CHENNAI: Not everyone gets a chance to pursue what they love. So, when you get that chance, it’s important to take ‘pure’ risks, be thankful for it and most importantly not be lazy,” opines Jerry Silvester Vincent, who has been a composer, music programmer, score writer and engineer for AR Rahman for the last six years. Ce chats with him, and also Sriram Gopal, CEO, Future farms, ahead of their talk at Glassbox’s speaker series — ‘Meraki’.
For Jerry, a physics graduate, it was important to fulfil his parents’ wish of getting a degree before pursuing film music. “My parents were lawyers and I didn’t have a music background. But my brother was a musician and that’s how I was exposed to it,” shares Jerry who did a postgraduate diploma in audio engineering at KM College of Music and Technology. “I was attested the ‘best student’ during my year and Rahman asked me to work with him!” recalls Jerry who has worked along with internationally acclaimed composer Hanz Zimmer’s sound engineer.
Being part of the industry has made him more responsible. “We all slack at work sometimes. But, I constantly remind myself that not many get this opportunity. I pull myself up and I keep progressing,” he shares.
His experience of working along with the Mozart of Madras has been a learning experience. “When I came to the industry, I knew everything theoretically but, I didn’t have much practical knowledge. Rahman put me into some crucial projects,” says Jerry who is working on movies like Beyond the Clouds, Fakir of Venice and 2.0.
While choosing his career, Jerry didn’t have any inhibitions. “I don’t think I wanted to reach anywhere. I just wanted to learn. I am still learning, but now it’s a combination of both,” he explains.
Jerry advices, “Never overthink and, know when to mute your mind. Sometimes you have to go with your instincts. But you also have to assess your progress,” he adds.
While it didn’t take long for Jerry to begin his journey on an unconventional path, Sriram, had to take the road that most engineers in the country do, before taking a detour. He was an electronics and communication engineer, who had already established an IT firm in 2007. After few years in the industry, Sriram ‘itched’ to do something ‘larger and dangerous’. “I wasn’t a programmer. I just set up the company and after Google came in, there was nothing that I did, except sit in my cabin. I was 30 and it didn’t feel right!” he says.
In his hunt for doing something, which he cites as ‘an almost suicidal mission’, Sriram began looking for different opportunities. “I stumbled upon hydroponics and was so fascinated that I couldn’t sleep after that!” narrates Sriram about his now five-year-old venture, an alternate, vertical farming company that pioneered hydroponics in the country.
From making small DIY hydroponics units along with his father to gradually becoming the distributor for some of the biggies who dealt with hydroponics, Sriram spearheaded the idea In India. “South East Asian companies had hydroponics for the last 15-years. I wondered why no one in India took it up and it didn’t make any sense,” he shares.
Like-minded people joined hands to make a difference. “It was unexpected and before we knew it, we had a company. But, the focus was on the concept and not on commercial production. We even documented and shared the making of the first urban hydroponic rooftop farm by us,” he explains.
So far, Future Farms has done 20 projects in India for companies including Dabur, Murugappa and Parry Agro. “For anyone who is at the crossroads, don’t take advice. There’s no proper data for how to be successful in this dynamic world. Things keep changing and old theories don’t apply. So, be prepared for both, success or failure,” he adds.
The second edition of ‘Meraki’ on ‘Going down an Unconventional Path - Alternate Careers’ is on Dec 9 at 6:30 pm, Audi Showroom, Nandanam. For details, call: 7358483367 or mail: firstname.lastname@example.org