Check out the exclusive interview of Rahul Puri, MD of Mukta Arts & Mukta A2 Cinemas Ltd.
Rahul Puri has impressive credentials, from his academic career to professional triumph. He joined Mukta Arts as Vice President in 2003 and promoted to Managing Director in 2014. He has been instrumental in various successful initiatives and confronting obstacles. Check out inspiring interview of Rahul Puri in his own words.
Thanks Mr. Rahul Puri to come on board for an interview. Kindly brief about the core vision of Mukta A2 Cinemas.
The core vision of Mukta A2 Cinemas is to provide a quality experience for all customers watching the best films possible at an affordable price to encourage the cinema viewing habit. We ensure that our screens come with all the modern and technological perks of a multiplex but also keep in mind the communities which are their core audiences and tailor the experience according to the locality. This ‘non-cookie cutter’ approach means we can focus more on our patrons and provide the best possible experience to them.
What is the mission statement and how the organization implements it?
The mission statement is to provide a world class cinema experience to all patrons at an affordable price. Which we are already providing our guests with at all our cinemas.
Share the details of journey so far.
The journey has been a solid one so far. We began about 4 years ago with just two screens in Ahmedabad and Baroda. Since then we have expanded our locations and screens and even moved outside of India with a multiplex in Bahrain. Mukta A2 has begun in each of these localities to cement a strong market position and each multiplex has found a loyal set of patrons that regularly come to the cinema as their first choice. We have learnt a lot about managing audience expectations and have used all our experience of the film business and distribution to ensure the best content mix for our customers. Couple this with a unique understanding of tastes in terms of food and beverage and Mukta A2 Cinemas has become an undeniable brand.
What is your strategy of acquiring existing cinemas and merge it into the theatre chain of Muka A2 Cinemas?
There are several existing theatres that need a larger umbrella and some sprucing up. These are in good locations but perhaps over the years have been badly maintained. We believe in using the brand of these existing theatres and overhauling them to move them up the quality chain. Then, given their location and Mukta A2’s wider economies of scale and marketing, they can be relaunched successfully. We have done this with New Excelsior in Mumbai and it has worked extremely well. This sometimes is a cheaper option than building a new multiplex and doesn’t disturb the locality in the major cities. There is plenty of potential to do this across the country.
Which are your major services for customer satisfaction?
While we have all the best amenities like all other Multiplexes, Mukta A2 Cinemas has a few things that differentiates it from the rest. To begin with, most of our auditoriums boast of ample leg room for comfort. Our Customer feedback & response system is one of the quickest with personal attention from the cinema and the corporate level.
What are the unique things that you are offering to movie lovers?
Mukta A2 Cinemas gives movie lovers the best experience with all amenities & facilities like any other Multiplex including the Interior & ambience, variety of F&B options, the best in technology projection & sound, and comfortable seating with amazing leg room in all the cinemas. We also offer serving F&B at the seat so the guests need not stand in queue at the counters. We have Gift Vouchers which can be bought on our website as well as our cinemas, which makes a unique gifting option for various occasions.
We keep coming up with special offers, and have done some special offers for students in certain locations. But what sets us apart is the attractive pricing which is also our USP. Recently we have started re-screening old classic films from the 80’s & 90’s every Sunday at one of our flagship cinemas New Excelsior Mukta A2 Cinemas in Mumbai. We are also planning to roll out a loyalty program for our patrons in the coming months.
Kindly share your views on current scenario of Bollywood and regional movies.
It’s an interesting time for both the industries. I think that audiences are changing and now demanding more content driven films. Even for the films with big stars, just their presence alone isn’t enough. They need to challenge the audience with a good story and a strong narrative. Regional films have done exceptionally well over the past few years primarily because they are catering to a core TG that relates to the content. Even without Bahubali, the regional industries have performed better than Hindi films over the last year.
What are your predictions on current wave of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other OTT contents?
I think they are great for customers and for content creators. I do not see them as doom and gloom for the cinema businesses. I see them as another window for people to view entertainment and one that is more ‘on demand’ than ever before. I think they will be eating into the TV industry’s time before they affect theatres. In fact even if/when they begin to start influencing films to move solely to their platforms and skip the cinemas entirely, then I think it will benefit cinemas and the platforms. Films that have an audience on the big screen will run better if they are given breathing space. It’s a good sign for things to come.
Kindly share your credentials.
Currently Mukta A2 Cinemas is present in 18 locations across India with 51 screens & also own & operate a 6 screen Multiplex in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.
Which kind of developments we can expect in near future from Mukta A2 Cinemas?
We are looking at expanding our cinemas with the same concept that we have been operating on. We are expecting to be a 100 screens by the end of the financial year.