“And then I instructed Saif Ali Khan to not move in the scene as his own success and that of the film was dependent on Shah Rukh owning the moment” said Nikhil Advani over lunch as I gazed at him talking about the famous ‘diary’ scene from Kal Ho Na Ho. Just a few weeks before this moment when I was persevering through DMOP and Corporate Finance (read cursing my decision to leave my comfy job for ISB), it was hard for me to imagine having such a conversation with the director of my favorite movie.

As it turns out, thanks to my ELP project with Hotstar, I was handpicked to give Nikhil Advani lunch company since he was interested in speaking to someone with knowledge of the OTT industry.

Cut to 2 weeks later (I’m clearly still in director mode), I find myself talking about how the dialogue “Sab ke paas nahi hoti Laxman” has become a meme template with Farah Khan over Butter Chicken at Dinner.

As it turns out, because of my serendipitous acquaintance with Akshaye Rathi – film exhibitor – during an equinox mixer, I ended up being the obvious choice to Shadow Farah Khan for ILS.

While both these instances were random events and I don’t have any Bollywood aspirations whatsoever, it just showed me the pull ISB’s brand name has to attract the biggest celebrities and the trust the school has in its students to interact with them unsupervised.

Beyond Bollywood, in this last month alone, I got to moderate a panel and have behind the stage conversations with Rucha Pathak – Chief Creative Officer, Fox Star Studios and Anirudh Pandita – Co-founder of Pocket Aces (which owns FilterCopy among many others). Taking new-found insights, I got a chance to present my findings to the absolute top management of Hotstar in their swanky Bombay office (for some reason Swanky and Mumbai just didn’t go well together).

Finally, as I wait for the results of Shadow-a-CEO where I bid to shadow a CEO of my choice for an entire day, I must get quickly wrap up this blog and get ready.

As it turns out, I’d filled an EOI to have coffee with Ankur Warikoo – ISB’s star alum and CEO of nearbuy.com – and I got selected.

– by Punya Vats