Digital Rhombus Studios: Realistic VR Experience Delivering High Value and Unique Business Solutions

Yogen Rai, Director, VR Experience Architect,Samir Basak, Director, Business Development & Sales

Yogen Rai, Director, VR Experience Architect

Despite the failure that the first Virtual Reality prototype, Sensorama encountered, the neo Virtual Reality boom is widely milestoned at about 2015 with Facebook buying out the major Head Mounted Display (HMD) manufacturing company - Oculus. VR is a young technology and the industry, in its infancy. While the technology is extremely promising, the industry, at large is in its teething phase challenged by an acute lack of ecosystem and a prohibitive cost of entry into the business. Distribution of VR content is also challenged with viewing HMD’s still being clunky and expensive. But, because the technology holds a lot of promise, the viewing device manufacturing industry is currently plush with investments resulting in a steady rise of a variety of HMD’s being released into the market at various price points based on capabilities. XR (extended Reality)/MR (Mixed Reality), evolving out of AR, holds the potential of creating a paradigm shift in how we display,manipulate and trigger information intelligently as per industry requirements & solutions.

Digital Rhombus Studio operates on this canvas and is already credited with painting a few colourful strokes into it. In the past 18 months of operations, DRS has already produced multiple projects with varying levels of complexities– a proud and successful achievement. “To succeed, we consciously decided to stay focused on expanding our capabilities across multiple technologies with an eye on solutioning & deployable devices. We are constantly creating and identifying business use cases across multiple industry segments. Strategically, we work with existing and new partners both within India and internationally, with partners inEurope, Canada and South East Asia,”says SamirBasak, Director, Business Development & Sales.

The Indian VR industry, like its international counterpart, is also in its infancy demanding for ‘Proof of Concept’ and ‘Trials’ to illustrate business case benefits. Evangelizing, designing demands and delivering above expectation is the key business driver strategy at DRS.“While innovative companies have adopted VR already, integration with complimenting technologies such as Big Data, AI, IoT, CRM, SCM, Blockchain etc. will drive exponential business values and fuel widespread adoption of VR & AR,” informs Yogen Rai, Director, VR Experience Architect.

Digital Rhombus Studios is reputed to be the next big name in the AR/VR industry – a company that not only constitutes technical superiority but also creative excellence delivering solutions across multiple devices like the Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive, Oculus, Cardboard etc. A company focused on delivering high-quality AR, VR& MR content to enable its customers to revolutionize their businesses through novel visualization techniques is what best defines Digital Rhombus Studios. “We are creators, in the way that the audience lives within the world that we design &create for them. We offer a plethora of world-class media related and AR/VR/MR services,” says Samir.

“Intrinsically, the cornerstone of Digital Rhombus Studios is founded on passion – passion for Virtual Reality! To be successful in providing Virtual Reality based solutions, it is essential to have a (pardon the pun) 360º understanding of the creative and technical aspects of imaging, programming, and experience design. While there are creative agencies and technical solutioning companies who have jumped in to the foray of providing VR solutions, Digital Rhombus Studios stands notches above most of them due to the fact that we possess expertise in both - creative imaging and technicalities; and, this expertise is powered by experience garnered over the past two decades,” says Yogen. The in-house media& technical team by default, create other verticals within the Digital Rhombus Studios offerings. The media team provides production, post-production, 3D modelling and animation content creation ability, while the technical team provides all kinds of full stack developments across devices and OS. Digital Rhombus Studios was one of the first to facilitate 360º VR Live Multicam Broadcast supported with live graphics. Samir adds - “based on our experience, we ensure that customers understand that we possess the understanding and expertise to addresstheir unique business requirements. It also provides us with the opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell other services along with enabling us to
address the business and industry requirements both for the Indian and global markets.” Yogen adds - “most of our customers are big brand names such as Accenture, DHL, OpenText, Avianet, KFC, Praxis Retail, UPS to name a few. We are fortunate that most of our clients consider us as partners in all our ground breaking efforts.”

Big things have Small Beginnings
Yogen started his career in the media industry in 1991 and around 1998, switched to the software industry by virtue of joining Autodesk. After quitting Autodesk he started a broadcast system integration company. In 2015, he started dabbling with VR out of curiosity &interest. By early 2016, VR developed in to a passion for him with some small VR project execution as well. Samir came from an engineering background with a very successful career in Global Sales and Business Development across the IT & Telecom domain. Around early 2016, Samir had an IT Consulting Company with some premium projects under his belt.

Being acquaintances and a chance meeting in a coffee shop is how it all started. Both of them were looking for something new and challenging to embark upon. Having gulped down a few strong mugs of black coffee and, a while into their conversation, both realised that they shared a common urge to embark into something that would not just be technologically exciting but create a paradigm shift. That’s where the conversation veered to Virtual Reality and having seeing a small demo on the phone and realising the potential of the technology, Samir immediately connected with the idea of entering the VR industry. Thus, the journey in to Virtual Reality started with Digital Rhombus Studios in a small 200 sq. ft. office with just 4 employees - including Yogen and Samir! “AR/VR was a fascinating technology-oriented world, yet to be unravelled and was most certainly going to be the future for the enterprises and industries at large, globally. The opportunity was immense and so were our aspirations. Without much thought, we zeroed in upon creating a company that designs and produces realistic VR experiences delivering high value and unique business solutions driven by powerful business- oriented ROI's,” asserts Yogen.

