A conversation with Shehryar Hydri – COO of Trango Interactive

June 8, 2010 at 7:12 am 4 comments

Is Shehryar Hydri a banker? Is he a marketeer? Or is he an animator/producer?  An Islamic economist? Or perhaps an entrepreneur? Or maybe he is all these rolled into one. Shehryar was in Karachi speaking at a Mobile Applications & Animation event organized by P@SHA and PSEB. It was a great opportunity to get him into the CIO Webstudio for a chat on ITLoW.

A couple of key points that came out during the talk were:

1. Telecom companies and multinationals don’t want to take a risk in trying something new, something cutting edge, something that no-one has done before in Pakistan. They would rather stick to their comfort zone and bet only on tried and tested techniques and campaigns.

2. You don’t need a degree to be an artist. You just need the opportunity to explore, to learn, to be exposed to the best from around the world. All this is possible and available via the internet to anyone sitting anywhere in Pakistan. The story of the young man from Peshawar who was thrown out of school because the curriculum did not interest him and he preferred to draw and sketch – was hence seen to be a failure who would amount to nothing – should ring alarm bells about an education system that is ready to give up on the talent that exists in this country. He was lucky that he had access to his boss’s graphic tablet for two hours and created something that caught the eye of the team at Trango Interactive, and he is now a successful 3D artist and designer who has outgrown them.

3. ‘Someone’ (the government, rich private sector organizations) need to do small things to push the animation industry forward in order for it to reach its true potential. As Shehryar suggests, perhaps giving a bunch of companies Rs. 500,000 – Rs. 1,000,000 each to develop localized games, might be one option. PTA, PSEB, USF or the National ICT R&D Fund could do that quite easily. After all, before Captain Safeguard was launched, no-one even looked at creating or using a local super hero. That led to the creation of the demand for a lot more comapanies turning to 3D animation for their advertising.

We should not allow another Shera Jutt type game be put on the shelf. It might not be your type of character or game but it could lead to other innovative local content with local heroes from South Asian culture and history speaking and singing in local languages. Or will we forever continue to absorb only content created by others for our consumption?

Shehryar Hydri had a lot more to say but it would be better if you go watch the interview rather than read a transcription of the entire thing on my blog.

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Of all things said or written Feminist Tech Exchange PK kicks off!

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