Meet The ‘King’ of the Kingfisher Calendar!

Known most famously for his annual Kingfisher calendar, which is said to be “arguably the most prestigious modelling assignment in India” by Rediff, Atul Kasbekar is one of India’s foremost photographers.  Born in Mumbai in 1965, Atul went to The Campion School following which he went to Jai Hind College, both in Mumbai. He then joined the University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT) to pursue a degree in chemical engineering, but dropped out in his second year.

Throughout his childhood he would take photos of his sister and his dog, and even though at the time it hadn’t crossed his mind to make photography his career, he did enjoy taking photos. It was only when in UDCT that he realised that his true interest was elsewhere – that it was photography that gave him excitement. Atul recalls meeting Prahlad Kakkar after his first year, who, as it turned out, advised him to pursue what he enjoys because doing that wouldn’t feel like work.

Atul quit UDCT soon afterwards, and decided to focus on photography. He joined the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and graduated in 1988. He was the batch topper. Following his graduation, he trained for over a year in Los Angeles, working with renowned photographers like Dennis Gray, Ron Slenzak, James B. Wood, Jay Silverman, Jay P. Morgan, Bill Werts and David LeBon.

He returned to India in 1990 and he opened his studio named Negative Space in 1991, effectively launching his professional career. In 2003, Atul released the first edition of the Kingfisher Calendar, an annual calendar featuring various models and actresses in picturesque backdrops. Atul has been associated with the calendar ever since its inception and he, along with Vijay Mallya, is credited with conceptualising the calendar.

So much fame has his calendar garnered that for models to feature on its pages is a matter of prestige, which often helps them get a foothold in Bollywood and a kickstart to their careers. The Kingfisher Calendar has been described by Rediff as “arguably the most prestigious modelling assignment in India.”

Atul Kasbekar took the risk, dropped out of college, pursued his passion and today he is one of India’s most famous photographers. And that’s what makes him our Xpert on photography. At Xpert he shares with you all the lessons he learnt over his career as well as his journey and the advantages and the challenges in his profession.

Xpert is an online Q&A platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. With a wide selection of celebrities who have excelled in their respective fields, Xpert has someone for every interest. Sign up on the platform today and ask your favourite celebrity a question!

Meet the Man Behind the Lens!

Known for his annual calendar featuring some of India’s most famous celebrities, Dabboo Ratnani has become nothing short of a celebrity himself. Ever since its first publication in 1999, Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar has become a prestigious showbiz event in India. Dabboo himself is one of India’s most sought after photographers and is a prominent figure in the film and fashion industry.

Dabboo Ratnani is the cover photographer for numerous leading magazines including Cosmopolitan, Filmfare, Hi Blitz, OK India, Elle, Verve and Femina.

Dabboo’s journey began at a very early age. He did his graduation via correspondence and assisted Sumeet Chopra for four years. This altered his perception of photography. He began to view photography as more than just a hobby. Realising that he did not want to join his father’s retail business, he decided to pursue photography as a career at the age of 22. He began working independently.

In the Indian film and fashion industry, Dabboo is a portrait and a celebrity photographer. His associations with films got him editorial work, which helped him to get model portfolios, in turn leading him to advertising. Dabboo’s work has been used to advertise films and in publicity campaigns.

He has taken publicity stills for several Bollywood films, such as Om Shanti Om, Aatish, Blackmail, Fiza, Hera Pheri, Legend of Bhagat Singh and Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai. In addition, Dabboo has also worked on advertising projects, for brands like Nokia, featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Acer Computers featuring Hrithik Roshan, Coca-Cola with Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan, Boroplus with Kareena Kapoor, 7Up with Mallika Sherawat, and many more.

Dabboo Ratnani has also been part of the jury for the Miss India contest, as well as a judge on India’s Next Top Model.

A truly versatile photographer, Dabboo Ratnani is our Xpert on photography. Dabboo Ratnani gives you a closer look at the life of a fashion and celebrity photographer, only on Xpert. He tells you how he got started on his journey, his influences, his tips and tricks and his advice to anyone wanting to learn photography or improve their photography skills.

Xpert is an online Q&A platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. With a wide selection of eminent personalities at the top of their respective fields, Xpert has someone for every passion. Sign up today!