Fortunately, team Digital Rhombus hit the ground walking and that posed a different set of challenges for them as they had to prove themselves from the very first day. “Our customers and partners have shown great faith in us and we strive to strengthen these relationships. Every project has been unique and challenging but we are proud to say that we have met our customer’s requirements and many times, even exceeded them. We stayed focused and let our deliverables do the talking,” says Samir proudly.

Success =Teamwork
While both Samir and Yogen head the organisation as Directors, the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined within the organisation. Yogen is the ‘Chief Experience Designer’ and heads the creative and technical production chain in the organisation. He, with the team, ensures that all creative and technical challenges of a project are solved to facilitate successful delivery of the best experience to clients. Samir,with his invaluable business& strategy experience, heads the business development initiatives in the company. He plans and strategizes ‘go to market’ plans, structuring strategic alliances and, ground sales initiatives. He also plays a key evangelizing role for VR with clients and professional communities.

The company functionality pivots on the core value of ‘Commitment to innovation and excellence.’ It endorses propagating the culture of supportive growth through team work by ensuring that employees stay participative in the overall success story of the company. “We involve our team in a lot of discussions with customers over daily calls. We have employed high calibre resources for the function and expertise they possess. What we ensure is smooth working of the team through proper co-ordination. Delivery of the best in terms of quality content is deeply ingrained in to the entire team,” says Yogen.

Sky is the Limit
Since inception, the growth of Digital Rhombus has been meteoric. The revenues have multiplied two folds in the last six months compared to the achievement in the initial 9 months. From being a 4 employee company to a 25 full-time employee company, the success of Digital Rhombus can also be measured with the completion of 25+ projects. The company’s focus over the next two years is to create strong regional partnerships across geo’s - Middle East, Europe, North America and APAC. DRS is covered under the Startup India initiative as well. “We have a strong culture of working with partners, consultants or individuals both in
the domestic markets and in markets such as the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia. DRS has been self-funded by the Directors and has led a self-sustaining business journey. However, to enable future growth, expansion, R&D and IP creation (IP creation is in development stage), we are contemplating on exploring various funding routes and options,” enlightens Samir.

In the coming years, team Digital Rhombus envisions establishing itself as a major brand on the global map. In order to do so, they are scaling up with the right resources and expertise, building a strong technology and business partner eco-system, focusing on geographic expansion and marketing and brand building activities. “As a company, we have always endeavoured to keep pushing the technology boundaries. In a short span of 18 months, we have delivered multiple projects entailing extensive research and Innovations. As an organization, we thrive on challenges! We are happy and fortunate to have taken baby steps in the correct direction,” smiles Yogen.

Samir Basak, Director, Business Development & Sales

The Success Mantra
We follow a growth mantra of “Adopt, Adapt, Align & Deliver.” To operate and grow in the fore-front, we adopt and adapt to new technology quickly. Considering the rapidity with which the technology is progressing, we have to always stay on top of it to align our solutions to amazing experiences & solutions

“We want to grow from founders to long-term leaders. For that to happen, we need to stay grounded. In our industry where creativity and technology innovations go hand in hand, it is necessary to have leadership skills that identifies, hones and retains the right talents, allows freedom of expressions through way of working and continuously motivating the team to reach higher grounds. To beat the “founders can’t scale” curse and to have a chance of creating a successful, long-lasting company, we follow a democratic and flat system in the organisation.” says Yogen.

“Our ideas and strategies revolve around delivering experiences of the highest quality to our customers through a continuous process of technology adoption. We are grateful to have customers who have supported us in the past and continue to do so in the future. We have singularly focussed ourselves to serve the Enterprises and Organizations by enabling them to adopt the latest in the offer,” says Samir.

Unique Services & Solutions
The inherent strength of Digital Rhombus has been the ability to constantly explore and deliver on challenging projects encompassing complex technology research, new concept designing, prototype
testing. This ingrained culture has enabled the team to successfully execute unique projects such as:

- Collaborative VR Conferencing for Enterprises,
- 3600 Stereoscopic VR,
- Light weight AR Navigation solution,
- VR for Retail,
- VR Interactive Architectural Simulation,
- MRO Prototype using Microsoft HoloLens for Manufacturing
- 360O Live Broadcast

Effective Case Studies
VRcan help interior furnishings,automobile industry, real-estate, tourism industry etc., to showcase and sell their products and services. For example: it may not be possible for an interior furnishing company to showcase every product in their inventory resulting in some loss in sales with walk-in customers. Or, a car showroom may not be able to display all the variants of a particular model with regards to colour, interior, dashboard features etc. VR could be an amazing solution to display all what is “not physically there” and help in the sales process. Thomas Cook offered a VR flyover of the Manhattan skyline, resulting in a 40% return on investment and a 190% increase in New York City excursions.

• A classic example of the back-end benefit would be the manufacturing or service industry. In India, most of the mechanics on the ground are not highly educated. VR solutions could help them train and qualify with no wear and tear cost AT ALL! The same logic can be applied to literally all manufacturing industry.