Arvind Ghorwal of Elysian Studios speaks to us about exploring the possibilities that the Universe opens.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Arvind Ghorwal: My family and I are doing well in the current situation. We hope that the world comes out of this pandemic as soon as possible.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Elysian Studios.
Arvind Ghorwal: I am the founder of Elysian Studios and an alumnus from IIT Mumbai, and it is there that I became familiar with filmmaking. We did a Pilot project in IIT Mumbai back in mid-2015, where we created one of the 1st 360 ̊ videos in India. My friend and I saw potential in this idea and thus ventured into a start-up. However, the journey came to a halt when we could not get along. Consequently, I opted out of the venture and initiated my solo journey; I had to form a new team and start from scratch to keep the entrepreneurial journey going. Understanding that being the sole bearer of a fairly new start-up will be challenging, I started seeking wisdom regarding leadership and bliss.
While travelling along with the spiritual places of India, I was able to discover the right path and locked some of the international clients. Soon, I started working with big MNC’s and established Elysian Studios on the map of leading AR-VR companies. An entrepreneurial journey is tough; you can only sail through it if you have the passion along with persistence, perseverance, and patience.
Elysian means divinely inspired. We believe in doing what we love in the highest form taking inspiration from the Universe. Being native to India-the land of spirituality, we love to explore the possibilities that the Universe opens for us.
How does Elysian Studios innovate?
Arvind Ghorwal: Elysian Studios uses a unique and in-depth approach to the virtual reality (VR) storytelling, creating blissful VR experiences. Elysian means divinely inspired and is bringing back the ancient wisdom, taking you beyond what you can perceive, opening you up – to the lands of mysticism and inspiring you to reach your ultimate possibility.
We are one of the 1st VR studios in India who have created a VR series – Mystic Lands, which takes you to some of the most ancient, blissful and energetic lands like Kashi – The city of Lord Shiva, Bodh Gaya – The land of Buddha’s enlightenment and Rishikesh – The yoga capital of the world. Our VR films are receiving much love from various parts of the world, are getting shortlisted at various International Film Festivals and are featured on major VR platforms.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Arvind Ghorwal: Coronavirus has affected our business as well, and we did come to a halt due to lockdown. But, as the situation started getting better, our business got on track. I am expecting to see a lot of irreversible changes like work from home becoming a norm. When people don’t have to travel from their homes to the office, it helps in reducing pollution as well as there is less traffic on roads. Also, it reduces the cost for the company. Working from home has many benefits, and I feel that people are more productive this way.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Arvind Ghorwal: Start-ups are all about going through tough situations, and you have to overcome these hurdles to create something meaningful for as many people as you can. One of the biggest challenges that I faced was that people did not know and understand Virtual Reality, so we educated people about Virtual Reality and how they can use it for their benefits. We made 1000’s of people experience Virtual Reality for the first time, and the reaction which we received was amazing, and it increased our faith in the technology, and it’s future.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Arvind Ghorwal: Leadership is about bringing people together, aligning them towards a vision and bringing the best out of them. So, you need to do the same in a more effective way during a crisis. You need to understand people in a much better way and create a path for them and motivate them to work hard, and make them believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Arvind Ghorwal: We are mainly focusing on VR spiritual content, and thus we do not have any direct competitors as of now, but other VR content studios are our indirect competitors. We are from the land of Yoga and meditation – India and have an advantage over people from other parts of the world when it comes to spirituality.
We plan to create a lot of Virtual Reality spiritual content and take it to the masses.
Your final thoughts?
Arvind Ghorwal: We plan to create more Virtual Reality content. We have been focusing on spiritual tourism, and spirituality is India’s soul. We have Char Dham, Sapta puri and many other spiritual and religious locations. India is a world leader when it comes to spirituality. Our sages, saints and rishis like Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda have gone to the west and have influenced billions of people around the world. We would like to do the same thing in a different way by using our ancient wisdom and helping people to overcome their difficulties through our content. We only get to learn how to survive in schools and colleges, but only a few learn – how to live. And we want to transform lives through our content and influence as many lives as we can across the globe.
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