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Article fron the Columbus Dispatch

October 1, 1999

The Name's the Thing for Local Company Namix Helps Clients Choose Appropriate Monikers for Their Products and Services.

by
Paul Rolfes

Stuti and Anu Garg don't let words come between them. Instead, they use words to keep them close.

The Whitehall couple used a shared interest in languages to launch a home-based business called Namix, being run by Mrs. Garg, 27. Since its February beginnings, Namix has helped businesses come up with unique names for their products or services -- even for the companies themselves.

The setup is not extensive -- a desktop computer, files and some reference materials tucked away in the back bedroom of their apartment, plus a Web page outlining the philosophy behind Namix and its services.

When asked what it takes to set up shop, Mrs. Garg points to her forehead.

"It's what's up here, not the hardware or software that you have, to be creative,'' she said. "This is something that both Anu and I wanted to do, something that didn't require a lot of inventory.''

Mrs. Garg says she is fluent in three languages -- English and the Indian dialects of Hindi and Marathi. That gives her a "a stronger base in coming up with unique names,'' she said.

Both are natives of India, but came separately to the United States to study. While she went to school at Strayer University in Washington, he chose to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. They met while living in northern Virginia.

"Fate,'' said Mr. Garg of their eventual marriage.

He is an engineer with AT&T. At its operations at 8372 E. Broad St., he helps maintain its Web site, keeping bad guys from hacking into the system.

Determining the image a client wishes to project is the first step in the naming process, Mrs. Garg said.

"We have a brainstorming session, and I'll come up with 20 or so names. Then we'll narrow that down to 10

and discuss it with the client. Then we'll narrow it down to five, and do a trademark search and a domain-name search. After that, the client will have a choice of the top three names,'' she said.

One of her first projects was to develop a name for an East-West conference that was planned for India. The resulting name was Reminiscent Renaissance. "It took about 10 to 12 days of work,'' she said.

Her work extends well beyond the United States -- thanks to the Internet, faxes and telephones.

"I've received inquiries from Israel and Malta,'' she said.

For the couple, Namix was a natural outgrowth of something Anu Garg started while at Case Western, combining a desire to improve his English with existing computer skills.

"I began to think that, 'Wouldn't it be nice to program a computer so I could learn a new word every day?' '' he said. "When I got it to work, I decided to share it with other people.''

That took place via the World Wide Web. He turned his project into a mailing list that goes out regularly to 230,000 people in 175 countries.

"It just spread by word of mouth,'' he said of his site, Wordsmith.org, the place to sign up for the mailing list. "Not long ago, I got an e-mail from someone on Antarctica, so it's reached every continent. That's the amazing power of the Internet.''

The Web site also includes a link for a little fun, offering to turn a name or phrase into a host of words using the rearranged letters.

"I've been amazed that sometimes the anagram can reveal the truth. For instance, Western Union can be changed into "no wires unsent,'' he said.

The Gargs used their language skills to name their first child, now 2. Their daughter's name reflects their heritage.

"We decided on Ananya, which is Sanskrit for 'unique,' '' he said.

Copyright © 1999 The Columbus Dispatch

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