“Education is an important part to succeed in life. I try to do my part, by giving back my knowledge to our Tamil people out there “ says Dr Niroshan Thilainathan, who is doing a wonderful job in explaining science issues in a simple and attractive manner through online video shows.
His programme named “SciNirosh” is full of scientific explanations and elucidations of various issues that influence our day to day life directly and indirectly.
Niroshan Thilinathan, who has recently completed his PhD shares with us a lot of valuable insights and information about his life as a mediapreneur and the story behind “SciNirosh”.
Could you please share the story behind SciNirosh?
My name is Niroshan Thillainathan, I was born in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. My family moved to Germany when I was 2 months old. In Germany, I went through the whole educational process from Kindergarten to University. During doing M.Sc., scientific work caught my interest. I loved the way you have to approach to find answers to scientific questions. During my M.Sc. Thesis I quickly decided to continue with PhD. Finally in 2015 I submitted my PhD thesis.
In my younger ages, I loved all kind of sciences naming natural sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Engineering, Technology and Astronomy were my favorites. I read lots of science related magazines and books. This and also my curiosity to understand everything around me is the reason why I got attracted to science.
Before I tell you about the beginnings of SciNirosh, I must tell you about my first project in this field. It all began with one question: “What is the memory capacity of our brain?” Yeah, in October 2013 I had this question by coincidence and I was on the search for the answer. Finally, after doing my research in literature, scientific articles and the internet, I could find the answer to that question. But that was not enough for me. I wanted to share that information with my friends on Facebook, as I thought this could also be interesting to others in my friends list. So I started to write an article in Tamil, as I could not find anything written about this topic in the internet in Tamil. So after finishing my article I posted it on my Facebook wall and I got so many good feedback from my friends. To be frank, I didn’t expect that though! 2 weeks later I got another question, which I wanted to write about. This continued until January 2014, So far my articles which I have posted on my wall got even the attention from people I didn’t know at that time. My posts have been shared several times and this was an indicator for me that our Tamil people are interested in science and especially in science in Tamil. So I started to check around on Facebook and in the internet for pages, which write about science in a way, what could be understood by common people. But, I couldn’t find any! So that was my trigger to think about my own Science page in Tamil. On the 29th of January 2014 I finally started my own Facebook Science page called “Arivu Dose ” and posted daily a new science related article, which was around 150-250 words long. At that point I didn’t know, that this page will lead me to another world! My page got so famous, that within one year over 150,000 fans liked my page. I got such a good feedback, that I couldn’t believe what I have reached. But this was not enough for me, as I also got lots of messages from fans, who were not able to read Tamil letters. They asked me to translate my articles into English, but that was not my target, as I wanted to drive forward science in Tamil. Instead, I thought of other ways to reach even those people who can’t read Tamil. Finally my idea of the SciNirosh Show arose. At first, I couldn’t even think of standing in front of a camera and host a show. But thanks to my family, and their motivation and huge support, I finally tried it. I set up my YouTube Channel and Facebook page and posted my first video. And that was a huge success. From that day on, I continued to post a new video every week.
What do you believe the motivation behind your success?
There are only a few people doing some knowledge/education related Tamil YouTube channels in the internet. So with a science show, I am one of the very rare people, who present some interesting scientific questions or general knowledge topics in our mother tongue. I try to explain each and every concept and question in a simple Tamil, which could easily be understood even by children. And yes, I do have lots of children, who watch my show. Parents and grandparents have sent me images and messages, where they have told me that their children and grandchildren are watching my show without missing one. This shows that our Tamil people are indeed interested in understand the world of science.
Besides this, of course my family is a huge support for me, to bring this show to this level. Without having such a support, it would have been very tough for me to motivate myself to continue this show in the beginning, when there were not as much views and viewers as nowadays.
But to be frank, I haven’t reached the place, where I wanted to be at the beginning. I am on the way. For now I can’t speak about a full success, as my aim is to reach a broad mass of our science interested Tamil people all over the world. This is a very long journey and I have only started to walk towards my goals. From the first episode of my show, my aim is to reach as many people all over the world as possible. Education is an important part to succeed in life. I try to do my part, by giving back my knowledge to our Tamil people out there. Even though this is just a hobby of mine, I think I should and can bring this show to another level, to reach much more people. But to do this, I need a proper and stable media support, marketing support as well as financial support, which will definitely lead me to reach my goals.
Online shows have been highly successful among other communities. Do you think that social media is a good tool to reach Tamil segments?
Nowadays my episodes get over 35,000 – 100,000 views. Yes, without social media, it would have taken much more time to reach these amounts of views. So in my opinion, Social media, and especially Facebook has helped me a lot to reach lots of people within a short time. But I am sure I can reach by far more Tamil people. Especially, with proper marketing techniques and investment from sponsors, I am sure, I could reach much more people out there. One of my next steps, is to do cooperation with sponsors, so that I can bring this show to the next level. Let’s see if I can find sponsors who are ready to support my show to reach more people.
Would you see yourself a webpreneur?
No, I am for sure not a full time webpreneur. So far, the production of my show is done in my free time as a hobby. But nowadays I am facing huge problems with finding time to do my show, as I work full time as an IT consultant in Germany. Of course, I can’t say, that this won’t change in future. Let’s see how my journey will go…
What sorts of opportunities are there for youngsters like you to succeed online?
There are so many chances and possibilities to do something in the web. But without trying something out, you will never know, if an idea has potential. If you are passionate on the things you do and don’t give up, you will definitely succeed! So in my opinion, you should always give your ideas a chance. Try different things out. You should be able to handle failures and shouldn’t demotivate yourself, when you face your failures. Failures are just steps towards your success.
For those who are interested to watch my show, Subscribe to my YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/scinirosh) and stay connected with my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/scinirosh).
I want to thank Miss S. Mathangie for her interest in interviewing me.