The multi-talented achievers who have been selected to take part in the 2010 edition of Cerebrate.
From artists to writers, from theatre personalities to movie makers, from entrepreneurs to change leaders, these are the kind of personalities that will enrich Cerebrate. Different people, different perspectives, different ideas and one great event!
The 2010 Invitees
The list of invitees will shortly be published. The selection process is under way. We are on the look out for achievers from various fields. If you know an achiever, please nominate the person .
Meanwhile you can look into the invitees for this year.
- S.Muthiah – Journalist, editor, publisher, corporate director, prolific writer.
- Sandhosh Kumar – Mountain climber for a cause.
- Dr.Ananda Shankar Jayant – Classical dancer and Choreographer.
- Rajesh Setty – Serial Entrepreneur and writer.
- Achyut Palav – Renowned Calligrapher.
- Aditya – Technology Enthusiast.
- Ramesh Manickam – Designer of Royal Enfield Thunderbird, Founder of Centroid creative Hubb.
- G R K Reddy – CMD, MARG Group.
- Mr.Sashi Kumar – Chairman ACJ.
- Niladri Bose – Radio Jockey, Voice-over Artiste, Wild-Life Photographer.
- Sidharth Rao – Delivery Head – eMantras, National Snooker Champion and DJ.
- Raja Sanyal – Head of Marketing Barclays Wealth India.
- Vasu Dixit – Visual Communication Designer, Composer.
- Nandagopal – Sculptor, founder, Cholamandal Arts Village.
- Madhu Menon – Chef Shiok Restaurant.
- Christian R Fabre – CEO Christian Fabre Textiles Private Limited , Hindu Monk.
- Smita Ram – Co-founder & COO, RangDe.
- David Appasamy – Executive Vice President – Sify Technologies Limited,India.
- Harish Gandhi – Executive Director, Canaan Partners.
- Goutam Seetharaman – Architect, Trustee – Centre for Vernacular Architecture.
- V.Ramnarayan – Adviser, Corporate Communications, Sanmar Corporate Division.
S.Muthiah – Journalist, editor, publisher, corporate director, prolific writer.
He has, in no small measure, contributed to the unraveling of the glorious past of this land, once the hub of the British and French Empires.
S.Muthiah is very popular amongst the madrasis, its because Muthiah brought forth the magnificence of Chennai (Madras) through his books – Madras Discovered, Tales of Old and New Madras, Madras – the gracious city, Parrys 200, The Parry Story, Getting India on the Move, A Planting Century and Madras – its Past and its Present, The Spencer Legend and The Spirit of Chepauk.
On March 7, 2002, Muthiah was made an “Honorary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” for his work on Heritage and Environment conservation in Madras.
The past life of Muthiah is also very interesting and impressive. In 1946, he was one among the first batch of students, from this part of the world, to go to United States for higher studies, immediately after World War II.
In the U.S. besides graduating with a B.S. Engineering, B.A. and M.A. (International Affairs), he represented his University in Athletics, Debating, was active in campus journalism and worked with local newspapers.
Returning to Ceylon in 1951, circumstances forced him to rethink a career in the Foreign Service and he joined The Times of Ceylon, to become wedded to journalism and started writing ever since.
To know more about this achiever, follow the links below,
Sandhosh Kumar – Mountain climber for a cause.
Sandhosh Kumar is an adventurer by heart. Born in the small port town of Pondicherry in South India, Sandhosh is now an Avid mountain Climber. He has always been an adrenalin chaser and he developed a fascination for snow-capped mountains over the last few years.
He has scaled the following mountains –
Cho Oyu (8201m) – World’s sixth highest
Mont Blanc (4810m) – W.Europe’s highest
Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) – Africa’s highest
And Everest Base Camp (5545m)
Now, he has taken a step unique for a mountaineer. As he climbed more, he realized that the chase for personal quest alone wasn’t enough. He wanted his climbs to mean more. Hence, he embarked on a journey to highlight the problem closest to his heart, the problem of child sexual abuse, which is especially prevalent in India, while he attempts to scale the highest mountain in the world. So, In the summer of 2010, he will attempt to climb the world’s tallest mountain to raise awareness and funds for the prevention of child sexual abuse in India.
