National Events


Harnessing the Power of Creativity from Ads-Shads to Films-Shilms ! R.Balki and Gauri Shinde in Conversation with Anil Rai Gupta

Power of Creativity…from Ads-Shads to Films-Shilms ! with R.Balki and Gauri Shinde.

As a part of its activities, FLO brings together achievers from various arenas for interactive sessions on breaking through challenges and innovating change to achieve success. Gauri Shinder & R Balki are not only inspirational leaders and role models for the entertainment industry but also for youth in general.

Popularly known as Balki, veteran adman R. Balakrishnan, left his to his 30-year career in advertising to become a full-time filmmaker. Last year, he resigned as group chairman of Mullen Lowe Lintas Group after juggling between films and advertising for the past couple of years. His creative ideas have included “Daag Achche Hain” for ‘Surf Excel’, “Jaago re” ads for ‘Tata Tea’ and the “walk when you talk” Idea Cellular advertising campaign.

A cinephile and Amitabh Bachchan fan, Balki made his directorial debut with the film Cheeni Kum, featuring Bachchan and Tabu, in 2007. He followed it up with the National Award-winning film Paa, which also starred Bachchan, in 2009.

He turned producer with the movie English Vinglish, which was directed by his wife Gauri Shinde. His latest release, Ki and Ka, starred Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor.

Gauri Shinde worked with advertising agencies like IBW and Bates Clarion before moving to Lowe Lintas, where she met life partner R. Balki who was the creative director. During her advertising career, she made over 100 advertising and short films.

She ventured into filmmaking with a heartwarming comedy drama English Vinglish, released in 2012 and featuring actor Sridevi. The film was inspired by Shinde’s own relationship with her mother a Marathi-speaking woman, who didn’t speak English well. Her second feature film, Dear Zindagi, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt was released in 2016.

Gauri featured in the Financial Times 2012 list of ’25 Indians To Watch’. She also featured on Rediff’s list of ‘Bollywood’s 5 Best Directors of 2012.

The interactive session was an opportunity for the members to pick up tips, advice and ideas for success and innovation.

FLO President, Vasvi Bharat Ram said, “FLO is the most apt platform to connect, learn and grow. We recognize the success stories of true achievers and provide a platform for the members to be inspired by them.”

“It was highly fascinating to hear from the stalwarts about their journey, to learn about their challenges and understand about their creative pursuits. It takes a lot of courage to break away from the conventional and plunge into the world of artistic creativity. Though liberating from the mundaneness of the patterned everyday life, it needs immense patience to accept and face the trials and tribulation on the way.” she added.

The session was moderated by Shri Anil Rai Gupta, the Chairman and managing director of Havells India, one of the largest makers of industrial and household electrical products in India.

He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater Wake Forest University. He has also received the Ludhiana Management Association’s Vardhaman Award for Entrepreneur of the Year (2014)and the All India Management Association’s Emerging Business Leader (2017).

He led Havells’ acquisition of the European lighting company Sylvania and its restructuring as Havells Sylvania.He has focused on expanding the company’s range of electrical consumer durables and improving its brand recognition.

Anil has recently authored a book on his father, Havells – the untold story of Qimat Rai Gupta.