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EghtesadOnline: Filmtabdil is a local startup which converts old films and cassette tapes into digital format to help save family memories from deterioration in a rapidly changing digital world.

Through the company converts VHS, Betamax, S-VHS, Mini DV plus 8, 16 and 35 mm negatives and other recording formats into digital files. According to the company website, the final product is delivered to the doorstep.

One key feature of the startup is the measures taken by its founders to ensure data security. For example, the company employees are not allowed to take customers’ files out of company premises under any circumstances.

Furthermore, the devices in the studio cannot be connected to USB flash drives and the copy/write process is conducted under the direct supervision of senior managers.  When the customer is satisfied with the quality of the digital copy, his file will be deleted from company servers after 72 hours, according to Financial Tribune.

Another factor is the company’s understanding of local concerns. All operators working on the process of conversion are women; therefore families who take offense at the prospect of a man seeing their personal and family films can take ease.

Customers can also get discounts depending on the number of films or tapes ordered for conversion. The conversion of one cassette tape costs 150,000 rials ($3) while the conversion of ten cassette tapes cost 130,000 rials ($2.7) each.

The business founder, Amir Ghavidel, says he started the company with personal finances and did not have outside help or investment.

Regarding challenges he faced while setting up the company, he said the majority of the hurdles were legal. "You have to get various licenses from five different places...It would be much better if we had the single-window system and go only to one place to get all the permits."

Ghavidel is one of the many entrepreneurs and business owners frustrated with the bloated bureaucracy and have called on the government to cut red tape to help foster the growth and expansion of startups.


Tape Conversion Film Conversion Filmtabdil