Qwizzeria is a Zurich-based knowledge consulting start-up that uses quizzes to foster learning, for knowledge transfer, team building, entertainment, customer engagement, and brand promotion. Rajan Thambehalli, an avid quizzer and trivia-enthusiast, explored the various facets of this technique and broke stereotypes by starting Qwizzeria in 2014.
From ‘hobby quizzing’ to ‘knowledge consulting’
Often considered a ‘cerebral’ sport, quizzing has several facets that remain uncovered and unexplored. At a young age, Rajan found quizzing his own way to channel his energies and made it a hobby for life. Rajan was introduced to the world of quizzing by his mother who also encouraged his passion for cricket and comics. Through his student life at RV College of Engineering, quizzing gained momentum. He was part of the RV QuizCorp, the college quiz club. Says Rajan, “In those four years leading up to my graduation, I developed the habit of collecting information, forming them into questions, and then hosting a quiz event in front of the audience.”
Over the years, Rajan tapped into his passion for quizzing, collecting trivia and conducting quizzes in India and abroad. During his Master’s program in 2009, in Lausanne, he started a quiz event for his fellow classmates. This tradition has since grown into a fresher’s quiz each year at the start of the Master’s programme.
Eventually, he started Qwizzeria in 2014, beginning with publishing a fact a day, a habit that grew on him, and is still going strong. He also started hosting quizzes for businesses in Zurich. Qwizzeria has evolved tremendously over the four years since its inception and Rajan is expected to host around 100 quizzes in 2019 alone.
A range of quizzing-related activities
Qwizzeria is known for conducting ‘quiz nights’ or ‘trivia nights’, that take place at various pubs in Zurich and Zug. This popular format of quizzing covers several themes, which vary depending on the audience profile and location. For example, each month at McGee’s, Qwizzeria conducts 2-3 quizzes with 44 questions each pertaining to a theme ranging from Disney, food, travel, Europe, etc. True to his passion, Rajan thrives in the energy that quizzing brings. “Hosting the weekly Shamrock quiz night on Sundays is an energetic way to kickstart the week,” he says.
For audiences in Zurich’s silver coast (The Docks Quiz night) and Zug (Mr. Pickwick), monthly quizzes based on general knowledge are offered.
Since 2014, in collaboration with AISTS (International Academy of Sport Science and Technology), Qwizzeria hosts the largest annual sports quiz night in Switzerland. The Olympic capital, Lausanne, is the perfect venue for the event.
For hardcore football lovers, Rajan also hosts six-eight quizzes per year that are conducted at the FIFA Museum. These are designed to challenge fans on international football and center around the World Cups.
Qwizzeria also hosts Christmas team events, online quizzes, quizzes for the TEDx Zurich team and informal and fun team outings with quizzes specially curated for corporate clients.
Rajan recalls a moment that stood out for him while hosting an event at Google, Switzerland. “For the first 90 minutes of the quiz, I requested a crowd in excess of a hundred to not use ‘Google’ on their smartphones. I was told that I was one of the few people if not the first to ban ‘Google’ inside the offices of Google!” Towards the end of the challenge, however, Rajan called upon them to use their smartphones to look for answers, the twist being that the questions were designed in a way that it took some time before a pattern emerged. The Googlers loved this unique challenge.
‘Learning’- a process that should never stop
The innate thirst for knowledge is something that fuels Rajan and keeps Qwizzeria going. He is keen to embrace technology and use it in ways that make quizzing meaningful and potent. He is brimming with ideas, all of which have plenty of potential today.
“I am in talks with a few people regarding my idea to offer ‘project management’ and ‘knowledge management’ exercises to corporates, and learning exercises through quiz workshops for schools and universities during the holidays,”, he says. He sees Qwizzeria as a unique collaborator for product-based start-ups and companies that need visibility and marketing. He also sees quizzing playing a role in the medical industry. Quizzes can be instrumental in prolonging the occurrence of dementia and other mind-related issues, he says.
Rajan leaves us with some insightful words to mull over: “Quizzing is to the mind, what food is to the body. If you happen to take part in a quiz, be open-minded. If you are in a group, rest assured, quizzes can spark conversations that you would never have had otherwise. And, if you have young children, encourage them to take part in the quizzes and develop the art of asking questions.”
For more on Qwizzeria’s service offerings and events, take a look at:
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