Karrishma Modhy Mar 28, 2016 12:22 PM IST
There isn’t anything that virtual reality cannot help you experience! You can either swim with dolphins or feel like you are walking on Mars, and all of this, without leaving home. Apart from games and entertainment, VR can also be very helpful. Let us introduce you to Pixeltek, a company that will help you redecorate your home or as they put it, “conceptualise and create customer engagement through computer-simulated reality”.
By employing high-quality 3D models, Pixeltek brings five looks from Discern Living, allowing users to step into a mid century modern living room, a classic European living room, a traditional Indian living room, an Arabic bedroom and a trendy industrial dining room.
The company has also partnered with Discern Living, a discovery portal that simplifies the shopping experience for home and decor, and will launch via an app this year. The app will open up to consumers, allowing them to shop online from a multitude of vendors that will, with the products available, help complete any design project within the timeline and budget specified.
Founded in 2004, Pixeltek is the brainchild of Mumbai-based Vitek Goyel, the founder and CEO. He has worked with several companies such as Hero Group, Sterling holidays, Mahindra and Mahindra, Genpact, Smaaash and also overseas with global companies such as Ubisoft, Atari, Sierra, Vivendi, to name a few.
In conversation with Goyel, he shares briefly about the startup, business ideas and what sets them apart from others.
Giving us a more detailed background about Pixeltek, Goyel says, “Pixeltek was founded in 2004 as a company that handled art outsourcing solely for the global video games industry. However, since 2014 the company has pivoted to provide end to end applications for Virtual Reality devices like the Oculus rift and Samsung Gear VR. So, even though the company has been around for over a decade, it’s seen almost a rebirth in the last year and a half due to new opportunities being presented by the advent of VR.”
When asked about similar offerings in the VR space, he feels that Pixeltek is at the cutting edge of developers in this space. Having been in the gaming industry for over a decade, it has given Pixelek a clear advantage of being able to deliver innovative VR based products and solutions.
“Gaming was always a passion since I was a child, so when I had the opportunity to enter the space as a career I jumped in with both feet and never looked back!” he added. From a one man team, Pixeltek has grown to have over 25 full time employees along with freelancers from across the world, from USA to Europe. The CEO hopes to grow the team size to 40 + by the end of the year.
Talking about the Pixeltek journey so far, he says the process was more organic, and hence slower than some other startups. Goyel believes that he is lucky to have international clients who helped the company grow and learn, on an early stage, but at the same, brought in sufficient funds as well. Initially, Pixeltek generated revenue from a purely outsourcing based model, but now it earns income from end to end app development, VR experiences, simulations and more.
When asked about the responses for the product, Goyel said, “The great thing about VR is, especially with headsets like the Oculus Rift, is that people are instantly drawn to it. We recently exhibited our work at a conference in Delhi, and the response was fantastic. We demoed the product to almost 500 people, and every single person was awe struck by the experience. There was no negative feedback.”
However, from a business standpoint, he believes that it is always a risk to adapt to new technologies, so there is always some apprehension. He said, “All these feelings simply vanish whenever a prospective client wears a headset and sees one of our demos which is generally followed by two questions, “How long will it take to make this for my company?” and “How much will it cost?”
The company uses an array of tools to create VR products, however, Goyel points out that, “What matters more than the tools, are the skills needed to use these tools in a creative and innovative way.” The first ever commercial VR headsets are set to launch soon and like any new platform, it will take time to evolve and expand into new areas. The hardware manufacturers have given Pixeltek the tools and now it is up to developers, to come up with impressive applications for these devices.
Talking about challenges faced, Goyel says, “As with any new technology, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the need to educate clients about what VR is, and what its uses are, and more importantly, how it can affect their bottom line. By using our VR tools in areas such as manufacturing and training, we are able to show our clients clear cost savings, which goes a long way when pitching any project.”
Describing his proud moments, he said, “We are very proud to have successfully completing full scale VR projects for companies like Hero and Sterling well before many of our competitors, and the fact we are now working on second round of projects for clients like Hero is a strong testament to our Services.”