This November, Mumbai will be hosting a conference and showcase that will concentrate on India’s burgeoning importance in the contemporary music market

What is The Exchange?

Putting the spotlight on the Indian music industry’s potential is The Exchange, a week-long conference organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in association with Submerge. To begin a dialogue between the UK and the Indian music industry, The Exchange will host various international and Indian representatives from regulatory bodies as well as record labels, artist management agencies and music publishing firms, to discuss the relevance of The Subcontinent as well as the business opportunities it can and has been providing to promoters, producers and agencies alike. The growth of British presence in India will also be discussed in detail.

Fact : India is currently the world’s 19th biggest music market with music sales totalling $113 million in 2013, and one that is quickly catching the attention of the world’s biggest music festivals and artists.


The conference will be feature a  multi-city music showcase by Dirty Vegas, the Grammy -award winning British house trio and trance music maestro John Fleming and Nerm from Shiva Soundsystem from November 7-9.This will essentially be a fantastic opportunity for Indian producers and promoters to tie up with British ones.

The panel discussions will touch upon the following topics
1. Opportunities in India and de-mystifying the territory: An introduction to the business and keynote by Nikhil Chinapa.

2. Artists: Homegrown talent who’ve made it and UK based artists who have toured India 

3. Role of artist management agencies – The importance of seeking representation

4. The Changing face of the Music Business – a 360 degree approach – Discussion on the pros and cons of being an artist signed by a label, Q & A between the audience and speakers

5. Navigating the digital landscape in India – Shift from physical to digital sales, challenges of making a livelihood through digital sales, concerns such as piracy

6. Brands & Music – when they combine forces: Brand integration in large scale events and brands using music events as a means of communicating with youth

7. An insight into the live music business: Venues in India and concerns they face and Festival boom in the country and shift to tier 2 markets

Some of the Speakers
1. Devraj Sanyal

As the managing director of the Universal Music Group in South Aisa, Devraj Sanyal is an expert at juggling Universal Music as well as EMI music businesses for the whole region. He has over two decades of experience, having served as a CEO of Percept Sports & Entertainment and credited as the co-founder of Sunburn, the best dance music festival in Asia. It’s all not just about business for Sanyal, as he’s been a founding member of India’s oldest metal band ‘Brahma’.


2. Girish ‘Bobby’ Talwar

Known for being a founding member and the bassist for the homegrown band ‘ZERO’, you’d be surprised to know that Talwar is actually a lawyer by qualification. Along with performing in the band for over nine years, Talwar was also a Co-Founder of OML Entertaintment who’ve produced the Nh7 Weekender festivals since 2010. Currently he consults at True School of Music, Globosport, Oranjuice, Mixtape Entertainment and Fountainhead. Talwar also happens to be a partner at Weirdass Comedy, India’s premier comedy content company that produces the Pajama Festival.

Girish 'Bobby' Talwar - Profile Pic

3. Nikhil Chinapa

A man who needs no introduction, Nikhil Chinapa has been a reckoning force in the music and entertainment scene in India. Being a VJ, DJ, promoter and festival director, he has created quite a name for himself over the years owing to his dedication to good music. Apart from co-founding Sunburn, he is also the festival curator and partner of Vh1 Supersonic. Along with his agency Submerge, he has been instrumental in bringing down some of massive dance acts to India including  Swedish House Mafia, Zedd, Dada Life, Tiesto, Richie Hawtin, John Digweed among many more.

Nikhil Chinapa

4.  Owen Roncon

Owen Roncon has been part of the industry for over 15 years now. His team at Oranjuice and Fountainhead are pioneers in experiential marketing, working brand value and consumer connects. During his stint in the business, he has had the opportunity to create some pioneering events such as the Smirnoff Experience, the One Tree Music Festival, Mahindra Blues Festival, The Johnnie Walker Journey and many more.

Owen Roncon

5. Ankur Tewari

As someone pretty intensely involved in the independent music scene, Ankur is a perfect pick to represent the indie side of contemporary Indian music. As a singer and songwriter based in Mumbai, he fronts the Hindi rock band Ankur & The Ghalat Family he also head the content for the new Pepsi Mtv Indies Channel. Ankur has many solo projects to his name and also works as a composer, screen-writer  and editor for a bunch of Bollywood projects.


6. Arjun Sankalia

Arjun got  his start in the music business rather early when he started a mobile discotheque company called “Ear Damage!’ with some friends, while in university, way back in 1990. In 1999, he joined Sony Music India, in the strategic marketing department, and has been with them ever since, rising to his current position of Director and business head of International Music’. More recently, he has been assigned the task of handling the company’s publishing business which in addition to the company’s own Indian works also includes sub publishing for the Sony ATV & EMI Music Publishing catalogues.


7. John O Fleming

Apart from performing in three cities, John Fleming will also join the speaking team at The Exchange. John Fleming  is an English trance producer and DJ  who has had multiple releases on record labels such as Ministry of Sound, Deconstruction Records, Logic Records, and 3 Beat Music. He also owns and runs Joof Recordings and  has performed at many clubs including Cream, Gatecrasher, Ministry of Sound, and Godskitchen.

John 00 Fleming 1

8. Jehan Johar

 Jehan Johar is someone who occupies various roles in the music industry, be it nationally and globally. He is the current head of programming at Blue Frog (one of the best venue companies in India that specialise in live and electronic music), owns a recording studio business in Goa named Studio Ra and also is a successful and popular DJ himself with the monikers Janux and M.A.N. His experience is unparalleled after having lived travelled to around 30 countries.


9. Pearl

Pearl is a pioneer of the electronic music scene in India. Her career started off back in the 90s and she has since carved an unusual career trajectory for herself becoming a DJ and promoter simultaneously. Submerge was then founded to share this vision and enthusiasm for dance music with everyone and is today India’s premiere electronic music outfit.



To add to that, The Sherp in the form of the dynamic Ankit Narang ( Co-Founder of Festival Sherpa) will be one of the speakers at the event and will participate in the panel discussion –  Navigating the digital landscape in India – Shift from physical to digital sales, challenges of making a livelihood through digital sales, concerns such as piracy.

To check out the schedule, click here

If you’re interested in attending The Exchange, register at The conference is a limited-seating event and successful applicants will be informed by email.


Multi-city showcase

The Conference will be held on November 7 at the Lalit Hotel, Andheri East, Mumbai.

Gig details:
Mumbai – Dirty Vegas, John O Fleming & Nerm at  blueFROG on November 7
Bangalore – November 8 at the Ritz Ballroom (TBC)
Pune- November 9 at Euriska (TBC)