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  1. #1
    CityGuard's Avatar
    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    Default Portal Webmaster Interview Series: Nandakishore Banerjee ("Nandakishore")

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    How to Get from Goethe to Gaming: Spend 30 Years as an IT Trailblazer!


    You were born in India. How long did you live there before moving to Germany? And how did you end up in Germany?
    About my Indian history, I was born in Calcutta and brought up in Delhi. In 1957, at the age of 21, I left India for Germany. I stayed in Germany and the UK for around 5 years and then went back to India, stayed there for one year and returned to Germany with a scholarship for studying German literature in Munich. I was encouraged to write a thesis on dramas written by the German poet Goethe, who was significantly influenced by the ancient Indian dramatist Kalidasa (especially his drama Shakuntala) and the Persian poet Hafiz.

    You have a doctorate in German literature, yet you worked in the IT industry for over 30 years. Thatís quite the variance. What did you study before your doctorate? How did you end up in the IT industry? And what did you do in IT?
    I did Bachelor of Science in India before moving to Germany. While writing my thesis in Munich, I started looking for some keyword-based information retrieval system because I had to prove that my thesis was unique and not already published somewhere in the world. Of course, I didnít find any such system in the first half of the sixties. But I found a director of a department for innovative systems in a multinational enterprise with its headquarters in Munich. He was interested in developing a natural language query system for commercial uses. And I got a job under him to develop such a system after learning to write algorithms in Assembler, COBOL and Lisp. We were quite successful and developed a query system which was definitely more sophisticated than the current Google search algorithm, but (commercially) much less successful. Those days, we did not have computers large and fast enough to do natural language searches with acceptable response time.

    I worked for that company for 15 years in the field of Artificial Intelligence, concentrating on Knowledge-Based systems. Then I started my own software company specialized in software quality assurance including automated testing of software. And that brought me also to the gaming industry.

    How did you learn about the online gaming industry?
    My own software company got a small contract from a group of investors to test an online poker site they were developing. We found so many bugs that they decided to cancel their project. But that gave me some insight into the complexity of a gaming program and its IT environment. Several years later, I met the person who sponsors our site, Online Casino Newsroom, who was interested in developing an online gaming site. Therefore, I started visiting some gaming conferences and exhibitions.

    What about the industry interests you?
    To be honest, the most interesting thing about this industry for me has been initially the prospect of earning good money using my IT background, working mainly from home. A few more things have come up during the last 18 months. The most interesting of them is to be involved as a small part in a process with so many different types of actors coming from all parts of the world: gaming players, gaming operators, affiliate management systems, payment systems, regulation bodies, and the forum communities. This really fascinates me.

    When and why did you decide to become an affiliate?
    Although the initial plan of my sponsor was to start a gaming site, it became clear to me pretty soon, after attending a couple of gaming exhibitions, that becoming a gaming operator could be a disaster, especially if you are a total newcomer in this area. I found an alternative in becoming an affiliate. I knew that my IT background, some SEO knowledge acquired during the nineties, and my connection to software developers in India would help me to build up a reasonably good site within a relatively short period of time.

    What lessons from experiences in running your own company and the IT field in general have helped you as an affiliate?
    The most important lesson I learned from running my own company was not to despair when almost everything seems to go wrong. The most useful experiences from the IT field are related to software quality assurance and web design.

    What were the most difficult challenges for you as a new arrival into the industry? And how did you meet them?
    The most difficult challenge was my total ignorance in gambling. Without gambling experience, I found it very difficult to assess the requirements of the online gamblers. What games would they like to play? What type of information would they like on our site?

    So, I started reading gaming guides, histories of card and slot games, and playing online for fun using the help texts. Finally, I decided to contact a few passionate gamblers and watch them playing. This was definitely the most important part of my learning process, which is still ongoing.

