An Evening of Inspiration

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Last October, 70 MBA students from Whistling Woods International, went around 16 Indian cities in two months, to educate the youth of the country on various career opportunities in the media and communication industry. This was a part of the initiative titled ‘Inspiration’, which was started by these enterprising students in an attempt to take firm steps towards positive change. This year, the second session of ‘Inspiration’ was announced at an event held at the Whistling Woods campus. ‘Inspiration’ willtravel across six cities starting from Mumbai and moving on to Nasik, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Ranchi. Speaking about the scale of ‘Inspiration’ this year, Ujjwal K Chowdhury, a professor at WWI said, “This time too some 63 speakers are slated to speak in these six cities, at least 15 young achievers will be awarded and more than 2000 youths will participate in the event series.”
After the inauguration, a seminar to place, which proved to be a highly informative and enriching experience as it unleashed copious knowledge and awareness about the media and entertainment profession through the medium of a panel discussion. Apart from popular actress Gul Panag and founder of Whistling Woods International, Subhash Ghai, many other eminent personalities comprised this panel including Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Dean, WWI- School of Media and Communication, RJ Salil and RJ Archana from Radio City, entertainment industry veteran Pradeep Guha and Hollywood actor Tom Malloy. Renowned Hollywood Producer, Brian Ronalds was a special guest at the event.
The ‘Young Achiever’ award, which was introduced at Inspiration 2011, was awarded to Suzanne Ghai, Creative Head Fiction, Star Plus and Mangesh Hadawale, Oscar-nominated Indian film director and writer. Both these individuals have made an impact in their respective industries in a short span of time.
The speakers at the event inspired students with their personal experiences and points of view. Gul Panag, who apart from being a critically acclaimed actor is also an activist, aviator, animal lover, adrenalin junkie and avid traveller, gave the students something to mull over with the help of a surprising fact. She revealed that although India produces around 800-1000 films per year, our films fail to make an impact on international platforms. In all the major international film festivals (Toronto, Venice, Cannes and Berlin film festivals), Indian films are sorely missed. She appealed to young film-makers to introspect and question why our films fail to have an international appeal. Her personal take on the issue is that our films need a degree of realism which currently seems to be lacking in them.
Pradeep Guha, Managing Director at 9X, enlightened the audience with the story behind the Page 3 phenomenon. Mr Guha also stated the importance of reinvention with the example of Femina, which was revived from a dying magazine thanks to the Femina Miss India pageant. Not only did the pageant turn around the fate of the magazine, it also resulted in India winning international titles for eight consecutive years! His advice to the youth was to be aware of changing trends since attention spans are shortening constantly. It is important in this day and age, to know your consumer and his changing needs.
RJ Salil and RJ Archana shone light on the current potential in the radio industry and called it the newspaper of the mind. With the third phase of liberalisation underway, around 240 new radio channels are expected to start. RJ Salil shot to fame after he starred in the popular soap Kasauti Zindagi Ki. However, after his film Awarapan failed to make an impact on audiences, Salil turned to radio. Archana who juggles between singing, acting and web designing had a little dose of philosophy for the students, “Life happens when you are chasing your dreams,” she said. The duo, who are currently among the most recognised voices on radio, also stressed about the importance of treating onself as a brand.
Shubhash Ghai inspired his students with the story of his personal journey. His father wanted him to become a CA, while Ghai dreamt of being an actor. Unfortunately, his acting career remained unsuccessful and he switched to directing, producing and financing. And finally, today he is an educationist. He encouraged students to find their interest, fuel their passion, and be fearless in their journey towards discovering themselves.
Mr Ghai also made a poignant statement on the importance of a Guru. He said that while a teacher merely transfers education, a Guru goes a step beyond and transforms lives. Well, it looks like Mr Ghai has successfully converted his students into Gurus since they are taking concrete steps to transform other lives through ‘Inspiration’

Some 63 speakers are slated to speak in six cities, at least 15 young achievers will be awarded, and more than 2000 youths will participate in the event series

Volume 2 Issue 1

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