Influences?
At my growing age I was influenced by music of RD Burman, SD Burman, Kalyan Ji Anand Ji and as I got matured I started enjoying Ghazals and compositions by Madan Mohan and it further grew to listening and learning classical music both western classical JS Bach and Indian Classical Pt. Ravi Shankar. In west my preferences were Yanni, George Michaels, Eagles, Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams etc.
4. With other Guitar Schools available in India, what makes Guitarmonk and your chain of Guitar Schools unique? How is your Guitar Schools different from its competitors?
It’s just because we are specialized and focused to the subject. One other reason is extensive research work and the vision we carry. There are various other factors too to make the model effective, which evolved after a lot of failures and analysis. Today we execute plethora of processes on each component of maintaining quality and effective education from teacher selection, training, facility, students support and finally training of students. It also requires a quality team and resource investment. But that’s how we are the largest chain of Guitar Schools with 10,000+ students registered worldwide so far and growing.
5. You are a Musician. On the other way, you are also an entrepreneur who runs the leading chain of guitar schools in India. How do you balance your career in both sectors as a musician and as an entrepreneur?
As per me art and enterprise is not contradictory and they balance well each other. They both are great learning, while music gives me the ability to enjoy and celebrate emotions and beauty of life. Business on the other hand pushes me to sharp my soft skills, financial skills and problem solving skills. In fact it is the business that freed my music from the compulsions of performing in non-creative platforms for the sake of money. I think everybody has both dimensions but most of the people don’t get chance to explore and evolve due to their socially fixed mindset and routines. I am fortunately not trapped in any single of them. In both of the domains I have achieved a lot of things which are socially acceptable, appreciable and socially certified but so far I have lived my life on the philosophy of Karma without any stress of prejudiced career. I enjoy pushing my boundaries with things in hand and rest is byproduct. And that is how I am first mover in the things I am doing. Music teaches me how to be easy and playful. I am just living my life. Business also teaches me how I can touch lives and create livelihood for many people. Both are part of me.
6. Would you like to share some advice for youngsters who see you as a good artist and a successful entrepreneur?
In my work life of more than 2 decades, I have had the chance to work with various great associations and even world class projects. With my little of experience, I want to share one thing and that is “do not try to fit in any other shoes or other’s perception of life. Know who you are, discover yourself even if takes some time”.
You can connect with Kapil Srivastava and Guitarmonk by visiting his website and social media platforms.
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Amila Gamage is the founder of www.weheartentrepreneurs.com and some other popular blogs.She is the founder of Sihela Consultants (www.sihelaconsultants.com). You can also find her blogging at www.thecontractsengineer.com