A Chance Journey

It was coming together of two childhood friends Ahmer Khan and Abid Rashid that gave birth to LoudBettle, an event management company, which is set to organize Kashmir International Film Festival. Saima Bhat meets the team before the annual event

The Loud Bettle group
The Loud Bettle group

Ahmer Khan and Abid Rashid, both in their early twenties, met through a common friend when they were studying in 7th standard, despite living in the same locality, Khanyar, Srinagar.

It was in December 2012, that their childhood friendship cemented into a lifelong business partnership as they came up with an event management company called LoudBettle.

Within one year, inspired by the idea of Ahmer and Abid, four young brains joined the company. They are: Samiullah (22), Madeeha Majid (17), Saima Hussain Mir (18) and Ishan Fazili (22).

All its members are students who work with the duo on project basis and get paid after every event.

Ahmer, the founder of Loud Bettle, is a student of mass communication from Baramulla Degree College and has a keen interest in photography. He has participated in photo exhibitions in USA (The International Exhibition), New Delhi and Srinagar. His work has been published at U.S.A, London and Spain. Ahmer has also received an award from Canon Edge, a photo-sharing platform for youngsters like him.

While his friend and co-founder of LoudBettle, Abid is a graduate in Information Technology (IT). When Abid was 17, he started ‘fuelmyphone.com’, an online portal that helps users pay Internet utility bills and get top-ups of different mobile service providers. Abid owns another IT company: e-Resolute. Recently Abid has signed a MOU with J&K Bank to provide various online services through Khidmat Centres.

Abid and Ahmer calls Samiullah backbone of the company. Sami ullah is a business management student and is looking after the business development management of Loud Bettle. In 2011, he was associated with an English documentary film shot in Kashmir as location coordinator.

Another member of the LoudBettle is Madeeha, a 12thstandard student. She is the art coordinator for the company. Ishan, who looks after public relations for the company, is pursuing graduation in Mass communication.

The company has four successful events to their credit so far. The events range from art, educational, cyber gaming, musical events, and a soon to be held annual event: 1st Kashmir International Film Festival (KIFF).

LoudBettle is the brain behind Kashmir’s first Cyber Games Championship and e-Sports Championship, held earlier this year. But the event that is close to duo’s heart is arts competition held recently in which 70 orphans participated alongside different artists. “Many people from society came and supported us and the orphans,” says Ahmer, who is planning another such event.

Not comfortable with sharing the expenses and profits of the company, Ahmer says for the first event they had to invest their own money but since then the company has motivated some sponsors who are responding positively.

For the first gaming event, which was organized in Sangarmal the response was huge, says Abid. He adds, “We had expected around 300 audiences but then 500 people came and started breaking glasses there. We had to call police to maintain discipline. People still call us to organize more gaming events.”

It was gaming event in Delhi, which inspired Abid to start same event in Kashmir. The first gaming event cost them below Rs 1 lakh and the prize money awarded to best gamers was Rs 10, 000, Rs 7, 000 and Rs 5, 000.

For the KIFF the team has got entries from USA, Afghanistan, France, Germany and local documentary makers from Kashmir. The two-day event will start its screening with the first Kashmiri feature film, ‘Mainz Raat’ shot in 1964, says Abid.

The film has been awarded with President’s award in 1968 and Ahmer wants to make it sure that the youth from his generation should watch is. “It is must see film. Went I saw it I was literally in tears to see the past of our Kashmir.”

The festival also includes special screening of Basheer Badgami’s ‘HabbaKhatoon’ shot in early 1970’s and award winning short film, The Last Day by Siddartha Gigoo.

The loud Beetle team is quite happy with the responses they are getting for KIFF. “After such an overwhelming response we have decided to do KIFF every year,” says Ahmer. The team has managed to get International Puma as its sponsor for this event besides some private investors.

The team feels they are not different in any way but just don’t shy to take chances. They say, “We believe in ideas” for which their families give them full support.

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