    What is currently the most difficult part of your work?
    Our site is growing and we know that it would be more effective if we had a few more sites interlinked. I donít have enough resources for the required content management and SEO of all that. But this is the same situation I am familiar with from my old software company. You must have patience and continue making as much progress as possible.

    How has the GPWA helped you as an affiliate?
    Very significantly indeed! When I introduced myself after being admitted as a private member, there were, as usual, many congratulations, and almost all of them said, without GPWA they wouldnít be where they are today. I didnít realize then that they really meant it.

    The help of GPWA is to a great extent help coming from the entire community, although we are, after all, a bunch of competitors. But we all know the net revenue we get through networking. Of course the infrastructure of this network, the GPWA management, makes a significant contribution also.

    For a newcomer like me, all that I have learnt about the gambling business through the GPWA is absolutely invaluable.

    What do your friends and family think about your new line of business?
    They are used to my doing odd things. So it is partly amusement for them and partly curiosity. Will he really earn some good money this way?

    Do you gamble online? If so, what's your favourite game and why?
    I have not yet gambled using real money. I do play with fun money. I prefer playing multi-player games. There you are playing in an environment where other human beings are also involved.

    It is my intention to invest a certain percentage of my affiliate revenue for playing. Will I become an addict? I was a chain smoker for over 30 years. I know what it means to be an addict.

    What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry?
    1. First, donít let yourself be lured into starting your own casino, white label or whatever. That is a perfect non-starter for a newcomer. Better think of starting an affiliate.
    2. Go to conferences and exhibitions like CAP, CAC, etc., talk to affiliate managers, casino software providers, epayment providers, SEO experts.
    3. If you have no experience in gambling, play online casinos with fun money and read as much as you can about gambling rules, histories, etc.
    4. Visit as many affiliate sites as you can.
    5. Define your focus: what type of information you want to present on your site, for whom, in what language, for which countries.
    6. Make your concept and decide whether to build the site on your own or outsource it.
    7. In any case, learn SEO and, if you can afford it, get an SEO expert.
    8. Choose a suitable IT infrastructure and the right design and implementation tools.
    9. Build the site, start filling it up with contents, do SEO and donít go online until the site is stable.
    10. Do all that only if youíre prepared not to expect any revenue for 6 months, at least.
    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    6 months.

    What was your favourite subject in school? And why was it your favourite subject?
    Literature and Mathematics. Influenced by my father, I started reading at the age of 5 Ė newspapers, comics, detective stories. At the age of 12, I was already reading Ė apart from parts of Indian literature, plenty of English literature: Shakespeare, Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Emily BrontŽ. . . .
    In math, I loved algebra, later also calculus, but hated geometry.

    If you weren't working in online gaming right now, what would you be doing?
    Nothing, if I would listen to my wife. But she knows that is not going to happen, although as a retired person, I could afford that. After I started my IT career almost 40 years back, I started neglecting reading literature. I have thousands of books at home. I would start reading them again.
    I have left the industry and earned a law degree at Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer School of Law. Here are ways to stay in touch with me:
    > Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenCorfman
    > LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevencorfman
    > Skype: StevenCorfman
    > Phone: +1 617 785 9324

    Inquiries intended for an administrator or staff member can be directed to Anthony Telesca through the forum (username Anthony) or to the general contact address manager AT gpwa DOT org.

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  3. #2
    aksana's Avatar
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    I'm impressed Nandakishore I couldn't imagine that you have so much life experience. This is for you:

  4. #3
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    Aksana, thanks for your compliments. I have also been very much impressed by your interview, your drive for becoming independent although taking considerable risk, all that and still so young!

    Nandakishore

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    Very nice job. I enjoyed reading this and getting to know you better Nandakishore.

  6. #5
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    Default Christian Zeiss - BrightShare

    Nandakishore - great article!
    Good to have you on board!


    Ich wuensche Dir gute Besserung und dass Du so bleibst wie Du bist!

    Gruss Christian Z.


