What You See is Not Real

As part of visual merchandising holograms are becoming extremely popular in India. FBC talks to Indian Roar’s Akshay Patwardhan, a company that’s into cutting-edge holographic displays

Q. Tell us about holographic displays and their innovative use in fashion retail.
Think about the famous Princess Leia projection in Star Wars? Now think about your favourite superstar appearing before your eyes, dressed in the same outfit, or helping you choose the right outfit with the help of artificial intelligence.
It’s possible, with the use of holograms.

Q. What’s the difference in the holographic technology used in India and what brands use abroad?
There is no difference in technology, whether in India or abroad. The only difference is that the Indian brands try to emulate the West, whereas in the West, brands like to explore and push the boundaries of creativity.

Q. What are the future possibilities for holograms in the apparel industry?
We have already seen virtual holographic mannequins or virtual closets. The way technology is going, it’s only a matter of time, when we will be able to touch and feel the texture of the holograms.

Q. What’s the demand for holograms in India and what is Indian Roar’s production capacity?
Looking at the current market situation, our 3D holographic display fans and 3D holographic transparent displays are in great demand as they are very attractive and fascinating. Their mid-air illusion creates a magic-like feel of the product on display. We get orders of approximately 500 units per month. Considering these huge volumes, we will soon be launching our very own production facility, wherein we will be able to manufacture 5000 unites on a monthly basis.

Q. Tell us a bit about your company, who established it, when and how did you start growing?
It is a funny story, actually. This company was started as a desperate attempt to repay the loan that I had taken to pursue my commercial pilot training from California. The job scenario back then for a commercial pilot was meek, due to recession, wherein giants like Kingfisher, Deccan Airways and Air India had taken major hits. I was issued an ultimatum, either do something with your life or get kicked out.

As getting kicked out of the house was no option, 3 Cube was born.
Four friends, Ankit Tiwari, Tanzeel Khan and Rahul Dhole and I started 3 Cube in 2011. As time passed on, inspired by Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, we changed the brand name to Indian Roar LLP. Today, we are 150-strong and have an office in Bandra, next to CII Mumbai.

Q. Give us a brief backgrounder on all four founder-members.
I’ve always been fascinated by technology, experimenting and creating new hardware, always trying to make machine and human interaction as flawless as possible. Ankit is strong on the support and management side. His energy and enthusiasm kept us going, and primarily it was his idea to start this company. Tanzeel Khan is a great coder and programmer. He is the brain behind our software which gives life to our hardware. Rahul has always been good with technical support and accounts. He is a people’s person which makes it really easy for him to manage the employees.

Q. Globally, where does India stand in the use of this technology?
Honestly, India has grown a lot over the past few years. Earlier people were very sceptical about it but now everyone is just waiting for something new to come up. We have been working round the clock, every day to provide services to our clients.

Q. Who is our main competition in this space?
To be honest, there is no competition, but there certainly are challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis. Our main challenge is the Indian fascination for anything Western. However today, even Indian companies are willing to pay big bucks for the same technology and creativity that their Western counterparts are using, even if it’s coming from an Indian solution provider.

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