Unleashing Digital Learning through Television & books

Nirmala Kamath, Co-Founder – Chie Media

Armed with her rich, diverse experience with leading IT & Media companies, Nirmala started her entrepreneurial journey by forming Chie Media Pvt Ltd.in 2011 along with her colleague Mr. Susarla Venkata Krishna Rao. Chie Media delivers end-to-end smart channel services– which include content sourcing, content repurposing, application development and smart-channel operations on a 24×7 basis.

Nirmala holds a B.Tech in Electronics & ECE from IIT Kharagpur and an M.S. in Computer Engg. from Univ. of Massachusettes. Her career stared with Wipro Infotech in their R&D division in Bangalore with their Fault Tolerant Computer products.

Being a dual-career family, Nirmala moved across cities and functions within Wipro, to keep in step with her husband’s career. After about 12 years at Wipro she moved out to join STAR Television in their digital platforms group and was part of the core team that launched the Tata Sky DTH platform in India.

At Tata Sky Nirmala was responsible for launching a host of Value Added Services on the DTH platform which served as a differentiator and a revenue generator for the company.

Her interests include travel & films and she loves visiting new places and learning about different cultures. She calls herself a total movie buff and watches at least 2 – 3 films in a week. A more recent interest that she has developed is health & fitness – healthy food & a regular fitness routine. Her current passion is her company and she is constantly thinking of ways to improve & scale the same to newer heights.

Here are some intercepts from her, as shared with team ABT.

What led you to the path of entrepreneurship?
Many a time during my stint in the corporate sector, I did mull over the idea of starting something on my own. In 2011, with adequate industry experience and domain knowledge, it was now or never.

How was the idea for Chie Media born?
With the Indian environment rapidly moving towards digitization – we saw an opportunity to provide Edutainment products and services for kids across the various  digital platforms – digital television, smart devices & the web.

With our expertise in digital television, we launched our first product – an Interactive Edutainment Portal for kids on a leading DTH operator in the country.

We have now launched Fundoodaa Books – A Multilingual Digital Library app for kids between 2 – 8 years. This product is available on mobile devices and tablets.

What are the challenges that your business is addressing?

With our products, we hope to take quality co-curricular learning content to urban, semi-urban & rural parts of India.

Our edutainment portal reaches remote parts of India through the DTH platform. This helps kids between 4 – 12 years enhance their knowledge through entertainment based educational content.

Our digital library has books for kids between 2 – 8 years, from leading Indian Kids publishers. The collection has been curated with great care and is available in English & 8 Indian Languages. The books have been digitized, animated and have voice over narration  to help kids read and speak the languages with the correct pronunciation and diction. Every book has an activity built into it to enhance children’s cognitive skills.

Your views on Tech-Enabled Education in India.
Technology is a great enabler and can be a great equalizer for learning.  With connectivity and the adoption of smart phones and devices growing in leaps and bounds, the ability for anytime anywhere learning is already becoming a reality. This is closing the gap between the haves and have-nots.  The disadvantage of the inability to access good quality teaching and content will be minimized.

Tech based education will be a game-changer in building a quality workforce in India.

If you were to change/do one thing differently, what would that be?
I think I would have started my entrepreneurial journey earlier. On hindsight I think I waited too long.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
Our dream is to have thousands of kids in India and the world use our products for outside-the-classroom-learning. We will continue to innovate and introduce products which will help kids enhance their learning and their life skills.