Browsing: People

Profiles of the famous & the infamous, ordinary & the extraordinary people

0 Vikas Reddy – Panoramic Dreamer

Last year Vikas Reddy and co-founder Jeff Powers of Occipital, a start-up in Boulder, Co, were listed in the 30 under 30 – America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine.

Vikas and Jeff came up with an innovative price checker called RedLaser, a free scanning application for iPhone and Android that has been downloaded over 8 million times. They sold RedLaser to eBay for an undisclosed amount, and now are creating and fine-tuning 360 Panorama, an exciting new product which enables computers to see like the human eye.

0 Rahim Fazal the Involver

At 21, Rahim Fazal was the youngest CEO ever to head a publicly traded company. He was the celebrity entrepreneur whose face was splashed in newspapers and who at 16 had already sold another company for $1.5 million. But within a year his new company was in trouble, and he had to walk away from it – to study in a community college since he had hardly finished high school. Talk about ups and downs!

Rahim, who was named amongst America’s top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 by Inc. magazine and amongst the top 25 digital thought leaders by iMedia, has had enough twists and turns in his life to be worthy of a Hollywood – or Bollywood – movie!

0 MyCityWay: Three Explorers in the City

In our virtual world anyone can become an instant expert on any city – thanks to MyCityWay, an innovative mobile app designed by the team of Archana Patchirajan, Puneet Mehta and Sonpreet Bhatia, three immigrants from India who’ve made New York home and achieved the American Dream.

MyCityWay just raised $ 5 million in financing from BMW i Ventures, FirstMark Capital and IA Ventures and you may see this app in BMW cars in the future. This little app, which can be downloaded free on your mobile and offers you a comprehensive grid of the city, is currently available in 40 cities and the plan is to bring it to 40 more.

1 Indian Entrepreneurs in Social Media Start-ups

In a world where the computer is king, the Internet is all-powerful and Facebook and Twitter reign, social media is the newest and hottest turf to be conquered.

For each of these innovative entrepreneurs, who are in their 20’s and 30’s, the world to be conquered is virtual but the treasures to be won are very real – millions of dollars for successful start-ups, fame, fortune and fans globally.

Meet the creators of five start-ups everyone is buzzing about – Foursquare, Involver, MyCityWay, Occipital and Radium One. In our increasingly interconnected world where Mumbai and Manhattan are just a click away, you will soon be using their creations if you are not already…

8 Anoop Desai – Zero Hero

Great news for Anoop Desai fans – they are going to get not one but three albums from him this year, as part of the Zero trilogy. Songs like ‘Worth the Wait’, ‘Want your Love’ and ‘OoWee’ can be downloaded for free – in fact the entire ‘Zero.O ‘ can be downloaded. The light-hearted ‘OoWee’ is just the right number to hear now – fun and very danceable, it makes you think of Spring. And Anoop is giving away the album – so here’s a chance to download it and also watch his new music video. Also learn how you can support the efforts of this independent artiste who does not have a big label behind him.

0 Padma Lakshmi Gives Back to EFA

If you want to see Padma Lakshmi break into a smile, all you have to do is ask her about her little girl, Krishna. “She’s wonderful, she’s healthy!” she beams. “We went to the zoo today – it was such a beautiful day! She’s the light of my life and I am very thankful to have her!”

She adds, “And I might not have had her if it wasn’t for the fact that I was diagnosed by Dr. Tamer Seckin and I got the help I needed. I can’t stress that enough – I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have a baby and the fact that I have her is a gift of God and this is just my way of saying thank you.”

‘This’ was the Blossom Ball at the New York Public Library to raise awareness and funds for the Endometriosis Foundation of America, and Padma Lakshmi, who is the co-founder with Dr. Seckin, was on the red carpet at the gala, looking stunning in a Sabyasachi saree.

3 Chandrika Tandon at the Grammy Awards

I interviewed Chandrika Tandon for The Wall Street Journal just before the Grammy Awards and asked her for her thoughts on the Prize.
“That’s not the way I think of my life; I don’t think of winning or losing. I think of the Grammys as a happening at a point in time. I’m not trying to use this as a stepping stone to something else. I live by the words of the mystic Kabir:

‘When ‘I’ was there, the Divine was missing.

When ‘I’ left, the Divine took over. ‘

So the quest is to lose myself and go with the flow.”

She spoke about her childhood, her passion for music and how the worlds of business and art intersect. You can read the full interview at The Wall Street Journal

8 Radhika Vaz, Unladylike and Loving it

Have you met Radical – I mean – Radhika Vaz? Known as Rad for short, this stand up comic and sketch artist is the mouthpiece for all that women have been dying to say – but were too afraid to, or perhaps too ladylike. Vaz’s new one woman show ‘Unladylike’ takes on everything one would hesitate to discuss in polite company. It’s all about letting your hair down and speaking your mind.

