When they joined their MBA program in NITIE, they searched for a comic character which would reflect the idiosyncrasies of the management and B-school world. To their surprise, they found none.
Though Dilbert was known for his office work humor, Calvin for his cynical outlook and Archie for his approach to college life, there was no comic character who would be an icon for the MBA’s of the world, and aspire for the ‘intellectual glamour’ of the highly competitive corporate arena.
Both, Hemant and Shubham, realized that there was a latent demand in the market. This niche segment was not only un-served but also un-recognized. They decided to plug this hole in the comic world. This realization of the latent need led to the creation of Arbit Choudhury – the World’s First B-School (MBA) Comic Character.
MastishK ‘ 04 – India’s first truly and fully online business challenge for B Schools and Corporate – conceptualized and created by Hemant and Nikhil and organized by the management students of NITIE, Mumbai – became an appropriate launch pad for a comic character dedicated to the MBA and management community.
MastishK helped Arbit and Arbit helped MastishK reach out to a wide audience across 50+ Corporate offices and 70+ B Schools spread over 25 countries across the globe in the very first year (2004). These numbers have increased since then.
Since then, Arbit has grown into a regular cartoon. Latest Arbit cartoon strips are released every 15 days through the Arbit Choudhury Mailing List and the Arbit Website.
Nikhil Kulkarni and Manish Saluja, soon joined the team of Team Arbit to cater to the ever increasing Arbit Fan following. Initially they supported mainly with the website and handle nuances of other web platforms but later got involved into most other aspects of Arbit from creating humour, reviewing it and even creating the comics.
The rise of Arbit Choudhury symbolizes the coming of age of Web-comics and Internet marketing. After its launch during MastishK’04, Arbit Choudhury was continued as a web-comic with the latest comic strips being released and distributed through the Arbit Choudhury Yahoo Group and Website.
Since 2004, Arbit’s popularity has increased exponentially. Arbit Choudhury comic strips are being forwarded by fans to their friends, batch-mates, colleagues etc across the B-schools and corporate world. This has been evident from the hundreds of appreciation mails that have flooded the creators’ mailboxes.
Arbit Choudhury fans range from people working for consulting majors like McKinsey, to PSUs like BHEL, and even come from countries like Cyprus. Arbit Choudhury fans cover the entire cross-section of the corporate hierarchy, from CEOs and MDs, to young professionals and MBA students. Even some B-school professors have appreciated Arbit’s take on management education, and have gone on to the extent of distributing Arbit comic strips in their class.
Arbit Choudhury also found himself being featured on the front page of leading dailies – Bombay Times and Calcutta Times. It also appeared in business journals like Business World and Indian Express; and even has an entry in Wikipedia – the famous online encyclopedia.
Although Hemant, Shubham and Nikhil graduated from NITIE in 2005, they have continued to be in touch through electronic means to continue creating Arbit for its thousands of fans. The whole creation process of all Arbit Choudhury related material and comic strips is done online as professional commitments force the creators to work from different geographies. Since 2004, the creators have worked across 3 Continents (Asia, Europe and North America); 8 countries (India, Switzerland, UAE, Oman, UK, USA, Malaysia & Thailand) and 21 cities (Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Bilaspur, Baroda, Bhopal, Geneva, Zurich, London, Norwich, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Baltimore, Jersey City, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Boston) completing the unique Global Delivery Model.
Supported by fans across the world; created, read and popularized through the online medium, Arbit Choudhury clearly epitomizes the new age mantra of web comics.