Meet Entrepreneur Kiran Joshi, Disney Animator who started an animation studio in Kathmandu

This is a summary of Last Thursdays series co-hosted by “Entrepreneurs for Nepal” platform which I co-founded. This platform networks entrepreneurs working for Nepal. For more details, go here. A lot of credit also goes to Samriddhi Foundation for transcribing it.

Kiran Bhakta Joshi, the founder of Incessant Rain Animation Studios, left his job of 18 years at the Walt Disney Studios at age 46 to create his own studio in Kathmandu. With a background in computer software, Joshi was working as a graphics software developer for Disney. He was in the team that developed the animation system used for “Beauty and the Beast”, which went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards. Leaving an 18 year old job, the post of Head of Production and a team of 250 artists and technologists under him was not easy for Kiran. There were doubts among his friends in Walt Disney if an animation studio in Nepal would deliver the quality and turnaround they were seeking.

The year 2007 was the turning point in his life. When he had come to Nepal for the funeral of a relative, his friend Sanjeev Rajbhandari suggested opening a studio in Nepal. He then spent three weeks in small animation boutiques and was impressed to see the portfolios of skilled and passionate young artists. He met a 19 year old boy who showed his portfolio and said that his passion was animation but due to pressure from his parents, he had been studying management. He asked Kiran for help, so realizing the level of this boy’s passion, he decided it was time to open an animation studio in Nepal.

Kiran opines that employees are the most valuable assets of a business. He says that it is very important to coordinate with every individual differently because even a single person with an ego can jeopardize the work process. While working with his employees, the first lesson he learnt was that it is easy to train young people rather than old ones. He feels that young people are very creative, more adaptable and energetic about their work once they are convinced. Since experienced people are more resistant to change, he feels that it is better to have young supervisors and employees in the business. He shares that it is important to make sure the employees are having fun during work but at the same time there should be proper enforcement of discipline. Salaries at his studio are based on the productivity and the quality of the animation that his staffs can create. He even helps his staff to go abroad if they want because he believes those people will gain better knowledge and return back. He admits that hunting for talent is an arduous process and he would love to collaborate with the universities here and start an animation academy to nurture fresh talents inside Nepal.

Kiran shares that setting up of a business is easy but execution is difficult. Since he shuttles between Nepal and the US, is it difficult to execute all the ideas due to time constraints. Challenges he is facing now in Nepal include bandhs (strikes) and load-shedding. He also feels that as his company is growing bigger, the fun element is reducing. Even though he doesn’t have any marketing person, his personal one to one networks and visits to several networking programs contribute to his business development. He stresses that networking is very important for entrepreneurs and no one should underestimate its power. His focus is on brand building and creating their own intellectual property.

He sees bright hope for Nepal as we have cheaper labor force, untapped resources, rich cultures and diversity. His studio’s goal is not just to outsource work from USA, but take the rich folk stories of Nepal to the world. He cites the example of “Jungle Book”, a story from India that became a famous animation. He finds Nepal rich in tales of Yaks and Yetis and he has successfully used the yaks and the one-horned rhino for the animation advertisements of World Food Program (WFP) and Ace Development Bank respectively. He believes these would help to showcase our local identity.

Articles about Kiran Joshi: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-cultural-exchange-20110313,0,7117105.story

Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m a 3d artist. I use maya, photoshop & vue. In maya I do modeling, some bit of texturing & lighting. I use some bit of photoshop. And I use vue for environment. I have learned all these softwares by myself. I want to work for animation studios. Can u help me???

  2. Hi,
    Please contact Pratima ([email protected] and visit the studio. Send me your email, contact # and bio and I will have our HR dept contact you.

    Best,
    -kiran

  3. so what softwares are running in ur studios for 3D Animation and vfx ?
    Sir I want to join ur studios and is there any chances for me……..?
    I can handle 3D softwares and Vfx ……………
    plZ reply
    Yathartha

  4. Is there any possible opportunity to work at the Animation Industry with Fine Art Background?

  5. Hlo………..me yathartha n i wanna a join with u as ………………a 3D artist n i hav high command in Graphics software n 3D softwares like max, Maya, Mudbox………….now i am at Ahmedabad India how cud i contact with u …………
    my e………..addres   [email protected]

  6. Hi respected sir,

    I am Phur Tenzin Sherpa, studying engineering in Simon Fraser Univeristy in Canada. However, I have great interest in animation, but have not done any courses realated to animation… I have attempted learning AutoDesk Maya on my own and do some fandamental technical stuff.  I am very glad to find out that there is a animation studio in Nepal.

  7. you know after reading this article, i was overwhelmed by the fact to know animation scope in nepal,sir i have tremendous talent and creativity.i hve a strong desire to be a part of this…and this wld b like immense.please sir i want to meet u ,here is my mailing [email protected]..please do mail me.