Meet the man who revolutionised the way we dine

When it comes to food, most of us almost instinctively think of Zomato – be it for reviews, photos, reservations, or just to discover new places to eat. And given the extensive listings it has today, it’s no surprise that Zomato has become the foremost platform for foodies and food lovers.

A 2005 graduate of IIT Delhi, Deepinder Goyal is the man who has given India more happy meals than McDonald’s restaurants. Deepinder has always been a lover of food and it was during his 4 years working for Bain and Company that the idea for Zomato was conceived.

Deepinder and his colleague at Bain, Pankaj Chaddah, noticed how they and their other colleagues had to queue up to order from the menus at the office cafeteria, which consumed lot of time. So they got an idea: they scanned all the menus at the cafeteria and uploaded them on the Bain intranet portal.

This simple idea became an instant hit, and visits to the portal increased. Eventually Deepinder decided to scale up the project. For about a week, Deepinder and Pankaj drove around Delhi, collecting menus of various restaurants. These menus were then scanned and then uploaded on a website – then named Foodiebay was the first iteration of what would eventually become Zomato. The first version of the Foodiebay was very basic, having only URLs and the scanned menus of restaurants. Despite its drawbacks, it was solving a problem many faced, and people flocked en masse to the website. Seeing how well-received their offering was in Delhi, they expanded to other cities in India.

Deepinder was handling Foodiebay over the weekends, and soon enough Foodiebay became too big for him to handle part time. He then chose to quit Bain and Company and focus entirely on the business.

One decade on, Zomato is India’s largest food app, and is present in 24 countries. The powerhouse behind Zomato’s phenomenal growth, Deepinder Goyal is our Xpert on entrepreneurship. Hear his story firsthand, his experiences, his successes and failures, only on Xpert.

Xpert is an online Q&A platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. An endeavour that aims at bringing you closer to the celebrities and personalities you admire through education, Xpert is your place to go to learn from your favourite celebrities. Sign up on Xpert and ask Deepinder Goyal your question today!

Ashish Hemrajani – Booking Your Shows Seamlessly

Remember the days when you had to wait patiently in long queues to get a movie ticket? Or the time you were put on a waiting list for a live performance you so desperately wanted to attend? Luckily those days are behind us (mostly), and we have none other than Ashish Hemrajani to thank for giving us BookMyShow.

Ashish Hemrajani, who spent the entirety of his educational life in Mumbai, graduated with a masters degree in business administration from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in the year 1997. He joined the advertising company J. Walter Thomas (JWT) the same year.

Ashish has been an avid traveller, and it was during a backpacking trip in South Africa that he was struck by an idea while listening to a radio programme which was promoting rugby tickets. He was sitting under a tree in South Africa’s Cape Winelands where he was struck by the idea, and thought the same could be implemented back in India. This inspired the name BigTree Entertainment, the precursor to what would eventually become BookMyShow.

Soon thereafter, Ashish made the expensive mistake of sending a Rs.186 text message to his boss saying that he was quitting – a mistake he realised only the following day. Without a job, Ashish returned to India and started speaking to potential investors, presenting his business plan. He sent a fax of the business plan to JP Morgan Chase, and managed to secure funding worth Rs. 2 crore. This happened at a time when the dot com industry was booming.

By 1999, BookMyShow had more calls than online bookings and may well have been one of the first few to start using cash on delivery. BookMyShow also received funding from Newscorp in 2001. Then the dot com crash happened, and BookMyShow, like almost all the internet companies at the time, was badly hit. Being on the verge of collapse, their workforce reduced from 150 to only 6. BookMyShow’s operations had to be moved from a 2500 sq.ft. office to a house in Bandra.

During those years, Ashish Hemrajani focused on building the ecosystem for the online ticketing business. 2006 onwards, Ashish focused on building the consumer business and it was then that sales started to pick up. BookMyShow is today the foremost platform that Indians think about when they book their movie or show tickets.

The ride for Ashish Hemrajani has been anything but smooth. But he has persevered and overcome obstacles in his path. He is our Xpert on entrepreneurship. Learn about Ashish’s journey, his tips and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and so much more, only on Xpert! Xpert is an online Q&A platform that brings you closer to the people you admire and look up to. Sign up on Xpert and ask Ashish Hemrajani a question!




