November 1, 2008

Not knowing about business is sometimes useful - Vineesh Kumar, Pictualize

Entrepreneurship right after college seems risky as well as cool.In this article, we have a Q&A with Vineesh Kumar [co-founder of an interesting & cool startup Pictualize], who jumped into this idea after completing his graduation from IIT-Delhi.

Everyone knows that "Pictures speak louder than words" and this is where Vineesh and his co-founders felt there lies an opportunity !!!

Q&A is done in two parts where Part-I would focus on Pictualize and Part-II would focus on Entrepreneurship [and many aspects related to Straight-Out-Of-College-Entrepreneurship].

If you have any questions for Pictualize,please leave them in the comments section & it would be included in the Part-II of this interview smile

Let's start off with the interview ...

Everything starts with a problem, how did the concept of Pictualize arise ?
Pictualize, was born out of the realization that we need to change the current system of communication. It is just too ineffective, incomplete, lacking simplicity and possessing many other issues. The logical solution seemed pictures - the universal language, simple or complex, it is about expressing the core matter and with that came Pictualize.

Pictualize is a catchy name, which are the other names that you came up with while brainstorming & why did you choose Pictualize ?
Anirudh Maitra, our Idea Catalyst had put down numerous names for us to choose from. Pixlr8, Pictualate, and a variety of other names. Am not sure who exactly thought of Pictualize, but the moment it came onto the table we all fell in love with it instantly. Seemed to be love at first sight with the name and then the tag-line "Visualize. Actualize. Realize" followed almost effortlessly.

Who are the current team members and their roles?
Current team members are Aakanksha Gaur, who is currently our Visual Architect and she is the one who churns out all our imagination on paper.Anirudh is the idea catalyst and his wacky ideas are mostly out of this world. He leads in churning out ideas that rock, not just with us, but with others too.I am among the lesser mortals in awe of both of them, who gets to connect them to the rest of the world, i.e. bring us business and think about all the other things.Despite our roles being segregated, we all have an immense amount of fun, brain-jamming together and imagining and dreaming wink.You can know more about us here

Pictures speak louder than words, how do you guys ensure to bring the same creative feeling with each picture ?
It is precisely this effort that differentiates us from all the others who can doodle. We doodle, with a purpose and apply a lot of our mind to it. Three creative beings doing stuff they enjoy, certainly spew out tons of ideas and then it's more or less a war to select the best.We don't strive to maintain the creative feeling. The aim is to constantly improve.

What are some of the services that you are planning to offer like Marketing, Branding etc ?
More than marketing or branding, we are aiming to deal with "Communications". As individuals we all have been brought up with a certain sanctity of the written word and an unusual fear of drawing. We intend to bridge this gap and bring visual communications and understanding within individuals as well as corporations as well as help everyone express themselves visually.

Our current services deal with creating visual presentations for corporations to reach out to their clients/customers in a more understandable and personalized way. Additionally, we are aiding in marketing efforts of our clients.

In the near term, we are targeting to move to clients like UNDP, Micro-finance organizations and NGOs that deal with a large number of people from different backgrounds and it is obviously tough to manage the diversity. We believe that we can offer some order in this chaos of communication through pictures.

You guys started fresh out from college[some like Aakanksha are still studying], what are the pros & cons of doing the same ?
1. We have sufficient time to experiment, fail, learn and start over again.
2. [The beaten down one] Risk is a lot lower since liabilities are lesser [though this isn't true in general].
3. Not knowing anything about business is sometimes extremely useful, since the person doesn't know what the real roadblocks are and when you aren't worried about certain things, those happen most easily.

1. Most people don't take out-of-college entrepreneurship too seriously. It sounds like a frivolous idea of fools who are just trying to run away from the "real world".
2. Support for out-of-college entrepreneurs is just too less or usually absent, since they don't have any experience.
3. Out-of-college entrepreneurship is perhaps still a bit late and it is certainly way better to start while studying, since the risk of failure is totally absent

Does your startup have mentors and how important is mentorship for a startup ?
Mentors are perhaps the life line of any entrepreneur or a startup. Personally, I wasn't able to discover/find a mentor for quite a while until we met Mr. Kris Nair. He met us for some other venture and it was his initiative that we actually met him [since he has his own venture capital firm, we were a little skeptical about meeting him wink]. But I guess, Kris is the next best thing that has happened to me on my entrepreneurial journey after I, Aakanksha and Anirudh started working on Pictualize.

For any startup dreamers, would-be entrepreneurs or just anyone willing to take the route less trodden, always seek a mentor. There always comes one who changes the course of your thoughts and also your life.

You guys come from different backgrounds[and colleges], how did you guys get along ?
All the three of us are friends and each met the other only by chance and through random connections. The difference in familial background is not very significant and colleges don't seem to make any difference at all. It is just the matching that we have mentally that makes us go along. Creativity, passion and the fun we have in each other's company solves the issues that come our way.

How was the response to your BarCamp Delhi presentation ?
The BarCamp Delhi presentation had a cracker response. We were expecting it to be well-received but the amount of appreciation we got was well beyond expectations and was a major confidence booster.

Enjoy the creativity of Pictualize in the presentation below:

Hope you liked this interview, stay tuned for the Part-II of this interview !!!

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At Dec 5, 2008, 10:28:00 PM , Blogger zang said...

Nice Post
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