  7. #6
    casinoinfogr is offline Private Member
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  8. #7
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    Nandakishore, I just want to add that we all love working with you (Me, Gaby, Roberto, Chris, Marcia...). I feel that our relationship is a great case study of what affiliate/program partnering is all about. And your positive energy and persistency are an example to us all.

    Take care and thank you!
    Lloyd

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    Great interview! I enjoyed reading it and getting to know more about our community members. !

  10. #9
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    Well done and congratulations. Very insightful answers. Good luck with your business!
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



  11. #10
    Gabriela is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Default You are the best!

    We all love you and is a pleasure to work with such a nice guy! keep going!!

    Gabriela
    BrightShare - The Results Network
    www.brightshare.com
    Exclusive Affiliate Program of the Jackpot Factory Group:
    www.allslots.comwww.alljackpots.com
    www.firstwebcasino.com
    www.wildjack.com
    www.wildjackpoker.com

  12. #11
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    Nandakishore,

    I had my doubts but not anymore this interview certainly helped! 30 years in the IT sector probably impressed me most. I know few who last that long.

    Nandakishore I thank you for doing this interview very impressive.

    pgaming/

  13. #12
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    Hello everybody,

    It is a great privilege and pleasure to read so many nice things about an interview where my contribution has been maximum 50%. Good answers come only from good questions. And I am sure all seven interviewee will agree that the GPWA team has done a great job in studying whatever information they had about us and then create for each of us a made-to-measure questionnaire. I have given many interviews during the last decades, and I must say hats off to this team for the very individual, penetrating and entertaining questions they threw at us. I also had another source which helped me in giving some readable answers. It was the interview given by mojo in the CAC issue of the magazine. I read it before answering my questions. And I knew that it is best to give honest answers to honest questions.

    So, it has been a typical GPWA product, a teamwork. And I sincerely hope that we get more of this in the future.

    Nandakishore
    Online Casino Newsroom
    Online Gambling Website

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    mojo (23 October 2007)

  15. #13
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    Very impressive, Nandakishore!
    What an interesting life!

  16. #14
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    I also had another source which helped me in giving some readable answers. It was the interview given by mojo in the CAC issue of the magazine. I read it before answering my questions. And I knew that it is best to give honest answers to honest questions.
    I am honored by your kind words Nandakishore. Thank you. You are obviously well loved and that is from being yourself. Kudos!

    Last edited by mojo; 23 October 2007 at 11:49 pm. Reason: punctuation

  17. #15
    freebie is offline Private Member
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    Hi Nandakishore....this is freebie....we are in Munich will meet up tomorrow for a chat...Kelly, Simon, Spencer.

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by freebie View Post


    Hi Nandakishore....this is freebie....we are in Munich will meet up tomorrow for a chat...Kelly, Simon, Spencer.
    Phantastic! I have already fixed an appointment with them at 6.pm for a booze tour. After all, Kelly didn't manage enough alcohol for me in Barcelona, and so I caught a flu.

    Nandakishore

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    freebie is offline Private Member
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    Hi NK we took your advice and are now in beautiful Venice....

    We'd like to thank you for a great evening...it was a lot of fun!

    We are off to Florence then onto Rome.....

    Here's to the next meet!

    Kelly, Spencer, Simon


    (pics to follow)

  20. #18
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    very nice interview

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    Nandakishore (17 January 2010)

  22. #19
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    Hey buddy

    Great interview... I'm impressed on the steps you took when entering the business to get yourself up to speed... Most newbies would give up totally if they had to research so much..

    I think it would be great for any newbies to read your interview.. very inspirational.. and some great advice.

    Thanks for the read

    Cheers
    __________________
    Renee, Affiliate Program Manager
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    Affiliate Program for CasinoRewards.com
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  23. #20
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    Old interview, but nice refresh. Was a good read, and was before I was active here.
    "CasinoJack"
    Skype:brianrocksit


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