Gaming

By Pickle  February 3, 2024
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AKSHAT RATHEE – Esports Visionary and Mentor

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Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder of NODWIN Gaming, stands at the forefront of India’s esports revolution. An esports ‘Professor,’ he leads NODWIN Gaming to global recognition, making it the largest esports firm in South Asia. Akshat’s journey from gaming enthusiast to industry leader mirrors the meteoric rise of esports in India. As a mentor, he actively shapes the future of competitive gaming, fostering talents, startups, and influencers. With a background in management consulting and extensive experience in the gaming industry, Akshat is a driving force behind NODWIN’s success, contributing to the monumental growth of esports in the region.

ASHISH GUPTA – Gaming Industry Luminary

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Ashish Gupta, Marketing Lead for India and South Asia at Riot Games, is a stalwart in the gaming industry with over two decades of expertise. From pioneering game design to steering business strategy, he has left an indelible mark. As a key figure in Gameloft, Reliance Jio, and now Riot Games, Ashish’s leadership has been instrumental in India’s gaming landscape. Recognized for his achievements, he has won accolades for games and ad campaigns. Ashish’s strategic vision and in-depth industry analysis continue to contribute to the dynamic growth of gaming and esports in the Indian subcontinent.

B N VICHAR – A Versatile Art Director

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Vichar BN, Art Director at Technicolor Games, boasts close to two decades of experience in the animation industry. From a background in fine art to becoming a celebrated Zbrush sculptor, Vichar’s journey is marked by versatility. His roles as an Assistant Art Director, illustrator, designer, and sculptor showcase his proficiency in various artistic domains. Serving as a Member of the Academic Council of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Vichar actively contributes to the artistic community in India, solidifying his status as a multifaceted art virtuoso.

DANIEL SMITH – Emmy-Winning Game Producer

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Daniel Smith, the Studio Director at Rockstar Games, brings Emmy-winning expertise to the gaming landscape. With a career spanning prestigious studios like Hanna-Barbera, Walt Disney, and Infinity Ward, he has consistently demonstrated leadership in animation, TV, film, and video game production. Smith’s contribution to notable projects like Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA Online exemplifies his prowess. As a proven leader, Smith’s commitment to quality, integrity, and innovation positions him as a driving force in the gaming industry. His role as Studio Director in India reflects Rockstar Games’ commitment to excellence and creative achievement.

HRISHI OBEROI – Gaming Trailblazer and Founder

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Hrishi Oberoi, Founder & CEO at Photon Tadpole Studios, emerges as a dynamic force in the video game industry. With a wealth of experience, including stints at Disney and Indiagames, Hrishi is a seasoned developer specializing in gameplay, UI, mechanics, and AI. His passion lies in crafting interactive experiences that captivate and challenge players. As a founding member of IGDC and an advisory council member, Hrishi actively contributes to India’s gaming ecosystem. With a focus on creating engaging and enjoyable games, Hrishi continues to shape the landscape of video game development in the country.

MANVENDRA SHUKUL – Gaming and Animation Visionary

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Manvendra Shukul, a stalwart with two decades of experience, is the CEO of Lakshya, a powerhouse in the gaming and animation industry. Pioneering the establishment of Escotoonz and Lakshya, he transformed the latter into one of the world’s largest Game Art and Animation service providers. A co-founder of the NASSCOM Gaming Forum, Shukul actively contributes to fostering game development initiatives in India. With a leadership journey from a 6-member startup to a 500+ strong global team, he exemplifies expertise and vision, driving the gaming and animation industry’s growth.

MANISH AGARWAL – Web3 Gaming Visionary

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Manish Agarwal, Founder of Kratos Studios, is a gaming pioneer with over 20 years of experience. As the CEO of Nazara, he made it India’s first publicly listed gaming company. Now, with IndiGG, he aspires to create the world’s largest Web3 gaming community. A strategic leader, Manish actively shapes the Indian gaming ecosystem, convening online gaming committees and co-founding the Indian Game Developers Forum. His adaptability to digital trends and innovative business models reflects his dedication to advancing the gaming landscape.

NINAD CHHAYA – Metaverse Innovator & Gaming Visionary

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Ninad Chhaya, Senior Vice President at Reliance Games, is a versatile professional with a rich background in the gaming and interactive media industry. Currently overseeing strategic alliances and digital strategies at Reliance Games, Ninad’s journey includes co-founding GoPhygital and SUSTAIN AI. As a dedicated Advisory Board Member for Responsible Netism, Ninad actively promotes cyber wellness. With extensive experience at WITS Interactive and a role as Visiting Faculty at Whistling Woods International, Ninad brings a holistic perspective to gaming. A pioneer in launching video games in India, Ninad’s strategic acumen continues to shape the gaming landscape.

