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India’s Got Talent September 10, 2010

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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Everyone loves award ceremonies: the glitz, the glamour, the fabulous dresses…

We’re no different at the British Council, so September kicked off with our own award ceremony, an evening to celebrate India’s creativity, inspiration and entrepreneurial talent.

The British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur programme (YCE) has been running in India since 2005, the only programme of its kind in India, unique in its focus on creative entrepreneurs. This year for the first time, the programme included its own award ceremony, announcing India’s brightest emerging entrepreneurs in seven different sectors – Interactive, Screen, Communications, Design, Performing Arts, Publishing, and Fashion.

Till date the programme has reached out to 763 entrepreneurs, making India’s network of creative entrepreneurs the largest within the International YCE programme. The entrepreneurs are all attracted by the chance of winning a prestigious award, of course: but it’s also a great opportunity to network with like-minded creative minds, both in India and the UK.

Crucially, the programme couldn’t be as successful without the support of partners who share our vision and bring in expertise. Elle India, Elle Decor and Oxford Bookstore worked with us for awards in fashion, design and publishing respectively; while the programme also tied up with the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s largest business angel network with over 120 individual and institutional members worldwide. Sunil Kalra, Sandeep Goyal (Dentsu India), Abhishek Rungta (Indus Net Academy) and Jai Vikram Bakshi (Digiqom Solutions) represented IAN on the judging panels, and provided their expertise and feedback on revenue models, business skills and opportunities to scale up.

And even when the awards were over, the night had just begun: a showcase of works by YCE alumni, illustrating the programme’s larger cultural impact, culminated with YCE Fashion awardee Varun Sardana giving an exclusive preview of his Spring / Summer 2011 collection in his characteristically theatrical and innovative style. It was the first time in India that a designer has presented his Spring/Summer collection in a venue other than the Fashion Week, and we were particularly pleased because Varun was recently signed up by Blow PR, a fashion PR agency based in the UK, after he worked with the British Council to participate in the Alchemy Festival in London earlier this year.

Ruth Gee, British Council Regional Director, India & Sri Lanka was seen wearing a creation by Namrata Shah, the runner-up awardee of the 2009 YCE Fashion award, who works with crafts people in the remote villages of Karnataka. Ruth’s creation came from Namrata’s Woven Wonder collection, in which each bead is meticulously woven in to form exquisite patterns on a silk sari, proving that the fabulous dresses weren’t just confined to the catwalk.

The 2010 YCE winners are some of the brightest from within India’s creative industries:

YCE Interactive Anup Tapadia, TechnoKarma Labs & TouchMagix Media
YCE Screen Yugandhar Tammareddy, Pixelloid Computer Services
YCE Communications Sandeep Maheshwari, Mash Audio Visuals Ltd
YCE Design Preksha Baid, Y-walls Design
YCE Performing Arts Magesh Kumar Gurumurthy, IndianStage
YCE Publishing Leonard Fernandes, Cinnamon Teal Publishing
YCE Fashion Sanjay Garg, Raw Mango

Special commendation was given to YCE Performing Arts: Kanak Gupta and YCE Fashion: Rixi Bhatia

The judges this year included sector leaders:

  • Mahesh Murthy (Pinstorm)
  • Naved Akhtar (The Shop)
  • Rajesh Dahiya (Codesign)
  • Wendell Rodricks
  • Girija Goswamy (Marks & Spencer)
  • Amit Gulati (Incubis Consulting)
  • Douglas Rintoul (Complicite)
  • Charanpreet Singh (Praxis Business School)
  • Rajesh Rao (Dhruva Interactive)
  • B R Sharan (Saregama)
  • Anjum Katyal (Saregama)
  • Debashis Biswas (Macmillan India)
  • Xavier Rashid (Raindance Festival UK)
  • John Kirk (Birmingham City University UK)
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