Culture Machine CEO Sameer Pitalwalla discusses studying in the UK


Hi. I’m Sameer Pitalwalla, I’m from Bombay,
I studied at the University of Westminster in 2005, and currently I’m the CEO and co-founder
of Culture Machine. The reason I moved to the UK for my Master’s
degree, was because I’d completed my Bachelor’s in advertising and what I wanted to do was
find a way that I could shift from writing to the business side of media. It was the first time I was living away from
home in 20 years of my life, and actually it required me to understand not just a new
culture but also to take care of myself, and that means actually developing a rigorous
work ethic. I think what the course did really well, was
the ability for it to understand the fundamentals of what occurs in traditional media. A lot of those fundamentals won’t change in
new media, even if the platforms change. So, it was a truly an interesting time in
terms of what was happening with internet technologies. YouTube had just launched the same year that I was doing my thesis, everything was new,
and there were no rules. It gave me the time and mental space and bandwidth
to realise what my heart really loved doing, which was a marriage of the arts and tech,
and I believe Culture Machine is an embodiment of that. So our vision at Culture Machine is to use
technology and storytelling to build great media brands that people love. Currently a billion video views a month or
80% of the audience on YouTube or Facebook in India, at any given point of time is watching
something from the Culture Machine network. I think we have the best creative team in
the country, and they regularly put out products they are very passionate about. It has a material impact on the way, you know,
India is seeing itself and shaping itself. We are part of the zeitgeist and quite often
we create it. So, in a manner with us building media brands
we’re giving an entire generation a voice which they normally wouldn’t have. Studying in the UK is beyond just what you
learn at university, the experiences that you get with the people that you meet. It gave me the opportunity to truly see
the spectrum of the British arts and I was introduced to it by a whole bunch
of friends at university. I have really fond memories of actually discovering
a whole bunch of great music which I still continue to listen to until
this day.

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