Techie’s book for kids recognized –

By Suneetha

This gentleman has a cluster of enviable degrees under his belt and that’s in both technology and management. He has also written scripts for animation films, like Chhota Bheem and Kumbh Karan. What brings him to limelight now is his book ‘Raja and the Giant Donut’ which is in the short-list of The Economist Crossword Book Award 2012 for Children’s Writing. Meet Prashant Pinge.

Techgoss (TG): Let’s start with an intro please.
Prashant Pinge (PP): I was born and brought up in Mumbai. While I spent a good number of years studying and working abroad, I have been settled in Mumbai since 2007. I have completed my under graduation in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Subsequently, I pursued a master of science in management from Lancaster University, a post graduate program in management from the Indian School of Business and a post MBA-masters of international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

TG: Do detail your work profile; your Facebook page says you are now partner at Media Panther.
PP: My first job was at Rockwell Collins in the US in their avionics division. However, I decided to switch from engineering to marketing after creativity got the better of me. I freelanced as a brand consultant for some time and then decided to start my own firm, Media Panther, with my brother, Sandeep. Media Panther is an integrated marketing consultancy that provides strategic services in marketing and branding and also has an in-house design studio. I specialize in devising and implementing branding and marketing strategies that help businesses stand out in today’s turbulent markets.

TG: Like many Techies you have studied Electrical Engineering at Purdue. Did you ever consider a full time tech career in India’s IT-BPO Sector?
PP: There was a period of time after my stint at Rockwell Collins when I found myself considering various career options, including India’s booming IT-BPO sector. However, after considerable introspection, I decided to pursue a career in marketing and branding.

TG: You co-founded an animation company Reptile FX. What hardware / software you use for animation VFX and design?
PP: Reptile FX was the outcome of an intense desire to do something even more creative, to develop original content as well as take on commercial projects. However, the launch of Reptile FX is still a couple of months away although the website is already up. We shall be using high end machines with Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA graphics cards. When it comes to software, we shall be going in for Adobe Production Premium and Autodesk Maya.

TG: How did your writing happen? Please trace the trajectory of your wordsmith exploits in each genre of writing.
PP: I have always had a creative bent of mind, but writing only happened about a decade ago. As clichéd as it may sound, it all started because of a dream I had. It was so vivid and exciting that I had to put pen to paper that very instant. But that book is still to be written. My writing journey started with fairy stories and progressed to stories about animals and children. I primarily write children’s fiction and have written a few scripts for animation (such as Chhota Bheem and Kumbh Karan) as well. When it comes to this genre, my biggest aim is to really connect with my audience, to immerse them into magical worlds they would otherwise never experience. And while the children’s category is quite a tricky one, it’s precisely this that makes it so much more interesting as well.

Please visit my website to enter my world.

TG: Tell us more about your achievements in writing.
PP: Writing is my passion, a spiritual journey in many ways where the destination doesn’t hold any significance. But yes, there have certainly been milestones that I am proud of. For instance, when my first four books comprising the Friendship Series were published by Euro Books. Or for that matter, when Raja & the Giant Donut was recently shortlisted in the Economist Crossword Book Award 2011 – Children’s Writing category. However, I feel satisfied most when I get positive feedback from all the little readers.

TG: How many books in total so far?
PP: I have had seven of my books published thus far with an eighth one to be released in December 2012. The seven titles are The Adventures of Angela & Trixie, Angela & Trixie Again, Timothy’s Fantastic Adventure, More Adventures of Timothy, Avantika’s Garden, Naughty Avantika, and Raja & the Giant Donut. I have also had two short stories published in Penguin anthologies.

TG: Which is the next book in waiting?
PP: My next book, Sid & Po, is being published by Happy Squirrel, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing, in December 2012. I am also working on a yet unnamed fantasy novel which I hope to complete by the end of this year.

TG: How about your nomination to the Economist Crossword Award, what does it mean to you?
PP: I have to say that getting shortlisted for the Economist Crossword Award has been one of the highlights of my writing career. The children’s writing segment in India is unfortunately dominated by Western reprints or the usual fare of folk tales with very little original content being published locally. So I feel especially honoured for this nomination as it provides me with greater credibility and recognition as an Indian author of children’s fiction.