Posts Tagged ‘Nilekani’

Design Fridays

Design Fridays is a design-centric event held every two months, at a moveable location somewhere in Bangalore. Created and propelled by the people at Ray+Keshavan | The Brand Union, the event is a welcome opportunity for creative professionals in Bangalore to meet, mingle, and at least in my case, to feel a lot less isolated :)

Each Design Friday features a presentation by a prominent design professional from a given area: branding, typography, painting, industrial design, and so on. The presentation is followed by Q&A, then dinner and mingle time.

This particular evening, the location was the beautiful Park Hotel downtown, and the presenting guest was Gautam Rajadhyaksha, probably India’s best known celebrity photographer. He was a delight to listen to, generously sharing behind the scenes stories and technical insights. He was also really delightful in personal conversation afterward; he still shoots film mostly, and was quite curious about my 5D Mark II, and about Lightroom. We promised to deliver a copy to him in Mumbai with a personal demo sometime soon :)

The other, equally luminous, stars of the show were the attendees: every conversation we had afterwards was engaging and fun. The guests included architects, business people, entrepreneurs, designers, musicians and more. In fact, I think we may have made a few future friends.

For me, one of the most memorable meetings of the evening was with this gentleman, Mr. Nandan Nilekani. Among his many achievements, he has been the Chairman and CEO of Infosys, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009, the author of a very successful forward-thinking book, Imagining India, and a guest on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show; and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The buzz around Nandan Nilekani now is about his recent Cabinet appointment: India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, hand-picked Mr. Nilekani for a very interesting Cabinet post, only a couple of weeks ago.

I am sure Mr. Nilekani thought me a bit of a dope, as I was fairly starstruck. It’s never fame that impresses me, it’s competence, and I am rendered even more stupid than usual in the presence of someone with such accomplishment and ability. I do hope if Mr. Nilekani ever reads this, he will accept my apologies for any goofy behavior. I am now kicking myself for squandering the opportunity to ask him a couple of more meaningful questions… ah well :)

Thanks indeed to my friend Jaydeep Dutta for encouraging us to attend and making us feel so welcome.