C R Venkatesh is an entrepreneur, investor, and writer who has built a reputable and highly recognized presence in the IT industry. He has been at the helm of the tech company, Dot Com Infoway, for more than two decades and counting. He is also the co-founder of Thooya Innovations.
His latest venture is Minnal, a NFT platform specializing in the Indian entertainment industry,
1 .Why did you choose the name Minnal?
Minnal means Lightning in Tamil and hence it immediately connotes feelings of energy and power. It has also been a symbol of enlightenment and creativity. I think it’s an apt analogy for the way NFTs broke into the mainstream last year. In a way, it reflects my thoughts on the immense potential for growth in this industry.
2. Share your thoughts on the Movie celebrity & Sports NFT market in India?
People and the media aren’t calling it the “NFT craze” for nothing. We only need to look at the number of celebrities joining the NFT metaverse to see that this is a revolution highly similar to the crypto boom. There’s a saying that the grass is greener on the other side. Judging by the fact that Deloitte predicted that NFTs for Indian sports media alone will generate more than $2 billion in transactions in 2022, this is that coveted “other side”.
What’s great is that actors not only see the profit potential of it but also the opportunity it provides for them to connect with their audience.
3. Why do people buy NFT’s which are in digital form?
NFTs mostly depends on the platform where they are created. Moreover, it allows people to own a video or digital picture NFT. Since every NFT is innately unique, it can’t be duplicated. Of course, we also can’t overlook the fact that people continue to turn in significant profits trading and reselling their NFTs on secondary markets.
We are drawn to unique things, regardless of whether it’s physical or digital. There will always be a collector in all of us. With smart contracts, people would be able to claim full ownership of a particular NFT art and build a collection from there.
Of course, there’s also the profitability side, as I’ve said above. There’s plenty of wealth to be had as an investor if you do your secondary market sales and trading right.
Moreover, it provides a great way for artists to earn and for their patrons to support them financially. It allows them to establish a brand and prestige, much in the same way that the people who buy from them yearn for it. It allows them to build a community of fans who passionately take pride in their works.
Celebrities that promote their NFTs to their fans also open up plenty of opportunities to reach out to them via meet-and-greet events like we are doing on the Minnal platform.
That being said, some people may not readily see it, but there’s definitely a natural give-and-take relationship in this kind of arrangement. I think it wouldn’t have this much appeal and wouldn’t have enjoyed such remarkable traction in a short time otherwise.
4. What do you see as your main competitive advantage against your top competitors?
This may sound too good to be true, but in the metaverse – at least in its present state, there is very minimal competition. I attribute this mostly to the fact that there are no limits to the highly specialized niches you can enter. In the case of Minnal, we are focused mostly on the local Indian entertainment industry.
5. How do you see the growth of the NFT industry?
I think the trading stats speak for themselves. NFT trading spiked to a whopping 21,000%, topping $17 billion in 2021. More and more people are joining the metaverse as we speak.
6. How confident are you that we can have a scam-free NFT platform?
Very confident. Our collection is highly curated and verified. We take the time to educate our users on how to protect their assets and how to detect scams.
7. What do you think are the drawbacks of NFTs?
A lot of marketplaces are admittedly high-risk, especially in the context of any NFT’s real value. We also can’t deny that some NFTs are prone to theft. Another tricky aspect of it is that they’re not really an asset class in the same way that we regard to cash and equities as such.
Indeed, the NFT craze as we know isn’t showing signs of stopping anytime soon. Minnal, as a whole, is traversing a road with plenty of promise. It’s already riding the wave quite well with the commendable volume of transactions it has handled in such a relatively short period of time since its founding. Considering the able hands and minds behind it, we’re excited to see how its journey progresses along with the growth of the metaverse.