Virtual Reality Grows in India Through Meraki
Virtual reality up until recent times seemed as more of a thought than something that could actually happen. However, Meraki as well as some other companies in India have shown that virtual reality is coming strong in 2016 as it brings life to a variety of different visual experiences.
Meraki was founded by Sairam Saigiraju, Parth Choksi, Adam Garg, and Arvind Ghorwal in November 2015. The company creates 360-degree videos and films for everything from real estate to sports to adventure, tourism and more. They’re based in Mumbai, India.
The team uses virtual reality to create stories and films in many innovative ways.
Parth said, “Virtual Reality has the potential to spike a sense of presence and awareness in audiences and thus stir up a heightened dose of emotional engagement. Our aim is to create exciting content that emotionally connects with our audience, while we push the boundaries of VR.”
Arvind was born in Ujjain and began exploring filmmaking at IIT – Bombay, which is where he began to love creating stories that he went on to win many awards for. He wanted to pursue his dream, so he decided to team up join Housing team to help them with imagery. During the time he was working there, he learned about virtual reality and became intrigued. That in turn got him motivated to pursue entrepreneurship via Meraki.
Sairam is a director and film writer who has won Grammy Awards directing music videos. He worked with Prime Focus Techhnologies at one point. It’s there that he created a film data model and he was the Head of Content Production for housing.com.
Parth is an IIT Bombay alumni as well; he was also a project engineer at ITC for 2 years. Before that, Parth helped to found LevoDrive, which is a public bus transport system. Agam Garg was Parth’s co founder. Agam went to IIT Bombay as well and has been in many different positions. He worked for Credit Suisse and Oracle at one point.
There are also 2 VR specialists as well as several freelancers that work with the founders at Meraki. The company has already obtained six huge projects from customers such as Percept Picturs, Network 18, Star Sports, Channel V, Sunburn and Hardwell too.
MerakiVR made it’s debut via a 360-degree concert film of the musician, Hardwell’s concert that was in Mumbai, India in December of last year. Their largest project so far is the Asia Cup this past February. However, the games haven’t gone live yet. The company created experiences for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Meraki Aims to Create VR Content
Meraki wants to create lots of proprietary content by utilizing virtual reality. They recently created ‘Strangers Again’ which is a short video that is accessible on Milk VR, a platform created by Samsung. Even though a lot of VR companies are seeking and obtaining funding, Meraki has yet to do that as they’re still bootstrapping the business.
The VR industry is expected to possibly hit up to $150 billion by the year 2020 and hit many sectors. The Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India thinks that virtual reality is going to be one of the largest tech trends in 2016 and beyond. Virtual reality hardware has seen a lot of movement recently too as the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have now all been released. The virtual reality space is still wide open, but more and more companies are joining in different ways.