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A few of our favourite faces

Most burn out, some get lucky and grab 15-odd minutes of fame, a few live longer in public memory. We have worked hard to spot young talent with a spark of that something extra needed to make it to the top. With yet another year coming to a close, Young Metro takes a look at some special faces of 2003, long familiar to these pages, now familiar to the world:

Her face is all over the place, and we have no doubt that this leggy beauty is perched on the precipice of greater things to come. Shonal Rawat, the 23-year-old graduate from St Xavier’s College, has made herself seen in all the right fashion shows, campaigns, competitions and magazines, and is believed to have turned down numerous screen offers as well.

There are those of us who have grown up with Feluda, Lal Mohanbabu and Topshe. Then there is one who grows up to be the assistant of Bengal’s super sleuth. Parambrata Chatterjee is Topshe, Feluda’s sidekick, and the 22-year-old will be seen on the screens in Bombaiyer Bombete, from Friday. Let’s see whether our boy — and the film — reworks the old Sonar Kella magic.

He has a thing for the greens, but he’s no greenhorn. When Rahil Gangjee hits the fairway, he is a force to be reckoned with. The professional golfer from the 1997 batch of La Martiniere for Boys who went on to Bhawanipur Education Society, has moved up to 11th place on Hero Honda Golf Tour’s 2002-03 season money list. From Calcutta to Kathmandu, Lucknow to Gurgaon, he has burned many a course.

The Ding Dong song was the catchy tune to catapult the city boy from the class of ’98 Calcutta International School into a spot in the entertainment spotlight. Songs, sensuous and sentimental, followed, making Shayan Munshi the new face of music videos. The boy who had a brush with notoriety as a witness in the Jessica Lal murder case is now sailing smooth with Jhankaar Beats and has reportedly hit ramps in London.

With a song on his lips, Arnab Chakraborty headed for Mumbai four years ago. It hasn’t been easy, but the 26-year-old has been patient. And he has finally made a dream breakthrough, with the track Wada raha from Khakee. Keep a ear out for the boy, currently in Calcutta for his wedding, as he has caught the ear of M.M. Kreem, who has just used him in a soundtrack for a film down south.

Delhi boy Manish Singla came to Calcutta in the summer of 2000 after his B.Tech from IIT Delhi. Spending a few months as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the city, Manish moved to the Delhi office. He was roped in to lead the process consultancy project in World Bank’s Washington office. The 25-year-old, a Star Spot and a Star Spot-provider, is now in London, leading the budgeting and MIS team at Ebookers Plc.

 

Back to the future

Corporate heavyweights second, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta alumni first. Former students, now luminaries in all sectors of industry, paid a visit to their alma mater on November 22 and 23. Apart from taking part in reunion festivities at Joka, members of the Chennai chapter conducted a workshop on strategic marketing. The line-up included managing directors of Sify, RPG Cellular Services, Rotork Controls India, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, the CEO of Exclusive Search Recruitment Consultants and senior executives of Satyam Computers Limited, Netlink Technologies, ITC Hotels and SRF Limited.

The workshop comprised four sectors, two on the old economy and two on the new economy. The telecom sector was taken up by R. Ramaraj (eighth batch) MD & CEO, Sify Limited, and Vinay Agarwal (15th batch) MD, RPG Cellular, with a focus on “operating at the edge of chaos”. The IT Services module was conducted by Mohan Eddy (eighth batch) director and senior vice-president, Satyam Computers, P.V.R. Murthy (FPM) CEO, Exclusive Search Recruitment Consultants, and N. Manohar (11th batch) marketing consultant, Protechsoft, wherein the potential of the sector as a “tremendous growth opportunity for India” was identified and dissected.

The industrial sector was taken up by Ajay Jain (18th batch), business head, SRF, and Ashok Jayaram (eighth batch), MD, Rotork Controls, and dealt with old economy companies innovating and branding their way upwards. Finally, the white goods module was conducted by J. Krishnan (12th batch), president, Netlink Technologies, Ashok Anantram (fourth batch) vice-president (sales & marketing), ITC Hotels, and Ravi Santhanam (15th batch), MD and CEO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, where the theme of “share your market or get your market share” was developed. All the cases pertained to the scenario in the late 90s and beyond and dealt with a comprehensive outlook, covering consumer behaviour, industrial outlook and the role of the regulator. The workshop benefited from the “collective wisdom of several men working in the industry”, according to Prithvijit Chaki, a second-year student and participant of the workshop.

The idea of the workshop came about during the IIMC annual reunion in Chennai, where the director of IIMC, Shekhar Choudhury, broached the idea of an interaction with students. President of the Chennai chapter Ajay Jain and Ashok Jayaram then got together with fellow members to chalk out the details.

The alumni was “delighted” with the reception from students and are working on similar ideas for the future. Mohan Eddy was “highly impressed” by the level of interaction. “It was all that we have come to expect of an IIMC-ian. We would love to come back for even more extensive workshops in the future,” he said. Professor Sudas Roy revealed that there “will be similar workshops in the future which will pack in more punch”. Efforts are on to rope in alumni based in the US.

 

We are the best

The likes of Wharton, Carnegie Mellon and MIT Sloan had to make way as IIM Calcutta was declared the best team at Confluence, the annual business school meet held at Ahmedabad. This meet served as yet another showcase of the institute’s unrivalled expertise in finance and strategy as well as its traditional strength in quantitative arguments.

The team from Joka, consisting of Gautam Mago, Sudhanshu Anil Bhuwalka, Kumar Aviral, Rajat Sood and Gokulnath Pai, won a total cash prize of Rs 1,56,000. IIM Calcutta is known to be very receptive to change in the business environment. The faculty incorporates practical inputs into the curriculum, rather than the purely theoretical concepts. “These factors assume supreme importance as the institute strives to build upon the global standards it has established,” said Rajat Sood.

The finance game, felt Sudhanshu Anil Bhuwalka, was “quite realistic and challenging”. Gautam Mago of IIMC adds that “professors, right from Day One, encourage the formation of opinion amongst the students on every matter”. After the local crew swept Bizquizitive, quizmaster Siddhartha Basu said: “As usual, we have a team from IIM Calcutta up here.”

 

PR pat

At the annual convocation of Bhavan’s Asutosh College of Communication and Management, held on December 6, veteran public relations practitioner Rita Bhimani decided to give something back to the profession where she has spent 30 years. She instituted a gold medal in memory of her father, pioneering PR man P.N. Mookerji, for the Most Pragmatic Study Paper. The first one went to Debarati Banerjee for the paper on the role of media in promoting human rights. Rita also instituted a cash award for the student scoring the highest marks in corporate public relations.

 

Chinese flavour

Calcutta got a glimpse of Ke Jun, a specialist in Chinese opera called Kunqu, during Virasat, organised by Spicmacay (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth) in September. Now, he is back for another performance hosted by the cultural organisation at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute on December 15 at 5.30 pm.

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