14 yr old becomes youngest CEO of the country

Meet 14-year-old Sindhuja Rajaraman, the CEO of Seppan, a Chennai-based animation company launched only in October last. And we're not kidding. A ninth-standard student, she was adjudged the fastest 2D and 3D animator by software lobby Nasscom at the Gaming and Animation Conclave 2010 at Hyderabad. Interestingly, she is also a brand envoy of design software major Corel Software.

As head of this nascent firm, today she may give tough competition to some of the top CEOs when it comes to taking business decisions, that too quickly. But where did she start?

"It all started five years back when I wanted to take my mind off studies and do something new. My father, who is a cartoonist, instilled in me the passion to do animation and taught me the entire process," she says. "I have tried my luck with animation even before I started learning it prossfessionally. I did my first mini animation project when I was in sixth standard. It was on 'do not disturb animals'," she recalls.

Sindhuja Rajamaran the youngest CEO and 2D Animator of India

About a Small Girl Achievement : i copied below text from a web .. Its really nice 2 see Her Achivement ..

At a time, when most children of her age are competing to get high marks in school examinations, miles away from deciding what they want to be, Sindhuja Rajaraman already has a resume that will make top achievers go green. India’s youngest 2D animator, youngest digital caricaturist as certified by Corel Corporation, fastest 2D animator as certified by Nasscom Animation and Gaming Conclave, 2010 and one of the youngest CEOs with Seppan, she is all of 13 years old and had incredibly started out with animation only a couple of years ago.


CG Today : We are almost awed by your achievements. Please accept our warm welcome.

Sindhuja : Thank you.
CG Today : Your dad, Mr. Rajamaran is credited to be the first digital caricaturist. How big an influence is he in your life in and out of animation? When you submitted your first 2D project, was it your own choice or at his encouragement?
Sindhuja : My father’s paintings are my real inspiration, I born among them and started observing his work since my early childhood days. I started learning and practicing by observing his works, on seeing my interest towards painting my father started teaching me while the same time he worked on his animations. I slowly grabbed the techniques of animation through him. Even though the process of 2D animation is tedious I was very attracted on the output. That’s the way it started. In case of my first 2D animation project, I had a tremendous help from my family. My sister gave voice, my father worked on character designs and my mother helped a part in tracing while I did the major tracing and animation. It was late mid night before the submission day when my father helped me in video output. But the second project was totally different!
CG Today : Tell us more about your 10 hour effort on October 10, 2010, for Exnora’s Lights Out Campaign. How did you get the idea of one eyed Litti? You seemed to have prepared intensely for this effort. How did it go eventually?
Sindhuja : It was my school principal who initiated me to participate on the campaign conducted by ExNora and the Velammal International School on Global Warming. It was a Guinness Record attempt of making a 2D animation short film by one person in ten hours. It was scheduled on 10th October 2010 requiring me to work 10 continuous hours on a single stretch, starting from morning 10:00 A.M till evening 08:00 P.M. I realized the challenge and decided to go full-fledged on it.

I had two months to get prepared and I used to practice eight hours a day. One eyed Litti is an imaginary character which roles in my dream, I had a strong belief in this character and chose it to convey the message. On this project I practiced myself, counted and divided the shots and timing. It was a great gathering with Chief Guests and reporters to witness the event. My father was of great support on location, there was no break in between and I survived on liquids. All went well and I managed to complete the film within 08:30 hours. Most enticing moments I had on this project; my second one.
CG Today : You did a 2D project on Tuberculosis in your 8th Standard and then you worked for creating awareness on global warming this year. We see many elders and top political leaders unresponsive to global warming and conservation of nature. What helped you understand the importance of these campaigns so early?
Sindhuja : In 2004 Tsunami attacked Chennai taking thousands of lives had made a great impact on me… a Global warming… In case of a film in T.B, I had a valuable input from by father who worked for about 21 years as a health inspector. The information’s and incidents happened around me made me to think on creating awareness campaigns and I started using animation as a medium to express it.
CG Today : At a time, when a lot of kids are trying to find out who their idol is, you are already a source of inspiration for many kids and adults. Does this help you to do better or does this add to pressure? Are you comfortable with so many people following your efforts now?

