Creativity and entrepreneurship are inter-linked, said Bollywood actor and co-founder of crowd-funding platform Ketto, Kunal Kapoor, at Sunday’s Digital Women Awards. He also spoke about how India has finally taken the crowd-funding road.

Crowd-funding means raising small amounts of money from a large number of people for social, entrepreneurial or creative causes. Kapoor said that while crowd-funding in India is an nascent industry, the concept has been around forever. The first ever crowd-funded project was actually the base of the Statue of Liberty, the actor said.

“All of us at some point have crowd-funded in our lives without even us knowing it. I first crowd-funded when I was only 14 for the security guard’s son in our locality because he had to drop out of school. His father had told him that he didn’t have enough money to put him in school anymore. So we decided to collect the money and put him back in school,” Kapoor recollected.

On why he co-founded Ketto, abbreviation for Key To Tomorrow, Kapoor said that he found that NGOs faced the cost of fund-raising to be as high as 60%. “Secondly, once you reach out to a donor, you cannot reach out to the same donor again and again. Thirdly, I found that the social sector in our country had a lot of gravity attached to it. However, in the West, it was completely different as everybody — from celebrities and sportspersons — were involved in it. I felt that this is the ecosystem we needed to bring in our country as well if we wanted to involve the younger generation in crowd-funding,” he said, adding that technology was bridging the gap between people.

From entrepreneurial ventures to a woman wanting to get back to Bharatnatyam to a boy who just wants to take a girl out for pizza, today people crowd-fund everything. Kapoor’s Ketto has successfully brought down the cost of fund-raising for NGOs from 60% to 9%. He said that another change we see is that a lot of young people have started giving, a lot of people who transact on Ketto are people who are donating for the first time. Even people who start fund-raisers are young people.

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Since Kapoor is an actor and an entrepreneur, it was only obvious that he also delved into the similarities between the two. Here are some key points he highlighted:

  • Self-belief

It doesn’t matter if people think an idea is going to work or not, what matters is that you believe that it is going to work because if you believe in it, all the critics will come around, said Kapoor.

“It doesn’t matter if people think an idea is going to work or not, what matters is that you believe that it is going to work because if you believe in it, all the critics will come around”

  • Not as glamorous as it looks

“Half our time as entrepreneurs goes in either fire-fighting or reaching out to people to raise money and there is nothing glamorous about it. It is true for the movies too. Once, my nephew came to the set of one of the movies I was shooting for and he started asking to go home in 45 minutes. When I asked why, he said you are saying the same thing for the last 45 minutes and that he couldn’t believe how boring it was.”

  • Creativity

“While the word is used for movies, but really there is nothing more creative that entrepreneurship because what you are essentially attempting to do is disrupting a system that has existed for long. There is no way in the world you can do that if you are not creative.”

  • Guts to face uncertainty

“You can be very excited about a movie and feel that it is going to work but it might just fail, so you never know what’s going to happen and that’s true for entrepreneurship as well. One can never know if their products are going to work, or reach out to people or make money, until you put it out there.”

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