May 18, 2018 / 10:09 AM / 2 months ago

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput bets on VR with new venture

Sushant Singh Rajput casually talks about the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, supercomputers and non-linear thinking while doodling furiously on piece of paper. “I’ve just discovered that I’m ambidextrous,” he says. The actor sounded more like Elon Musk than a Bollywood star as he describes his excitement with emerging technologies.

Handout photo of Sushant Singh Rajput.

One of Bollywood’s young brigade, the 32-year-old is putting his passion for technology to use by launching Innsaei Ventures, a company that will work in the fields of content, education and healthcare using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing and augmented reality.

“I have always thought about this, ever since I can remember,” Rajput told Reuters in an interview. This is how my brain works.”

Along with partner Varun Mathur, Rajput will invest in projects worth 30 billion rupees, which will include full-length feature films using VR and other products that Rajput hopes will be “disruptors”.

“We are deploying a significant part of the sums ourselves. We have set up a 50 crore (rupees) corpus for investments, but the projects we are working on are much bigger in size because they have financial participation,” Varun Mathur said.

Innsaei, an Icelandic word for intuition, has established partnerships with the “usual suspects” in each segment, Mathur said, without elaborating. The first feature film under the banner is already in pre-production and is likely to release in 2019, he said.

“Right now, you are subjected to 2D films, which your brain can only process in a certain way. But if I give you an immersive experience, where not only are you watching the film, but are part of it, it would change things,” Rajput said.

The actor, who started his career in television, has found success in the big screen, which is rare in an industry that doesn’t usually entertain TV actors. His performance as former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni in a biopic won him several awards. His upcoming film is the Indian adaptation of Hollywood’s “The Fault in Our Stars”.

But unlike most Bollywood actors, Rajput doesn’t want his business venture to be limited to movies, saying the health and education segments are equally important.

“Five years ago, we were wondering why we should even bother discussing VR and emerging tech because half the people in his country would never have access to it. But now with Reliance Jio and the emergence of cheaper data, it will be. Right now, VR needs a complicated set-up, but in a couple of years it won’t,” Mathur said.

(Editing by David Lalmalsawma)

Handout photo of Varun Mathur.

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