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Management meets Jai Shah

MSc in Entrepreneurship and Management alumnus, Jai Shah, lets us in to the world of e-sports

Photo of Jai Shah
Jai is Co-Founder of esports team, Orangutan

My first interaction with the University of Bath was in 2016, when they visited my undergraduate university, ISME, in Mumbai. We celebrated the University of Bath’s 50th anniversary. We had a reception at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which my parents and I went to and we loved the University’s spirit.

I visited the UK for the first time in 2018 and visited Bath’s campus. It was love at first sight and I was accepted to study the MSc in Entrepreneurship and Management in 2020.

When Covid hit, everything stopped. Sport stopped. I love how sports can get everyone together as a community. But, even if games were played, they were without an audience. It was because of this, esports became popular, especially in India.

This is why we decided to found esports team, Orangutan. The founder, Yash, and I had been following esports in the West for a long time. We loved how players could be anywhere in the world and compete with one another.

"Orangutan started small with a big vision"

Jai in front of the houses of parliament
Orangutan have competed at an international level

Orangutan compete in the biggest esports tournaments in Asia. Like Manchester United in football or Los Angeles Lakers in Basketball, we are a team of professional players and athletes; but we play in leagues of mobile and PC games. We aim to win, build a community, monetise it and become a source of advertising for brands.

Orangutan started small with a big vision. We were at the right place at the right time and grabbed the opportunity.

We've won many tournaments. My highlight would be the 2023 Valorant Challengers League, South Asia. We won, became the India and South Asia champions and got promoted to the Asia Pacific League. Taking a team from India to an international stage is a big achievement.

From a business perspective, we've been growing since 2021. Now, there are a lot of people who are trying to make a career in esports. Many leagues and tournaments work as scouting grounds for teams like us to pick the best talent.

Our passion drives us every day, but we’re cautious. One of the biggest challenges in the industry, at least in India, has been games being banned because of regulatory issues. We've faced uncertainty of games coming and going, making it difficult for athletes to see a long-term career in the sport.

"To me, ambition is to never give up on my goals"

Indian culture can be seen as more conservative than the West. It can be hard for people to see making a successful career in gaming/esports as a possibility. There is a stigma which is yet to be broken.

At Orangutan, we produce educative content, showing the behind-the-scenes of being an esports athlete. They’re not stereotypical gamers sitting on the sofa munching on crisps. The lifestyle of an esports athlete is something that we try to convey to the fans, to show how people make a career in this.

Studying at Bath gave me an entrepreneurial mindset, which is what helped me when Orangutan was starting out. Our next goal is to expand into Europe. We’d love to cater to a different community and make international teams.

Bath taught me to think big and believe in myself. Nothing is impossible. Think about where you see yourself and if you manifest in the right way, it will all come true at some point.

To me, ambition is to never give up on my goals and to stay positive in my toughest times. To take a step back is not failure, it's a reverse gear to put you on the right track.

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