Sindhuja :
I just enjoy my work and I don't think it is a pressure.
CG Today : It is incredible to have such a young CEO. Currently you seem to be working on proposals for commercials for Pothys and Joyalukkas. Do you find yourself looking at things differently compared to others around you, being so young? Do you have a work philosophy of your own that you try to follow?
Sindhuja : Currently I am still a father’s girl; I am not forced to work on anything. I just love and I feel fun while working for commercials. I don’t feel strange though my team members are of 18 – 25 of age group. I got the opportunity and I took it as a challenge. I don’t have any philosophy as yet, I just take it as it goes.


G Today : How did the opportunity to make a Diwali greeting for US President Obama come along? How did you choose the right design?
Sindhuja : I just got curious on hearing the news of the American President’s visit to India. I decided to create a greeting welcoming them as family. I collected several pictures of Mr. Obama along with his family and started drawing and animating them. The finished animation was then uploaded in Youtube, I got really excited when I see more than 800 visits for my animation in less than a week time!


CG Today : Your dad is the first digital caricaturist in Tamil Nadu. Your younger sister is the youngest Indian to write haiku in India. You are the youngest digital caricaturist of the country. Yours is a family of records. Is it a competitive world in your house or these records happened just on the way?
CG Today - Manmohan SinghSindhuja : Everything happened just on the way. Nothing is planned or expected. My father was the ambassador of Corel and one day the Indian Territory Manager of Corel came to meet my dad at home. During this visit he noticed me drawing with Corel when I was 11 years old. While he was to leave, he said to my dad ‘From now let this girl be the ambassador for Corel’. I got invited to attend several launches of Corel products and got honored as the youngest digital caricaturist and cartoonist.
As a government employee for about 21 years my father explored his creative part on his free time. He had an opportunity to exhibit his caricatures. Through media and interviews he later came to know that he is the first person in India to do digital caricatures and exhibit them.
In regards to my sister, she was learning Japanese for five years and she is good in writing English poems. My father insisted her to write in Japanese. By seeing her poems in Japanese, her institute Chairman suggested to publish it as a book, which went real when the Consulate of Japan came and released the book and commented ‘Being Japanese the haiku’s written by her are so difficult for me to read, it’s of pure language.’
I would just say it is all due to my mother, who is very encouraging and supportive on all our interests. She was daring enough to encourage my father who decided to drop his secured government job to take up his passion as a career. Without my mom’s support we would have not have done anything!

CG Today : The workflow at Seppan involves requirement gathering, designing the concept, building the design, testing and then finally delivery and maintenance. What aspects of this workflow are you involved in and how?
Sindhuja : I decide the concept and direct my team; we have a strong professional artist’s who can take it from there. I do the quality check and deliver the final output.
CG Today : You have got such a great head start in the world of animation. Do you think about where you want to be 10 years from now? Do you have any specific records in mind?
CG Today - Will SmithSindhuja : I want to be in India running my own production house and delivering quality film products respected globally. I desire to be an employer hiring experts and novice and create more job opportunities…
CG Today : You have already worked on software like Flash, Photoshop, Corel Painter, After Effects and Maya. Are you planning to go to any animation school for formal education in the future? What would you want to learn about when you get the chance?
Sindhuja : I desire to learn at Vancouver Film School, Canada. And wish to work in Japan and get exposed to Japanese art. As I mentioned earlier, I love to start my own film production house and make films like ‘The Robot’ directed by Mr. Shankar.
CG Today : Can you share with us, your favourite animation movie. Why do you like the movie in particular?
Sindhuja : My favourite movie is "Kunfu Panda", excellent characterization!
CG Today : You seem to have a passion and a great talent in animation. But, how do you unwind? Do you go for vacations often, watch movies, and play with your sister and friends? What is your favourite pastime apart from animation?
Sindhuja : I don’t have any rules; I just play and get along with everyone in school. I love to spend most of my time with my parents at home. I watch Naruto; a Japanese cartoon serial and spend a lot in browsing.

CG Today : It’s been an immense pleasure having you at CG Today; we wish you all the very best in future endeavors.
Sindhuja : Thank you very very much