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Vikram Pai Raikar – Working With Visual Effects

Vikram’s journey into the virtual graphic world began when he came across sci-fi movies and saw the glaring visual effects created in the movies
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Vikram Pai Raikar
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Like most young lads, Vikram also wanted to become a computer wizard in the field of coding and that is why after completing his graduation in computer science, Vikram had a plan to pursue an MCA, but his interest was somewhere else: in a world of creativity, graphic designing and visual effects that according to him has always attracted him more than a flat blank screen with abstract codes written on it. Today Vikram runs a very successful venture in Goa and provides his expertise in VFX to many Goan Entrepreneurs and clients overseas. 

Vikram’s journey into the virtual graphic world began when he came across sci-fi movies and saw the glaring visual effects created in the movies and that is when he decided to move from a boring coding life to dazzling visual effects world. “After completing my B.Sc in Computer Science, just like any other youth, I wanted to pursue my MCA, but the idea of working on a flat screen monitor with C++ programming sounded very boring to me after I came across the graphics used in the Hollywood films,” said Vikram, adding that he developed an interest towards Visual effects or VFX as we call it.  “Hollywood movies inspired me and that is when I decided that I will opt out of doing an MCA and go for the course that teaches VFX. This is when I decided to do a VFX Course in Bangalore and this is where the first step towards my journey started.” 

The reason Vikram had to travel to Bangalore was because back then there was no such VFX course  in Goa. “Just like any other aspiring youth from Goa, metro cities always fascinated me, because they have more resources and opportunities. I completed my 3 years Diploma course in VFX in Bangalore and joined a US-Based Firm dealing with Motion Graphics. Although that company did not deal with VFX, it was still good for me as they were into content generation for the western markets. I worked there for 4 years, gathered sufficient experience, and decided to move back to my hometown.”  

Though Vikram decided to move back to Goa, he had to face another challenge and that was the lack of opportunities here in Goa. “Being a very small place, Goa had not much by way of opportunities during those days hence I decided to start my own venture,” said Vikram adding that his father wanted him to join their family business which he refused outright. “My dream was the creation of graphics and visual effects. I was passionate about this work and the obsession made me stick to my original plan.” 

After Vikram moved to Goa his first challenge was to understand the local market, “I was exposed to the western and American markets and it was right time to take a look at the Indian market. My aim was to find out and understand the possibility of what can be created here and that’s why I decided to take up this job, just to understand how everything goes,” said Vikram adding that he was surprised to see that local market was lagging behind. “We were used to working on  4K UHD while here people were still working on  ‘Half HD’while the American and western markets are quality conscious, while the local market still remain limited to the finishing the task and the minimum bid.”

Vikram decided to bridge the Gap between Western and Indian content Market and that is how  “Valour Creations” was born in 2018. “We used to operate from a small studio room office in Porvorim, and we shifted to the bigger spacious office premises in Panaji in March of 2020.” Vikram comes from a very well to do family with his father running a business of manufacturing of  corrugated boxes for Colgate-Palmolive, but Vikram never wanted to join his father and decided to create his own identity. “I never wanted to deal with labourers in the industrial estate. That was not my cup of tea. I always like to remain behind the screen of my computer and work,” he added.   

After starting his first office in Porvorim, Vikram had to face the challenge of  resistance from certain people. “I had the confidence but there were times when people discourage you, saying what is the difference between you and an established company and why would I not go to an established place instead?” and then the only thing I say to them is, if you dont give me a chance to prove myself then how would I let you know what I can do for you?” 

People started giving work to Vikram but opportunities had its own cost: the work started coming with a very tight budgets, “At that time I wanted the work and profit making was not our major goal. We wanted to give the best quality work to our customers and this is how we started creating our portfolio,” he said adding that “There were times when we worked on budgets so tight that we faced losses, but we still managed to provide the best results that our clients expected from us because we never compromised on our work and this is our benchmark and is something I always want to affiliate with Valour Creations.”

In the beginning Vikram worked with the few companies underrating the projects for Indian and American companies and creating a strong portfolio. “Price point and the competitiveness is quite the factor in this market and we had to keep that in mind as we took on projects. We did projects such as Architectural Renders, Walkthroughs, Video Shoots and the clients had faith in our work and in us,” Vikram said adding that in one of the projects, they impressed the client so much so they appointed him to take over the upcoming projects which was quite a deal for him.   

According to Vikram, he provided quality work at the right price and that is his USP. “Creating content is easy but creating quality content is tough. It is just like an idea, that needs to have a stamp towards strong foundations and this way we let our creative juices flow and that helped in standing out amongst the others.” 

The Goan market is not yet ready for  VFX and that prompted Vikram to take up the architectural visualizations and company culture videos and live shoots “VFX has not entered Goan Markets yet, but we are hopeful of the same someday. As of now, those who have big budgets get their work  done from  Mumbai and  the ones who have a smaller budget get it done from freelancers,” he said.  

According to Vikram, a supportive family is most important aspect and the rest all depends on how present yourself to the opportunities. “It is also about being in the right place at the right time, and grabbing the right opportunities. There was some infrastructure that helped us take the jump or the leap that we took, and the rest was all about the work. The main goal is to get the job done and not about the infrastructure nor the premises as my work doesnt demand that people visit me at the office and it is mostly based online and on computers and so on,” he added.  

“We are taking a calculated risk as of now, and if one doesn’t take them there would be no growth. I had to start this on my own with whatever savings I had at the time. Initially there would be struggles but the idea is to keep at it as it is: a slow and steady process,” said Vikram adding that one should never  leave their goals. You should dream big and then you try to achieve it. As I said it is a slow and steady process because climbing the ladder is one task of life and work.”          

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