His Everest expedition is aimed at garnering support for five NGOs that address the issue — Thulir (Chennai), FACSE (Mumbai), Arpan (Delhi), Enfold (Bangalore) and Rahi (Mumbai).
Dr.Ananda Shankar Jayant – Classical dancer and Choreographer .
Ananda is one of the renowned dancers of the country. She imbues technique and grammar with a sparkling quality, bristling with life. Though she was trained by many brilliant gurus, in the true guru-sishya parampara, at Kalakshetra she learnt dance at the feet of Rukmini Devi Arundale.
She got a Ph.D., for the topic ‘Promotion of Tourism and Culture – Role of Railways’ – from Osmania University. She runs her own dance institution Shankarananda Kalakshetra, where she passes on a tradition to a younger generation.
Ananda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was undergoing treatment, through surgery, chemo and radiation therapies in the year 2007-08. However, through it all she continued to dance. By bringing laser sharp focus to her dance, in all its multifaceted glory, she successfully tuned out of cancer and Tuned into her dance. She says “My dance saved me from myself”
Home Ted Video Interview
Rajesh Setty – Serial Entrepreneur and writer.
Rajesh Setty is an entrepreneur, author and speaker based in Silicon Valley. Setty serves as the president of Suggestica, Inc. and also serves as the Executive Chairman of Jiffle, Inc. Setty is involved in multiple startups (India, Germany, Silicon Valley) as a board member, advisor and/or investor.
Setty wrote and published his first book when he was thirteen and got five other books published before he was sixteen. Setty is the author of “Beyond Code” (Foreword by Tom Peters) published in late 2005 and also the author of “Upbeat: Cultivating the Right Attitude to Thrive in Tough Times” (Foreword by Russ Fradin, chairman and CEO of Hewitt Associates) published in May 2009.
Setty has been involved with social media since 2003 and maintains a blog called Life Beyond Code where he has published more than 1300 articles on Leadership, Entrepreneurship and simply Living a Life Beyond Code. Life Beyond Code was named as one of the “Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs in 2008” by HRWorld. Setty’s manifesto, (at ChangeThis.com) “25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself” is one of the Top 5 Downloaded Manifestos on the site. His eBook “Personal Branding for Technology Professionals” has been downloaded more than 160,000 times.
Setty has spoken to audiences in several countries both at conferences and within companies. His 90-minute program on how to increase leverage in your life, “The Fulcrum Effect,” is available on DVD.
Setty lives with his wife Kavitha and their son Sumukh in Silicon Valley. You can read more about him at www.rajeshsetty.com/about/
Achyut Palav – Renowned Calligrapher
Achyut Palav is one of the greatest in the art of calligraphy. His passion for writing started in 1963 when his professor asked him to write on the board! He completed his education in Graphic Design from Sir J.J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai.
Even with only little support from the family, Palav, who was inspired by Professor R.K.Joshi A talented calligrapher, decide to pursue his passion. His works have been exhibited at many art exhibitions around the world and also won many awards including a national award.
Starting his career making wedding cards and name plates, he is now one of the finest and well renowned calligraphers in the world. “When a person takes a pen in his/her hand, he/she becomes a calligrapher. There are no age criteria or any hard and fast rule for calligraphy. Spontaneity is the soul of any work. It can depict everything that catches our mind. One must enjoy the beauty of letters and lines. When artist’s creativity and vision go hand-in-hand, it can create wonders,” asserts Palav.
Along with brush rollers and pipe, he also makes use of toothbrushes, injection syringes, wooden flat spoons and kitchen platform cleaners to create his creations. “In the calligraphic work, the force, energy, pressure and the tool come together. The artist has to visualize the design and use imagination in selecting the correct tool” he adds.
Even today he says that he has just begun the journey towards his destination and still has a long way to go.
