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College kids turn business tycoons

Forget relaxing and hanging out, these city kids are using their summer vacations to fatten their bank accounts.

entertainment Updated: Apr 20, 2011 14:49 IST
Palak Singh

Forget lazing around in front of the TV or hanging out in coffee shops all day. Come summer vacations, and city students turn entrepreneurs, channeling their passion into hard cash.

Guitarist Suvir Singh, a B.Com student from Jai Hind College, has taken to giving music lessons from home. “I started playing the guitar when I was 16 and slowly progressed to a stage where I could share my passion with other enthusiasts.” Quiz the 21-year-old about his profits and he says, “Money comes automatically if you have a business frame of mind. I earn R 250 per class and make enough to buy new equipment, chill with friends and even save.” Singh is a member of local rock band Copper Pint, which also perform at college festivals and pubs, roughly making R 6,000 per gig, which they usually spend on studio recordings.

Avinash Tiwari, a 19-year-old BMM student, is one of the few beat-boxers in the city. Now performing at other local events for a fee, he says, “I could get five gigs in one month or perform at one gig in five months. I make anywhere between Rs 5,000 to 8,000 for a ten-minute act,” beams Tiwari. He will be spending his summer vacation mailing demos of his compositions and performing in cities such as Delhi and Bangalore.

Like Tiwari and Singh, performance arts seem to be the new money-spinning machine for college kids. Take the example of 21-year-old street dancer Ashish Lath and his crew. Being paid up to Rs 25,000 per act, the group divides the fee and uses it to vacation in Dubai and Goa. But Lath insists it’s all loose change to him, saying, “I perform for the passion, not for money.”

If taking to the stage is not your thing, you could try turning a hobby into a business like 19-year-old Sonica Baptist who customises tennis shoes according to her friends’ requirements and charges Rs 300 for a pair. “I haven’t really publicised my work, but I do see a future in it,” she says. Baptist also uses her painting skills to paint and customise bedroom walls.

Vir Shete, an 18-year-old make-up artist, set off as a freelancer after long sessions of self-practice and training under reputed professionals in the field. Initially, he had a hard time juggling college with his assignments, but set it kicking during vacations that offered ample of time. “At the end of the day I want my clients to feel magnificent and not looted,” smiles Shete.

Students today like to make the most of their time and pick up experiences from the actual field rather than restrict themselves to bookish knowledge within the four walls of a classroom. Take the lead from Bunty Chellani, a TYBMM student. Chellani has worked as an intern in ad agencies and freelanced as a writer and an events manager. He has also worked as a project trainee for Percept and a booking agent for some local bands. Not just that, he now runs his own event managing company called Concept. Chellani believes in “diversifying work experience and building contacts in the process.”

Most of these upcoming artists have fan pages on social networking sites such as Facebook. Flash Me, run by St. Xavier’s College student Shannon Mikhail Lobo, has earned him independent projects with companies like Blue Frog, Red Bull and Submerge this summer. “I like the power and independence I get when I take care of my own expenses. I even pay for my own college fees,” says Lobo proudly.