Where Technology Meets Content In India: Virgin Comics, mLogica In The Forefront


Business Standard: The story talks about the new wave of technology marrying content, and making them suitable for consumption through a wide variety of instruments like cell phones, palmtops, and how India is also not behind in the trend. Now companies are looking at creating India’s own Pokemons, or reinventing Indian character entertainment by creating a new wave of Indian animation characters”. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is doing this in a three-way venture between Virgin, Gotham Entertainment Group and the Shekhar Kapur-Deepak Chopra combine. “We’re going to make other comics look stone age,”declares Sharad Devarajan, CEO of Virgin Comics, who is particularly gung-ho on “the potential of Indian mythic content”, powered by Virgin as a brand devoted to reinvention of old concepts for new markets.
Then there is Amit Okhandiar, president, mLogica, a Californian software start-up that has set up an office in Pune, has struck partnerships with Wake Music Group, run by music producer Ric Wake, and R-Dog, run by another producer Rick Dobbis, for content…mLogica, set up with his wife Vazi Okhandiar from EDS, provides embedded database solutions for things as diverse as mobile phones, medicine vending machines and automobiles: so that your phone tracks your investment portfolio, you get just the right pills to pop and your wheels don’t burn too much rubber as you vroom. It’s high-sensitivity work. But the real fun starts now, as mLogica starts work in Pune on an entirely new sort of sensitivity, as his team gets cracking on the alliance with Wake, producer of the Chicago , Bride & Prejudice and Down To Earth soundtracks; and R-Dog, concert manager of the Stones.
And if this gives the team in Pune blue-sky visions, all the better. “They’ll do the music,” says Okhandiar, “we’ll do the animation.” Sets, characters, small-screen renditions for cellphone clips… whatever involves digital work. It’s not the low cost outsourcing model, but involves a lot of creative work. “It’s not a cost play. It’s creative content.” India is to evolve into an active source of entertainment ideas that can be globally commercialised.

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