December 15-2015
Understanding the game plan of Lakshya Digital’s InGame

The term education is a very open-ended term and when it comes to the creative field one thing that is always said is ‘learning never stops’ and one has to evolve constantly to meet the ever changing industry demands. But if the foundation is weak, one is bound to face an uphill task to cope up and the whole process seems a waste of time and resource. Today, India has more than 300 training institutes who provide ‘so called’ education in creative fields but there is one thing that is common to all these institutions – the children coming out of these places are not ready for the arduous industry.

Moving away from the franchise model, some companies are taking it upon themselves to train the young minds, who want to leap into these fields but run into institutions who don’t have much to offer when it comes to being industry ready. One of the oldest game outsourcing studios in India – Lakshya Digital for some time now has been running an in-house training school – InGame – which not only provides the necessary skill-sets to survive in this surfacing industry, but also -presents the students an opportunity to work with the studio.

In an exclusive conversation with Lakshya Digital, CEO, Manvendra Shukul, we got to learn more about the training facility and how different it is from others.

Lakshyafacilities“We first launched our training institute InGame in Gurgaon. And I truly believe that it’s a training institute with a difference. In the past, we have personally experienced and suffered due to the lack of talent and all the training institutes out there are not developing them either. These places are more interested in making money, then imparting industry relevant expertise. I have also heard stories where parents have taken loans, some have even sold their scooters to enroll their children in such institutions but at the end of the day these kids are being misled by such setups.”

First started in Gurgaon , the studio recently expanded to Pune in June and plans to open two new institutes in Kolkata and Hyderabad, respectively – of which one is to commence sessions from next year.

“We generally assign one of the best art leads from the studio and ask him to develop the future talent in the region. He is also accompanied by a senior artist from the studio to work on InGame for the next 6 months as a pilot project and guide kids.”

The studio started the training centre with an intent to train students with talent. Specifically, the ones who were not able to cope up with the international standards and had to work on projects without getting a prior training. Unlike other institutes, Lakshya does not want InGame to be a money-centric centre where the parents are ripped off their hard-earned money. With the right curriculum, right people to teach and the right exposure to become production ready, the studio makes it a point to absorb all the ‘professionals of tomorrow’.

“These kids need to understand from Day 1 that production is not just about understanding tools or creativity, but more than that. So, this entire package had to be created and thought out correctly. We said OK, we will do something that is appropriate for the industry and at the end of it what they learn will make them industry ready. At the end of it they should be ready and not just join as a trainee somewhere. That just defeats the purpose of the exercise. That’s why InGame is what we started,” Manvendra signs off.

While this is a very good model, wherein you are not only educating but also providing hands-on experience to students, but there is a flipside to this. In the past, renowned animation studio Maya Digital Studios had also initiated its in-studio training institute called ‘MIST’ which could not sustain due to long gestation periods between projects. And more recently, studios like Reliance’s BIG AIMS too had tested waters with an in-studio training programme, but that too hasn’t really taken off the ground.