Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO, Culture Machine quit a high-profile job at Disney India to start his digital media company with ex-Google Venkat Prasad. A momentous decision, for their multi-channel network Culture Machine has crossed 600 million monthly views on YouTube and the network’s channels like Being Indian, Put Chutney, Awesome Sauce, and Old Delhi Films are being lauded for their thought-provoking content. Location Courtesy: Bad Café. Photograph by Ryan Martis

How did you conceptualise Culture Machine?
In 2011, I attended VidCon in the US that brings together online video creators, viewers and industry representatives from all over the world. I met Venkat Prasad, the co-founder, there and we aligned to create a South Asian media brand.


The Indian Dalit by Being Indian.
The Indian Dalit by Being Indian.

What’s your favourite Culture Machine video?
The Indian Dalit by Being Indian.


Your favourite hangouts in Mumbai?
(199, 4th Floor, VN Sphere Mall, Linking Road, Bandra West; +91-22/2640-7070) and Olive Bar & Kitchen.


A person who inspires you?
Elon Musk. He is relentless in his vision, incredibly capable and ambitious. He has transformed multiple industries and is the geek’s uber-geek.

Sameer went backpacking through Paris in his early 20s.
Sameer went backpacking through Paris in his early 20s.

Tell us a travel memory.
I went backpacking in Paris in my early 20’s, walked the streets while listening to Doors, ran amok in Bastille, poured myself into Picasso, Dali, Rodin, the Parks, Morrison, and the Velvet Underground. Now, whenever I visit, I see the city through the same rose-tinted lenses of those times.


What’s on your travel bucket list?
Scandinavia and Galapagos islands.


Know More: Sameer and his partner Venkat raised US$18 million for Culture Machine in second round of funding in 2015. It was the largest investment in the multi-channel network space in Asia.