A catalyst for reforms: An entrepreneur’s Journey of film making with social impact
Today’s young entrepreneurs are known for their passion and commitment to changing things for the better. The industry is not only brimming with stories on what makes them tick but also on their strong determination to take up social issues head on. This aim to make an impact on some of the impending social issues sets them apart from others.
They are here with promising startups challenging established entrepreneurs on their own turfs.
Among the young social entrepreneurs, Devir Singh the CEO and founder of the DSB Group, has occupied a unique space who takes up complex social issues through his films. He is a force to be reckoned with.
Unbelievably, his is the story of a young lad who dreamt big and made it bigger. He has a long list of achievements. Making films with a difference, setting up a production house, acting, Promoting road safety and concern for women’s safety and authoring books are just some of the feathers that don his cap!
Devir Singh rightly justifies to be crowned, the ‘Young Entrepreneur of India’ defining excellence in entrepreneurship.
Where does all this energy come from? Ask him and he beams. Interning at Yash Raj Productions kindled the fire and desire for filmmaking. His first documentary E Adam, was a sensation in the film industry and won him the Best Short Film at the Cinéphile Film Festival. It also won the Human Achiever’s Award for excellence in film making.
At an age where the youngsters are so smitten with romantic themes, what drives him towards social issues? Devir points out, army background and close association with his mother gave the opportunity to explore India. Besides, as an avid rider, his country sojourns on his bike brought him closer to what he calls ‘human element’. He says, he wants to be known as someone who changed the community for better.
“I am passionate about India, its people and its rich diversity. This helps in the making of my documentaries with a message, be it cancer awareness or Swatch Bharat Abhiyan”.
What makes him the filmmaker he is? Setting up a production house at 24 is no child’s play and producing award-winning films a remarkable achievement. While the Internship at Yash Raj studio laid the foundation, a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication gave direction. Participation in TEDx conference shaped the desire to explore his own creativity. He says, lessons that came from traveling northeast, exploring villages and studying life at close quarters, fed the creativity in him. Blending it with business acumen resulted in his startup.
Following his love for filmmaking, he started his own production house. By the tender age of 26, he is the CEO of DSB Entertainment and Productions Pvt. Ltd. He went on to produce and direct his debut 15 minutes documentary.
“Celebrating life “ A film on cancer awareness for the Delhi Government. In a grave voice he says “I spent months with the cancer survivors who are the real warriors, fighting every day, understanding and praying that they never let go of their smile.” This film was also screened at SAARC Nations Summit.
SNOCON Securitas Pvt. Ltd was set up with the aim of providing professional and technical security. Not to miss his passion in whatever he does, the company is left exclusively in the hands of Sikh security personnel and ex Indian army officers.
The DSB FOUNDATION is Devir’s pet project. It focuses on ground campaigns like road safety, environment, community service and many more. When asked what is closest to his heart, he reveals that giving right direction to the youth and women’s safety supersedes all. No doubt the foundation’s most sought after project is ‘The she next door ’.
Inspired by Bollywood but based in Delhi, people often ask, why Delhi happens to be the choice. He feels from a business point of view, the competition is low as Delhi has hardly been the filmmakers’ paradise. Devir points out; few films are shot in Delhi though heritage and culture make Delhi unique.
Lack of market and low scope make Delhi challenging. Raising finance too is a huge challenge in Delhi. What started on a low key, his startups, are multi crore venture today and ‘the number one in circuit’.
Challenges apart, what keeps this young entrepreneur awake at night, we wanted to know. His prime concerns relate to the society. He feels it’s time for the youth to take up responsibilities and act.
It is important to give back to the society. A time for retribution feels Devir. Like a leader sets the example, he personally participates. One of the most endearing gestures made by Devir was, organizing a chef led cooking workshop for women in Tihar jail. Similarly during one of his rural visits he assisted a villager in setting up a shop facilitating phone recharge so the village could connect better. Not surprising that people call him affectionately, ‘DSB’
During the Interview, when we steered him towards his passion, film making, he lamented that it is ‘stressful yet exciting.’
It is the challenges in film making that keep him going. There are several dreams to fulfill he says. He is excited about his first movie as an actor ‘Gama in the Land of Lama’ (yet to release), there is a book titled ‘Yuva Bharat’ authored by him awaiting release. He plans to start a line of herbal soaps, work towards plastic ban and other issues. When pressed to mention one deep down desire for future, he answers “Well, to see my film ‘Gama in the Land of Lama’ win an award at Cannes film festival.”
Discussing the achievements /awards he has been honored with, he feels unsure if ‘this’ is success. He was conferred with the Exceptional Leaders of Excellence Award at Women Economic Forum, Bharat Leadership Award for an exemplary contribution towards nation development, and the “ASSOCHAM Award” for Young Entrepreneur of India. He also chairs the Road Safety Initiative of CII. He is in the committee of CII environment and road safety task force for Delhi.
But Devir is not content. He says, “Reaching out to masses is more rewarding”. He looks up to our Honourable PM Modi and prophesies, “It takes one man to change the people. The rest follow.”
With multiple feathers in his cap, truly steering the ‘Yuva’ towards constructing a new ‘Bharat’ is the ever-inspiring, Devir Singh Bhandari.