Mani Subramanian, Founder, First Media India (P) Ltd.


The ubiquitous video via a TV channel is a staple of every Indians entertainment diet and almost every other human on the planet. As a market it is not only vast but also diverse and our entrepreneur seems to have caught on to this fact. Mani Subramanian is a maverick entrepreneur who truly embodies the often clichéd philosophy of “thinking locally and acting globally” without being a cliché. Going Global is exactly what he has aimed at and intends to do with “First Media India Private Limited”.

His confidence is not just due to his incisive entrepreneurial acumen but also due to the support he has received from “Sun Startup Essentials”. He professes to their help in his work saying “"We have received technical support from Sun ISV-Engineering team for porting of our IP-TV QoE Monitoring Solution including m-Flow, m-View and m-CommServer to Solaris10 SPARC and ensuring the best performance on Sun's CMT platform. Sun team was helpful in instrumentation and redesigning of our application database for improved scalability and performance."Business Idea- Mani has taken the idea of software development and zoned in on a segment that is not only growing at a great pace but shows no hints of slowing down. He told us about what “First Media is a Video QoE monitoring and management software product company providing end to end video quality monitoring solutions. Video quality monitoring covers the entire values chain from video production, video teleport, video transmission, video head-ends, core distribution networks, access networks, and home network. The solution is relevant for production houses, teleport service providers, broadcasters, multi service operators – such as IPTV service providers, DTH service providers, Mobile TV service providers, and cable operators.”

If you have trouble deciphering the technical nuances, then let us set it straight for you. Basically they cover everything that has to do with QOE management in delivering video over various delivery platforms. Mani detailed their various services under the following headings.Video QOE Monitoring Solution consists of:

m-Flow™ CQA              Head End Based Video Content Analyzer

m-Flow™                       In -Network Video Analyzer

m-QM™                         Video Analyzer on IP STB

m-ComServer™           Communication Server

m-View™                       Network Management platform with co-relational engine

Our T&M Solutions consists of:

m-SA™                           Remote trouble shooting diagnostic tool for IP set top boxes

m-Generator™             Video Stream Load Generator with Impairment Support

m-Assure™                    Field Technician Provisioning and Troubleshooting Tool for IPTV service

Target Market- The finished product may be enjoyed by the common viewer but the person who breathes a sigh of relief at their ease of use is someone else. Mani states “Our solutions are used by Video Service Providers such as Telcos, DTH operators and Broadcasters.”

He adds “Our business model is based on software licensing with annual support and upgrades”

What sets them apart – Mani has his battle plans well thought out and identified many areas where their services and products have an edge over others. He pointed out these areas as

  • Our Value Proposition
  • Specialized Video Only Offerings
  • Complete suite to monitor and manage QoE from head-end to set top box
  • Proven product in the marketplace
  • Deployed and Tested in Service Provider Environments
  • Third Party Certification EANTC (European Advanced Network Test Center)
  • Patent pending SVE model for MOS
  • No Reference Model
  • Cost Effective software solution
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
  • Integrated Intelligent Fault correlation engine
  • Not just monitoring, but also ability to isolate and identify the problem source
  • Web based UI, enables remote management
  • Set top box/Mobile TV level monitoring
  • True end user monitoring
  • Remote trouble shooting and analysis from NoC
  • Ability to view quality of video and problems at CPE level from NOC
  • Laptop based provisioning/troubleshooting tool
  • Easy to use application for STB emulation and provisioning support

His entrepreneurial story- Mani has not just come up with his venture on the spur of the moment, his entrepreneurial aspirations were always on his mind. He says “Always wanted to do challenging assignments and entrepreneurship provides these challenges…Wanted to develop software products from India to serve global markets”

The toughest part of his journey has been getting a buyer, Mani shared this fact with us saying “Getting 1st customer on board has been our biggest challenge which we overcame establishing global branding for Indian products.”

He spoke about the course they are currently on saying “Since it is R&D centric company, we had only one development center in Bangalore until we opened a sales organization in the US in Oct 2009. Our product development team is 15 people + 3 sales and marketing professionals.”

Despite the road bumps Mani stands by his product and believes in it. He acknowledges his entrepreneurial tenacity to “Satisfaction that our products are rated much superior than some of the older companies that have been existing for decades!”

Recognition Gained – Mani has achieved a lot in such a short span but is most pleased at the validation he has received. He states “Our products have been tested and certified by EANTC, a neutral, third party testing and certification center based in Germany”.

He is also proud of the fact that he has gotten the product to work at India’s largest Telco environment which requires non-stop 24x7 operations.

Future Plans – The world will be quite enough for Mani as he has set his goals to go global. He plans to rope in top 3 video service providers in the US and the top 5 video service providers in Europe as his customers.

Entrepreneurial lesson- While Mani is of the opinion that Indian entrepreneurs are troubled when “Getting funding, establishing global branding”, he urges them to carry on saying “Build products for global markets, stay focused, don’t give up, and make sure you have enough cash on hand until you get customers!”

Yourstory doffs its collective hat to Mani’s ambition and hopes to see him become a worldwide player. We are certain that Mani’s day of Global recognition is not far and wish him Godspeed in getting there.

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