7 Aug 2023
Exclusive Interview: Chandra Kiran, CKZ Discus Founder, in Conversation with Sunil Dcosta, Founder of "The Aquafishcare Times" Magazine in India.
Congratulations! on your international recognition and Award for showcasing your Discus fish! Can you share the details of the award and the competition you participated in?
Chandra Kiran: Thank you, I was honored to compete in the renowned INADS (International Discus Contest) in Indonesia, organised by The Indonesia Discus Society. With 304 entries, I secured fifth place in the Open Category (Junior) with my Albino Platinum Discus. The competition had six categories and awarded a total of 31 prizes. It was an exhilarating experience among top discus enthusiasts worldwide. I'm grateful for the opportunity and thankful to the organizers, judges, and fellow participants for making it unforgettable.
How did you prepare your discus fish for the international showcase? were there any specific criteria or standards you had to meet for the competition?
Chandra Kiran: As an importer, I recently selected a fish from an incoming shipment. Unfortunately, my experience with Indian fish was disappointing, resulting in substantial financial losses. Even previously sold imported fish from other Indian suppliers proved to be unsatisfactory. It was a setback, as I couldn't even recover the costs, let alone make a profit. However, I learned from my mistakes and decided to order directly from a farm, requesting the best specimens available. Surprisingly, the fish arrived promptly on the 5th, just in time for the contest held on the 8th. Competing with the same fish supplied to customers, I managed to secure one of the prestigious 31 prizes out of 304 entries. This success is undoubtedly a significant achievement.
What sets your discus fish apart from others in terms of their quality and presentation? Were there any particular characteristics or features that impressed the judges?
Chandra Kiran: The foremost aspect judges consider is the fish's friendliness during evaluation. Rather than shying away, it should confidently approach the judge to earn substantial points. The fish's skin texture and overall quality are also crucial factors. However, it's important to note that each judge may have their specific criteria for evaluation. Therefore, it is challenging to provide a definitive answer. Undoubtedly, the winner in the Open Category must have possessed exceptional qualities that met the extraordinary judging criteria set forth.
Can you describe the emotions and thoughts you experienced when you were announced as the winner of the award? How did it feel to have your hard work and dedication acknowledged internationally?
Chandra Kiran: The contest took place from March 17th to 19th, merely a week after my father's passing. Emotions overwhelmed me as I made a promise to my late mother in 2009 to succeed in a business venture and take care of my father. Although we had sufficient income from real estate, my mother wished for me to achieve something significant and make a name for myself. Despite the skepticism from others who couldn't understand my passion for fishkeeping, my father, despite his dementia, supported me unwaveringly. (Getting Emotional) This win is dedicated to him, as he would sit on his recliner sofa and watch me passionately pursue my hobby. I cherish the time spent with him and remain grateful for the memories we created.
Did you face any challenges or obstacles during the showcasing process? How did you overcome them to achieve such success?
Chandra Kiran: Internationally, I have encountered no significant challenges or obstacles when competing. My confidence remains unwavering, as I am fully capable of participating in international competitions at any given time. However, I find it disheartening that the local discus competitions in India have not yet gained serious traction. Instead, there is a prevalent culture of backbiting and unnecessary conflict among participants. Nevertheless, as I prepare for my third international contest, I anticipate witnessing the emergence of Indian contenders who tend to imitate success once they observe someone gaining international recognition. With India's vast population, such imitation is almost inevitable. Nonetheless, it surprises me that, thus far, I have not encountered any fellow Indians participating in international competitions. One of my notable strengths is that I specialize in selling the exact varieties of fish that I compete with. Our guiding principle is simple: "What you see is what you get."
What are your future plans? Do you have any goals or projects in mind?
Chandra Kiran: While I certainly have future plans, I prefer to keep them confidential, especially concerning the Indian market. I firmly believe that revealing too much information can negatively impact business prospects. However, I am eager to continue competing on the international circuit, driven by a desire for professionalism, and ultimately contribute to India's pride.