Interview: This Musical Entrepreneur Connects Artists with the Entertainment Industry
By: Meeta Nagpal, Founder
Meeta Nagpal, Founder, Musical Dreams is a published author and poet, a Kathak dancer (learning under Guru Prerana Shrimali), a Delhi University Topper and a mentor to many young artists.
Her 17-year young venture - Musical Dreams has a garage to global story. She identifies talented artistes and mentors and prepares them for a live audience. Today, many of her mentees have won national recognition (Rashmeet Kaur - Mirchi Music awards Bangla) and have been considered for international awards. (Shruti Dhasmana – considered for Grammy nomination, recipient of Elite Night Life award) to name a few.
Meeta Nagpal has had the opportunity to work with artists like Sonu Nigam and currently represents Shibani Kashyap in North India. She has curated and managed shows not only in India but also globally.
She has written and co- directed the musical ‘Magic Man ‘with Janet Reed which has been presented in Kamani auditorium.
She is President of The Artist Foundation (TAF) and secretary to Snehi, an organisation for psychological support and mental healthcare. She is an active Rotarian. Currently she is also serving as a President of her chapter in the global organisation BNI. She is also a member of the India Habitat Centre (IHC).
In an interview with Women Entrepreneur magazine, Meeta speaks to us about her extraordinary journey of connecting artists with the entertainment industry and much more.
Q1. What prompted you to establish Musical Dreams?
Meeta Nagpal: I have been connected to classical forms of performing art from the age of 3. I had the opportunity to perform on TV as well as on international stages way back in the 80s. After my marriage and motherhood, I had to take a break from dancing. Out of practice but not out of creativity I decided to give my passion a sincere and strong shape. I decided to create a space where artists of all age groups could come, learn, share, create and collaborate. I decided if I could not be on the stage up could very well be behind it.
Q2. Why do you think platforms like Musical Dreams are important?
Meeta Nagpal: Being an artist myself I understand that artists are a little different. Musical Dreams is not just an artist management company in fact it is an artistic development organization where artists have space to develop themselves creatively as well as commercially. Musical dreams is a unique platform because we are a bridge between the artist and the entertainment industry. We are also unique because we understand the issues and constraints on both sides and work towards solving them without exploitation on either side.
Q3. Tell us about some of the challenges you faced during the initial days of establishing the company?
Meeta Nagpal: Personally, I did not face many challenges. Any obstacle that came my way was used as a stepping stone to move higher. Being a relatively new industry to that time, with no academic guidelines I learned on the go and got hands-on experience.
Q4. Did gender ever act as a deterrent in your entrepreneurial journey?
Meeta Nagpal: 15 years ago not only the entertainment industry but almost all industries were male-dominated. There was a lack of trust and confidence where women were concerned. Being an unorganized sector there was no way to measure one success and contribution. Being a woman entrepreneur on the same front gave me an opportunity to work with more women and I could reach out, connect to them and we could together work as a team and move forward. Undoubtedly, women have an extra edge of creativity and passion in them which is very much needed in this field. Thus, yes at times it acted as a deterrent but as women entrepreneurs, we stop just to pause and then move ahead and make our way quietly but surely.
Q5. As technology is transforming the business landscape, what has been the impact of technology on your business and how have you adapted to the change?
Meeta Nagpal: Undoubtedly in the last 2 to 3 years we have seen technology to be part of each and every sector. Never ever had I imagined that art would be so entwined with technology. Interestingly, art and technology have also worked well with each other and lots of avenues have opened. Be it training, collaboration, virtual shows, independent music, music streaming, music production and a lot more has enhanced because of technology. All this has made the world over artists more connected to each other. So technology is now extending art to more and more people, but yes it is an addition and it has not taken over what we see here and experience in person.
Q6. In your opinion, how do women entrepreneurs and women in the workforce contribute to the country and its economic growth?
Meeta Nagpal: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Women not only women entrepreneurs contribute to every aspect of the country and its economic and overall growth. Despite so many social prejudices and vulnerabilities, women are contributing around 18 percent to the nation’s GDP and this percentage is constantly growing. Women not only bring more professionalism but also ethics to work. Women are leading some of the most prestigious organizations in the country.
Q7. As a woman entrepreneur, how do you think the Business Environment of the country has evolved? What factors have contributed to making it more conducive for women entrepreneurs?
Meeta Nagpal: The business environment has evolved immensely for the woman entrepreneur. The government has given various benefits right from education to business for the woman to reach her potential. The mindset of people has gradually changed and they are now accepting women as leaders, as decision-makers, and as equals. Even the traditionally male-dominated fields like real estate and sports management have embraced women in their systems. Some of the biggest start-ups in the country have been founded and led by women. Increased access to education, the emergence of digital technologies, workplace safety all have contributed to the emergence of women professionals and entrepreneurs.
Q8. Keeping in mind the social and cultural barriers, what advice would you give to women who aspire to take up entrepreneurship, especially after this pandemic?
Meeta Nagpal: Faith, patience, and dedication are what I practice and what I preach. I urge the women to try doing what they like and not be afraid of failure. Besides hard work, patience and perseverance will help you go a long way. As women, I believe we hold an extra responsibility for building a better society, therefore, ethics and professionalism should be the guiding principles of whatever you are doing. Most importantly, encouraging other women and building a better working environment for them should be the priority of a woman entrepreneur.