Sapna Magazine Archives

The Archives 2004-2020

Desi Entrepreneurs, Take Two

Part 1:

Sippin’ on a Long Island he soaks up the sun on the most luminous blue watered beaches you’ll every lay your eyes on. His mode of transportation, a private jet (yes I said private jet) he personally pilots, is parked down the street at the local airport gearing up for its next destination: Venice he thinks to himself, as an innocent smile spreads across his face (Ladies, I think I’ve got your attention!). Years of hard work have finally paid off for those long awaited trips across the world to exotic locations he had once dreamed of flying himself too. And then, one last glimpse at paradise before the shrill of a siren serenades away on his phone. A “snap back to reality,” as he reaches over the table.

GET UP! 5:45 AM, Monday July 24, 2005, reads the screen on his phone. A record of 4 hours sleep – half of what the average human being requires on a daily basis – Ateet knows its part of the deal to his dream of makin’ it big! His day has just begun. After a brief struggle over how much longer to stay in bed, he’s out his front door cruisin’ down the highways of sunny Tampa to his first job. By day a Network Engineer for the prestigious IT company Computer Associates, Ateet begins his day in corporate America. After a hopeful 9 hour day, his next stop down the road to destination paradise is a visit with each of his 3 companies that he has built from ground zero to successful everyday working ventures.

Ateet still remembers the first day DJ BaDD Boy (a.k.a Ateet) made his debut onto the chic desi party scene. “I was only 17, and we had a graduation party in the basement of my house where we only had 2 lights for the dance floor” he smirks, “and all I could remember was being extremely nervous, that I didn’t have time to mess up!” Only one chance to prove that he was worthy of providing the best, Ateet not only impressed himself, but everyone around him by spinnin’ out the tunes of the latest Bollywood craze to the TRL wannabes. That, he claims was the “beginning of Planet DJ Productions.”

Growing up in suburbia Baltimore and then heading out to earn a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Ateet’s obsession for Bhangra never left his side, as he continued growing his production company. With five DJ’s and an endless list of weddings, conventions, and college parties to keep him busy, this was only the beginning.

Having caught the entrepreneurial bug, Ateet’s journey was just about to take off. His next venture came from his second love of being a self-proclaimed computer nerd at heart. His everlasting knowledge of computers combined with his partner Mr. Manan Shah’s artistic ingenuity and an added ounce of persuasion were the beginnings of A&S Consulting; a company that now services mostly insurance firms throughout the DC area.

“So let me guess, you weren’t busy enough with two businesses and a full time job that you had to start yet another venture?” I ask with awe and a twinge of sarcasm. Brushing the question off with an innocent laugh he replies “Diversity! With so many passions in life, I’m always looking for new ways to venture out. I have learned to never rely on your everyday career for job security, so I used my hobbies to spawn into something more stable.” Thus the creation of his third enterprise: Cheap Net Buys. A Drop Ship Business in connection with his partner Mr. Osman Haque to help him out, “is fairly new, but is already seeing profits after one year.” A one stop shop whose duty is to always have a sale, sells every piece of jewelry imaginable, for a girl’s perfect haven to just about anything else you need from home décor to pimpin’ your ride.

Whew! For now there are no more ventures in the making, but this Entrepreneurial Tycoon is considering a brush with Real Estate?!?! But that’s another story for yet another time. As he begins his second degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix his motto remains the same “Work Hard to Play Hard!” he says, “because the way I see it, you’re only young once.” But before he continues his journey a shout out to his Mom “who taught him to be patient,” his Dad “for instilling his keen work ethic,” and his uncle “for the lessons on Business 101.” For now, Ateet’s dream of hopefully flying the skies to see the world in his own private six seater jet complete with family and friends on board to share those Kodak moments is not far away. And for those of you listening, I assure you his journey to paradise is just around the corner.

Bon Voyage!


Part 2:


The setting – 1850’s British India.

The place – an Indian Palace ornamented with artifacts, furniture and paintings distinguishing it’s time period.

The scene- a youthful Indian Raja walks in to notice his newly wed Memsahib who has just arrived from the land of the English to be staring with fascination at the painting on the wall.

And then the scene with the kiss. Embracing his wife with a repeated puckering of the lips to show his undying affection for his love is the task at hand. But the hardest job of all is the director’s…

“CUT! We’ll have to do that one more time from the top folks!” she says.

Sitting for the first time behind the camera in the Director’s Chair is Ms. Kruti Majmudar. For the past 4 years she has dedicated her days and nights to the making of her first cinematic feature The Memsahib. Her dream began during her days as an architectural student at Syracuse University in upstate New York. Kruti’s inspiration stemmed from a trip to one of India’s hidden treasure – The Step Well located in Gujarat. Fascinated by its beauty and breathtaking views Kruti knew she was destined to share it with the rest of the world. Captivated by the medium of film, Kruti did not immediately step into the life of a filmmaker soon after graduation. Instead, she began her career by designing film sets, which lead to editing and production assignments.

Kruti still remembers the days when people would shut their doors and roll their eyes as they wished her a “Good luck with the movie I’m sure it will turn out great!” response.

The irony of the situation – every door that shut only made her stronger. “You’ll have to want it more then anything in the world!” she exclaims.

Realizing her dream would not be an easy battle to win, Kruti was out to prove to the world that she was a leader. Her daily inspiration comes from just a flicker of the lights. Confused? “I know it’s crazy” she says bashfully,” but I think about him all the time, because if it weren’t for him life wouldn’t be the same.”

“Who?” I ask with a twinge of curiosity.

“Thomas Edison! The inventor who was turned down more than 1,000 times before he invented what modern man takes for granted. The light bulb!”

An answer nobody expects, this Desi Women Entrepreneur is here for the long run – no matter how many people think she’s wasting her time. As a South Asian Woman, the field of filmmaking has brought her more then a handful of obstacles. Quitting, however, was not an option.

“Hey the way I look at it is, if I don’t do it, someone else will.” Glad to have not given into the pressures of becoming a doctor or engineer, Kruti’s dream of becoming a filmmaker is finally coming alive. Currently with The Memsahib entering its post-production stages, Kruti will soon begin working on her future films under her production banner, Red Letter Pictures. So for those future filmmakers, a bit of parting advice from the pro herself “the only way to make your dreams come true is to become the captain of your own destiny.” — Kaveri Valliappan

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