His parents were upset and his classmates thought he had lost it when he gave up a scholarship at Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, to find a job as a game programmer in India five years ago.
The University of Mumbai campus, where he did his computer engineering, could not understand why someone would give up such an opportunity and opt to make games.
But that was five years ago. Today, 27-year-old V Srinivasan heads Tridev, a 3D studio that is part of Indiagames, one of the country’s leading game development companies. His salary may not match what he would have got had he accepted the scholarship, but Srinivasan says he has never been happier. "I wake up every morning and thank God I wasn’t pushed into taking that scholarship."
For Srinivasan, his love for gaming began in college, where he would spend hours designing games just for the fun of it. He still remembers sitting outside the Indiagames office every day for a month, pleading with them to hire him.
"At that time, five years ago, Indiagames was the biggest gaming company in the country — but they still had only 30 employees," he adds with a laugh. He was finally hired at a salary of Rs 5,000 per month, probably the lowest in the company.
He refused to take any money from his father, so half his salary would be spent on his rent. "It is not about the money. Making games is my passion," Srinivasan grins. Two months ago, his dreams came true and he was promoted to head of the studio, leading a team of 60 people.
As for his armyman father, he recently opened his business paper and read about a a big merger involving his son’s company. He glowed with pride.