Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chp 500. North East Youth For Our Tomorrow


Even though some people may know me as the guy who writes about racism and North Eastern issues, there is a part of me detached from all these activisms. A professional side. A side of me that I’m pretty much involved in as well and would want people get to know about that world I live in too.

And nothing made me prouder when the recently launched online magazine “The North East Voice”, interviewed me and did a feature on me regarding my work and the company I Co-Founded with Sumeet. Our professional brainchild. FITH Media. They even branded me as a “North East Youth For Our Tomorrow”! Not only was it exalting to be honored with such an esteemed title, but to still be considered a youth at this age was far overwhelming :) And the article was all about the work that I do for a living.

Not that I have a problem about being an activist for Northeastern issues, but I do want people to know I also have a life apart from getting involved with racial discrimination or being a part of the recently launched “North East Helpline – Mumbai”. Some of my close friends have even started teasing me with the nickname “Mr. Helpline-a” because I’m pretty much busy most of the time meeting the police and writing reports for the helpline. But like I said, though I’m proud to be working for the Northeastern cause, I’m equally proud of what I do for a living and what I have achieved so far, which had nothing to do with the former.

The North East Voice in its first issue, highlighted the conditions of North Easterners living across India, the recent Santosh Trophy winner Mizoram, and the upcoming General Election and its impact on the North East to name a few. Apart from that, there are a lot of good articles from the editor of "Meghalaya Times" Thomas Lim, Loni Bora, Anosua Chakraborthy, Natty Sailo, John Zothansanga and many other reputed columnists, including the testimonials of North Easterners who are staying outside the North East.

You can download the magazine from here: North East Voice

Below is a few snapshots of the part where I’m featured. You can click on the pictures to enlarge, or you can read the same article below if you’re interested.

     

     

North East Youth For Our Tomorrow

The North East Voice, April 2014. Page 9-11.

Kima is a prominent blogger who has been writing consistently about various Mizo and North Eastern issues for the past 10 years. His blog “Mizohican” has more than 3 lakhs visits and he has written more than 500 blog posts as of today.

Kima was selected as one of the “Game Changers of India (2000 – 2010)” by Tehelka Magazine due to his contribution to the Indian online community and exalted on the same platform along with renowned Indian personalities such as MS Dhoni, the Ambani brothers, Narendra Modi, John Abraham, Ekta Kapoor, Manmohan Singh, Aamir Khan and Sonia Gandhi, who have all made an impact in India for the past one decade (2000 – 2010).

“On Kima’s blog, you can find wit and insight on complex sub-cultures of the North East. Or wait a long, long time for our literature, cinema or the media to bring it to you”.
– TEHELKA Magazine.

He was also one of the 20 “young visionaries of India” selected by CNN IBN across the entire nation to feature on their network and state what his vision for India is for the next 10 years (2011 – 2020). Even though he is a passionate writer, Kima never had any background in English literature or Arts. After graduating from school in Tamil Nadu, he wrote his medical college entrance exam and got into Guwahati Medical College. However, in the last minute he decided to opt for engineering instead, and went on to pursue Computer Science Engineering at PSG Tech, Coimbatore.

After obtaining his engineering degree, he appeared for CAT exam and managed to get a seat in one of India’s most prestigious B-Schools – Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Later, after one and a half years of being bombarded with management case studies and MBA jargons, he decided to drop-out of IIM-B and went on to join Webchutney, India’s leading digital advertising agency, where he worked there for the next five years, starting as a junior copywriter and moving up to a position called “Creative Trailblazer”, a new designation specially created for him! The CEO of Webchutney even stated, “People like Kima are of a rare breed. Not only is he hard working and dedicated, he is a prolific writer, excellent in art and design, even has coding and tech skills, manages client servicing wonderfully, understands branding, positioning and consumer behavior, and overall, he is extremely creative and smart. Hence the unique designation – Creative Trailblazer.”

In 2012, after obtaining the blessings of his mentors and bosses at Webchutney, Kima left the company and started a new company called FITH Media. He Co-Founded this company with his close friends from the advertising industry. FITH stands for “Fire In The Hole”, a term gamers will be familiar with, and yes, that is what they do – develop games for mobile phones!

“Right now, India is the fastest growing Smartphone market in the world, with an exponential growth rate of more than 150% every quarter. Keeping in mind the sheer population of India, we will soon be the largest consumer of Smartphones in the world”, Kima said, in an exclusive interview with The North East Voice. “However”, Kima continued, “There is a huge lack of good localized apps or games in the Android and iOS app stores for the Indian consumers. And that is where we come in. We make Indian centric games that Indians can relate to, and at the same time our games have an International appeal”.

How feasible and innovative are their concept and vision? Start-Up Chile, one of the most respected and prominent start-up accelerator programs in the world, selected FITH Media to join their prestigious program last year! A start-up accelerator or incubator is one that selects (from a vast list of applicants) the best start-up companies that they think is most likely to succeed in the future, and the co-founders of the selected companies have to move to the location of that accelerator program usually for around 6 months, where they are mentored and trained by the best minds in the industry. They are also heavily funded by the accelerator program, in return for a small equity share percentage of their company. “In our case, 1577 start-up companies from 68 countries applied, and only 100 were selected and we were one of them!” Kima said excitedly. “In fact, only two other Indian companies were selected along with us to move to Chile for 8 months. It was such an honor for us. And the amount of funding we were going to get was 22 lakhs INR!”

“However, in the last minute, after we got our Chilean Visas and everything else, we decided to cancel!” Kima somberly said. After much thinking and discussion, Kima and his Co-Founders decided it was better for them to remain at home (India) where they could be much more productive.

And how has that worked out for the company? In a span of just one year, FITH Media has received solid funding from many prominent investors, published six Android games so far with over 10 million downloads in total, and raked in an impressive revenue from Ads and In-App Purchases. Two of their games were nominated for NASSCOM’s "Best Mobile Game of the Year", and they still have a long list of games to develop that will definitely rock the gaming world later this year.

FITH Media is slowly growing too, with over 20 employees currently working under Kima and the other Co-Founders. ‘’We are based in Mumbai, with a branch in Delhi. And we have just recently opened a new branch in Hyderabad as well. Maybe in the future, when we’re doing good and prospering well, I’ll open a branch in Aizawl, because we Mizos are extremely creative and I know so many creative people back home who do not have proper outlet or opportunity to make use of their full potential. And hopefully, I’ll be able to settle down too”, Kima said with a grin.

But don’t mistake this 33 years old upcoming Mizo entrepreneur to be just somebody focused on his own Company. Apart from being proactive in the online world and writing about various North Eastern issues, he is also a hardcore foodie (always trying out new dishes every day), a tech nerd (surrounded by the latest software and gizmos), diehard Arsenal FC fan (never missed an Arsenal match the past 15 years), and a TV sitcom addict (you name the show, he’s seen it). Perhaps that is why he is still a bachelor at his age - He’s too busy dipping his fingers in too many different buckets at one time. Back in School and College, he was even the basketball Captain, leading his teams to many laurels and trophies and he even represented Tamil Nadu junior basketball State team at the Nationals level. He was also one of the finalists of a VJ Hunt reality show for a popular South Indian Music Channel called SS (Southern Spice) Music! He truly lives by the one-line description of himself that you’ll find at his blog – “Uniqueness redefined”.