A cooperative society with a difference

AYCOOPS is State’s first creative media production house in coop. sector

It’s not easy to miss the office of the Artist Welfare Youth Cooperative Society (AYCOOPS) while passing through MLA Road, Punalur.

One of the first 25 cooperative societies formed in connection with the State government’s 100-day action plan, its quirky design featuring vehicle parts and recycled junk will pique your curiosity.

While the front part of a lorry forms the president’s cabin, the secretary’s table is made out of a pickup and the designer sits on a scooter.

“AYCOOPS is Kerala’s first creative media production house in the cooperative sector and we wanted the interiors to be different. We sourced most of the material from scrap dealers,” says president Mohammad Shafi. A bicycle with the board of the president is used for short-distance trips, “a practical option since the fuel prices are soaring.”

Refrigerators have been redesigned as seats and shelves and an ‘ottal’ (bamboo trap used for fishing) now functions as a teapoy.

Media services

Inside the office, the services offered by the society are displayed on a cycle wheel. “The concept is to provide a wide range of media services under one roof and the clients can outsource complete projects or opt for a single or group of professionals,” says Mr. Shafi.

Video albums for various occasions, including weddings and funerals, commercials, short films, documentaries, award nights, music bands, comedy bands, talk shows, interviews, interior designing, and tour photography are among the services offered. In addition to these, the society will also create stories, reels and statuses for uploading on social media.

Start-up model

Unlike traditional cooperatives, AYCOOPS operates like a start-up with shares and deposits. At present, the society has 41 shareholders in the 18-45 age group. There are only two share categories and the membership is only open to full-time artists, government employees and government institutions.

“All the members are professionals, who include photographers, videographers, graphic designers, content writers, editors, musicians, directors, sound engineers, art directors, sculptors and singers,” he says.

While there are many freshers and freelancers, AYCOOPS also has a seven-member team that exclusively works for the society. “The basic idea is to provide employment to artists and professionals, especially since most sectors are facing a COVID-19-triggered crisis,” he adds.

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