The Making of a Blockbuster

The Rotary Club of Bombay (RCB) has many large on-going projects. HTEC and ADMC at Talwada, Women’s Empowerment at the IWA Clinic, Urban Heritage at the Asiatic, Jal Jeevan in Mumbai’s slums, the new RCB Cotton Green Medical Centre and Bhavishya Yaan (BY) in five Municipal schools.

A study of the budgetary requirements revealed that BY needed to raise money, more so, since it wanted to expand its activities organically to include little kids in all its schools. The eight year old project also needed an upgrade of its computers in various schools. The stage was set at the offsite at Lonavala held for the incoming leadership team of Rotary Year 2017-18. The Co- Chair of the Fund Raising Committee S.V.Prasad announced that Shankar Mahadevan would be live in concert for Bhavishya Yaan in August 2017. The stage was set.

It was decided that keeping in mind the highest principles of probity, no member of the RCB would be approached until 1st. July 2017.

It was also a stated objective that fund raising would not be done for this Rotary Year alone. It would be done for three years. And so the target was set. Collect running expenses for all five schools to function well for three years plus funds to change the computers in all schools.

Apart from that it was very clear that a Fund Raiser could not have just one objective. To make the process more complete it should also raise the profile of the RCB in particular and the Rotary movement in general. On the installation night, the fund raising effort got off to a flying start with the good news that Bharat Serums & Vaccines would take care of the expenses of the Colaba school for three years. and provide a set of new computers.What followed was a little over a month of hectic work with Vineet Bhatnagar as Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee. Philip Capital announced they would take one school. H.T.Parekh Foundation followed likewise. Indira Behn Kotak announced her intention. And then large donations from the likes of Gherda Chemicals, Homi Bhabha, Adi Godrej and Nirav Shah. Meanwhile Mirror Now broadcast a module on Bhavishya Yaan on national television. The DNA newspaper covered BY prominently.

Then came the slog overs where Alok Seksaria, Madhusudhan Daga, Manish Reshamwala coordinated the efforts to get advertisements for a Souvenir and maximise the revenue from ticket sales. The mentors Avaan, Ekta, Rashmi, Rinku and Jaya along with Devina, Manoj Patodia, Satyan, Anand Dalal, Mudit Jain and others got into high gear on this front.

Meanwhile the media push began. Kinetic, a leading OOH company offered ten premium hoarding sites all over Mumbai free of charge. Radio City 91.1 gave two interviews (Alok and Satyan performed with panache), RJ mentions, and ran a contest where the name of RCB and BY was highlighted hugely. The Hindu gave two large color advertisements. The Free Press Journal gave a large color advertisement. The Hindu followed this up with an extensive article on BY.

Since the District Organ Donation Drive was on, the RCB mentioned that drive in its interviews and gave up two RJ mentions for that cause.

The idea was to be inclusive. A three-minute music video was created. Kaushik Roy and his team chipped in to make the film, and Pradeep Guha committed to broadcast it on India’s No. 1 music channel, 9XM. This would be a first in the Rotary world. The media push was complete. Print, Radio, TV and OOH.

The results are there for everyone to see. About 70 advertisers, and a Tata Theatre where every seat was sold, and most of them at premium rates. The funds raised would easily cover the target set. And surpass it. The prestige and publicity the RCB garnered was the icing on the cake.

Team BY, a job well done.