Chillibreeze Interview with Vishvesh Suriyanarayanan
Vishvesh Suriyanarayanan is a final year engineering student, a young achiever, entrepreneur and computer freak.
1. You are an engineering student with a host of other interests – do tell us about yourself and your interests.
I am yet to be a computer science graduate. Otherwise, I am a wannabe GEEK, love to fiddle around with things that I am not supposed to touch. I am very passionate about computers (probably because my mom is a computer science teacher)
2. What do you consider as your significant achievements so far? What motivates you?
Honestly I don’t think I have done anything significant but the game Alpha17 is something that I am proud of. It is a game based on our university and has an Indian touch to it. Plus games development is not something everybody in India ventures into.
3. You have co-founded a company named, CookieLabs – what is the line of business? How did you get started and what are your plans for the company?
I am the CTO of Cookielabs, we specialize in customizing software for the customer’s needs. We have developed projects for college students and several web sites for our corporate customers. The idea of starting a company occurred to us suddenly one day, more on the lines of "what are we doing in life?" Why not start a company”, and that's how it all started. It just took Rs 300 for the Web Hosting. We started spreading the word and reached out to our relatives and started automation and web design products. We also designed visiting cards for ourselves as a way to increase our involvement into the organization!
4. How do you juggle all this with your engineering studies? What according to you is required to pursue such interests?
That is actually very hard; in fact I hardly study my academic portions, except for the day before the exams. I believe that hands -on experience is more important.
5. You were a speaker at TEDxCBE. What did you talk about – tell us about your experience and share you insights with wannbes who aspire to get such platforms to showcase their skill sets.
At TED x I spoke about how games have the potential to change the world, I was inspired by this little game called the ESP game. TED x was a place where I could interact with the actual developers of renowned products. It was very exciting - a whole new level. It was scary when I got to know the line up of speakers but then I gave my best shot. I tried to make my presentation as interesting as possible and I think they liked it too.
As usual, the meet had a networking lunch where I met a lot of people who had inspiring stories to tell; especially an underwater sculptor who works with rickshaw pullers and tramps!
6. What are your future goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
I want to become an entrepreneur, but for that I need experience. And the Microsoft Student Partner program has changed the way I look at the world now. I got a lot of exposure, not to mention free Microsoft Products.
7. You were one of the five testers selected from Tamil Nadu (for the Govt. Of India) to test the Akash tablet – Please tell us something about it.
The testing program was an amazing experience, we were working at India’s one of the best labs, NI labs, where we were allowed to do whatever we wanted with the tablet and give suggestions on its improvements.
The Aakash Testing was code named LCAD (Low Cost Access Device) and was held at IIT Jodhpur for 3 days. The team was given a set of test cases, which was just too easy so we decided to take the device to its limits. We tried different apps, tried porting different operating systems - literally ripping it apart. The device performed very well and at a price of Rs. 2,500, it will definitively make an impact in the rural Indian market.
8. How useful it would be to the student community? What are your thoughts on its scalability from a student's point of view - in the Indian education context?
Yes! A tablet at this price is just amazing, although high end users will not like it because of the slow hardware; nevertheless, it is a cool product to play around with.
9. Do you enjoy reading? Which genre do you enjoy reading the most?
Yes I do. I love fiction and thrillers.
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