From Salt to Cars to Software – Ratan Tata, the Master of All

Ratan Tata is one of the most well-known Indian industrialists. He is the former chairman of the Tata Group, a business conglomerate that is the face of Indian industry abroad. As the chairman of Tata Group, Ratan has headed almost 100 companies under the Tata umbrella. He has been the chairman of several Tata companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Teleservices, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power and The Indian Hotels Company.

Ratan Tata was born in what was then the Bombay Presidency, and is an alumnus of Cornell University and Harvard Business School. Ratan began his career in the Tata Group in 1961, working on the shop floor of a Tata Steel factory. In the 1970s, he was promoted to management level and was appointed as director-in-charge of National Radio and Electronics (NELCO). In four years he managed to turn the company around, only to see it collapse during an economic slowdown and due to labour problems. In 1991, J.R.D. Tata stepped down from his position as Chairman of Tata Sons, naming Ratan as his successor.

When he took over the reins of the Tata Group, he made several changes to the way business affairs were handled. He began replacing older managers by setting a retirement age, made each company individually report operations data to the group office and contribute a part of their profits towards the Tata Group brand. He emphasised on innovation and hiring younger talent. He streamlined overlapping operations into a synergised whole, and rationalised its businesses to prepare itself for globalisation.

In his 21 years of being the chairman of Tata Group till his retirement in 2012, Ratan Tata saw revenues grow by over 40 times and profits by over 50 times. During his tenure, he led an extensive acquisition spree that expanded the Tata Group to the almost-100 company conglomerate it is today. Tata companies now produce virtually everything from salt to cars to power, tea and coffee. Ratan Tata shook up the business world when he acquired prestigious international brands such as the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus and the highly regarded Jaguar and Land Rover.

One of the most powerful leaders with outstanding business acumen, Ratan Tata is our Xpert on business management. Get to know his life story, his philosophies, visions and the lessons that he learnt on Xpert. Learn how the Tata Group got where it is today under his leadership. Ask Ratan Tata a question and get his tips on how you can run your business more efficiently.

Xpert is an online Q&A platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. In addition to business management, Xpert offers a wide selection of successful personalities and celebrities who have made it big in their lives. Through this platform, Xpert brings you closer to the people who inspire you. Sign up today!

Meet the Man who Made Your Trip: Deep Kalra

We do not think twice before booking flight or train tickets, hotels or package holidays on For most educated Indians, this website has become almost synonymous with travel. Meet Deep Kalra, the man who pioneered the concept of online bookings in India. With humble beginnings in 2000, MakeMyTrip is now the go-to website for Indians, for business and leisure travel alike. What started out as a travel company catering to the overseas Indian community in the United States for their travels to and from India is now one of the most awarded online companies in India.

Coming from a management background, a steady climb up the corporate ladder seemed the most justified course. Upon his graduation from IIM Ahmedabad, Deep joined ABN AMRO, where he worked for three years before taking a break for a year. He worked with AMF Bowling Ltd., and attempted to popularise bowling in India, setting up bowling alleys, but it didn’t do too well. He then joined GE Capital in 1999 before the idea for starting an internet business struck him in 2000. That was when he decided to launch MakeMyTrip, after realising the wealth of possibilities the internet afforded him. Deep realised that a lot of money could be saved in travel bookings by eliminating the middleman in booking transactions, while making the transaction seamless and hassle free.

MakeMyTrip was launched in the middle of the dot com crash. Times were so bad, venture capital companies didn’t want to fund any more online companies. MakeMyTrip was one of the last companies that managed to secure funding from eVentures before it itself shut down shortly thereafter.

Deep brought MakeMyTrip to India in the year 2005, at a time when Indian Railways had launched online reservations and when India was in the midst of a low-cost airline boom. He managed to secure further funding, and the future started to look bright again for MakeMyTrip.

Eighteen years on, Deep Kalra has successfully weathered the turbulence he faced in his early years as an entrepreneur. Today, MakeMyTrip has an annual turnover of more than $650 million and employs more than 3000 people.

An entrepreneur who has surmounted formidable odds to make his company come out stronger than ever, Deep Kalra is our Xpert on entrepreneurship. At Xpert he shares with you his journey, the ups and downs, the lessons he learnt and his own tips to anyone aspiring to become an entrepreneur. At Xpert, you can ask him your own questions about his life and journey, as well as seek his guidance and advice.