NITISH MITTERSAIN – Mobile Gaming Mogul

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Nitish Mittersain, CEO & Founder of Nazara Technologies, stands at the forefront of India’s mobile gaming revolution. Leading a prominent mobile games developer and publisher, Nitish focuses on the vast mobile consumer base in India and emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa. Under his leadership, Nazara operates unique services and serves as an exclusive distributor for key game developers. Nitish’s contributions extend beyond his role, as he serves as the Chairman of the Mobile Value Added Services Committee of the Indian Merchants Chambers. His commitment to gaming and mobile VAS industries has garnered widespread recognition.

QUENTIN STAES-POLET – Media-Tech Maestro & Deal Architect

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Quentin Staes-Polet, a seasoned business leader with over 25 years of experience, and former Managing Director of Unreal Engine, International Operations at Epic Games. His versatile career spans roles at Epic Games, Unity, Ankama, Take2, Kreeda, IBM, and Universal Music. Quentin excels in negotiating and executing strategic partnerships and large deals worldwide, leveraging his deep tech insight and digital marketing skills. Passionate about content, social media, and disruptive technologies, he plays a pivotal role in steering the growth and development of Unreal Engine as an industry-leading real-time 3D creation platform.

RAJAN NAVANI – Digital Visionary & Gaming Enthusiast

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Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director at JetLine Group; Founder & CEO JetSynthesys, emerges as a digital visionary dedicated to connecting India globally. As the Chairman & MD of Jetline Group and JetSynthesys, Rajan is a leader in technology with a focus on nation-wide transformations. Serving as the National Chairman of CII’s Council on Future Businesses and AI Task Force, he passionately contributes to creating a Digital India. Additionally, Rajan holds key roles in various foundations and societies, including the India Digital Gaming Society. His commitment to gaming, AI, and digital innovations solidifies his status as a transformative force.

RAJAT OHJA – Metaverse & Gaming Innovator

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Rajat Ohja, Chief Builder at PartyNite, is a pioneer in console gaming, VR, and the metaverse. With 28 years in the gaming industry, he led the development of chart-topping titles like Resident Evil and Battlefield. Now spearheading the metaverse revolution globally, PartyNite hosts 750+ brands and 45+ celebs. Rajat’s visionary work blurs the lines between gaming, VR, and the everyday, making Web3 a reality. As an investor, gamer, and theme park builder, he continues to redefine digital entertainment landscapes.

ROHITH BHAT – Mobile Gaming Entrepreneur

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Rohith Bhat, CEO of 99Games and Founding President of TiE Mangaluru, is a parallel entrepreneur with a remarkable journey. Having started Robosoft Technologies, Global Delight, and 99Games, Rohith’s impact on the industry is undeniable. With a successful exit from Robosoft Technologies, acquired by TechnoPro in 2021, Rohith focuses on steering 99Games into the next phase of growth. With a comprehensive skill set spanning coding, product design, sales, marketing, and team building, he envisions mobile gaming as the next frontier for B2C growth in India. Rohith’s entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive innovation in the mobile gaming landscape.

SAI SRINIVAS – Gaming Strategist & Industry Leader

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Sai Srinivas Kiran G, Co-Founder at Mobile Premier League (MPL), brings a wealth of experience from the gaming industry. With a background in Aeronautical Engineering from IIT Kanpur and stints at Zynga and Bharti Soft Bank, Sai has played a pivotal role in shaping gaming products and studios. As the Co-Founder of MPL, he contributes to the platform’s success and growth, overseeing strategic initiatives. Sai’s expertise in mobile gaming and his commitment to delivering engaging experiences position him as a key player in India’s gaming ecosystem.

SALONE SEHGAL – Pioneering Interactive Media Visionary

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Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner of Lumikai Fund, brings 18 years of expertise as an interactive media VC, games entrepreneur, and former M&A banker. Her journey includes co-founding TrulySocial, a UK-based venture-backed gaming company, and serving as Principal at London Venture Partners, a seed stage fund focused on gaming ecosystems. Salone is recognized as the world’s first female GP of a games and interactive media VC fund, conferred with the “Iconic Women Leader” award by Women Economic Forum, and featured among “47 Awesome Women in Tech to Watch Out for in 2017.” As a luminary in the industry, she advocates for innovation, inclusive entertainment, and increased representation of women in tech and venture capital.

SHIVA NANDY – Architect of Esports Excellence

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Shiva Nandy, CEO of Skyesports, spearheads a gaming revolution with over four years of leadership in esports. As the Founder and CEO, Shiva has propelled Skyesports into one of South Asia’s largest esports companies, operating under JetSynthesys. His mission is to craft and host innovative esports tournaments, including groundbreaking IPs like the Skyesports Championship and Skyesports League. Leveraging an MBA in Technology Management and prior experience as the Founder of Skytou Studios, Shiva orchestrates a dynamic team, driving social game development and mobile applications. Under his visionary leadership, Skyesports has amassed over 50 million gamers and achieved a remarkable 1.5 billion viewership.

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