"Personally speaking, I was just another introvert – fresh out of school petrified to even introduce myself and exactly a year later I was giving speeches! Rajita ma’m had really interesting methods to conduct her classes (I still have this CD that was given out to everyone which had their first speech/presentation and the final one)."
A management student turned professional dancer turned film producer, Nikhil started his career in filmmaking in 2015 with his maiden feature length production ‘MANTRA’ starring Kalki Koechlin, Rajat Kapoor and Adil Hussain. The film had it's world premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival and had won People's choice award at the south asian international film festival, New York.
Watch the trailer (available on Netflix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odj0uh0exGM&t=1s
His film ‘YOURS TRULY’ starring Soni Razdan, Mahesh Bhatt and Pankaj Tripathi has premiered at the prestigious Busan International Film festival this year.
He is currently working on his third production titled ‘KADAKH’, directed by two time national award winner ‘Rajat Kapoor’.
Before venturing into films, Nikhil was a professional Bollywood, contemporary dancer and a part of Shiamak davar’s troupe for close to five years until a knee injury forced him to quit dancing. Shiamak davar is a noted choreographer and is also know as the guru of contemporary dance in India.
Nikhil holds a masters degree in management and finance from The Indian Institute of Planning and Management.
Q. As an entrepreneur what have been your key leanings about the business of film making ?
A. It has only been a little over two years for me in this industry, i am learning everyday! When I started I had no idea about the business, we made a film and then jumped into the market to see what can we do with it. The golden rule is simple - the audience is everything, and sooner or later every filmmaker realises this. Also, film business is all about law of averages. Every film you make is not going to get you money and you can’t count on just one film to make it happen. The important thing is to keep it going.
Q. Tell us about your future plans and your upcoming films.
A. There are two films that I am working on currently. The first one is called ‘YOURS TRULY’ (cast: Soni Razdan, Pankaj Tripathi, Mahesh Bhatt and Aahana Kumra )that premiered at the prestigious Busan Film festival (South Korea). The film is also traveled to Kolkata International Film festival for a special screening. Watch the trailer https://youtu.be/w7cWHkOe4Kg
The second project is called ‘KADAKH’. That has an exciting ensemble cast of actors like Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Rajat Kapoor among others. The film is under post production currently. I am also developing a script right now that I want to direct myself next year. Hope it works out fine!
Q. What is the best advice you ever got? From whom ?
A. Has to be from my guru Shiamak. I remember him telling this to everyone around him “Believe in yourself, no matter what they say.” I think if you are really honest with yourself as to what do you want from life, life gives it to you.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree ? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. Totally second that. I think the top most virtue of any leader is good communication. You can only have a following if you can inspire people through your words or actions. What makes a great leader is their ability to share their vision, motive, values and ideas with their listeners.
Executive communication / Personality development classes as a part of our entrepreneurial curriculum was of great help. Personally speaking, I was just another introvert – fresh out of school petrified to even introduce myself and exactly a year later I was giving speeches! Rajita ma’m had really interesting methods to conduct her classes (I still have this CD that was given out to everyone which had their first speech/presentation and the final one).
I think I am definitely much more confident and I’ll be forever grateful to Rajita ma’m and other mentors at IIPM.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. DREAM IT. DO IT.
Q. What motivates you ?
A. Traveling and watching films.
Q. Which other company apart from yours do you admire the most ?
A. Drishyam Films
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
Q. Your favourite movie ?
A. There are quite a few - The Terminal / Wild Tales / October / Aakhon Dekhi
Q. Your favourite actors ?
A. Tom Hanks / Neil Patrick Harris / Varun Dhawan / Ranbir Kapoor
Q. Your favourite actress ?
A. Jennifer Aniston/ Anne Hathaway/ Alia Bhatt
Q. Favourite song ?
A. With or Without You (U2)