Xpert is an online platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. Offering an extensive selection of celebrities who are at the top of their respective professions, Xpert helps to bring you closer to the people who inspire you through a Q&A platform. Besides entrepreneurship, Xpert offers you content from leading personalities from fields as diverse as film acting, Bollywood singing, cricket, cooking and so much more. Sign up today, and ask your first question!

Ritesh Agarwal: taking the hotel industry by storm!

1993-born Ritesh Agarwal stirred up the hospitality industry with his OYO Rooms becoming the largest hotel network in India, offering more than 100,000 rooms across more than 230 cities. Lack of a college education being no bar for him, he founded what has today become the largest aggregator of hotel rooms, bed-and-breakfasts and homestays, and OYO itself is worth $5 billion.

Often for a lot of travellers, a room that looks good on a hotel website often turns out to be far less glamorous in reality, leading to disappointment and frustration. OYO became a platform that delivered on its promise of offering branded hotels with no nasty surprises for guests. Starting with only one property in Gurgaon in 2013, OYO has over 8500 properties under its umbrella today.

It was while Ritesh was travelling across India on a budget and staying at some appalling accommodations did the idea for OYO strike him. He realised that a trustworthy database of affordable quality hotels and guest houses was something India needed. He also learned that aggregating a list of hotels on a website wasn’t enough – they’d need to be repaired and done up so they can be brought up to par with other hotels of the same class. Ritesh even spent a year doing all sorts of jobs at a hotel, which gave him a deeper understanding of how the hospitality industry works.

In 2013 Ritesh received a $100,000 fellowship from the founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, who subsidises students who drop out from college to start their businesses. Ritesh got his big break in 2015 when he got $100 million in venture capital from Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corporation. OYO is now the largest accommodation chain in South Asia, and it is now venturing into the Chinese and UK markets.

Ritesh Agarwal is India’s youngest millionaire, and being only in his mid twenties, he is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in India. His success story is indeed a tale to tell, and that’s what makes him our Xpert on entrepreneurship. Learn about his journey, his experiences and so much more only on Xpert!

Xpert is an online platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. Offering an interactive Q&A platform where you can ask questions to the people you admire the most, Xpert has a selection of renowned celebrities who are at the top of their respective professions. Ranging from Bollywood dance to cricket, from cooking to makeup, Xpert has something for everyone. Sign up today, and ask your first question!

A Glimpse Into the World of Makeup with Cory Walia

Cory Walia is an artist who needs no introduction. For a quarter of a century, he has worked his magic with prominent Bollywood celebrities and is the undisputed top makeup artist in the industry today. Known for giving brides their dream looks on their wedding day, Cory is a makeup artist par excellence. He is part of Lakme’s bridal dream team. Cory Walia has been engaged in editorial photo shoots, fashion shows, films and weddings and has been instrumental in shaping the Indian makeup and fashion industry.

Cory Walia left his family’s business at the age of 29 to pursue a career in makeup. He says the profession of being a makeup artist gives him immense joy and says that makeup is a tool to empower women.


He believes that beauty and gorgeousness can only come from within, and the purpose of makeup is merely to enhance the pre-existing beauty.

Xpert is an online platform that seeks to make learning from the best free for all. With an extensive selection of prominent and reputed celebrities available to learn from, you will truly be learning from the best. You can choose from Bollywood dance, Bollywood singing, cooking, cricket, entrepreneurship, acting and so much more! With leading celebrities from diverse fields, we are happy to have something for everyone.

Cory Walia is our Xpert on beauty and makeup. Get a closer look into the endlessly fascinating world of makeup artistry as Cory takes you through his life and his profession. He will teach you his tips and tricks on how to take the fullest advantage of cosmetics so that you can look your best. Understand colour combinations and which products suit which skin types and ask him your own questions on Xpert. Join the platform and ask him your first question today!



Presenting India’s Global Chef – Vicky Ratnani!

Vicky Ratnani, the lovable, cheery and witty chef who has won our hearts on TV with his entertaining shows did not have it planned to become a chef. Born and brought up in Mumbai, he graduated with a degree in commerce, though he was never really keen on joining his father’s textile business. He ended up joining IHM and was fascinated by the culinary aspects of the hospitality industry. In his second year he discovered his love for cooking, and he hasn’t looked back since.

