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Fireside chat with Pravin Jethwa, Owner of AIL

Who is Pravin Jethwa?

Having relocated from the Midlands in 1996 to undertake an MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Teesside, however soon after completion, I embarked on a career employed by the university within their new opened virtual Reality Centre as a Business Developer. This gave me the opportunity to work with many regional companies as well as international enterprises developing new ideas and products within the virtual reality and digital sector. Having spent almost 8 years developing and nurturing projects on an international stage, it was a natural progression to start up Amazing Interactives as a partnership with then the Technical Director of the Virtual Reality Centre Nigel Rodwell.

What’s the story behind AIL?

Amazing Interactives Ltd was set up in 2004 to develop and supply next generation software/hardware installations for the Education, Theatre, Visitor Attractions, and Medical sectors.

The Amazing Interactives team has now installed many projection systems and It continues to be a market leader specialising in 3D/2D graphics and projection systems and has taken on projects as far afield as China, USA, Europe, India and Middle East. It is a forward thinking company which innovate new ideas and concepts and has several trademarks and patents pending. Unlike most AV companies it specialises in full turnkey solutions covering both software and hardware. This combination of expertise insures that the hardware is fit for purpose and will fit with the work flow of the client. Having also developed many software integrated products namely the 3D Pain Distraction System for the medical sector which is an innovative and interactive product designed to distract children from pain during their treatment and procedures, currently used in the UK, USA and Europe. Also, the newly developed I Sports Wall system for the educational sector, an innovative product that converts a large 4m to 6m wall within a school hall into an interactive & fun learning space for primary pupils to use, whilst maintaining a safe distance. ISW brings together physical activity and educational study by posing questions to the pupils that must be answered by throwing, kicking, batting a ball, or touching the correct image on the wall projection.

Improving the wellbeing of primary school pupils through an interactive and integrated, curriculum based exercise and learning platform.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

Amazing Interactives faced many challenges during its early stages, however the most challenging areas were:

Keeping up with new technologies is a huge challenge for any start up business especially within this sector as software and hardware are evolving at a very fast pace and trying to adapt to the latest software and hardware can be very challenging.

Cost of scaling up a business is very difficult in the early stages of any business, having to joggle cost and time with quality, and customers’ expectations, also project deliveries was challenging but we overcame these barriers and always put customers first and delivered a first class service. Having established the software and hardware requirements within the technology sector our final challenge was to employ a talented team that can undertake and fore fill each of the project needs and meet the expectations of our clients, and in turn deliver ground breaking products and services.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

Amazing Interactives has now entered into its 17 th year of trading; this in itself is a proud moment, also, having developed a number of ground breaking products within numerous sectors is equally proud moment and having been established and recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as a first class software and hardware integrators for the technology sector.

What is your vision for the future of AIL?

Technology today is moving at such a rapid pace, the future for Amazing Interactives is staying current with new technology trends, keeping an eye on the future to know which skills are needed and to adopt them, and to secure the business moving forward. Continue to innovate and push new boundaries, release new and exciting products within our sectors and continue to develop and expand our client base globally.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

A lot has changed this year due to the outbreak of COVID – 19 and has had huge impact globally within all sectors. Businesses will constantly be learning, unlearning and relearning to stay ahead in this forever evolving crisis. Businesses will have to adapt and diversify to meet their customer needs, working from home, using video conferencing platforms and remote learning is now embedded and is here to stay. Most importantly businesses will need to react to immediate challenges and treats, and not to lose sight of their vision, make quick decisions and adjust those decision if necessary, frequently and transparently on the basis of new information in order to adapt quickly. Businesses must reassess not only their plans for the year, but also on a longer term basis, reconfiguring and reinventing continuously.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Advances within the games sector has allowed new software development tool kits to be developed, in turn paved the way for these tool kits to be used within many other areas within the technology sector e.g. Unity. Unity has allowed Amazing Interactives to make use of 2D/3D interactive content and to apply these to many different applications, e.g. I Sports Wall and many other products within our portfolio. The new Kinect camera has also enabled Amazing Interactives to develop applications within the educational and visitor attractions sectors.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

I was a teenager in the 1980 and was exposed to many television series starring the actor David Jason, my favourite being “Only Fools and Horses” so currently I am reading a biography about him and how he embraced his many different characters on screen and his early up bringing to becoming a household name. I am also a fan of the author Dan Brown and nearly finished ready his book “Origin”.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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