MEET SHEHAN KUMAR – SRI LANKA’S HAPPIEST QUIZ MASTER!
Happy Sri Lankans recently caught up with popular Quiz Master Shehan Kumar who was busy preparing for yet another one of his quiz programmes the Glitz Biz Quiz 2017.
Would you like to tell us a bit about Biz Quiz? The idea of organizing a quiz competition exclusively for corporates came up in 2012. The local quizzing arena was becoming pretty boring with the same old individual teams winning every quiz. So we decided to take the plunge and in 2013, Biz Quiz became probably the first and only exclusive quiz competition open to all corporates. Yes there are separate quiz competitions for Bankers, Shippers, Travel Agents and what not. But Biz Quiz caters to all industries and was also probably the first quiz that recognized winners from many different categories. Last year we had 10 categories! So I think we have every right to call it the Mercantile Quiz Championship of Sri Lanka! ☺
How has the response been over the past few years? I think the fact this year we are organizing our 5th Biz Quiz is in itself a testimony to how successful the event has been. We have always had good participation with 30-40 teams taking part every year. 2014 has been our best year so far with 48 teams taking part! We have also crowned 3 different companies as the Champions in 4 years which for me in a sense is a mission accomplished. Believe me, it hasn’t been easy. During the first year, there was even a guy who threatened me saying that Biz Quiz will not be a success simply because his individual team was not allowed to take part!
Many people think that Quiz Programmes are boring. Is this true? Take part in any one of my quizzes and tell me if it is boring ☺.
I think it’s all in how you present it. I’m thankful that I’m both a Quizzer, Event Manager as well as a compere. All my questions are supported with multimedia (visual, sound clip or video clip) and I often crack a joke and try to keep things interesting too! Even if their team does not score well, participants usually come out with plenty of knowledge. Biz Quiz also has many raffle draws, table draws and mini competitions going on to keep participants interested.
What are the other Quiz Programmes you organize? In addition to Biz Quiz which is Sri Lanka’s Premier Corporate Quiz, I also conduct Cric Quiz – Sri Lanka’s Biggest and Most Popular Cricket Quiz which usually gets sold out within a day! I also hope to conduct several other quiz programmes in the near future, including a Quiz competition for schools. In addition to this, I organize the annual internal quiz programmes for several companies on invitation.
Some people say that Quizzers are either Geeks or Nerds? Do I look like a geek or a nerd? ☺ Quizzing or Mind Sport is probably one of the least understood and appreciated activity among ‘average’ folk. Anyone can use their brawn, but only a few can use their brain to good effect! ☺
What are the challenges you face when organizing quizzes of this nature? I think the biggest challenge any quiz organizer in Sri Lanka would face is acquiring sponsorships. Many quiz programmes in the country have died a natural death mainly due to this reason. Companies are willing to spend millions on reality shows but not for an exercise which increases knowledge and enhances thinking capacity. Another reason could be poor organizing and marketing by the organizers which results in the sponsors not getting what they desire out of the sponsorship. Biz Quiz is a professionally run event which allows plenty of opportunities and exposure to sponsors as well.
I have to thank No Limit Glitz at this juncture for being our Title Sponsor for Biz Quiz as well as Cric Quiz for 3 years. Without their support all of our successes would not have been possible. They have been a huge encouragement to us and I think all quizzers in Sri Lanka should be thankful to brands like Glitz. This year we have sponsors like Informatics Institute of Technology and Millennium IT also joining us as partners. Of course we have so many other Event Partners as well who support us immensely including Happy Sri Lankans our Online Media Partner.
Any Parting Thoughts? Quizzing is an immensely satisfying and educational past time to have. It not only helps people learn so many things, but it also helps them retrieve that information from wherever it is in their brain within 10 seconds. What better brain exercise can there be? So let’s keep quizzing and remember to stay happy! ☺