With some encouragement along the way, Vicky trained at top tier hotels like The Oberoi and The Leela before going on to work on board the world’s most prestigious ocean liners, heading the kitchen and working with people from almost 40 nationalities.

On his return to India, Vicky took charge of restaurants like Aurus and Nido’s, created some revolutionary dishes and made the restaurants rank among the best eateries in the country. His cooking style focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. He considers himself an ‘experimenter’ with tastes and flavours and introduced to Indian diners the concept of molecular gastronomy.

Obsessed with travelling and exploring the world, Vicky discovers the best of local flavours in far flung corners of the world, infusing them into his own recipes and creating dishes that are an instant hit with whoever is fortunate to try them out.


A charming television personality, Vicky’s shows are fun-filled and enriching. He is a versatile chef who is equally at ease cooking European dishes as he is with Indian food. He made his first appearance on TV alongside Maria Goretti on the show Do It Sweet, a show all about desserts which aired on NDTV Good Times and turned out to be his most memorable till date.

He then went vegetarian for three whole months for his show Vicky Goes Veg, where he took vegetarianism to an art form. The show became widely popular and a second season was produced. A cookbook of the same name containing Vicky’s vegetarian recipes was also published.

In his show Vicky Goes Desi, he creates lip-smacking and flavoursome Indian dishes with his own unique twist. He modernises Indian cuisine in the show, with each dish a celebration of our country’s culinary heritage.

Vicky Ratnani is our Xpert on cooking. Get a closer look at his life and work on Xpert, and learn his tips and tricks firsthand. Not only will he share his cooking secrets with you, but he will also answer questions that you, as his fans, may have for him.

Xpert is an online platform that seeks to make learning from the best free, by bringing fans closer to their favourite celebrities. Along with Vicky Ratnani we have an extensive list of popular and leading celebrities who are no less than the best at their professions. Sign up today and ask your favourite celebrity a question!


How Vicky Ratnani’s TV Shows Made Him A Household Name

A self professed explorer and lover of flavour and taste, celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani has become a household name with his tastefully unique and easygoing approach to food. Known for his charm and his wit, he is a chef with a difference. Vicky’s love for food stemmed from his mother’s cooking. Despite being a commerce graduate, he did not want to join his father’s textile business and joined IHM Mumbai. It was only in his second year that he discovered his love for cooking. And the rest, as they say, is history.


Vicky Ratnani’s recipes are modern and enticing, and his TV shows are testament to his passion. He made his first TV appearance alongside Maria Goretti on Do It Sweet, a show which featured some of the most delectable desserts on NDTV Good Times, which he says is his most memorable show.

He also demonstrated his own inimitable take on vegetarian food on the show called Vicky Goes Veg for which Vicky is said to have had only vegetarian food for three months! The show, which too aired on NDTV Good Times, was very well received by the Indian audience, and Vicky says it was a “life changing experience”. Owing to its immense popularity, a cookbook of the same name has also been published, and a second season of the show is also been aired, much to viewers’ delight. Vicky has hosted a number of other shows including Vickypedia, Vicky Goes Desi and Vicky Goes Foreign.

Vicky toured Australia extensively, discovering its culture and cuisine in his recent show, Taste Down Under, which aired on Living Foodz. The show, which was a collaboration between Living Foodz and Tourism Australia, brought to the Indian audience the beauty of Australia’s landscape and its various sights, sounds and flavours, further strengthening the country’s reputation as a food and adventure destination.

If you are a fan of Vicky Ratnani’s shows, come and check out Vicky Ratnani on Xpert! Xpert is an online platform which aims at making learning from the best free for all.

Vicky Ratnani is our Xpert on cooking. Learn all about the celebrity chef’s life, what made him become a chef, his kitchen hacks and quick fixes as well as his insider knowledge of the culinary scene in India and abroad. At Xpert, Vicky answers questions that you, as his fans, ask him about his life and his profession. Log on to today, and ask Vicky Ratnani your first question!

We also have other highly renowned celebrity chefs on the Xpert platform, as well as a variety of celebrities who are leaders in their respective professions. Visit Xpert and get to know your favourite celebrities better as they share their journey, their techniques and insider tips with you.

Follow your passion. Learn from the best. Make your dreams come true.