Firstbase literally means ‘the first impression’ and here is a company which manages brand images in the most creative of ways – with character design and motion graphics. FirstBase believes in integrating effective brand communication with impeccable graphics and design.Jubin Mehta from YourStory.in catches up with Founder of FirstBase Sumit Charles to know more
How and when did you startup?
Firstbase was formed because we felt we had something to offer the print and digital design industry. The 3D gaming industry was booming in India and we could see a huge gap in the expected and delivered user experience. I have always been inclined towards user experience. The need for change grew and I, along with my partner Harleen –now our Chief Creative Strategist and cousin Ashish -Head of our 3D Gaming and Cinematics, decided to take a risk and explore new possibilities. Year 2009 was the year of change. We started with 3D gaming and Cinematics and in 2010 we entered into branding and packaging design.We graduated to brand communication with the inclusion of the GODFATHER Beer (from Devans Modern Breweries) in our portfolio.
Tell us about a project you've been very proud of. Also attach a jpeg of the outcome if possible.
We are really proud to be associated SCAPSAgent.com - the first Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) and First Person Shooter (FPS) game to be played in-browser. In Branding and packaging, one of our design (Bulldozer Beer) as selected as one of the top 5 packaging designs of the world. (Accompanying picture)
Throw some light on the 3D gaming area. Which softwares do you use?
This is one of the most sought after sector today. We all have evolved from Pac-Man, the first video game superstar, which came into life around 30 years ago, to a game such as ArkhamCity or Red Dead Redemption that seems to have completely redefined the gaming experience. 3D gaming offers an enhanced gaming experience with as good as real environment.
Softwares - We use PixologicZbrush 4.0, Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe After Effects.
Tell us a about yourself and your team.
We have a small and beautiful team of 15 artists. Even our programmers are artists and create a wonderful product. Harleen Mehta, the Chief Creative Strategist of the company, comes from an advertising background and has worked with Ogilvy and Mather and Ashish Andrew, head of our 3D gaming and Cinematics, has an extensive experience in 3D gaming and high quality 3D movies.I have been involved in combining creativity with functionality for most of my working life, having started my career as a Web Architect in Seoul, South Korea in the year 2000. In 2005 I started working as an Art Director for a New Delhi based design firm. I have worked in different domains but have always had this entrepreneur bug.
Firstbase seems like a great place to work at. How big is your team and are you hiring?
We are always looking for talent and passion. If you have these, welcome aboard!
We have a 15 people team and a lot of contract based artists. We hire from – Doodld.net. It is a social network for illustrators, designers, gamers and animators. It's a great platform to meet and hire some really good artists.
Tell us about the kind of clients you have now.
We have client from these 3 verticals:
1) 3D Gaming and Cinematics
2) Brand Communication
3) UI Design(web, apps)
In the last 2 years we are really fortunate to have worked with Philips(Holland), Slime Sandwich, Oxford University Press, GE Capital, NIIT, UFC, Devans.
Who was your first client? How did you grow from there?
Slime Sandwich - an online gaming giant from Denver, US (Founded by Douglas Glover, and founder of the legendary web portal Photobucket.com - Alex Welch). We have a wonderful and ever growing relationship with this client.
Our first product was SCAPSAgent - an online MMO and first person shooter game. The story-line is written by Marvel Comics author, Michael Lent.
We have been really fortunate to have Doug as our client. He has helped us tremendously in recommending us to several other clients including people from Marvel Comics!
What is your revenue model?
We offer services and have launched some products. Major part of our revenue is generated through our service wing.We are now focusing on products and one of our products MoneyonRoad (www.moneyonroad.com) is all set for the launch!
Out of the huge repertoire of the services that Firstbase provides now, which one brings in the maximum revenue?
Brand Communication (including Packaging design and Advertising)