1 Chandrika Tandon’s Healing Mantra

Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon, the dynamic chairman of Tandon Capital Associates, who has done major restructuring surgeries in the global financial world, is executive-in-residence at New York University Stern, a member of the board of overseers of New York’s Stern School of Business, a member of the President’s Council of International Activities at Yale University, and an arts patron.
There’s more: she has the voice of an angel. ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ is the chant that will calm and strengthen you. Newsbreak: Soul Call has just been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category

1 Parul Patel – the Eggless Cake Designer

She’s made Madhur Jaffrey, Preity Zinta, Yoko Ono and even Cherie Blair, the former First Lady of Britain, taste her cakes. She says with a smile, “Preity Zinta called them ‘yummy’; Yoko Ono said ‘Nice cupcakes’ and Cherie Blair said, ‘These are great!’”
Indeed, if Parul Patel has a mission in life, it’s to get a cupcake inside you!
(Parul offers a tasting to Britain’s former First Lady, Cherie Blair, at a fundraiser)

1 Isheeta Ganguly’s ‘Damaru’ Across Continents

Bollywood fans will be intrigued to know that their favorite hunk John Abraham is part of ‘Damaru’, Isheeta Ganguly’s new album – in a very different way than they usually envisage him. Rather than a Bollywood hero, his is the thoughtful, strong voice behind the words of “Bande Mataram” and the Tagore poem, “Where the Mind is Without Fear”.

0 Shabana Azmi in Broken Images

Imagine this: just one actor on stage. No set transformations, no costume changes, little or no action. Yet you sit for a full hour, totally engrossed, and are almost surprised to find that, though you’ve sat immobile in your seat, you’ve traveled into complex worlds, into the innermost reaches of mind and heart.

Few people could pull this off but the combination of actor Shabana Azmi, director Alyque Padamsee and playwright Girish Karnad makes ‘Broken Images’ a play to watch and relish.

0 Harvard’s Nitin Nohria – The Arc of leadership

“My father was a CEO, so I grew up in a family that gave me a very real sense of the positive impact that business can have upon society – from providing goods and services to creating jobs to building entire communities,” says Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School.

0 Divya Gugnani Cooks Up a Start-Up

Tired of your desk job and longing to take on the world? Love food and want to follow your culinary dreams? Yes, it can be done. Take a page or two from the game plan of Divya Gugnani, a New Yorker who chucked her day job to create her own nascent start-up, Behind the Burner.

1 Anoop Desai after American Idol

Pop artist Anoop Desai has been on everybody’s radar ever since he became a finalist on the eighth season of “American Idol.” Now his first independently released EP ‘All is Fair’ has hit the airwaves. His new single is titled ‘My Name.’

Was growing up in North Carolina with a name like Anoop difficult?
“Kids made fun of it all the time, in the school bus, and I remember coming home from kindergarten and demanding that my mom change my name, because I wanted to be a Bill or something,” he recalls.

“I cringe at that now because I am lucky to have my name, lucky to have my culture. That’s what makes me unique and a lot of people don’t have that.”

1 Jai Ho A.R. Rahman

Like hundreds of fans, I’m headed out for the AR Rahman show tonight. Will have a report for you tomorrow. Meanwhile some Rahmanisms to keep you going!
I recalled a very different, calmer afternoon with Rahman several years ago when I was doing an interview with him for Beliefnet, the spirituality website. It was a one-on-one with the maestro in his hotel room and his staff had placed an Indian lunch for us on the table. Learning that I was fasting on that day, Rahman himself disappeared and returned with a glass of orange juice which he silently placed before me. Such is his empathy for other people.

1 Dan Nainan’s Funny Money

He’s fifty percent Japanese and fifty percent Indian, so does that make him a Lexus-Nano hybrid? Or a Toyota-Ambassador? This might be my own sorry attempt at stand-up, but Dan Nainan’s mixed heritage has certainly had him laughing all the way to the moolah house. Always squeaky clean, his humor has found many takers in the South Asian community across the diaspora. Here the funny man answers some serious questions.

1 Narayana Murthy’s Roadmap for 2010


Stare at the numerical long enough and you get the sense of the start of an almost futuristic, hefty new decade. At such a moment, it’s a good idea to evaluate the past and think about the future by sharing some thoughts from N.R. Narayana Murthy, the founder-chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd.
His ideas could be a road map, a blueprint for a better tomorrow. In just two words, his mantra for a better world – Inclusive Growth.

3 The New Global Indians

There was a time in the old days in India when it was regarded as almost sacrilegious to cross the oceans, and to leave one’s homeland was to leave it forever. Now, hopping between continents and countries and cities has become commonplace and there’s a new breed of global Indians who think nothing of breakfast in one country and dessert in another, with homes, networks and emotional ties in multiple cities.

0 Naeem Khan Designs for Michelle Obama

A visit to Naeem Khan’s penthouse showroom is like being transported into a different world. It’s embedded in the bustling garment district of New York with its countless wholesale showrooms, and you see racks of dresses and the occasional store mannequin being ferried on the crowded pavements. Ascend to Khan’s 10th floor showroom, and you are in an 18,000 foot space with soaring ceilings and a touch of 30’s Hollywood.
Ever since the news broke that he was designing First Lady Michelle Obama’s gown for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Khan’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Now with the passing of a few weeks, I managed to have a face-to-face chat with him, asking him of course, about the famous dress.