Sumon is a chef at heart who wants to run the meatloaf factory from a food truck. Otherwise he is the spanker-in-chief of sentences (into shape) and suffers from severe football-itis. In his previous avatar, for 19 Years, he was a Multi-Platform Journalist who was twice nominated for ‘Best Indian Journalist of the Year’. Starting out as a reporter, Sumon grew into other operational roles including anchor, editor, and managing editor with the role of developing and implementing digital newsrooms while keeping a sharp eye on product growth numbers. He has worked across all possible media platforms– in radio, newspaper, TV, wires, magazine and of course, digital – at CNN-IBN, India Today, TIME, NewsWorld India, NDTV et al, which gives him a natural understanding of synergy in multi-media operations and a 360 view on how to get things done when they get stuck. A quirky black and white soul, he collects wine corks, match boxes, posters and blends some mean cocktails! LIFE’S PARACHUTE: He runs #InsideMyDirtyKitchen as his food hashtag on Instagram and Twitter where many chefs across the world follow him
Tinker. Sailor. Developer. Shy. Ankit is not from IIT or IIM. And that’s his biggest USP – it gives him an unfettered thinking. Ankit has been tinkering with websites since his college days. Just a year after he joined Tehelka’s tech team as an intern, he went on to lead the team and launched Tehelka’s new website. In 2012, he took the plunge and started his own company. His first website, among many other news sites to come, were Satyagraha, which was later acquired by Scroll. Like in those stories, soon the word about him spread and he started getting projects from across the seas. For a Slovakian pub, he created their website that displays their live beer meter online – www.beervana.sk And then from news to e-commerce, his areas of expertise just came increasing. Today, Ankit has at least 50 top notch websites under his belt. Ankit is now a full-time entrepreneur and a part-time ‘WordPress Evangelist’. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: He works on his ‘secret’ communications project for students and academic institutions.
Sujay is a professional pensive who seeks out the efficiencies in the universe and his Uber drivers. Has a passionate hatred for shoe laces and is anxiously waiting for the day velcro comes back into style, and becomes irritable with lack of proper food and rest. Typefaces and info-graphics are his passion. After dabbling in journalism for over 4 years, he became the product head of India’s fastest growing new-media platform in 2014 and now is the go to product guy with the right mix of design, sensibility and reality. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: He is a budding beer pong champion. (Watch this space for more!)
Helped Americans fix their computers in a call centre. Went door to door in chawls for a market research company. Worked lathe machines on a shop floor. Sold loans to farmers in a bank. Led the high life at McKinsey & Co. And then got bored again. Saikat has over a decade of experience in launching, re-engineering and scaling businesses. He loves to get down to the brass tacks, roll up his sleeves and get dirty. Clients across sectors love him for his ability to bring deep customer insight which very often have changed the course of the discussion. Yet his dream life is one on the couch with no real plans and just seeing the world pass by. Till he gets to do that, he keeps himself busy with several industry-first initiatives including designing and issuing debit cards for farmers long before Aadhaar hit us, leading the fastest change management effort in India and one of largest leadership development programs in Indian banking history. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: Dreams. What’s life without them?
What is common between an award-winning dosa and an award-winning video? Both require a perfect pan! Over the last 2 decades, his love for both has taken him to every part of the known land. A multiple award-winning videographer, Koti (as everyone fondly calls him) has worked with several cable networks and media houses including National Geographic Channel, Discovery, MTV, CNBC and CNN-IBN. His penchant for capturing the heart and soul of a story has won him several national and international awards. His film winning the best documentary award at the New York Film Festival in 2008 has been a milestone in his journey towards perfection. Among his accolades are twice being awarded India’s best editor at the Indian Television Academy Awards in 2006 and 2008. Koti has worked with popular TV programmes MTV Roadies and CNN-IBN Citizen Journalist that have been recognised as the Best Reality Shows at the Asian Television Awards. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: To own a building as tall as his dreams
His charm lies not in his lankiness but in the fact that he has more bones than the normal homo sapien. Grapevine has it that Australia refused to renew his visa after 10 years, irked over his penchant for bad jokes. There’s bad jokes, poor jokes and then Arijit jokes – in that order. This after University of Sydney & Central Queensland University alumni worked as an Editor-cum-revamp man of the diaspora newspaper – The Indian Telegraph in Sydney before flying back home (where he once-upon-a-time in school forced his seniors to quit their prefect role just a couple of times) to jump into the new media space in India. Secretly he is also the driving force behind the Indo-Australia Alumni Association and has been profiled in an official documentary by the Aussies as the ideal Indian groom…errr, student and professional. He’s always expanding his network of “friends who can do that” by way of his natural smell-good musk and his reputation as giver of the best hugs. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: Only 15,999 days left until Arijit can retire and do nothing but create bad joke memes on Facebook
He is the head of ‘trending’ Punjabi songs and beyond that, he does the BS like no one else. Having dabbled in various roles as a graphics designer for agencies and television networks, Sumant has stepped into design roles – from digital formats to user interfaces, to create memorable experiences. When he’s not imagining, designing, and building things on our clients’ behalf, this human IMDB is all about beard oils and bhangra. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: There are fewer homo sapiens with such knowledge about cars and bikes
Our resident prankster, this design-ista can often be found on the beaches of Goa. She hails from Kanpur, but beneath her serious demeanour is hidden a female version of Deadpool. Since arriving in New Delhi, she has integrated design productions of all sizes, colours, mediums and aspect ratios. Weekend in sandals, noodles, cakes and being cheesy — both processed and unprocessed — make her a very happy person. From time to time, she takes part in comedy mornings on WhatsApp where she is more than pleased to be the centre of attention. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: If not a designer, she wanted to be “something related to economics”! Go figure.