Aditya – Technology Enthusiast
Aditya is a technology enthusiast, a 21st century nomad and a social innovation junkie based in the UK. Since Aditya left the shores of India 10 years back to pursue further studies he hasn’t stopped traveling, imbibing new cultures, making new friends, but more importantly understanding the world and viewing India through myriad lenses. For the last 10 years Aditya has traveled extensively and lived across continents in Colorado, California, Pennsylvania in the US, Edinburgh in Scotland, Gurgaon in India and Bath in the UK. Apart from leading the mobile networks practice for ABI Research, one of the premier technology market research firms in the world, Aditya is devoting his spare time to developing a pet project known as RiseCamp. RiseCamp is essentially a bootcamp for aspiring social entrepreneurs. His vision is to see social innovation being sparked across towns and cities in India by bringing people from varied disciplines and backgrounds to ultimately create a generation of social innovators.
Ramesh Manickam – Designer of Royal Enfield Thunderbird, Founder of Centroid creative Hubb.
Ramesh Manickam is the founder and CEO of Centroid Creative Hubb an Industrial Design firm based in Chennai, to practice and push boundaries in industrial design work in India.
Ramesh as an Industrial designer has styled products ranging from Tractors, wheel loaders, motorcycles, water heaters, baby warmer till pens. In the past 10 years he has worked on more than about 80 different projects giving creative design solutions and designing to context for his clients. The projects / products range from varying scale of complexity from mass-produced till one off products.
Ramesh represented India as a National finalist in International Young Design entrepreneur of the year 2006, award conducted by British council to nurture design entrepreneurship. He is also a
His passion from child hood is to keep drawing, he is a self thought artist, studied civil engineering, and aligned his career in Industrial Design. Before starting Centroid, he was with Royal Enfield, as an automotive designer and designed the legendary Thunderbird Motorcycle.
GRK Reddy – CMD, MARG Group.
After finishing a post graduation in commerce and and honorary degree from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management, G R K Reddy began his career in the banking industry in 1985. In 1994, he became the managing director of the MARG group. MARG is an infrastructure development group based out of Chennai. He has made MARG a leading player in the south in the infrastructure and real estate category, thanks to the many projects like MARG Swarnabhoomi and MARG Tapovan.
He gave Chennai its first City level Marathon at MARG swarnabhoomi and also held the very famous A.R.Rahman’s LIVE concert Jai Ho. MARG has now ventured into Sri Lanka and Maldives and is gradually spreading into many other Asian countries.
GRK Reddy is also actively involved in Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a premier Industry Association in India. He is also a member of various prestigious committees that include.
CII Tamilnadu, CEO Forum ,
Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Rural Technology & Business Incubator (RTBI) ,
Director, Business Advisory Committee Member, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai ,
Academic Council of the Anna University, Chennai.
Mr.Sashi Kumar – Chairman – Media Development Foundation & Asian College of Journalism,Journalist, Filmmaker.
Sashi Kumar is a journalist, national TV anchor, flim maker, producer and entrepreneur. Sashi Kumar is a well-known media educator and commentator, and chairman of the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India.
After graduating from Loyola College Madras, he completed his post graduation in history from Madras Christian College. In the late seventies he was among the earliest Newscasters in English on Doordarshan and he became a familiar face in TV households in India.
He took a break from television, and plunged into the print medium, between 1984 and 1986 when he was the first West Asia Correspondent of The Hindu daily and Frontline.
He authored and presented independent Programme’s on the economy on Indian television like money matters, Tana Bana, Jan Manch etc. Sashi Kumar is a well-known film-maker. One of his famous films was taken in 16 mm on a friend fighting cancer titled ‘Vijayalakshmi, the story of a young woman with cancer. In 2004 Sashi Kumar let his most enduring passion take over again, and scripted and directed a full length feature film in Hindi titled ‘Kaya Taran’ (Chrysalis).
In 1992 he founded and launched Asianet, India’s first satellite TV channel in a regional language. Telecasting in Malayalam, the channel was targeted at Kerala and the large diaspora of Malayalees in the rest of India and the Gulf states. Simultaneously he also launched Asianet Satcom, a cable company in Kerala that took up state-wide cabling using the electricity poles. Asianet Satcom was the first state-wide cable system in India.
