If You Have A Pretty Face, Use It To Get Your Job Done

Updated: Nov 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
While most kids want to get out of the shadows of their illustrious parents, I have used my fathers image and his knowledge base to get that extra edge, says the confident 23-year-old Rangita Pritish Nandy, executive producer, Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC).

Rangita Pritish Nandy
Though it might sound straight out of Bollywood tear-jerker, the truth is that I have creativity in my blood; it comes to me naturally, she says with her characteristic no-nonsense attitude. Ms Nandy, like most fresh graduates had to start her career at PNC as a production trainee. For a paltry salary, which she claims was even lower than the peons, her job was to ensure a square meal and clean bathrooms for every member of the production team. Since then, Ms Nandy has worked extra hard to prove that she has what it takes to achieve.

She was still in college when she did her internships with Ogilvy & Mather and Percept for her vocational subject: Advertising, Sales and Marketing. These internships exposed her to the entire gamut of functions in advertising and public relations thereby providing her with an opportunity to consider a career other than journalism. Ms Nandy, who had always wanted to follow her fathers footsteps and become a journalist had changed her plans in college. This was largely because print journalism was going through a transition where she felt that the focus was increasingly shifting to fun and entertainment and Ms Nandy always wanted to become an investigative journalist.

She made her decision to take up production as a career after she worked hands on, for the first event, the company produced in 1998, The Viewers Choice Movie Awards. In 1999, after completing her graduation from HR College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai, she joined PNC full time.

After starting at the very basic level, Ms Nandy embarked upon a rigorous self-imposed, training schedule where she would act as a production facilitator during shoots and learn post production work at the editing table of the companys tele serials.

In 2000, it was a dream come true for her when Khwahish went on air. Ms Nandy was responsible for this serial right from the conceptualising stage to ensuring that tapes reached the channel at the right time. While, seeing Khawhish on air for the first time continues to be the moment closest to her heart, it was also a turning point in her career. The lukewarm response to Khwahish proved, that the audience was not yet ready for a programme that despite being technically superior, looked at an unconventional theme beyond the bahu-beti-bhabhi brigade and exposed the real world of glamour albeit through fiction. We at PNC realised that we are very different as a content company and what was selling was not our forte, says Ms Nandy. With Bollywood Calling, Ms Nandy got the first opportunity to delve into film production. My television experience came in handy as I was used to small budgets, says Ms Nandy.

While creativity comes to her naturally, she believes it is her capacity to pull the purse strings all through, that gives her the edge. I love the budgeting bit, and right from the onset I am very clear about how to recover the money we spend. Creativity without a clear-cut business model does not make any sense for me, she says.

Is it difficult to work for her fathers firm I had to eat lunch all alone for nearly over a year. No one was willing to share anything with me, she confesses candidly. While everyone expected me to fall flat on my face, my father pushed me into the deep end of the pool and expected me to swim my way through, which I did, she says. She believes, ever since her first show went on air, people have started viewing her differently. Today, most of the creative decisions are taken by Mr Pritish Nandy along with her. I have fought for the place I have and I have used my fathers brand equity effectively. I never sign my name as Rangita Nandy but always as Rangita Pritish Nandy. I believe if you have a pretty face, you should use it to get your job done, and if you can add a name like Pritish Nandy to yours, you might as well draw the benefits from it, she says rather nonchalantly.

Today, while she is simultaneously working on a number of big movie projects like Kaante, Jhankar Beats, Mumbai Matinee, she is also actively involved with her first brick and mortar creation: Moksh. In late 2001, Ms Nandy set up the Moksh, a luxury club at Peddar Road in Mumbai. Moksh not only hosts Sin, one of the most happening cafe, bar and bistro in the city but also a beauty parlour and a Spa. It is this business which has taken a lot of my energy and has enabled me to create a not just metallic tapes but brick and mortar content for PNC, says Ms Nandy.

Currently, with the Indian influence predominating the West, Ms Nandy is trying to grab opportunities of setting up similar clubs in international markets. She has even earmarked November 2003 by when, she plans to give New York and London a taste of what Moksh is.

Ms Nandy is an avid reader of facts and fictions, but shies ways from any self-help books. She keeps herself updated with what is happening with global cinema by watching movies from across the globe. I watch movies to map technological progress and not to be inspired by them, she laughs.