Shailesh Prabhu to represent India for international YIEA

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Shailesh Prabhu and Paul Bennun
Shailesh Prabhu, Founder/Director of gaming company Yellow Monkey Studios is the Indian winner of the Young Interactive Entrepreneur Awards (YIEA) 2008 conducted by the British Council, on September 10, 2008. Prabhu will represent India for the international competition held in the United Kingdom. Prabhu was selected as winner from among the seven finalists by a panel of judges which included Somethin‘ Else Director of Strategy Paul Bennun; Games2Win Founder and CEO Alok Kejriwal and British Council‘s Beatrice Pembroke. As the India finalist, Prabhu will attend the British Interactive Media Awards, meet leaders and innovators in the UK interactive sector and compete for the International Young Interactive Entrepreneur to win the title and financial award of ?7500 to develop business links with the UK. With a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering, Shailesh has a vision to make great and innovative games on his own IP for the global market. His responsibilities at Yellow Monkey include handling the management of the company, the people and the project, along with making game design and production. He aims to bring the game industry to India. Shailesh‘s previous experience in the gaming sector includes setting up the entire game development team, design and production of many international high profile games such as Rounders Poker which was nominated for an International Mobile Gaming Award in the Best Mobile Game in the Licensed Category. YIEA was held in Mumbai last week as part of British Council and Games2Win‘s two day India-UK Games Collaboration seminar which was attended by all key industry players like Eidos Creative Director and spokesperson for the UK video games industry, Ian Livingstone; Digital City Business Initiative Head of special projects, Dave Sharp; RedBedlam Executive Director Fred Hasson; Dhruva Interactive Founder and CEO Rajesh Rao and Electronic Arts India General Manager Ajay Khanna. Other finalists in the competition included also included Anand Gurnani, Co Founder, CEO and Managing Editor, AnimationXpress.com; Bhavya Parekh, Co Founder and Business Developer, Energy Gaming; Vivek Kalyan, Founder and CEO, Tigerbells Animation; Narasimha Suresh, CEO, Telibrahma Convergent Communications; Amit Vedprakash Anand, Founder and CEO, ettaminA Studios and; Rama Krishna Polina, Founder and CEO, IACG Animation and 4D Animations. AnimationXpress.com had a chat with the young and dynamic Shailesh, on his plans for the competition and the UK trip.
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Shailesh Prabhu
Can you tell us a little about your background? I have done my computer engineering from Mumbai University; after which I took up my first job at Level Up Studios where we published the first MMOG, Ragnarok. Later I worked at Dhruva Interactive in Bangalore as a game designer after which I was in charge of Graphic Design and Production in Nazara Technologies. How did you come about establishing Yellow Monkey Studios? Yellow Monkey was established last year, on July 17. I had always wanted to start my own gaming company; it was in my mind at all times. The studios where I had worked had given me good exposure and experience which helped me in establishing Yellow Monkey. I wanted to make games for the global market for PC and all kinds of consoles. We are currently concentrating on handheld consoles. Why the name Yellow Monkey? (Laughs) Well, I‘m just fond of monkeys… the name just came up. Could you tell us about the work your company is currently doing? Currently Yellow Monkey is a very small venture and has a team of around eight people. We have almost completed some prototypes and game demos to showcase abroad for the hand held consoles. As the founder of the company, my responsibilities range from game design, production, administration, accounts; basically every aspect of game development. Where do you see your company in the next ten years? In the next ten years I see my company developing games for as many consoles as possible and doing well all over the world. Basically, I want to develop great games. So what are your expectations from the upcoming trip to UK? I will try to make the most of the opportunity I am getting. I hope to build contacts and network with many publishers and pitch my demos to them. I am also looking for the opportunity to form partnerships. What is your view towards the Indian gaming market? I feel the Indian gaming market is at a very nascent stage when compared to the West. This is why I am looking to develop games globally and not just for India. We will have to test the Indian market to see if it is worth making local content and only then foray into it. connect@animationxpress.com