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  Life   More Features  14 Apr 2017  Rebello with a cause

Rebello with a cause

THE ASIAN AGE. | SURUCHI KAPUR GOMES
Published : Apr 14, 2017, 12:27 am IST
Updated : Apr 14, 2017, 12:27 am IST

Sharp and intuitive, Mithun Rebello’s pathbreaking ideas gave poker new life.

Entrepreneurial spirit seems etched in the Rebello family, all go-getters with Mithun shining a beacon for his younger siblings.
 Entrepreneurial spirit seems etched in the Rebello family, all go-getters with Mithun shining a beacon for his younger siblings.

Behind the unruly mop, grey eyes and smiling face lies an astute lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur who’s pathbreaking idea has given poker a new lease of life as a legal skill-based talent. The Mangalore born and Delhi-based biz whiz Mithun Rebello is a game changer who co-founded Quantumskill Gaming & Tech Pvt. Ltd who’s product  www.pokerhigh.com. is today among the top five poker sites in India. QSG is one of the first few companies to be issued a license for online poker under the “Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion of Online Games of Skill Act” a first of its kind legislation.

Rebello started off in those august black robes at law firm King & Partridge in Bengaluru, which probably laid the foundation for the tedious legal framework.  

The St. Aloysius Mangalore alumni who studied law at ILS Law College Pune feels it was a boon growing up in a coastal town, “Its a value-based society — what you say is what you do.” Rebello is also a third generation coffee planter and today, his wife Harathi Reddy Rebello, a PR and sales expert partners him in First Infraventures (which was among the first FDI centric real estate consultancies to bag an exclusive contract from Elbit Imaging which resulted in the Israeli giant investing in seven projects when FDI opened in 2005), First Element, and now Quantum Skill.

“Bengaluru was where one took ones learning on building a business. Our vision was to start real cash betting on skill-based gaming, and we were advised by the best on the legal framework, which basically has been legalised in India by a series of judgements dating back to 1957, and more recently by the Nagaland Online skill Act,” says the father of two, Vedant, 5 and Vihaana, 3.

Meeting his partner in business and life, Harathi was also providence, which led to the couple’s many-pronged ventures. “We decided to quit and start a business together. Harathi is my partner  and together we built First Infraventures, First Element and Quantum Skill Gaming,” he adds. The key to a couple working together, Mithun feels is, “Be clear about the roles, so you don’t step on each other’s toes. We make sure work does not spill over at home.”

Entrepreneurial spirit seems etched in the Rebello family, all go-getters with Mithun shining a beacon for his younger siblings. His mother Loretta Rebello is a serial entrepreneur and brother, Mihir recently started Coffee Mechanics (an artisanal coffee company which Mithun is also proudly a part of), his youngest brother Mayuk (22) just opened a restaurant while his sister runs Riverwoods, a homestay. “My mother’s entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring. She was a gold medalist MA in Economics. While I miss being a planter, I share a deep love for coffee and the history our family has had with coffee since 1956. One must have a tough gut to survive its struggles, and watching my father (Subir Rebello) go through and seeing him persevere has been inspirational. As a doctor, he gave up his career to run the plantation, which otherwise would not have survived. The free treatments he gives instilled a compassionate approach. Harathi’s parents Shobha and Prasad Reddy have been very supportive to our ideas,” says Rebello, who is inspired by Steve Jobs and his late mentor Rohan Datta.

The idea of poker is controversial, but he believes, “It’s not gambling but betting. There is a clear differentiation — the preponderance of skill over chance. The logic is — if the only skill someone has is to play a game, no one has the right to stop him from investing in that skill. People feel it takes more skill to play poker than the stock exchange, which needs similar skill sets.”

Does he miss the law? “I do miss the law theoretically, and from a theory perspective but am much happier being a client,” smiles the entrepreneur who is also launching pokerhighschool.com soon. “It is a poker school with three levels, beginner, intermediate and pro. Poker is a fun engaging game which any one can play — a house wife or preacher, but if you want to explore further, it involves skill and we want to focus and help players hone skills like math, probability, psychological analysis,” says Mithun, which he mulls are the very skillsets needed to master the game of life.

A consummate foodie, wife Harathi teases him about his food love, “She keeps trying new recipes – my favourites are south Indian coastal and homemade Italian,” says the energetic badminton and gym buff who admits to cooking a mean Kerala mutton stew.

The daddy of two dotes on his children, “Vedant is brilliant in math and language skills, he pretty much taught himself the Spanish alphabet! And Vihaana is the little doll at home. Weekends are for bonding and Harathi is the rock we lean on. We try and inculcate values we are both particular about,” he says. Apart from an annual trip to Mangalore for Xmas, they hope to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan soon.

Success has made him mindful of his indelible work ethic, “There is nothing like fire in one’s belly and a passion. Being able to chart a path to entering, managing and potentially exiting is key,” advises the guy who’s been dealt a hand of cards that is going from strength to strength.

Tags: online poker, mithun rebello, quantum skill