With his good looks Shashi Tharoor could have been a star in the Indian film industry.
Instead, he choose to be a career diplomat and spent the last 28 years serving the United Nations.
Now he cherishes another ambition -- to lead the UN, the world's largest and vital organisation.
The 50 year-old diplomat is India's official candidate for the UN secretary-general's post which falls vacant when Kofi Annan completes his second and final five-year term in December this year.
The London-born United States-educated Indian, who will join three other Asian candidates for the coveted position which by convention should go to Asia, told Bernama Friday that he had a "vision" to change the agency that has come under severe international criticism in recent years.
"I'm a strong believer in change. I believe the organisation needs reform not because the UN has failed but because the UN has succeeded enough that it is worth investing in.
"I come equipped for the job because I know what the job involves and I know how to go about doing it.
"I do have a vision for the UN, that is to articulate to the world that the UN cannot take people's support for granted and explain to governments and the people what the UN is trying to accomplish," said Tharoor who is currently the UN's under-secretary general for Communications and Public Information.