Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Mr. Nalin Ranjan has worked with various channels like MTV, Hungama. In 2011 he made a film named “Gandhi to Hitler”, which was screened at the Cannes film festival and other festivals, and was released across the globe in 7 different languages. Another film named “the virgin diaries” is going to be a digital film which is going to be launched on various digital platforms across the globe.
Mr. Nalin’s experience in the education industry
We are a 17-year old institute. We started off by conducting workshops on television, anchoring, radio jockeying, etc. Later on, we expanded into mass communication institute or mass communication college, which made us the oldest mass communication institute that existed in Delhi.
Mr. Nalin’s philosophy of leadership and his leadership style
Apart from being the director of NRAI Institute of Mass Communication, I am also a film-maker. I have made the movie Gandhi to Hitler, which was screened in the Cannes Film Festival and it was released in 7 languages across the globe. Raghubir Yadav, Neha Dhupia, Aman Verma were there, Jagjit Singh had sung a song and it was a classical film. I have also acted in a Hollywood film. Apart from this, my movie “My virgin diairies” is about to release.This is a digital movie to be released on all international digital platforms. It is going to be the first Indian movie which is going to be distributed so widely across the internet in USA, UK, Canada, all Eurpoean and Asia Pacific Countries. I believe that people who want to make a career in mass media, communication and film making, get an on-hand experience of what we are doing here. All these films that I have talked about here have been made in our institute and all our students have been a part of this.
Apart from this, we have a very interesting thing here, which is not offered in any other institute, which is “earn value learn”. Which means that after completing one year of your studies, we help students to do part time jobs in the industry, or internships that may be paid or unpaid. So along with the degree program, they get an experience in the industry world along with their studies and earn as well.
Significant challenges faced as the Director of NRAI Institute of Mass Communication
Till 3 years ago, we used to only get students who were interested in pursuing journalism course. Anyone who came here wanted to be either a reporter, or a journalist, or a tv reporter. But the trend has definitely changed over the years as today, we are getting people who are more interested in social media, who want to shoot digital films, films on mobile. It was quite shocking to me. Now, acting, videography, digital movie making have become a part of the talks. As I have been in this industry since long, and have worked with channels like MTV and others, so it is good to see the interest coming in from such vivid fields.
Curriculum at NRAI Institute of Mass Communication
We have academic collaboration with most of the prestigious universities which come under UGC. Apart from this, we also offer our own short-term design courses which help students in getting jobs. Ours is a registered film production house. We have our own YouTube channel, we have our own web portal and we are into digital film making too. So, people who are studying here get an on-hand experience of whatever we are doing.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at NRAI Institute of Mass Communication
As I said, a lot depends on the caliber of the students. But we are the only institute in media who are offering “earn value learn”. You have an opportunity where after one year of regular course curriculum we help students in getting jobs. So, if you are not doing significantly good in the internship period or part time job period, you don’t expect things to be better after the course is over. So, we call up their parents if a student does not get a part time job or internship after completion of 1 year, and we tell them to look after, along with our counsellors talking to them and making them understand about the repercussions. We guide them to work on their difficulties.
Mr. Nalin’s relationship with the students being the Director of the Institute
If we take about 200 students every year, you can say that 201st student is me myself. I take them as my friends because when we talk about film making, we talk about stories, concepts, love stories etc. So, you have to be very friendly with the students in order to bring out the genuineness in them. We have studied in an era where our seniors, faculties, etc. used to be very strict and there was a communication gap. Now we got to understand that this is mass communication, and it is a creative line, and maintaining a healthy and friendly relationship with students is just more than essential.
Ideal school environment according to Mr. Nalin and how does he encourage that at NRAI Institute of Mass Communication
I believe that my ideal school environment is one where there is a lot of room for showing your creativity and what all you think about. I am very approachable for my students, as I said I am like a friend to them. An environment should be such where there is a lot of scope for discussions, additions and eliminations, and new ideas.
Top qualities according to Mr. Nalin that a mass communication aspirant must possess
He/she needs to be able to think differently. He should be creative, have good communication skills. We don’t look out for good marks because whatever they score does not help them become a good film maker. This is a different line. We expect a person who has been dreaming of becoming a film-maker or a journalist. This is what we look out for.
Goals in mind for NRAI Institute of Communication for the next few years
We have done digital tie-ups with most of the firm digital platforms like Hindustan Music, Hungama, Airtel, Jio Cinema, for distribution of our content in UK, Canada, USA, and other European countries. We have fluted our own music company too and we have our own you-tube channel. There will be a day in the coming months, that short films that our students make our going to be available for viewers across the globe.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Creativity, confidence and hard work is the key to achieve your goals. As far as our profession is concerned, I would say dream and dream as much as you can.