Founded by Adnan Adeeb, Volano Entertainment is changing the way we see sports and we entertain ourselves. Welcome to the world of Obstacle Run!!
For those who do not know, Obstacle run/race is a sport in which participants, traveling on foot, need to overcome obstacles which can be mental or physical in order to complete the challenge. Obstacles in such races could be climbing over walls, crawling in mud, jumping over fire, mental exercises/puzzles etc. Volano happens to be the first company to bring such race to public in India. Now that’s cool!
Founder of Volano Entertainment, Adnan, was in technology for 16 years before starting Volano Entertainment. In his own words, “I wanted to be an entrepreneur and create something which never existed in India. With the same thought, we started Volano Entertainment with the purpose of creating India’s biggest amateur sports company”.
Adnan’s confidence in his idea is very well understood when he adds, “We want people to be able to play sport and have fun. We are population of 1.6 billion, and our middle class is 250 million. This is good enough to get first 10000 people and make difference to their life.”.
Volano Entertainment, since then has been working on creating properties in amateur sports which brings difference to the experience people get when they happen to become a part of such events. The sport properties created by Volano Entertainment includes Devils Circuit (which happens to be their first and most popular property) and Game On India (which is a corporate sports league event).
Adnan believes amateur sport sector is highly scalable and untapped area of sport where properties that you create will have a greater impact and penetration within the masses over coming years.
Volano Entertainment earns its revenue from two way revenue model which includes subscription and sponsorship.
The idea of Devils Circuit originated when Adnan himself took part in one such obstacle race in US and he thought of bringing something on similar lines in India.
His access to multiple people in multiple corporate helped him get first sponsors for this business which at first point was difficult owing to the fact that it was a new concept and totally untested in India. But thanks to his 17 years of corporate experience, Adnan had access to multiple people who could make a change and also take him to right forums to get his first sponsors.
Obstacle run was a new form of engagement for people. Adnan believed people in india would like to engage with a product and not a service. With this confidence in their approach Ireo became the first sponsor for Volano and Gurgaon became the first location preference.
In his own words Adnan adds, “Just before the event their was a lot of thinking of what if we did not get the required audience. This is when Ludhiana came up. Being a small center Ludhiana had its own pros and cons. Pros being influencers within the city had access to a majority of people of the city, con being there are very less people to be targeted”. He reached out to young CEOs within the city who could make some difference to the reach they can have within the new city. They also reached out to people who had very wonderful reach on social media and sold them the concept.People were pretty excited about this new idea and its execution. This gave them nice outreach to a lot of people in Ludhiana. Ludhiana being a small center had less expensive print media and so Volano could give full page advertisements of this race. Soon the whole idea just kick-started.
Finally, Volano did their first obstacle run of Devils Circuit with 1100 people in the first race and this lead to a lot of hype and coverage by CNN IBN, NDTV etc. Adnan started getting calls from multiple other companies inquiring about the future expansion plans.
“Those companies were very much interested in using our product for a medium of engagement. Soon we were able to sell the title rights of our product (Devils Circuit) for next 3 years. This is when we as a small company were able to demand a premium for what we were offering”, adds Adnan.
Devils Circuit attracts people from 15 different nationalities showing their reach different segments towards such a paid event.
Founder of Volano, Adnan, recalls the way people thank them as organizers for the event that they organize. This gives them a great pride and confidence over their event and also get them to understand how much people like it and connect with it.
Adnan believes that properties that they create have ‘Attitude’ factor and that is the prime reason people connect with it and feel good to be a part of it. This seems a very good point while creating any social brand. People should feel connected and feel pride in being connected.
Volano’s small team of 7 people spends a lot of time and resources on researching on the experience they can give in their events. It looks glamorous from outside but has a lot of hard work and sleepless nights before an event is completed.
He is keen to point out that people may forget any product that they buy like a mobile phone once it is old, but the kind of experience Volano creates is with their customers for a lifetime.
TV variant of devils circuit which is called Devils Circuit Swift Challenge is the latest in addition. It is a unique concept with a 200 m indoor running track with 6 physical obstacles and 3 mental obstacles. It is a team event and a corporate event.
Adnan was so confident about the success of this event that he decided to buy the broadcast rights for this time. Adnan adds this is going to be the biggest corporate challenge covering Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Ram Charan (Tollywood Actor) has been appointed as the brand ambassador of latest Devils Circuit. Devils Circuit for its latest run has collaborated with Maruti Suzuki Swift to make it Devils Circuit Swift Challenge.