Mukta A2 CINEMAS is a fast growing cinema chain in India which was founded by Mr. Subhash Ghai, the Showman of Bollywood, one of the most prominent Film Directors in India, with an aim to provide a Multiplex experience at pocket friendly prices. Mukta A2 Cinemas is currently present in 31 properties with 59 screens in India and has an International presence with a 6 screen Multiplex in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Recently, Mukta A2 Cinemas launched a beautiful one- screen Drive – In cinema at Bahrain Bay to provide its patrons with a safe and a comfortable movie watching experience, amidst of the COVID pandemic over the world.
Mukta A2 Cinemas promises to provide its patrons with state-of-the-art sound, 3-D picture quality with comfortable seating and a soothing and elegant ambience with a sumptuous variety of food & beverages. The cinemas offer a high standard of services that are upheld by a young and dynamic team of professionals with a strong background in the exhibition industry.
In FY 16-17, Mukta A2 Cinemas started a fully owned & operated Multiplex in the city of Manama, Bahrain, making it the first Indian exhibitor to start operations in the Middle East and the only Indian cinema chain to build & operate its own cinemas internationally.
In 2017, it formed a Joint Venture company with South India's renowned Asian Cinemas to build and operate single screens across South India. As a part of this agreement, the cinema chain has already commenced operations in some markets across the southern circuit like Gangavathi, Thandur and Nizamabad.
Targeting over a 100 screens by the end of FY 2022, Mukta A2 Cinemas has initiated projects in markets like Pune, Gurgaon, Nainital, Bangalore, Surat and is also expanding its base in its existing markets including cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.
Born in a small Welsh village of Neath in the UK, Rahul’s family shifted to New Delhi, India when he was 10 years old.
He completed his 8 IGCSE’s from the Cambridge Board (7 A’s and a B) and received a scholarship for his performance when he was admitted to complete his ‘A’ Levels from the British School. Finally completing his 4 ‘A’ Levels – at the time, 3 ‘A’ Levels was considered the standard – he decided to apply to colleges in the UK, where he had his family and knew the environment well. Kings College’s prestigious Business Management programme accepted him and in 1996, he joined the programme as an undergraduate.
During his time at King’s Rahul won the Dean’s Award for most meritorious student in Business Management (a class of 120) three years in a row and finished his degree with a 1 st class distinction. He also represented the college at football and cricket for the three years he attended.
Moving on from there, he applied and was accepted into UBS Warburg’s highly competitive Analyst Training Programme for Corporate Finance. After finishing that, and passing his Securities and Derivatives Exam in the UK, he spent a further 3 years working at UBS in corporate finance.
Staring from the Mining and Metals Origination Team and moving to the European Media and Internet Team, he worked on international transactions worth up to US$10 billion. In Mining and Metals, he advised Anglo American and Alcoa at board level on strategy as well as advising Impala Platinum on their takeover of Platexico in Canada and Norsk Hydro on their acquisition of Wells Aluminium. In the Media and Internet Team, he advised Denstu Advertising on their global expansion strategy and subsequent IPO, advised EMTV with regards to their Formula Saatchi.
In search of a new challenge and in a fast growing and developing environment, he moved to Mumbai in 2002, and he joined Ambit Corporate Finance where he advised the management of UDV India on their buyout of the global drinks portfolio of UDV Limited. Rahul then moved on to Nimbus Communications where he assumed the role of Corporate Strategy Manager, he helped build a successful motion pictures division for the company and developed strong global relationships.
In 2003, he joined Mukta Arts Limited as Vice President – Finance and Business Strategy and has been involved in the development of the company and the release of over 15 commercial films including ‘Aitraaz’, ‘Kisna’, ‘Shaadi Se Pehle’ ’36 Chinatown’, ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’, ‘Yuvvraaj’ and many more. On the creative side, he was instrumental in the set up of the company’s niche film banner, Mukta Searchlight and he produced Mukta Searchlight’s first production, the critically acclaimed blockbuster ‘Iqbal’, in 2005. He has also been involved in various regional production of the company including ‘Valu’ (Marathi), ‘Nauka Dubi’ (Bengali) and the upcoming ‘Double Di Trouble’ (Punjabi). He is now actively involved in producing the company’s new slate of films.
In 2009, he ascended to the company’s Board of Directors and became Executive Director and is now involved in all aspects of the company including financing, distribution, production, exhibition and marketing. During his time at Mukta Arts he has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the film space and also many of the allied industries including television and the digital space.
He was also keenly involved in the financing and set up of the company’s biggest asset, the US$ 20 million Film, Television and Animation School in Film City, Whistling Woods International (WWI). The school opened its doors in July 2006 and now has over 500 students and has been voted one of the best schools in the world by Hollywood Reporter. He has been teaching regularly at the school as well since its inception. He helped start India’s first MBA in Media and Entertainment – through WWI and Manipal University, lead the start up of WWI’s own MBA in Media and Communication and has overseen the expansion of WWI to other campuses and country’s including Nigeria and the UK.
He has since taken over the role of Head of Academics at WWI as well. This includes the Directorship of the School of Communication and the Head of Department of Producing at the school. He regularly teaches, takes master-classes and invites the cream of the film and media industry to interact with students at WWI and provides the industry mentorship and guidance to all the school’s students across specializations.
In 2014, he was promoted to Managing Director of Mukta Arts, responsible for the overall day-to- day operations of the company and all its group holdings as well as the future strategy and expansion for all businesses.
His current project is the set up and expansion of Mukta A2 Cinemas. Present in over 22 locations and plans to open another 15 more in the course of the next year, Mukta A2 Cinemas one of the country’s leading exhibition players. He also oversees Mukta Arts programming and distribution business, which currently controls over 750 screens across India and was instrumental in inking the joint-venture deal with UFO Films to combine these two huge programming businesses.
He spends most of his free time enjoying big budget commercial films. He is a avid reader and loves books, especially pulp fiction. He is a keen observer of current affairs and politics and is an avid sports fan. He can be found at www.twitter.com/rahulpuri or on his blog www.rahulpuri.tumblr.com. These reflect his personal views and not those of his company.
Satwik Lele has been in the exhibition industry for more than 18 years and has been responsible for the overall operations that involve opening up new cinemas and business incubation. He has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Mukta A2 Cinemas.
Satwik has also worked as a General Manager for E-Square in Pune, and then as a Regional Head and Area Manager for Reliance Media Works, before joining INOX as Regional General Manager, Regional Director for Central India, and Deputy Vice President. His areas of expertise are Profit & Loss Management, Business Planning & Strategy, Team Management, New Cinema set up (National & International) & Cinema Programming.
Satwik is an avid sports fan who enjoys playing squash in his free time. He is also a movie fan, with a taste for Hindi and Hollywood films.