Art & CultureSanaya Ardeshir | 25
Electronic music artiste
Sanaya Ardeshir studied economics in Mumbai, before earning a degree in music production from London’s Point Blank Music College. Producer, deejay, composer and synth player, her solo electronic music project, Sandunes, is heavily influenced by UK’s underground electronica. Jazz, blues and soul background also plays a major role in shaping her soundscape. Classically-trained, this four-release-old musician released a two-track EP titled Temper Tonic in 2012. In the same year, she teamed up with musician Sahej Bakshi and Kolkata producer/drummer Jivraj Singh to form the Dualist Inquiry Band. In 2013, Rolling Stone India listed her among the 10 Indian electronic artistes to watch out for. She released her debut album, Ever Bridge, in September 2014. Ujwal Nagar | 27
Hindustani classical vocalist
He hails from the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music and has trained under Ustad Bashir Ahmed Khan of Sikar. Son of kathak and Hindustani music exponent Urmila Nagar, Ujwal typifies the new-age Indian classical musician who has dabbled in various genres without compromising on tradition. His work with pianist Terry made an impressive impact in the US; some of their work could also be heard as the background score for the documentary Dalai Lama Renaissance narrated by Harrison Ford. Ujwal is an acclaimed soloist and tabla player too, and has been awarded the Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarship for his relentless pursuit of Indian classical music. He serves as the lead vocalist of Delhi-based classical-rock band Advaita. Sahej Rahal | 27
Sahej Rahal is a Mumbai-based performance artist whose acts include mythical characters in modern public spaces, experimenting with the manner in which his audience reacts to the absurd figures he transforms into. He explores the physical and visual symbolisms of masculinity, while at the same time, ridiculing their absurdities. Although he trained as a painter at the Rachana Sansad Academy of Fine Art, Rahal has taken to putting together narratives from ‘found’ objects; discarded things, he believes, have their own stories that fit and fight with each other. He’s the recipient of many prestigious international awards, including the Inlaks Fine Arts Award 2012 and the Forbes India Art Award for Solo Show of the Year (Debut) in 2014.
EntertainmentTahir Raj Bhasin | 27
Tahir Raj Bhasin’s menacing portrayal as the kingpin of a child trafficking racket in Mardaani
had everyone, including Aamir Khan, raving about him. Though he had acted in a couple of films previously, Mardaani
got him recognition from within and outside the industry. Bhasin has been acting since he was 13 and has trained under theatre veteran Barry John. After completing his Master’s in Film from The University of Melbourne, Bhasin came to Mumbai to become an actor. Directors are now keen on casting him, saying his talent is waiting to explode. Radhika Apte | 29
An economics and maths graduate from Pune’s Fergusson College, Radhika Apte has been widely acclaimed for her roles in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu and Tamil films as well as her body of work in theatre. Her performances have caught the eye of several filmmakers who approach her with roles of substance. In 2009, Apte played the lead in the National Award-winning Bengali film Antaheen
. Her Bollywood films include Sarkar
in the City; she also starred in Anurag Kashyap’s short film on eve teasing, That Day After Everyday
Nikhil Thampi | 28
With no formal training in fashion, Nikhil Thampi first showcased his collection at the 2011 Lakme Fashion Week. Wearability, rather than outlandish creativity, rules the spirit of the label ‘Nikhil Thampi’, which is predominantly targeted at young men and women. Designs include jumpsuits, well-structured shirts and trousers, shift dresses, tailored jackets and a hint of Indian with deconstructed sarees. Thampi has dressed leading Bollywood celebrities, including Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Kajol, Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. He’s been a part of the second season of Style & The City on Fox Traveller, and was the only designer judge on Kingfisher Supermodels Hunt 2014. Rimzim Dadu | 28
Ikat with metal wires, patola with leather cords, redefining jamdani in silicon—exploration is Rimzim Dadu’s second nature. Her approach is unconventional and she likes to dress everyday people in experimental textures. A graduate of Delhi’s Pearl Academy of Fashion, the founder and creator of My Village, Dadu uses traditional Indian techniques and reinvents them. She is one of the few designers to establish a viable business without diluting her brand. My Village is defined by its obsession for details, love for craft, aversion to publicity, and products packaged to serve global aesthetics. Dadu aims to fill the void of luxury ready-to-wear by presenting indigenous textiles through international designs.Social EnterpriseShrey Goyal | 25
Founder, Sustainable Growth Initiative
After graduating from IIT Kharagpur in mining engineering, Shrey Goyal, 25, set up the Sustainable Growth Initiative (SGI), a startup that provides climate change analytics and advisory services. SGI has worked with the erstwhile Planning Commission to help plan through research and policy changes. In December 2014, Goyal won the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award for project Bhungroo (straw, in Gujarati) by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. Goyal worked with a local organisation in Gujarat on the designing and technical aspects of the project, where farmers create a borehole to harvest stormwater. Project Bhungroo was led by local rural women and helped provide abundant water supply to their lands in the dry months.
