Rishabh Ahuja | #TalkbackTuesday

#TalkbackTuesday number 30 – with Rishabh Ahuja, and we talk about career vs passion, gaming, and his boutique PC business XRIG.

Rishabh Ahuja #TalkbackTuesday

Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Mr. Rishabh Ahuja. See his interview below.

Talkback Tuesday is a feature for and about everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.

1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?

I’m Rishabh Ahuja, and I’m a 24 year old guy. I made a drastic shift from hardcore finance about a year ago – was into the whole shebang, CA, CS, Actuaries, and a couple more.

After multiple attempts at the CA final (I took it 4 times) with little to no success, it was clear that no matter how good I was at the line, it wasn’t going to happen for me.

So I joined XRIG; it calls more to my passions. XRIG is a startup that builds kick-ass boutique and high performance PCs. I handle pretty much the entire non-technical side.

After four attempts at the CA final, it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen for me.

My side project is going to sound a little weird but it’s a long term thing. I want to move to Canada for good, and for that I need to be eligible. So I’m working on that.

2. Tell me more about Canada. Why that country in particular? And because it is the current political climate, would you care to preemptively answer anyone who questions your nationalistic pride for wanting to leave the country?

Canada is a long term goal.

I have a thing for Corgis – can’t have one here.

Corgi | Rishabh Ahuja #TalkbackTuesday
Apparently Rishabh has a thing for loaves of bread.

I like the fact that their government gives a shit. I don’t mean to sound rude, but the idea of the government paying my hospital bill is so alien to us, it reflects on how little value we place on a human life here.

I honestly find the very concept of limiting myself to a single country very iffy. We’re all a single species. So I’ve never thought of myself as an Indian or Pakistani or American. It’s just where I was born, and that’s it.

I can’t be proud of being an Indian – I did nothing to make that happen. It’s a genetic lottery.

We’re all a single species. So I’ve never thought of myself as an Indian or Pakistani or American.

I like Canada because of its status on the happiness index, because people are nice, the economy helps, [they have] a liberal political climate, and all the benefits of a developed nation. So it’s really nothing personal.

3. Tell me more about XRIG. How did you come across the business, and why does it appeal to you? What are your short term goals for the business?

XRIG was founded by my college buddy, Aditya Prasad. We met at college and I tutored him in a few subjects. He has ADHD, but he is incredibly gifted when it comes to computers. He has a knack, and a desire to keep improving. It isn’t luck.

So he’s the brains – he builds the computers – and since he founded the company, he’s the guy who has the capital (he comes from a wealthy real estate background).

And I run the company/companies from the financial aspect, to regulatory and pretty much everything else. We’re a hardware startup so we only have a small staff roster.

XRIG Logo | Rishabh Ahuja #TalkbackTuesday
XRIG is a Kolkata-based startup that builds boutique PCs.

I’ve always wanted to be a gamer, all my life. I got access to a computer only when I was 14, and it couldn’t really run anything. I bought my [first] laptop from a shady guy at the docks when I was 20, and that was the thing I could game on.

And I did – I love to game, I understand the entire demographic well, especially the ones without access. That makes me good at marketing, and the finance background helps tackle everything else.

I’ve always wanted to be a gamer, all my life. I bought my first laptop from a shady guy at the docks when I was 20.

So [Aditya] hired me as an operational head, and I’ve been learning and working since. I started in January, 2017, [right after the results of my last CA attempt came out].

Short term goals – well, another curve-ball. I’m going to get married soon. 😀

I hope to get engaged in November [to my] girlfriend of 6 years. So I need XRIG to reach stability soon so I can reach financial independence – a heftier pay check in short.

4. So you’re a sort of entrepreneur. You clearly are a gamer. And you’ve got social and financial skills – would you ever consider creating your own gaming/rig-building videos? As someone who understands marketing, how important do you think it is to take advantage of digital media?

In short, yes, and soon.

We’re on to something here, I tell you. Sometimes you’re in an industry that is booming or on the verge of it. We’re going to go live sometime next month*, so that is a crucial step; we’re currently working on the back-end.

[*This interview was conducted in June. They just had their first live stream this past weekend with some Overwatch! If you enjoy that sort of thing, see it here.]

Digital media is really important, it compliments the internet, and that is the only true free platform out there. I honestly think XRIG has the scope to go global, so digital media is a priority.

Truth is, the audience is content hungry. You make it, they’ll watch it. I think you’ve seen one of our videos – it’s a hyperlapse of a project build we showcased at NVIDIA’s GamerConnect [shown above]. It’s crazy that my reach doubled after a video, and that was a 2000 rupee video made on a terrace.

It got a total of 35000 views. That’s a lot of mileage, real numbers. [The point I’m trying to make is] digital marketing is really powerful only if you make a good product or offer a good solution.

5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to check out? It can be a product or business, or it could be anything from a video to words of wisdom.

There’s really no shortcut to success. Life is rough, but you’ll see crazy things happen if you dig deep and persist.

Like Mr. Sam from school always said, “Life is like accounts – it’s always as on that day.”

XRIG’s webpage is under construction, but we’re really active on Facebook @xrigpc. Do check us out!

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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Steffy Theresa by clicking on the image below.

Steffy Theresa | #TalkbackTuesday
Click the image to see the interview