  8. hello sir,i am glad to heard abt animation studio in nepal,i am very much intrested in 3d animation,i used to learn  Autodesk Maya.Now i am planing to join best animation college and i am searching for it,but i can’t found these type of animation college,so which college is best for me in usa?what type of course i have to learn? ….Thank you…

  9. Thank You SirnnI believe practices make man perfect so I do hard work.nHow can i be a part of instant rain animation studio ?nnnReally Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

  10. you should just start on your own.. and start animating on your own.. yournare already a designer right ? so you are creative.rnAlso see if you can do some internship in Incessent Rain studios during thernnights.. Hard work is rewarded. well in our creative industry. Learn how torntell a story. the technical tools are not as important if you can tell arngood story.. In any moving image, the key is to learn to tell a story…rnrnso if you can tell a good story, half the work is done.. you just have tornlearn the tools now…just surf the net and find animation groups andrnparticipate in their forums.. there is no stupid questions, only stupidrnanswers. so go ahead and ask them.rnrnrn————rnFounder, DMS – We help you get more business throughrn”Online Branding”rnRead my experiments to provoke you to change Nepal here.rnCo-Founder: Entrepreneurs for Nepal rnOrganizer of anti-bandh projects

  11. Dear Ujwal Sir,nnI am one of a interested person to do animation. I am working with graphic software as Creative designer in company Media Ad Venture Pvt. Ltd. But I don’t have any idea to do animation. I would be thankful if you suggest me form the 1st step for Animation Course. nn Thank you for taking time. Hope i will get reply from you.nnShankar RainKathmandu, Nepaln

  12. Thanks Kiran for your reply and the information ! A lot of people are askingrnin forum and beyond !rnrnKeep growing !

  13. Ujjwal, Just found out about this blog. Thank you for posting the article. I am so impressed with the talented artists and technologists in Nepal. I truely believe that this young generation will bring the needed changes in Nepal.nnFor those who are interested in animation and IRAS, please contact us at [email protected] We are now located in Sanepa in Lalitpur and grown to 125 artists. We do visual efx work for lots of live action feature films and TV episodes and animation for many studios. nnFor those inspiring artists, the great asset you should have is passion. With that, you will achieve anything you set your mind to.nnBesides the usual production work, we are always looking for story artists, screen writers, designers, etc. We are developing our own stories in house also.nnBest,n-kiran

  14. Ujjwal, Just found out about this blog. Thank you for posting the article. I am so impressed with the talented artists and technologists in Nepal. I truely believe that this young generation will bring the needed changes in Nepal.nnFor those who are interested in animation and IRAS, please contact us at [email protected] We are now located in Sanepa in Lalitpur and grown to 125 artists. We do visual efx work for lots of live action feature films and TV episodes and animation for many studios. nnFor those inspiring artists, the great asset you should have is passion. With that, you will achieve anything you set your mind to.nnBesides the usual production work, we are always looking for story artists, screen writers, designers, etc. We are developing our own stories in house also.nnBest,n-kiran

  15. Hello sir, i am Ricky. now am working with Z depth studio in NOIDA. i also be want a part of instant rain animation studio.

  16. Krishu [email protected] says:

    now i’m in Delhi studying 3d animation nd vfx. my dream is to do something better in Nepal film industry & one day i will do.. my dreams will come true

  17. Hin sir im glad to read your all experience in this field. now im learning 3d modeling nd vfx is there chances for 3d artist in nepal specially for modeling & vfx

  18. you should apply at his firm. He does take in wide range of talented peoplernneeded for animation projects !rnrnHis office is in front of the Old American embassy in Pani Pokhari inrnKathmandu.

  19. HinI am Akriti and want to know what kind of certificates, study background is required for being one of his employee? Does story writers have any chance?

  20. Thank you sir, nfor opening the animation studio in nepal.ni am currently taking animation classes at Maya Animation Academynand i hope of working in your studio and again thankyou for this.

  21. keep on with your initiative ! you will get there soon ! keep trying ! contact his animation studio when you are in Kathmandu and I am sure, his team will show you a tour of their studios !

  22. Hi ,
    Myself Shambhu Kumar..I am a 2D animator having 7 years of experience in the field of animation. I had worked as a senior 2D animator in various studios like- Escotoonz, (Faridabad), Animaster (Delhi),
    Diginatives( Delhi) and now currently working in NIIT as Team leader of the E learning Project.I have worked for the movie- Bal ganesha, Chrismas Dianasour, a TV series for Canada- The King and many other projects.
    I am basically from Pokhara Nepal. I am very much impressed with the view of Kiran Joshi sir. I would really want to join him. I also want to contribute in the field of Animation for my country Nepal.:)

  23. yeh sorry I don't have their email right now. And also their website is down.. maybe try later. They used to have some form of contact. 

  24. Thankyou for the website. But i am in India right now. I had go through in website but there is only address of studio. There is not any e-mail contact. If i want to contact there through mail where i send my work.

  25. Hi,
    Ujwal Thapa….. How r u?…. I m samrat shahi….. i also be want a part of instant rain animation studio.

  26. Hi,
    its so wonderful to hear an animation studio comming up in nepal. i would like to know more details about it thru my mail..
    thanks

  27. Hi Ujwal,

    My name is Liliana Yu and I am currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California. I am taking a class this semester at Walter A. Haas School of Business called "Entrepreneurship to Address Global Poverty" and our assignment this week is to interview a professional in our assigned countries who have had experience with social ventures. My assigned country is Nepal and I found your name and blog as I was looking through the "Entrepreneurs for Nepal" site. I was wondering if I could interview you over email (a quick interview with just a few questions) regarding Nepal and your social ventures such as ExoticBuddha and ShangrilaCoffee? I will include my email with this comment. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely,
    Liliana Yu


    Liliana Yu
    University of California, Berkeley
    Economics, May 2011