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Saheb, Biwi aur producer

chandigarh Updated: Dec 24, 2012 11:24 IST
Navleen Lakhi
Navleen Lakhi
Hindustan Times
producer Rahul Mittra

Remember as kids how we used to love writing our names in reverse at the last page of our notebooks?

That’s how producer Rahul Mittra came up with the name for his brand management company. On a fateful day in 2004, when Rahul idly wrote his name in reverse—Luhar—he stumbled upon the name, Brandsmith - Brand Management Company.

Though the company, which looks after events, brands and media management, managed to earn credibility and fame, most of us would know Rahul Mittra as the producer of Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (SBAG) and its sequel. The movie was produced under the banner of Brandsmith Motion Pictures.

Besides the success of the movie, it’s the man’s Chandigarh connection that makes us more proud. “I remember coming to Chandigarh for the shoot of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar. Since we finished the first schedule of my third movie, Bullet Raja, I wanted to come to Chandigarh, as the city has always been lucky for me. Born in Amritsar, I studied in Chandigarh till Class 10, before moving to Delhi.

Having spent my childhood here, I’ve always found this city very calming. The city has changed a little, but certain traits like the outlook of people, the laid-back life, remain constant. Even now, instead of staying at a hotel, I preferred staying at the UT Guest House, as I wanted my kids to see the architecture,” shares he.

Rahul is also here to attend the reunion of his school, St John’s. “I’m here to attend the SJOBA reunion,” he confirms.

About his journey, from a journalist, to a corporate, to an entrepreneur and finally a successful producer, he says, “It was in 2009 that I thought of doing something big. So, with Tigmanshu Dhulia, I decided to come up with Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster. Soon after its release, we decided to come up with its sequel, featuring Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Mahie Gill, Jimmy Sheirgill and Raj Babbar. The sequel will hit theatres on March 8 and we have already shot one schedule of our third film, Bullet Raja, featuring Saif Ali Khan and Sonakshi Sinha.”

So, is he the typical bossy producer who just sits and orders people around? “I was the one who suggested locations in Gujrat to shoot SBAG, as I wanted to do things differently. I formed a critically acclaimed team, which is now working on the third film. When I entered the industry, I was sure that I would put my heart and soul into it. On a 70-day shoot, I remain available for 75 days; I’m not just a producer on paper,” says he.

Mittra signs off by saying that 2013 will see two of his releases—SBAG by March and Bullet Raja by August.