Born in Pondicherry, a small French colony in South East India, I moved to the capital city, Delhi, about 2,500 kms away when I was 5 years old. Completely opposite cultures, language and experience shaped my upbringing, till we left Delhi for Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Closer to where I was born but different in everything else. Growing up I was a confused teenager, with my interests ranging from computers, astronomy, to marine engineering!
Being poor in maths did not get me enough score to pursue an engineering degree, and I went to where all maths failures go to, Arts, but in my case Science, of Visual Communication. Studying in Loyola College, one of the most prestigious colleges of the country, for one of the most sought after courses, shaped my life. I grew to learn and love Photoshop, CorelDraw and Pagemaker. Mostly self-taught and largely trying to re-create designs I could find in the 500kpbs internet I had, I figured I could earn money by doing design projects for college design projects. My college helped me transform from being a shy, introverted, goal-less teen, to a much more confident (maybe over-confident) 20 year old after graduating.
Being always interested in the craft of creating, I was deeply inspired by the art of making films. I joined a film-making course in Leeds, UK and coming back home with my half-learnt knowledge, I tried to pitch a create a TV series, pooling my own money to create the pilot and few episodes. The TV channel backed out and I was left with huge losses and a broken conviction. After unsuccessfully trying to pitch to other networks I realized I did not have to resource and experience to pursue it. I took a break, grew a beard and became fat sitting at home all day.
It was this time I went back to designing and put together a portfolio consisting of my work done in college. Shockingly, a very small design firm hired me and I became their copywriter/visualiser/designer. While working here, I had the opportunity to freelance for a magazine called Media Voice, who 6 months down the line took me on full time. I became the Chief Designer here and was introduced to Indesign, and I was creating layout over layout everyday. Working on design almost 12 hours everyday helped me hone my skills and very soon we grew to a team of 4 designers with me heading the team.
A year after I joined the magazine, my boss told me of an opportunity with his friend’s advertising agency, who were looking for a creative head. I loved the fancy name and move there. Meanwhile I was still passionate about movies and reached out to my seniors from college who were doing good work in the film industry. Since I was the only one they knew, who could speak and write decent english, I was hired to write the subtitles for one of the bigger director’s movie, who liked my work and asked me write screenplay for his upcoming movie. This really got me hooked and I discovered my passion for writing.
I also became the official scriptwriter at my agency which focussed on TV commercials. From just 1 creative head and 1 designer, our team grew to about 12, expanding to other cities as well. In my 4th year at the agency, I was operating out of Hyderabad, heading the digital team and I discovered that my future lay here. UI/UX was very attractive to me and I quit to join a app development startup as design head. I simply fell in love with designing for apps and the entire process and we created roughly hundreds of pages of app flow everyday. Again, the practice really helped and we successfully launched 4 different apps for the 6 months I was there.
I currently work for Amazon as a Design Lead, heading the Prime design work for North America and Europe marketplaces. I continue to write scripts, now mostly for myself. I also own a Royal Enfield bike and road trips give me a high. Travelling and beer is what keeps me alive!