Hall of Fame: Rwituja Gomes Mookherjee

Young Gun Rwituja Gomes Mookherjee heads the British Council’s Creative and Cultural Economy portfolio for India & Sri Lanka. Previously based in Delhi, she now lives in Bangalore and organises innovative and enterprising arts and culture events for the benefit of young and old and pushing those involved in the creative industries to aim higher for international recognition.

Please tell us what exciting projects you are running just now.  The most exciting project that I currently manage is the Young Creative Entrepreneur award programme that aims to find emerging talent, enterprises and innovators within the creative industries in India giving them the platform to raise their profile internationally. It allows for unparalleled cross-sectoral networking opportunities to collaborate and develop commercial linkages between India, UK and the international market.
You travel a great deal for work, how do you like to stay fresh and relaxed while in transit and on the move?  Although I find the process of travelling quite hectic and stressful, I enjoy it just as much. I’m a die-hard romantic and listening to Bollywood music helps me unwind. I read a lot of fiction by Indian authors and always carry a book to read when travelling. In addition, I always ensure that I drink lots of water and sleep well.

What has been your greatest achievement to date in your current role?  Establishing the credibility of the creative entrepreneur programme in India and making it aspirational for emerging enterprises. India’s success story of having strengthened our portfolio of activities within this space is now recognised and shared as an example for other British Council offices to emulate.

What are you reading just now and would you recommend it?  I’m reading The Palace of Illusion by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. It’s narrates Panchaali’s version and interpretation of the epic story of Mahabharata.  I would definitely recommend this book.

What’s in your handbag?  Apart from the usual, it has a rosary, lip gloss, safety pins, sanitary napkin, a small notepad and my mobile without which I’m literally vulnerable!

What colour do you wear the most and why?  Black! It’s an exciting colour, has depth and apart from making me look slimmer gives me a lot of confidence.

Do you have any role modes?  My ex-boss Sujata Sen, she’s always been a pillar of support. Currently she’s the director of British Council East India office based in Kolkata. She’s the only Indian to have that position within the India operation. Her die-hard optimism, ability to take risks and attitude towards work has always encouraged me to push the boundaries. Her networking skills and in-depth knowledge sets her apart.

What advice would you have for anyone trying to succeed in the creative industries?  Passion and creativity plays an important role within this exciting space. However, it’s crucial to balance it with market intelligence, business know-how, optimism and a strong vision and the will to succeed. Be sincere to yourself and your work. People will mess with your head often but they will only succeed if you allow them to.

Do you have any plans for joint British Council programmes between the UK and the Asian offices?  Currently we work closely with Sri Lanka and the intention is to slowly develop joint initiatives with the other offices within the Asia region.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?  Being introverted, I generally prefer quiet dinners with close friends and family but would love to have Shahrukh Khan join in, not because he’s a Bollywood star but because I believe he’s an inspiration to entrepreneurs working within the creative space. Other guests would have to be a dynamic group of people I admire – Sonia Gandhi (she’s a suave game changer), Amitav Ghosh (fell for his writing after reading The Hungry Tide) and Gulzar (his poetry reflecting life’s different shades touches a chord every time).

Quote for the day/your motto in life:  When you want something with all your heart then the whole world conspires to help you achieve it. So believe in yourself, leap and hope to god you can fly 🙂

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4 Comments to “Hall of Fame: Rwituja Gomes Mookherjee”

  1. What an inspiring interviewee. I love that Rwituja has her ex-boss as a role model.

    And thanks for the book recommendation – I have just ordered it for my kindle !

  2. Hurrah – a beautiful woman that loves to wear black!

  3. A lovely and inspiring interview. I love Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and will pick up this book too. Good luck with your work – it sounds like an exciting challenge.

  4. I liked your interview love.its fantastic.
    already got a copy of the book

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