Utkarsh Veer: Innovative Visionary Leading Rocksalt To New Horizons | CEOInsights Vendor
Utkarsh Veer: Innovative Visionary Leading Rocksalt To New Horizons

Utkarsh Veer: Innovative Visionary Leading Rocksalt To New Horizons

 Utkarsh Veer,  Managing Director

Utkarsh Veer

Managing Director

The gaming industry has experienced a remarkable rise that has transformed it into one of the most influential and lucrative sectors in the global entertainment landscape. A prominent and innovative player in the gaming industry, Rocksalt is recognized for its comprehensive expertise in game art and development services. The company's journey commenced in 2011, under the leadership of Utkarsh Veer, the Managing Director. From its inception, Rocksalt has been driven by a dedication to quality, creativity, and staying at the forefront of industry trends. Utkarsh Veer's leadership has not only contributed to Rocksalt's success but also to the broader gaming landscape. His journey underscores a commitment to innovation, excellence, and pushing the boundaries of artistic and technological possibilities in the gaming realm. Let’s hear more from him in this one on one interaction.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional history and background? What drives your daily activities?
I hold a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Lucknow and embarked on my career as one of the initial creative artists at UTV, closely collaborating with their creative leadership. My prior engagements encompass esteemed animation studios such as DQ Entertainment, Escotoonz, and UTV Toonz. In 2011, I established Rocksalt alongside a compact team of four members. Leveraging my substantial industry exposure and immersive involvement in the animation and gaming sectors, I successfully expanded the Rocksalt team from its modest origins to a robust workforce exceeding 120 members. The fervor and enthusiasm I hold for the work itself serve as a potent intrinsic driving force.

You have accumulated more than twenty three years of experience. Could you elaborate on your journey to achieving success and share your guiding principles for success?
Certainly. My path to success has been paved with a mix of challenges and remarkable life encounters. It all commenced with a crystal-clear vision and the steadfast support of a dedicated core team. Through persistent effort and an unwavering determination to persevere, coupled with a positive self-belief, I have witnessed a gradual yet consistent advancement. Consequently, we have broadened our global footprint, extending our influence far and wide. The ultimate success mantra is one that deeply resonates with you and bolsters your motivation. For me, that mantra is: "I am capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to." This principle empowers me to maintain my motivation and concentrate on my objectives, even in the face of adversity.

How would you characterize Rocksalt as an entity and its current standing within the market?
Over the past 12 years, Rocksalt has undergone deliberate, gradual expansion, a strategy that has enabled us to navigate market fluctuations, economic fluctuations, and even the challenges posed by the pandemic. As a successful game art service provider, we have contributed to the development of 90 game titles, boasting 15+ award-winning games and an impressive roster of 30+ international clients. Today, Rocksalt has solidified its position as a widely recognized and robust brand. Ranking among the top 5 game art outsourcing studios, we have earned a reputation as one of the most preferred partners for out sourcing services.

Additionally, Rocksalt has strategically entered the realm of
Gambling Game Art Development, focusing on specialized areas such as the creation of casino and slot games. Our cohesive core team boasts an aggregate experience exceeding 20 years, with many members having been integral to our journey from the very beginning. This depth of understanding and industry experience not only upholds the quality benchmarks of our outputs but also ensures their punctual delivery.

Could you provide insights into the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies within your services and the resultant outcomes?
Rocksalt has consistently evolved and modernized its approach in line with both market and client demands. Our comprehensive service portfolio encompasses 3D and 2D game art, concept and marketing art, animation, AR, VR, VFX, and asset integration services. Embracing our guiding principle of ‘Fuelling imagination’, we craft game art designs that breed success.

Having accumulated over 23 years of experience as both an artist & an entrepreneur, I've witnessed the gaming industry undergo a significant trans- formation, becoming notably more diverse & dynamic compared to earlier times

While AI and ML undeniably offer substantial support in propelling games to their pinnacles of accomplishment, we firmly believe that human skill remains paramount, outweighing AI and ML. While these technologies offer substantial support in propelling games to their pinnacles of accomplishment, we remain convinced that human expertise remains paramount, with AI and ML serving as crucial supplements rather than replacements.

