Interview with Vikram Gudi

We recently caught up with our biggest individual donor, Vikram Gudi.

With both parents being born in India and his mum born in Mumbai, Vikram’s ties to Mumbai remain strong and his reasons for giving back are inspirational.

Check out the interview below to learn more about Vikram and what motivates him.


Charlotte: “Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?”

Vikram: “I was born in Birmingham but both of my parents are Indian – my mum is from Mumbai and most of my extended family live there too. I’ve always had a strong connection with the city. I have been going there since I was born and spent every summer there, so for me it is like a second home”

 

Charlotte: “What are some of your interests?”

Vikram: “It’s all music and music related things – making, listening to, seeing live and talking about. I also have a soft spot for cricket, photography, art and charity work”

Charlotte: “What do you do for a living?”

Vikram: “I run Elephant Music and I’m the co-founder of Split Music. Elephant Music specialises in putting music on TV and film trailers. Split Music is a music publisher – we manage the rights of artists, composers and DJ’s globally. I also produce music and compose myself. It’s an interesting question because my answer is always evolving with the times. I love what I do and sometimes pinch myself because I can’t believe I made a career out of it”

Charlotte: “How did you get to know about Reality Gives?”

Vikram: “I was watching Sky Sports and there was a documentary on Nasser Hussain; I felt partially guilty about not visiting Dharavi enough. Seeing those smiles on the faces of the kids made me want to sign up”

Charlotte: “Why have you chosen to support Reality Gives?”

Vikram: “There is the nostalgia and the proximity to Mumbai but growing up I wasn’t allowed to visit or even understand about the slums and I regret this. I feel that there are many wealthy people in India that could and should be doing more to support NGOs, so I’m doing my best to help from the UK”

Charlotte: “What would you like to see happen in the future with Reality Gives?”

Vikram: “I would love to see a Music Department and for the kids to be exposed to creative arts – film, photography, anything that is outside of the standard education. They need to be exposed to creativity at a young age. An information revolution is happening where IT is replacing the need for people in jobs, but creativity cannot be replaced.

I would also love for the cricket academy to be taken more seriously and it would be a beautiful story to someone to come out of it and play for India, it’s not impossible – talent will always shine through”

Charlotte: “What advice would you give our students?”

Vikram: “Don’t lie to yourself. If you naturally like something pursue it, but just try to balance it out. You can be good at a number of things but only exceptional at one thing – follow it passionately”

Charlotte: “Who has had the biggest influence on your life?”

Vikram: “My Dad – what I’m doing now would be impossible without the support of my parents. Their belief and faith that I was doing the right thing made my career path a reality. They never pressured me as much as most traditionally Indian parents to get a ‘real job’, they were just happy that I was doing something I loved”

Charlotte: “What did you enjoy most at school?” 

Vikram: “I barely studied music at school – I found it too academic and not fun or creative. What I enjoyed most were the people, not a specific subject as such. I was surrounded by extremely intelligent individuals which was inspiring. Some of my best friends are from my school days and I wouldn’t be me without them”

Charlotte: “Now for some slightly more fun, personal questions. Describe your life using just film titles?”

Vikram: “Spinal Tap, LA Confidential and Lagaan”

Charlotte: “If you could steal credit for any piece of art, song, film or book which one would you claim?”

Vikram: “For a film I would go with Zardoz by John Boorman, the song would be Loveless by My Bloody Valentine and the piece of artwork would be Ciphers and Constellations by Juan Miro.

Charlotte: “What would you say has been for you your favourite travel destination?”

Vikram: “Koh Phangan in Thailand It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I’ve ever hit 100% holiday mode.”

Charlotte: “Lastly, what projects are you currently working on?”

Vikram: “I’m not normally allowed to say but there are a couple of Marvel movies, an experimental art / music project with the Whitechapel Gallery and our next record on our label re.search.”

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