Naveen Parak (30) and Manish Dongra (40) are co-founders of Aniguru Animation Pvt. Ltd, a Hyderabad-based company offering first-of-a-kind animation education and training programmes for K-12 schools in India. Promoted in June last year, Aniguru is the sole Indian education licencee of Toon Boom Animation Inc, a Canada-based Emmy award-winning animation software production com-pany which boasts The Simpsons, The Princess and the Frog and SpongeBob movies and television serials among its innovative productions. Aniguru is authorised to offer Toon Boom’s specially designed animation software and curriculum to schools in India and the Asia Pacific region.
Newspeg. Aniguru, which celebrated its first anniversary in June, has signed up 15 high-profile schools including Kennedy Global High, Jain Heritage, Gitanjali, Chirec Public schools (all in Hyderabad) and Millennium School, Amritsar, for its once-a-week animation education classes delivered by 75 highly-trained faculty.
Unique selling proposition. “Our strategic partnership with Toon Boom has enabled us to develop a unique animation education and training programme. Students are taught to use visual illustrations, sound and other multimedia technologies to improve learning and retention. The first part of our programme familiarises students with Toon Boom’s award-winning animation software and techniques. Next, students have to create and develop animated projects in subjects such as science, maths, etc. Thus students not only develop excellent IT competence but also self-learning, research, present-ation and leadership skills,” says Parak, a commerce graduate of Pragati Maha-vidyalaya, Hyderabad and business postgrad of Victoria University, Melbourne.
Genesis. Parak and Dongra hit upon the idea of an animation education company for school children after an inspiring encounter with a US-based friend’s seven-year-old son. “We were overwhelmed by the awesome school projects he had done using animation software which was taught to him in school. That’s when I realised what most Indian schools lacked — a programme to harness a child’s creati-vity, presentation and self-learning skills,” says Parak.
To translate their ideas into reality, Parak and Dongra invested their savings (Rs.6.7 crore) in the project. According to them, in the digital age it’s impractical for schools to persist with rote and memorisation pedagogies. “To retain student interest, improve retention and learning outcomes, it’s important for schools to apply stimulating learning methods. Animation in education transforms the entire teaching-learning process providing students a fun-filled way to learn concepts which would otherwise be boring,” says Dongra, a postgraduate of Pragati Maha-vidyalaya with more than eight years of working experience as a management consultant.
Tuition fees. Rs.1,800-2,200 per child per year.
Future plans. To take Aniguru’s effort forward and enter collegiate education. “We plan to introduce short and long-term certified courses in animation for college students, apart from offering animation services to companies,” says Dongra.