Biases and stereotypes impact every person in one way or the other. Like women, men have to fulfill certain gender roles that have been laid out in front of them by society. Constricted by these stereotypes and being penalized if one decides to go against them, the traditional gender roles have been blindly followed for centuries, no questions asked.
When it comes down to men, cultural expectations ask them to focus on their job and provide for the family. Raising the kids, on the other hand, has traditionally been assigned to the gender role of women. As a result, most men are kept away from their families and, even if they want, are unable to give as much time to them. Redefining such gender roles and challenging social norms is Umesh Perera, a serial inventor, technologist, entrepreneur, producer, and most importantly, a single father of six children.
Raising kids is no easy task. With children comes huge responsibilities that many people are not able to manage in line with their career. For both men and women, balancing one’s personal and professional life and excelling at both is something that most individuals are incapable of doing. Umesh Perera, the founder of Ayozat, is a single father who fought and struggled to raise his six beautiful kids while making a successful career for himself in the technology and media fields.
Paving his way to success
Born on December 29, 1971, in Columbo, Umesh moved to the UK at a very early age. In St. Albans, he attended St. Columbus College and during his childhood, Umesh developed a deep interest in mathematics and, consequently, in all forms of computing. After graduating from high school, he went to De Montfort and Middlesex University for further studies whilst nurturing his passion for mathematics, technology, and computing.
Since his childhood, Umesh had been exploring his love for mathematics through software and his love for music through piano, later combining these passions by developing a love for the media and gaming. Umesh chose ITC as his profession at the age of 14 starting with BSD Unix. He later moved onto search engines with AstalaVista.box.sk, a top 5 search engine in the early 2000’s, then onto the Hadoop project, which allows computer collectives to rapidly evaluate huge amounts of data.
Umesh then settled himself into the security and financial sectors, where he made his biggest contribution to technology during the Kosovo and Rwandan wars. Appearing next to Bill Gates and Frank Schott, Umesh was interviewed on ABC News about his contribution and involvement with the Kosovo war. As a serial inventor, Umesh developed the system alongside Microsoft that helped identify millions of refugees over a thousand square miles and helped them reunite with their families. The system developed by Umesh and Microsoft was utilized in creating a National Insurance, Identity, and Tax systems, giving birth to the country of Kosovo.
After giving up a successful career to be a full-time single father of six children and fighting an intense battle to keep them in his custody, he decided to turn his technology to his and his children’s passion: media and gaming. After spending three years combining newly developed intellectual property with his current catalog and decades of experience, he launched AYOZAT, a broadcasting, production, and distribution company. Registered in 2019, whose title is a collective of the first letter of the names of each of his children, he further states with a smile “the company represents a phoenix type family rising from the ashes”.
As a propriety technology company with a unique broadcast network, Ayozat owns intellectual property and applications that include OTT platforms, TV channels, compression technology, gaming and advertising platforms. With its rising engagement among its audience and huge network points, Umesh has managed to grow the company with its reach spreading out to three continents of the world.
Technology has completely taken over the world and the media and gaming sectors are no exception. As humans continue to evolve and with this their hunger for media consumption continues. Umesh realized the dependence of the world’s population on technology and he continues to improve his technology to support it.
The ownership of intellectual property and its continual development has been key to the success of Ayozat. The company sends consumer traffic to its OTT – Over the Top platforms (Netflix/Amazon type streaming) and TV channels. In addition, it also sells its licensing and network services to other TV channels and networks. Umesh continues to drive Ayozat forward after an impressive first two years which led to 30+ million monthly viewers and a presence in over 22 million households, partnerships with industry leading companies, and close relationships with the UK Ministry of Defense/British Army.
Widening his horizons
But even whilst Umesh continues to dedicate himself to Ayozat, the main areas of activity in his public life are based around giving children and young adults knowledge and empowerment. He focuses on areas worst affected by violence that has sprung from the knife crime epidemic currently raging through the streets of the United Kingdom. Working with like-minded individuals and groups like the British Army, Umesh has formed a round table working to tackle key issues like this whilst encouraging people to support the UK economy, nicknamed ‘UK plc’.
The ones responsible for the increase in knife-crime, are often youngsters who have deviated from their path. In order to further address this rising concern, Umesh has started Football Against Knife Crime (FAKC) to get young people off the streets and shift their minds and attention towards football training and away from the prospect of gangs. The initiative believes that “love, hope, and opportunity can be coupled with respect and discipline to engage and light up the minds of the young adults and children.”
Helping to keep many young people on track to achieve their goals in a world with constant obstacles is a difficult task, one that Umesh attempts to overcome using sports and dance music to keep them on-track and aid them in learning valuable skills through something they enjoy doing. Also being a huge supporter of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Umesh’s approach to education is equally colorful and entertaining, rather than sticking to traditional, menial methods. Umesh admits that ‘bringing kids up as a single father experiencing and seeing the struggles single parents and kids alike face, is something that drives his social, humanitarian and educational projects’.
As a self-made professional, Umesh has struggled greatly on his path to success, but hoping to inspire others, he states to anyone who’s struggling “don’t give up! Keep the good fight up and do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. Make sure you can sleep at night.”
While having achieved so much in his professional life, Umesh recalls describing the proudest moment of his life as “helping deliver my six children, and being the first face that they saw.” With his dedicated work ethic and love for his children, he is nothing but a role model for all fathers out there.