Between 1986 and 1992 he was Chief Producer of the news agency Press Trust of India’s Television wing, PTI-TV, Doordarshan. Towards the latter part of this period he was also, concurrently, Deputy General Manager of the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Sashi Kumar then founded the Media Development Foundation as a nonprofit public Trust dedicated to excellence in journalism education and best practices in the profession. He set up the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.
He received the Vijayaraghavan Memorial Award for contribution to Journalism, 2007.
He is a member of various Advisory boards which include,
Empowered Committee on Information, Communication & Technology (ICE), Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi.
India Director on the Board of Real News – Independent World Television.
Trustee of the Elizabeth and Malcolm Adiseshiah Trust, Chennai.
Member of the Anjuman (court) of the Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, South Asia Foundation (SAF).
Director on the Board of PANOS India.
Niladri Bose – Radio Jockey, Voice-over Artiste, Wild-Life Photographer.
Niladri Bose, a passionate radio student from Melbourne, he started his career in RJing way back in 1995 with Times FM, a manual station hired out of AIR. A fine RJ is one who is aware of current affairs and the world around him, good voice is just a bonus, Niladri Bose was blessed with these skills and he is a friend to his audience and he never expected to be considered as a celebrity.
Niladri Bose was one of the first RJs of the country. Niladri is right now associated with Hello FM 106.4 MHz and hosting a three hour weekend program called “Slam” popular Tamil club music. Way back he used to host an evening of ‘FM with Love’, a Western music programme at 107 MHz on All India Radio. He manages his studio in Chennai where he also conducts workshop for aspiring RJs.
Another expertise to Niladri’s list is wild-life photography. He has worked with India’s renowned wild life cinematographer Alphonse Roy. He did interesting films on elephants and mahouts.
Apart from running his own studio, he is also a popular voice-over artiste and he is the voice behind famous ads like Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi and many more. Inviting discussions over events that can’t be ignored, but Niladri ensures that he is not yet another Ostrich on radio.
Sidharth Rao – Delivery Head – eMantras, National Snooker Champion and DJ.
Sidharth Rao has been working with computers almost for 20 years, and he started off coding games in BASIC on a Sinclair Spectrum, which started off his love for computers, gadgets and games. His primary interest though is on the designing side but he still works on Graphic Design, Web Design and User Interface Design. Sidharth Rao currently works as a Delivery Head at Emantras, a company that specializes in training and educational solutions.
Sidharth Rao is a sports freak and he is into snooker. He is proud that he represents his country at international events from 1994 right until 2006. He was ranked among the top 8 in the country consistently for every year that he played competitively and was ranked No.1 as the Indian National Champion in 1996. He has played at the World Championships, Asian Championships, World Cup, World Team Championships and the Asian Team Championships over the years.
Music has been his biggest passion all through his life. He is DJing for over 15 years and had the chance to play at some of the best clubs in the country as well as international gigs at London and Maldives, and have also won the DMC DJ Mixing Championships held at Chennai in 2000. He loves to play house music in his primary sets. He studied Piano up to Grade 7 with the Trinity College of London and also plays the Guitar, and over the last few years he started producing his own music in his modest home studio.
Raja Sanyal – Head of Marketing Barclays Wealth India.
Raja Sanyal is the head of marketing for Barclays Wealth in India. Prior to joining Barclays, he was heading private banking and wealth management marketing for ICICI bank in India. Raja has been in the banking and finance industry in marketing and sales roles for more than 8 years which includes 4 year stints with ICICI bank and ABN AMRO respectively. In a career spanning 11 years Raja has worked with media houses, dot com’s and banks and is a guest speaker at various reputed institutes.
Raja Samyal is a B.Sc. statistics, who firmly believes that effective knowledge transcends academic boundaries to those who seek it the “think of your own and do it yourself” way.
Apart from being an instinctive foodie, his interests include bag packing, writing poetry, listening to retro music and aims to learn the guitar and salsa sometime soon.
Vasu Dixit – Visual Communication Designer, Composer.
Vasu Dixit is a communication designer by education and a music composer by profession. Vasu completed his bachelors in Fine Arts from CAVA Mysore and joined NID for his Diploma Programme in Design and specialized in Film and Video Communication. Apart from his professional degree, he completed his Diploma Project sponsored by ISKCON, Bangalore.