She who forgets her Tinder dates shall be condemned to Azkaban, forthright. Otherwise a ‘funny’ (funny in quotes, do not miss that) t-shirt hoarder, this Joker fan from Lucknow can be found drawing, painting, knitting, sailing, and rappelling – not usually at the same time, but you never know! Her usual defense in life: ‘Are you a MUGGLE?’ Otherwise, she claims to have topped her exams, claims to read books, claims to be uni-corny. But then, she is a fine human being who interacts with clients and teammates with the same ferocity. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: She can cook spongy Rasgullas!
She HATES! Chocolate, Rose, Coffee, Tea. The list is bloody long. Just like Jyoti’s Rapunzel-esque hair. She literally brings the band (read: music), baaja (again read: music) and beers. But who is Jyoti, really? Her stern demeanour, trademark hair swipes, and ability to glare directly into someone’s soul strikes fear into the hearts of lesser mortals. She likes chicken, ‘subway surfer’, bright colours and has had an unhealthy addiction to pizza since childhood. After all these years on this planet, she’s concluded that she is a ‘Sex and the City’ fan. At Buffalo Soldiers, she handles the clients while we handle her ‘show-iffiness’. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: “I have brains but I don’t show off”
For this tomboy in school, who used to play cricket for the boy’s team, Ruby was born to do public relations and in PR world, they call her the lady with the Midas touch! A mother of two, She is also the founder of the one-stop platform for women entrepreneurs SheAtWork and Managing Director of Kommune. BACKSTORY: Communication and crisis management for SHELL, GAIL, ONGC, Volkswagen, Adobe, HTC, NIXI, Google, Canon, Avaya, Palm Mobiles, Modi Telstra (now Airtel), BSNL, Sapient. Previously, Consumer Practise head of 20:20 MSL & North India Director for GCI- Grey LIFE’S PARACHUTE: She is also the founder of the one-stop platform for women entrepreneurs SheAtWork
He drove to the highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La (5,387 metres above sea level) despite having terrible vertigo. A brand marketer by profession, an avid traveller, a passionate photographer, he is a foodie at heart but not by choice (he’s a Bengali after all). With 3,15,360 hours on Earth, he sometimes thinks if it is time for Mars… His next challenge with life is to transform from 1 pack to 6 pack and that seems to be a distant dream, at least on the blue planet. LIFE’s PARACHUTE: He was terrible at Maths but loves counting money!
An early riser who is a teetotaller (do they really allow this in advertising?), Aanton is a thinker who creates ideas that not only help brands to grow but also make a big impact in societies. After more than a decade in Advertising and MarCom, with stints at The Times of India, RK Swamy BBDO and ABP crafting award-winning communication strategies and executing them creatively, he single-handedly founded the world’s biggest quiz festival – Kolkata Quiz Festival – in 2011! A design philosopher and an active Rotarian, he once married off ‘mishti’ (the sweets of Kolkata) to chocolates (Cadbury) in a unique marketing campaign for Cadbury India where over a million people blessed the happy couple! He is about to launch the first ever facts, trivia, knowledge and quiz magazine in India. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: He owns trademark over #LOVE.
In her penultimate year at the National College of Arts, Tripti has already begun her illustrious career (pun intended) in design when Fox Sports called us to feature one of her toons on the Russia World Cup 2018! Her pet peeve is the colour Yellow, this bright young lass from Delhi has the colour-chart imprinted in her mind. Be it a social media artwork or making a cartoon, Tripti is our call for creating anything unique and she delivers! LIFE’S PARACHUTE: To make potato as the national vegetable
Karan is a buzzing food, lifestyle and travel blogger. A seasoned (pun intended) marketing professional with a global work experience of more than a decade in sales and marketing, he has worked with the likes of Coca-Cola, Ernst and Young and Zee Telefilms. The author of bestseller fiction “Shit Happens- Desi Boys in America”, Karan in his latest avatar is helping clients with ideation, business development and marketing communications (and most importantly, restaurant recommendations). He is passionate about his social life. Loves to eat, travel, and explore. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: Diet, What?
