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