Throughout our journey, we have maintained collaborative partnerships with top-tier game developers, retaining a remarkable 70 percent of our global clientele for over seven years, across various game titles. This enduring rapport serves as a testament to our track record and the reverberating impact we've had on the market. Our dedication to quality, adaptability to clients' dynamic needs, and agile processes grant us a competitive edge as the favored outsourcing collaborator.

Kindly share your approach to leadership. What principles or methodologies guide your leadership style?
My leadership philosophy is rooted in the values of trust, empowerment, collaboration, feedback, and continuous learning. I cultivate an environment that encourages individuals to venture into uncharted territories and embrace new challenges. Within this setting, I not only applaud accomplishments but also continually seek avenues to refine my leadership acumen.

I firmly believe in leading through example, upholding principles of integrity, and actively engaging in attentive listening to understand my team's ideas and concerns. A hallmark of my leadership is open and transparent communication, ensuring that each individual feels respected and acknowledged.

Nurturing an atmosphere that nurtures innovation and creativity, I foster an outlook where mistakes are regarded as stepping stones for personal and collective development. My emphasis lies in acknowledging and commemorating both individual and collective triumphs, igniting a drive for excellence within the team. I empower team members to embrace ownership of their roles, providing the requisite resources and assistance. This approach serves as a foundation for nurturing talent, fostering a sense of purpose, and ultimately cultivating a united, highly proficient, and motivated team.
How do you ensure you stay well-informed about the evolving trends in the industry?
Despite my extensive experience in the gaming sector and my fervor for gaming, I recognize the continuous need to remain updated in this rapidly changing industry. To this end, I employ various strategies. I avidly explore industry publications and blogs, leveraging them to glean insights into the latest trends. Attending prominent global industry events, a number of which Rocksalt sponsors and actively participates in, offers a valuable platform for networking with fellow industry luminaries and gaining firsthand knowledge of emerging trends.

My network with artists as I started my career as one during my earlier days of my career also compels me to engage directly with gamers to comprehend their preferences. Conversing with them about their current gaming choices, likes and dislikes, and future expectations provides invaluable perspectives. I also foster open channels of communication and feedback within our internal teams involved in game development, marketing, and research.

What lies on the horizon as your ultimate goal?
Rocksalt has traversed a substantial and fruitful path as a game art service provider, boasting an impressive track record of 90 game titles, over 15 award-winning games, and a diverse clientele exceeding 30 international partners. This standing has positioned Rocksalt as a highly favored outsourcing collaborator. Looking forward, my vision for Rocksalt entails its evolution into a comprehensive game life cycle provider, transcending its current role as solely a game service provider. This transformation will be driven by strategic partnerships and the exploration of co-development opportunities, enabling us to offer even more comprehensive solutions to the industry.

Given your extensive experience within the industry, what advice would you offer to aspiring leaders emerging in this field?
Having accumulated over 23 years of experience as both an artist and an entrepreneur, I've witnessed the gaming industry undergo a significant transformation, becoming notably more diverse and dynamic compared to earlier times. With fewer entry barriers and the recent shift towards remote work catalyzed by the pandemic, the global gaming market is now more accessible to smaller teams possessing specialized skills.

For those aiming to enter and thrive in this industry, a thorough understanding of current trends and potential future shifts is paramount. This understanding hinges greatly on staying abreast of technological advancements across various gaming domains.

Given the capital-intensive nature of this industry, prudent investment decisions and a well-devised business strategy are vital. Targeting the right customer base, geographical regions, and assembling a proficient team are crucial components of success.

Despite the challenges, the gaming industry presents a multitude of opportunities across diverse segments. With a focused approach, the potential for exploration is vast. As the industry continues to evolve, it's imperative to recognize these openings and seize them at the opportune moments.

Utkarsh Veer, Managing Director, Rocksalt
Utkarsh Veer, the Managing Director of Rocksalt, holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Lucknow. He embarked on his professional journey as one of the pioneering creative artists at UTV, collaborating closely with the creative leadership. Utkarsh's prior engagements encompass esteemed animation studios including DQ Entertainment, Escotoonz, and UTV Toonz. In 2011, he founded Rocksalt with a modest team of four members. With his extensive industry background and immersive hands-on experience in both the animation and gaming sectors, Utkarsh has positioned Rocksalt for growth and success.

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