Mukta A2 CINEMAS, a fast growing cinema chain in India 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 affordable prices, the company is currently present in 17 locations with 44 screens and an International presence with a 6 screen Multiplex in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Mukta A2 Cinemas provides its patrons with state-of-the-art sound, 3-D & picture quality with comfortable seating, a soothing and elegant ambience and a sumptuous array 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, the cinema chain 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 2018, Mukta A2 Cinemas has initiated projects in markets like Pune, Gurgaon, Nainital, Cheeka, 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 Cinemas. The company has now rolled out 14 multiplex properties and plans to open another 15 more in the course of the next year. This would make Mukta Cinemas one of the countries 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/rahupuri or on his blog www.rahulpuri.tumblr.com.. these reflect his personal views and not those of his company.
Sachidanand Shetty, Business Head at MuktaA2 Cinemas comes with over 20 years of experience across sectors like Hospitality and Entertainment. He began his career in 1997 with McDonald’s as a crew member and thereafter was promoted to the position of a ‘Host’ whose profile included PR, promoting LAM, collecting feedback from the Guests and responding on parameters set by the organization.
His international stint began in 2000 with the prestigious Costa Cruises Pvt Ltd where he was an active Food & Beverage Associate aboard various international vessels. He then moved on to becoming an entrepreneur in the Fast food Industry by setting up a counter at Convergys Pvt Ltd attending to the employees with a wide range of Food & Beverage Offerings.
Thereafter, his stint with the entertainment sector began with him joining Cinemax India Ltd as the theatre manager for their various properties. He was then associated briefly with BIG Cinemas (ADAG Group) earlier known as Adlabs as an Asst. Manager, operations in the customer experience centre segment at IMAX Adlabs where his profile included administration of the entire facility ensuring guests delight.
After being associated with BIG Cinemas for nearly three years, he subsequently moved on to MuktaA2 Cinemas in January 2011 in the capacity of Regional Manager - operations promoting its new venture into the Exhibition sector in various locations such as Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Gulbarga, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Sangli and Vasai.
His next venture was with Inox Leisure Ltd in the capacity of the General Manager where his profile involved leading the entire gamut of Operations, F&B, Industrial Relations, CRM & VAS Channels in coordination with the PAN India team from the Corporate Office in Mumbai.
Mr. Sachidanand then rejoined MuktaA2 Cinemas Arts Ltd in the capacity of the Vice President – Operations. After a successful stint as the Vice President – Operations, he has recently been promoted as the Business Head for Mukta A2 Cinemas the Exhibition company of Mukta Arts Ltd.
His core skills lie in multiple team management, project management and execution, brand marketing, content sourcing and distributor management and business development to name a few. In his free time he loves listening to music,going on road trips watching and playing badminton and is a big movie buff.