Art & Culture images by: Shyam Patel
Aakrit Vaish| 28
In August 2013, Vaish developed an FAQ (frequently asked questions) app, which allows customers to chat with experts in real time to resolve queries on products or services. Vaish has a team of experts, which not only helps owners of smartphones, washing machines, TVs, cars etc, but also provides assistance for services such as banking, paying an electricity bill, and even booking a table at a restaurant. The app answers queries related to 200 companies and their products. Among his clients are automobiles companies (BMW, Mercedez-Benz, Honda), banks (HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank), travel and related firms (Jet Airways, Makemytrip.com, Indigo Airlines, etc), online and offline retailers (Amazon, eBay, Croma), and utilities and services companies (Tata Power, Bharat Gas, etc).
Sattvik Mishra| 27
If any video goes viral in India, you’ll possibly see it first on ScoopWhoop.com, a website that curates interesting and trending videos. It also posts articles that are prone to be shared more on social media. ScoopWhoop sets itself apart from just another aggregator site by producing original content, which currently stands at 60 percent. Sattvik Mishra started ScoopWhoop with four friends in 2013. The founders say their website gets 20 million page views a month, has garnered over a million social media shares, and has six to eight million unique visitors. ScoopWhoop is now 30 people strong, and expansion into news and current affairs is next on the agenda.TechnologyAbhinav Shashank | 27
While working for a research project at Harvard University two years ago, Shashank realised the global need for structured and simplified data analysis. In 2012, he, along with four 20-something co-founders, started InnovAccer, a Noida-based data analytics startup, that helps corporates, research houses and think tanks extract intelligence from data. They are backed by US-based venture capitalist and founding partner at 500 Startups Dave McClure, Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India, Phanindra Sama, founder redBus, and Ranga Jayaraman, CIO, Stanford University. Clients include the UN, Harvard University, RBI, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and MIT, among others. The startup was among Nasscom-Emerge 50, League of 10, for the year 2014. Sports
Sardar Singh | 28
At 28, India’s hockey captain Sardar Singh is at the peak of his career. He became the youngest player to captain the team when he took over the reins in the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. In 2014, he led India to a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and a gold at the Asian Games. “Sardar Singh seems to have the allegiance of all his players,” says veteran journalist Ayaz Memon. “Indian hockey has been notorious for being faction-driven, but he’s earned everyone’s respect.”Sandesh Jhingan | 21
His team, Kerala Blasters, lost the final of the inaugural Indian Super League, but the 21-year-old was one of the standout players of the tournament. Central defenders usually mature in their late 20s, but this promising footballer from Chandigarh won many plaudits for his calm, measured play. In 2014, he was awarded the ‘ISL Emerging Player of the League’ and ‘Emerging Footballer of the Year’ by the All India Football Federation.Anirban Lahiri | 27
Last year was outstanding for Anirban Lahiri who became India’s top-ranked golfer at number 64 in the world. He finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and was voted the 2014 Players’ Player of the Year. He won tournaments in Indonesia and Macau, played a pivotal role in the EurAsia Cup and eventually qualified for the European Tour. Lahiri also debuted on the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List in 2014 at number 91. Jaisal Singh | 18
It’s perhaps cricket’s loss that the star batsman of Delhi’s Vasant Valley School decided to take up shooting in the footsteps of Olympian dad Mansher Singh. But given his steep climb in stature in just three years, the decision may well be worth its weight in gold. Singh is currently the No 1 junior double trap shooter in Asia and holds the Asian junior team record in double trap. In November 2014, he won the junior national championships and bagged the silver medal in the senior nationals, beating Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammed Asab and national team member Sangram Dahiya. Malavath Purna | 14
The world’s highest mountain stood dwarfed to a teenager last May, when Malavath Purna made history by being the youngest girl (at 13) to scale its summit. Daughter of farm labourers and a class 9 student of a social welfare residential school in Telangana, Purna was chosen from 150 underprivileged children who were given advanced training in adventure sports. The route from the Tibetan side of Mt Everest, which Purna took and completed in 52 days, has some of the steepest and most perilous climbs. Poised for more highs, Purna reinforces the cliche that nothing is impossible.
Sportsman images from top: N S RAMNATH; PAL PILLAI / ISL / SPORTZPICS; STUART FRANKLIN / GETTY IMAGES; AMIT VERMA; GETTY IMAGES
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(This story appears in the 20 February, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)