Vasu Dixit worked at ISKCON for a year in the visual communication department and also worked both as an assistant Director and Director for corporate films at Black Films, Bangalore. After working for corporate films, he realized his passion for movies and started ‘Cinnamon Works’, a film production house doing corporate and ad films.
Vasu Dixit is a trained Carnatic and Classical soulful singer. He is the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and song writer of ‘Swarathma’ a folk-fusion music band in Bangalore. Vasu is a bold free spirit and the band’s inspired composer. His lyrics speak of his sensitive engagement with life, while his stage act speaks of the natural showman he is.
He has been doing jingles and music production as a freelancer. Vasu debuted as a music director for the film ‘Bengaloored’, directed by Swaroop Kanchi. As a hobby he also Freelances as a graphic designer sometimes. Vasu also has a background in theatre, while being a photographer himself.
Nandagopal – Sculptor, founder, Cholamandal Arts Village
Nandagopal is a versatile artist from Bengaluru, Karnataka who is a cholamandal painter, metal worker and ceramist turned into a sculptor. He is a recipient of National Award of Lalit Kala Academy. He has won the prestigious Jindal Stainless Steel award for sculpture. In 1980, he organized India’s first International Sculpture camp at Punjabi Museum, Patiala.
His narrative sculpture oeuvre constitutes one of the most important collections in contemporary Indian sculpture today. Yet while Nandagopal is steeped in the traditions of his country, his work has a contemporary sensibility that speaks beyond the Asian art world, where viewers – even without a knowledge of Indian culture – readily associate his imagery to their own worlds.
The Government of India Honored him with the senior fellowship and he was nominated as an advisor to the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi He was also nominated by the Government of India to serve on the purchase committee of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
Madhu Menon – Chef Shiok Restaurant.
Madhu Menon also called as Madman, the chef and owner of Shiok Far-eastern cuisine in Bangalore. He believes that passion is what separates a good cook from a great cook. 15 years back he used to work with Webhead and revolve around the internet as a geek. Sooner he realized his passion for food and cooking which led him to start Shiok restaurant in Bangalore which is one of his long-term dreams in life.
Madman’s primary interests are technology, cooking, usability and writing, he never mind to call himself as a geek because he chose technology as a mainstream while studying, perhaps he is a technologist by education and a chef by profession.
He also has immense interest and knowledge in psychology, law, marketing, debating, and voice impersonation and Madhu is well-known as a knowledge-keeper.
Christian R Fabre – CEO Christian Fabre Textiles Private Limited , Hindu Monk.
Christian R Fabre is a French man living in South India since 1971 who worked in India for a foreign firm. He was given Sannyas Diksha in 1988. He lives in Kudil (hermitage) which he created in Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu South India. His neighbors introduced him to Hinduism and yoga. The evolution of Swami Pranavanada Brahmendra Avadhuta from Christian R Fabre has all the elements of a thriller, filled with suspense and drama & his life has been a roller coaster ride. He is a sharp tactician and a negotiator.
Christian R. Fabre (CRF) is the CEO of a million dollar garment Exports Company, who is a 63-year-old Frenchman who has lived in India for more than three decades, founded FASHIONS INTERNATIONAL, a reputed Garment Buying Agency in Chennai after working for a leather company in India. Presently the organization is known as Christian Fabre Textiles Private Limited (CFTPL) with two Divisions viz.
Fashions International is for International business and StudioFi for the domestic activity merging to form a single entity. His overwhelming attachment to the Fashion world coupled with his entrepreneurial capabilities has taken Fashions International to a position of strength and recognition.
Christian R Fabre’s primary interests is towards Spirituality, Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, Nature and helping people to acquire awareness of their Divinity.
Smita Ram – Co-founder & COO, RangDe.
Smita Ramakrishna has a Master’s degree in social work and has specialized in medical and psychiatric social work. Soon after her post graduation, she worked in the voluntary sector for a couple of years and then went to the United Kingdom. She worked for the local government in Oxford first for Children with disabilities and then for a project called Learning Communities After a four year stint in the UK, she relocated to India to start Rang De.
