Pioneers

By Pickle  February 3, 2024
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ASHISH S K – Visionary in AVGC-XR & Creative Industries

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Ashish S K, a stalwart in arts and media since 1986, has been a trailblazer in India’s animation, visual effects, gaming and XR industry. As Chairman of the AVGCXR forum at FICCI and MCCIA. He has played a crucial role in shaping policies at both state and national levels. Ashish is renowned for his contributions to education, skill development, creative career programs, and setting up Media and Entertainment Skills Council. His initiatives include the FICCI Best Animated Frames Awards and credited to have coined the acronym AVGC. He has initiated and formed AVGC-XR Association like ABAI, SAIK, MP Media and Entertainment Association, West Bengal AVGC-XR Association etc

BIREN GHOSE – Shaping India’s Soft Power

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Biren Ghose, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Technicolor, is a visionary and strategist with over 22 years of industry influence. Leading Technicolor India, the world’s largest single-location studio for Animation, VFX, Games, and Computer Graphics, Biren shapes the global narrative for Indian AVGC. Recognized by the Indian Prime Minister, he’s a key figure in the declaration of AVGC as India’s “soft power.” As Chairman for CII’s National AVGC Committee, President at ABAI, and Chief Mentor for STPI, Biren actively advocates diversity, CSR, and innovation in the sector. His transformative initiatives drive talent growth, exports, startups, and innovation. He was knighted by the President of France and is a Chevelier!

JESH KRISHNAMURTHY – AVGC Visionary & Innovator

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Jesh Krishnamurthy, a pivotal member of the AVGC Task Force, stands as a visionary and innovator in the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) realm. As the Founder and CEO of Anibrain, he has led the studio to prominence, contributing to over 150 Hollywood projects. Jesh’s expertise spans VFX, Animation, AR, and VR, showcasing his commitment to blending art and technology. Passionate about nurturing talent, he founded the School of Media Design and Mocomi.com, solidifying his dedication to propelling India’s AVGC industry onto the global stage.

KIREET KHURANA – Cinematic Maestro & Social Advocate

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Kireet Khurana, the Founder-Director of Climb Media, is a cinematic maestro with a profound impact on the animation industry. With 6 President’s National Awards and 15 International awards, his defining works include feature films, ad films, documentaries, and PSAs. As the Festival Director of ANIMELA, India’s first international festival for Animation, Gaming, VFX, XR, and Comics, Kireet continues to shape the industry. His commitment to social causes is evident in over 25 award-winning short films addressing critical issues. Kireet’s artistic excellence and impactful storytelling make him a distinguished figure in the film and animation realm.

KISHORE KICHILI – Gaming Visionary & Industry Leader

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Kishore Kichili, Senior Vice President at Zynga India and AVGC Task Force Member, is a gaming visionary with over 25 years of expertise in Mobile Gaming, Digital Media, and Management Consulting. Recognized for entrepreneurial thinking, he has led global initiatives, steering Fortune 500 companies. Kishore’s strategic acumen spans large organizations, product management, engineering, data strategy, analytics, and business development. As the head of Zynga India, he contributes to the country’s dynamic gaming landscape, emphasizing the importance of diverse skills and the right mindset in the ever-evolving gaming industry.

MUNJAL SHROFF – AVGC Visionary & Industry Advocate

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Munjal Shroff, Director & COO of Graphiti Studio and Co-Chair of FICCI’s Animation, VFX, Gaming, and Comics Forum, boasts 27 years of diverse experience. As a co-founder of Graphiti, he champions original content in the Indian animation industry. Munjal is the creative force behind animated masterpieces like “Krish, Trish, and Baltiboy” and “YOM.” Serving on the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting’s Expert Committee, he actively shapes policies for the AVGC sector. His dedication extends to educating the next generation, making him a vital contributor to India’s animation, gaming, and comics landscape.

NEERAJ ROY – Digital Entertainment Maestro

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Neeraj Roy, CEO of Hungama Digital Media and AVGC Taskforce member, is a pioneer in India’s digital entertainment realm. Since founding Hungama in 1999, he’s steered the company’s evolution into a major content distributor, reaching a billion users across 190 countries. With a visionary focus on immersive technologies, Roy anticipates the gaming industry’s role in broader media and entertainment convergence, particularly with the advent of 5G. His leadership has diversified Hungama’s services, encompassing music and video streaming, mobile games publishing, and digital marketing.

RAJESH RAO – Indian Games Trailblazer

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Rajesh Rao, founder of India’s first games company, Dhruva Interactive, is a trailblazer in the Indian Games Industry. Leading Dhruva for 22 years until its acquisition by Rockstar Games, Rao’s entrepreneurship drew international acclaim. Recognized by Tom Friedman in “The World is Flat,” he plugged India into the global games industry. Active in industry growth, he founded IGDC, India’s premier game industry event. A mentor and advocate, Rao continues to shape India’s gaming landscape with strategic initiatives and collaborations.

RAVI KOTTARAKARA – Indian Cinema Advocate

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Ravi Kottarakara, FFI President and industry veteran, champions the growth of Indian cinema globally. Leading Film Federation of India and South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, he steers India’s cinematic narrative. With a 40-year legacy, Ravi’s leadership transcends regional boundaries. Recognized for his role in prestigious film festivals, he envisions India’s soft power rising through cinematic excellence. As a producer and visionary, he underscores the transformative potential of Indian films, highlighting successes like RRR, KGF, and Baahubali. A strategic partnership with the Spanish Film Commission signals India’s global outreach, emphasizing collaboration and business expansion.

SHIBASHISH SARKAR – Media & Entertainment Visionary

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As Chairman & CEO of IMAC, Group CEO at Reliance Entertainment, and President of Producers Guild of India, Shibasish Sarkar is a stalwart in the media and entertainment landscape. With over 30 years of experience, he navigates diverse verticals, shaping the industry’s future. Sarkar’s expertise spans films, television, animation, gaming, and digital platforms, contributing significantly to India’s entertainment ecosystem. A leader in corporate development, alliances, and operations, he orchestrates sustainable growth. Sarkar’s multifaceted role includes a focus on digital content, visual effects, animation, and emerging technologies, positioning him as a driving force in India’s entertainment evolution.

SRIDHAR MUPPIDI – AVGC Visionary and Mentor

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Sridhar Muppidi, Co-Founder of PurpleTalk India and chief mentor at Kohima’s IT Applications in Graphic Design CoE, is an AVGC visionary with a prolific entrepreneurial journey. Having founded multiple companies, including PurpleTalk and YesGnome, Muppidi has made indelible contributions to India’s gaming, animation, and VFX sectors.

Vishal Gondal – Pioneer of Indian Gaming

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Vishal Gondal, Founder & CEO of GOQii, is hailed as the father of the Indian gaming industry. Having sold India Games to Walt Disney, he redefined success. A fitness enthusiast, entrepreneur, and angel investor, Vishal’s journey continues with nCore Games, a mobile games company based in Bangalore. As a gaming visionary, he reenters the industry, steering nCore to create category-defining mobile games for the Indian market. Vishal’s passion for technology, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit, positions him as a prominent figure shaping the gaming landscape in India.

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