When Sunjay Kapur, vice-chairman and managing director of Sona Koyo Steering Systems decided to foray into television with a reality show to nurture the up and coming entrepreneurs, it was a moment of reckoning. He’s been many things before — an accomplished polo player, a businessman, a significant social presence in Delhi’s swish set but a TV host was clearly unexpected. However, what many don’t know is that Sunjay was always passionate about the idea of entrepreneurship. So he approached CNBC Awaaz with a concept of Masterpreneur India.
The show enables micro entrepreneurs to take a quantum leap in their business — local to regional, regional to national. It gives them a platform to showcase their talent and business acumen in front of experienced and established business honchos.
“We approached the channel and they liked the idea and we were on the same page. The show is about identifying and unleashing the small Indian entrepreneur and giving them business opportunities. We have very passionate small town entrepreneurs who never get the attention they deserve while there’s too much focus on the bigger names. There’s so much talent in India and I feel that the reality TV has such a great impact. We elicited a great response from rural India — from a laundry man to a man who’s into pork packaging to sports and rural BPOs. There are several panels of judges on the show comprising VCs, bankers, local industrialists and business managers,” he says.
“I’ve always believed that maximum entrepreneurs are on streets. In print media one often reads articles about these small entrepreneurs making a product which is so unique and people are inspired to read such stories. They have no family backing. All they have are ideas and beliefs,” he adds.
My creative input
“It’s been a collaborative work between us and the channel and that’s the fun of it all. A lot of planning and work has gone into it. We want to make the format more attractive so that more entrepreneurs can participate as well. It’s very close to my heart and I hope we get it right and do justice to it,” he shares.
A win-win situation
“It’s awesome to offer them mentorship and get recognition. Especially in a time when the market is so down it’s great to see the potential of such extraordinary people,” he says.
Facing the camera for the first time
“I was not at all focused on facing the camera but listening to people and hearing out their stories. My main agenda was how to get the stories across. I don’t think I was conscious of the fact that I was being filmed,” he says.
Juggling work and the show
“It actually didn’t take much of my time. There were 10 to 15 days of shooting so it took eight to 10 of my days. I think I am very good at managing time so there was no trouble taking time off.”
My personAL style
Sunjay is one of the most well dressed men in Delhi and always gets featured on every style list. However, he’s not the kind to discuss fashion and get into brands and labels. “My personal style is classic and traditional. I don’t want to name the designers or brands I like,” he says.
Bonding with kids
“The kids love seeing me play polo. Besides, polo I play a variety of sports like swimming and Lawn Tennis. They live in Mumbai and I meet them once a week and we participate in a lot of activities together. I take my son to the soccer practice every Saturday. Once in a while we do take a vacation together,” he shares.
On Karisma Kapoor
There’s been a lot of speculation about his personal life. Tabloids have written at length about his separation with wife Karisma. When I ask him to clear the air, he emphatically says, “I’m not answering any personal questions!”
No more a party boy
“I don’t host parties anymore and also don’t socialise that much. I do hang out with my friends. It’s not that I’m consciously trying to be low key but I am busy with work and travel. Every month I travel to Germany for work. I love Japan — its culture, food, people, products and services. Japan is a phenomenal country.”
Delhi vs Mumbai
“I love Delhi. You can call me a ‘Delhi person’. When I’m in Mumbai I don’t socialise at all. I mostly spend time with kids and leave. I do meet my school friends from Cathedral. But nothing beyond that,” he signs off.