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Startups
It is one of the first startups in India to launch a specialized offering for virtual reality-based video production.

What if you could learn science experiments in school through VR? Or experience a religious fete without actually being there? For Virtual Raasta, the possibilities are endless.

Betting big on the growing adoption of virtual reality, Hyderabad-based corporate video production house Raasta Studios has launched a new brand ‘Virtual Raasta’ to offer Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-based video production. It is one of the first startups in India to launch a specialized offering for virtual reality-based production.

Raasta Studios, founded by Sai Kumar and Prem Kumar in 2013 caters to the B2B segment, offering production services to corporates, institutions, agencies, NGOs and government bodies. It now runs three brands – Raasta Studios, Amplify and Virtual Raasta under the parent company Raasta Studios.

The services offered by Raasta Studios include coverage of events, ad films and commercials, explanatory videos of products or services, branding and corporate films, 2D and 3D animation, industrial and training videos, interviews and testimonials, promotional videos and campaigns.

While the five-year-old startup has been running Virtual Raasta for a few months having worked with several clients, it launched it a standalone brand officially as part of the HYSEA Design Summit 2018 in Hyderabad.

“We offer a variety of AR and VR products and services in sectors including simulations, education, heritage, industrial training and maintenance, architecture and real estate, aviation and aerospace industry, medical and pharma industry,” says Prem.

Its offerings include VR simulation, data visualization, medical and pharma training, industrial training, Educational AR/VR, defence training, among other.

Data visualisation is where it presents data in an interactive format instead of having to read through long documents.

“Till now there used to be a lot of data presented in form of reports. Now they can present it in an interesting way and make it more interactive. One doesn’t have to go through 400-odd pages to understand a report,” Prem says.

In healthcare, it is working with institutes such as LV Prasad Institute where it creates a virtual laboratory to help people train and learn without physical lab setup or equipment.

It also has an aerospace and aviation offering where it offers pilot trainings in a virtual reality setting. Aircraft Engine and Equipment Maintenance Engineering Training on design, architecture, maintenance procedures without having a physical setup. Dangerous, hard-to-replicate and expensive situations such as aircraft ditching, fire and emergency landing can also be simulated using VR tools.

For educational institutes, it helps enhance teaching in subjects such as Botany, Zoology, Medicine, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geography, Architecture, Semiconductors, Instrumentation, Industrial, Nursing, Auto Tech, Rural studies and Social works and History.

“Interactive AR can enhance learnings based on study material and textbook content. We also provide immersive and interactive learning opportunities depicting subject visually where lessons can be controlled by teacher/instructor to set pace,” Prem adds.

It also works with large corporates to help live-stream major events in VR format to allow people across the world experience the event first-hand. It has worked with giants such as Reliance Industries where it live streamed the company’s Annual General Meeting held in July. It also created 360-degree videos for corporates.

For example, it created a 360-degree video of the manufacturing units of Laurus Labs during its Initial Public Offering last year. It created a 360-degree video of Hyderabad-based T-Hub for those wanting to know what the incubator looked like.  It has also worked with furniture giant IKEA where it offered consumers a chance to view and experience the IKEA store and its products in a VR setting.

The scope is endless, Prem says.

The company works on a customized costing model where it first understands the requirement, analyses to see whether it would need AR, VR or animation and accordingly offer services. The costing could range anywhere between Rs 5 lakh- 25 lakh based on a company’s requirement.

While the VR scenario in India, especially in terms of hardware hasn’t evolved yet, it imports most of its hardware from Hong Kong or the US. It also helps customers who need to purchase the hardware in sourcing them from the right places.  

The 40+ member team currently has around 18 clients from across the country. Having started operations in Hyderabad, Virtual Raasta now wants to become an India-centric player since its offerings are not geographically-bound.

The bootstrapped startup invested Rs 50 lakh from its parent company Raasta Studios to build the infrastructure. It is now looking to raise funds to grow Virtual Raasta into a large standalone brand.

“Our focus will always remain B2B since there is a huge requirement for such offerings in businesses. We want to go as in-depth as possible in the AR and VR space and come up with more unique offerings along the way,” Prem adds.

Also read: Two T-Hub startups ‘Syntizen’, ‘CarenGrow’ bag HYSEA Software Product Awards