Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Prasad Nimmakayala - Epitomising Resourcefulness

Prasad on location at Don Bosco at 630 am
Since I have written about Mohana Krishna Indraganti and Senthil elsewhere in this blog I will now move on to the other people I meet on the sets. Chief among them of course is the Executive Producer, Prasad Nimmakayala, a person who epitomizes resourcefulness in every way. Whatever the situation, this is one guy you want on your side. Give him any scrap and he will pour oil over it, or, will wrest the initiative for you if he sees a chink. There is a way he approaches people that they immediately listen to him. He moves into their space slowly, eases himself in, understands them and the situation, and adds value instantly. It is a task that requires great awareness, people-orientation and the ability to think a few steps ahead. No wonder then that Ram chose Prasad to be his associate right from the first movie they made together 'Ashta Chamma' where Prasad was the Executive Director. And no wonder that the movie was a huge hit.

I have known Prasad for many years now, as he used to come home to meet Ram during their Suresh Productions days, and later on to do some design work for Sheila. He is a man with many dimensions - a creative director, designer, people manager, event manager, marketing manager and to cap it all, has considerable work experience in the ad and movie fields.

When I went to Delhi to launch my second novel 'If You Love Someone...' this year, he accompanied me. In a short discussion, he got the general idea of how the publishing industry works and soon after meeting my publisher the phlegmatic Basant Pandey, he had him eating out of his hand. How they must market the books, the difference between the Indialog books and the other publishers books, design, marketing strategy etc. Basant was actually asking him for advise by the end of the day. Or, the way he quickly handled the media people before the event started by using some quick thinking. He hired one of those professional photographers who loiter with their cameras to hand around the place for a few minutes, thereby causing a bit of a hustle and bustle which the media guys picked up. This was completely on the fly but worked very well since we got a decent crowd in before the Chief Guest arrived. Of course, Prasad handled all the arrangements for my first book launch, incidentally that of 'The Men Within', from dealing with the bookstore, the media, the backdrop design and pretty much everything and made it a huge success.

On the set Prasad is totally clued in to all that is happening. He is there at 630 a.m., keeping a hawk eye on he happenings so that nothing is delayed. Nothing should stop the shooting he says, and it is only after the first shot is taken, that he checks his watch, nods appreciatively, and then settles down into the background. Whether it is the local goons wanting some money, the APTDC wanting to stop the shooting because of some misunderstanding with the Archeology Dept, or any other situation that crops up - with Prasad around, we can be pretty sure that oil will be poured over the waters pretty soon. When the junior artistes get out of line he yells at them, looks out for any trouble brewing, looks out for elderly people like Baig saab who are lost in the melee sometime, keeps all parties in the loop all the time and when he has the time, adds to the creative side with some valuable opinions as well. Prasad gets really agitated when he feels that things are not going as per plan, even if it is because of rain or something external like that. He takes full ownership for his role which is why he is an asset for any team.

For keeping his wits around him, his die-hard professional ethic, his pleasant nature, his witticisms on every situation, his constant value addition to whatever he is doing, be it designing, playing cricket, managing the set, planning etc, Prasad is great to have around. I must recall a small incident where Prasad's presence of mind made a difference. We were playing a match, Just Yellow and Suresh productions. SP got off to a great start ad piled some 170 runs in 20 overs. We started rather disastrously losing 4 wickets with hardly anything on the board. I looked at the bowling, settled in, and then started attacking at the opportune moment. We had made it to about 130 by the 16th over and were well in striking distance of the target when Prasad, who played for SP that match, noticed that I was stepping out to almost every ball. Also that I was tiring perhaps. He came up to the stumps and, noticing that I was favouring the midwicket area, asked the bowler to bowl wide of the off stump. I missed and was stumped for some 90 runs and that ended our chase.

If there is one thing anyone can learn from Prasad, apart from all these other wonderful qualities, it is how to maximise one's potential and make a difference by constantly adding value to oneself, by being aware and  by being a thorough professional.Good luck then Prasad and hoping that we are on the same successful team for many years to come!

1 comment:

Ramesh Eligeti said... i read this Prasad has just passed by me....came back and added a P.S to the topic..."all false"....
Yes I said myself, I could see only one false statement in the entire thread, .i.e, prasad being on the sets by 6:30, he is there even before that, by 5:00 to fight the rain gods.