Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 27: Once in a while, we come across a real-life story that sounds more like a fairytale simply due to the unbelievable courage and determination shown by its characters in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Mr. Pratik Shelar’s The Entrepreneur is one such example. In the seven episodes of The Entrepreneur, Pratik narrates the story of how he dreamed of achieving extraordinary success while living an ordinary life in a small town in India and how this one dream took him on the road to success and self-discovery.

Born in 1988 in the holy town of Tuljapur in Maharashtra, Pratik was a movie buff from a very young age. Little did his parents know that this passion for movies would pave the way for his future as an entrepreneur. Coming from an orthodox family, Pratik’s father wanted him to graduate from IIT and crack the UPSC exams to become a Collector – a dream that was socially wired in every Indian parent’s mind then. However, Pratik’s idea of a successful life was not limited to his own family, town or community event; instead, he wanted to achieve the kind of success that would make his country proud. 

In 2004 when his father decided to move to Pune with better educational prospects in mind, Pratik found his calling in the field of acting and theatre, which got him associated with the Spandan Parivar Cinema Movement. He got so involved in their activities that he couldn’t secure a seat at IIT, which shocked and disappointed his father to a great extent. While still studying for engineering in 2007, Pratik got an opportunity to act in a film called ‘Humne Jeena Seekh Liya’ – an experience that fueled his passion and strengthened his resolve to make a career in the film industry. 

When his original plan of becoming an actor got thwarted due to family pressures, Pratik decided to take a ‘back-door entry’ into the industry as a marketing head in one of the production houses. Thus, he decided to pursue MBA in marketing and took admission to the Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) in 2011. This was also the year when he met his first love on the campus PICT. However, a period of self-doubt and confusion led him to end the relationship before it could blossom into something serious. It was this personal loss that became his single source of motivation in the early years of his struggle to achieve success.

The final year of his MBA took him to London as the PICT had a tie-up with Coventry University in England. Pratik was one of the select few to whom the opportunity was awarded. However, he had to race against time to arrange the finances required to secure admission and travel to the UK. He had to rely solely on his grit and perseverance to get a loan against property as his father was not in a position to help him financially. Thus, in the year 2012, he became the very first member of his entire family to travel abroad.   

Once there, Pratik saw a whole world of opportunities open up before him, and he decided to make the UK his ‘karma bhoomi’. Although survival in a foreign was no easy task, he had decided to make good use of the opportunity presented to him. Along with working at five part-time jobs throughout the week and preparing his final dissertation, Pratik worked hard to earn the newly introduced Visa Scholarship – the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa – which was to be given to only 1000 students across the UK with a unique business plan. Thus, he born his very first business venture called the Indian Movie Friend (IMF) in 2014 – a ticketing portal for Indian Movies in England.

After his graduation, due to misinformation about the visa norms, Pratik had to return to India for a short period of five months between December 2013 to May 2014 until his visa extension was approved. Once here, he had to face the family pressure to stay back and find gainful employment instead of going back to the UK with some fancy business idea. It was a sheer belief in his own dreams that led Pratik to rebel against his father’s wishes and return to England with a small amount of Rupees 15 lakhs to start the Indian Movie Friend. He faced a lot of challenges as a twenty-five old boy with no prior experience of running a business, especially in a foreign land where he had neither references nor guidance. But with his strong will, he overcame those obstacles and established Indian Movie Friend as a name to reckon with in the Indian film and entertainment fraternity. With great tenacity, he also went on to fulfil all the equity and job creation requirements that enabled him to gain visa extensions for the next seven years.

In 2016, he decided to transform Indian Movie Friend from a ticketing portal to a movie streaming platform, a mistake that cost him all his life’s earnings and led him to the verge of bankruptcy. Having faced so much struggle already, this new blow shattered Pratik completely, and he was on the verge of committing suicide when his mother’s voice reminded him of his courage. He once again decided to fight against all odds and thus was born his new venture GoViddo Limited in 2018 – an investment platform for movies.

Today Pratik enjoys an indefinite stay in the UK, has revived Indian Movie Friend and has taken the idea of investing in films through GoViddo limited to the Cannes Film Festival 2022. The Entrepreneur – A Documentary is available for streaming on GoViddo’s Youtube channel and is soon set to be made into a mainstream movie.      


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