WHAT started as fun at birthday parties has turned into a viable business for K. Sivashankar, a man with a penchant for game shows, trivia and solving puzzles.
The chemical engineer turned quiz show organiser was on holiday in Bangalore with his family recently when he was invited to a children’s motivational camp. He noticed that the programme lacked the element of fun, so he volunteered to run his interactive game show.
The Indian trainers liked the show – and so did IT experts in Bangalore, a.k.a. India’s Silicon Valley, who signed an agreement with him to buy his multimedia quiz software for marketing promotions, corporate communication road shows, product launches, fun edutainment and dinner shows.
Sivashankar, the CEO of First Ray Sdn Bhd, said: “The interactive game show helps people discard their inhibitions after a long day in office. People are looking for a break.”
His sales pitch to a potential client is: “I will do a game show for you for free, and if you like it, then you can call me.”
He said the live game shows were designed not only to communicate information but also entertain.
The content and questions for the game show use multimedia visuals, sound clips and video clips combined with a scoreboard and cumulative scores.
The game show is portable and can be held at social clubs, stadiums, restaurants, pubs – in fact, anywhere where there is power supply.
First Ray, a Malaysian start-up, has been in operation since 1997. During World Cup 2002, Astro as well as Ladbrokes used its Game Show as a “below the line” promotional activity.
Organisations like British Petroleum, Intan (Malaysia's National Training Institute), Petronas, Unilever, ICI and brands like Nike, Lipton and Nespray have been using First Ray’s game show services at their various events.
“Our Game Show was also used at the opening ceremony of the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in July 1998 as well as during the Azlan Shah Cup Hockey tournaments for edutainment of spectators awaiting the start of a match or during half time,” said Sivashankar.
The United Nations recently purchased First Ray's multimedia kit for six schools in Malaysia as part of it’s “e-Learning for life” initiative.
First Ray is also the Malaysian representative to the International Quizzing Association (IQA), which is staging the World Quiz Championship on July 3.
“Quiz fanatics here will participate in the world's first global quiz with over a thousand people competing simultaneously from Manchester to Malaysia and Belgium to Bangalore,” said Sivashankar.
“This event has taken two years to organise. All the questions have been translated into various languages for the participating teams.”