Efficiency-phile, numberista, he’ll defend Domino’s pizza for the rest of her life. Born in the dystopian past, 150 kilometres from New Delhi, Deepak is a former teenage telemarketer whose love for cheap beer and Google is kinda competitive! The most attentive to prospective clients, he is the brah in the team. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: He is a closet MBA, SEO Specialist & got his Google ad-word certification as soon as he left Coca Cola
For someone who once short-circuited a grouchy neighbour’s house using a coin in the bulb holder at the garden toilet, it’s no wonder hair resides sparsely on Indrajit’s head! Apart from hardcore accounts, this ardent blogger and storyteller has dabbled in most trades: Marketing to Project delivery, HR to Quality control and from Multimedia animation to Full stack application development. Indrajit also has the unique distinction in his 25 years of professional journey of winning the first ever animated advertisement for Indian television and making L&T Engineering the first Engineering Service provider to become ISO 9001:2015 certified organization. And If you find him missing from his desk, you might locate him on top of a bus with his backpack to some unknown village. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: His cauliflower roast is to die for.
Widely regarded as both the biggest thug in his peer group, Vibhor’s currently 19 who aspires to be a 22-year-old teenager and own a GT-R. He always learns from mistakes of others who take his advice. He’s not a player, he’s the game. Or so he thinks! He’s also a budding statistician and dreams to be the Best Data Analyst in the World. LIFE’S PARACHUTE: Mother, Mom, Mummy, Mummy Part 1, Mummy Part 2, Mummy Part 3
Jagdish Mitra is the Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth Factories in Tech Mahindra. An unparalled industry leader, he served as the CEO of CanvasM, the mobility unit of Tech Mahindra – a joint venture with Motorola which was founded in 2006. He also headed the Large Deals Business of Tech Mahindra. In his 20 years in the information technology world, he has been responsible for opening up new markets and building several strategic business relationships in North America, Middle East and Asia for Tech Mahindra.
Tarun Basu is one of India’s leading media personalities with over 40 years’ standing in the profession as a journalist and editor. He has worked in both Indian and international media organizations. He was till recently the Founder Editor and Director of the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), India’s only private and independent news agency and content provider on multimedia platforms. Basu has travelled all over the world and has been a regular invitee on the Indian prime ministers’ and presidents’ media delegations in visits to other countries for the past 15 years. He has covered conflict situations in India and South Asia. In recent years he has been a special invitee to the World News Agencies’ Conference in Spain, World Media Summit in China, the Beijing Olympic Games and the World Cup Football in South Africa. Basu also heads a think tank, the Society for Policy Studies that runs the South Asia Monitor, a policy forum and resource on South Asia and The Indian Diaspora, an interface with the 25 million strong Indian community dispersed across the world. Basu also founded the International Media Institute of India, a multimedia training school that conducts media literacy and communication workshops for educational, research and other institutions.
Deepak Puri is the former South Asia General Manager and Photo Editor of TIME for over three decades. But we won’t even attempt to describe him and leave it to some of the great writers our time to do so. Pico Iyer described him as the “great and legendary office manager of TIME’s New Delhi bureau…who seems to hold up much of the Time-Life empire and, I sometimes suspect, most of India single-handedly”. And Karl Taro Greenfeld, Deputy Editor, TIME Asia, sums Deepak up perfectly in a “Letter from Publisher” in 2001. “For a full 24 years, TIME’s coverage of the subcontinent has beaten the competition because we have a secret weapon: a maya-buster by the name of Deepak Puri. Technically he’s our South Asia general manager and photo editor, and his job description sounds basic: he paves the way so that correspondents and photographers can do their work. But it’s anything but.” Consider these two anecdotes. When TIME sponsored News Tour in 1995 of American CEOs in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, the street leading to the conference was under construction. Deepak drafted scores of workers (plus a couple of elephants for show) and rebuilt the 1-km road. And in a legendary exploit in 1990, a TIME editor and the New Delhi bureau chief were stranded in Srinagar covering the Kashmiri insurgency. To get them out, Deepak cajoled a domestic airline to divert a plane to get them. (That’s a story best told over a few beers.) Well, when Deepak Puri tells you “no problem,” you can be sure it ain’t no illusion.
Like the Bollywood classics of 1970s, Debjyoti Chakraborty’s story also started early as a trainee journalist in the sleepy bylanes of erstwhile Calcutta – the city which nurtured leading Indian journalists and editors. The journey has been a long and winded one, dabbling through the world of print (both newspapers and magazines), web and audiovisual — from being the quality custodian of Business Today, leading a team of print journalists to set up and run India’s first newspaper on the internet, TheNewspaperToday, and spearheading audiovisual coverage of the movements at Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal to handling Hindustan Times’ national news network speed over India and Bangladesh. A self-confessed failed novelist, his skills have never been put to serious test because of lethargy — one of the luxuries that he can still enjoy on the sly. After more than three decades in the profession, now he is chasing his dream to create something great that will define the future shape of journalism (Read: Buffalo Soldiers!). In his last job, he was working with Hindustan Times in Delhi as the papers’s Roving Editor, playing the role of a writer at large.