Rang De is a web -based social initiative that supports rural entrepreneurs from low income households with cost-effective micro-credit. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Rang De. The two year old start up has reached out to 2500 micro-entrepreneurs in 10 states across India and the organization which continues to spread to other states as well.
Smita believes that professionalism and transparency are the two important values that are non-negotiable for the Rang De team.
interview Media Home
David Appasamy – Executive Vice President – Sify Technologies Limited,India.
David Appasamy is the Executive Vice President of Sify Technologies Limited, India, responsible for Marketing, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations for the company.
His business experience of about 30 years spans Sales & Marketing, Advertising, Business Strategy, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Management. He has worked in the hotel industry, advertising industry and Internet & Network services with industry leaders ITC Sheraton, DDB Mudra and Sify Technologies Limited.
He is the Vice Chair of the Internet and Telecoms Infrastructure & Services Task Force of the EBITT Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Harish Gandhi – Executive Director, Canaan Partners.
Harish Gandhi is an Executive Director at Canaan Partners, a global venture capital company focusing on early stage investments in the technology, telecom and services sector in India.
Harish is a recognized thought leader in the international telecommunications sector and has over 15 years of industry and operating experience in both India and the U.S. Prior to joining Canaan, Harish spent 12 years in the U.S. in various engineering, product marketing and business development roles – and has spent the past few years guiding the strategic development of next-generation services at some the world’s largest mobile companies.
Before relocating to India in 2004, Harish worked as Director of Business Development at Dilithium Networks, where he built the company’s business in the U.S. and Japan and also led product marketing. Harish has also worked at Bain & Company as a management consultant, focusing on technology and semiconductor companies as well as in the private equity practice; and also at LCC International as a radio systems engineer responsible for designing, deploying and optimizing mobile networks for U.S. operators.
Harish has BA in technology from IIT Bombay, a MS from the University of Maryland, and an MBA from the Wharton Business School.
Goutam Seetharaman – Architect, Trustee – Centre for Vernacular Architecture.
Goutam is an architect specializing in vernacular architecture. He is one of the trustees of the TRUST “Centre for vernacular Architecture”. His architectural practice promotes the use of locally available materials, traditional building techniques, culturally, climatically, ecologically sensitive building design.
Goutam’s core strength lies in the judicious use of materials, understanding the local architecture of any particular region and building with local skills in a simple way with related to his work in vernacular architecture.
Goutam Seetharaman sees architecture more as a craft than technology, than bringing a new sense of aesthetics in his buildings.
V.Ramnarayan – Adviser – Corporate Communications, Sanmar Corporate Division.
Ramnarayan is a B.Sc. graduate specialized in Chemistry. He is the Editor-in-chief, in Sruti magazine, Adviser-Corporate Communications, The Sanmar Group, and Adjunct Professor in Asian College of Journalism.
Ramnarayan is an Author and translator as well and he has contributed articles/columns to the Times of India, Cricinfo, The Economic Times, The Week, The Sportstar, Sportsweek, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Amudhasurabi. He won Crossword National Award 2007 for a Star-Crossed, an English translation of an Ashokamitran novel.
He deserves to be mentioned that he has edited over 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction and Gandharva Ganam, the GNB centenary commemorative volume.
Ramnarayan has also published quite a few famous books like Mosquitos and Other Jolly Rovers, The Story of Tamil Nadu Cricket the Romance of Tamil Nadu Cricket an official history of TN cricket, RK Swamy’s, life in advertising, a biography. He is a co-author with Mr.S Muthiah, All in the Game, a pictorial history of the Madras Cricket Club and a cricket book, Winning Through. He is Major contributor to The Spirit of Chepauk, the history of the Madras Cricket Club by Mr.S.Muthiah.
Ramnarayan won Award for Media Excellence 2009 from International Foundation for Fine Arts given away by the Music Forum of India.
Ramnarayan is very active in cricket. He has enjoyed an outstanding career as a cricketer. As an off spin bowler he was rated by critics and cricketers alike as one of the best in the country. He takes the privilege of representing Hyderabad in the company of illustrious cricketers.