It was September 2008. Lehman Brothers had just crashed and, with it, global stock markets. Bear Stearns, which six months earlier had had to sell itself to JP Morgan to avoid bankruptcy, and the Lehman downfall, blew the whistle on a looming recession. With their worst fears confirmed, companies went into a cash-saving mode and instituted a blanket hiring freeze.
That did not bother Sathvik Vishwanath, a student at Melbourne Business School at the time. A coder and a creator who hailed from South India, he knew he would survive the recession.
Sathvik was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early. In 2001, when cyber cafés were becoming popular in India, he used to help visitors create websites and custom email IDs.
In 2008, the tech maverick decided to create an online virtual gaming platform, Second Life, after he realised there was a market for internet-based games. Sathvik moved back to India the next year and soon incorporated VentureNext, an online platform that helped people create their virtual avatars.
“What I would do is create an automation script that an individual could use to do a particular activity. These are similar to flash animation scripts, which are done behind visible objects behind the screen,” Sathvik explains.