No Shying Away from Bold Career Choices, Indian Parents Have Now Evolved

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While parents and students are busy chasing IITs and IIMs of the country, there is also a certain section of the society that takes a road less travelled. Cinema and art have evolved as preferred professions over the years and while the engineers and doctors also exist, film schools have also stood their ground and evolved with time.

Whistling Woods

Founded by one of India's leading filmmakers Subhash Ghai, Whistling Woods International (WWI) is a Film, Television, Animation, Communication, Fashion, Music and Media Arts institute located in Mumbai, India. The ten-year old institute is spearheaded by the creative duo Rahul Puri and Meghna Ghai Puri.

Entrepreneur spoke to the couple about how the institute has evolved over the years and adapted to changing industry trends.

Adapting to changing trends

"This industry is really dynamic. So whether its technology or actually the whole process of filmmaking, everything keeps changing with changing times and its very important for an institute like ours to be ahead of its time almost because by the time our students graduated they need to fit in. Not really fit in but make a mark for them in the industry. So I think one of the biggest things that we took up as a challenge and it was a challenge of course to achieve that is to make sure that the industry engagement never stops," Meghna says.

While traditional career choices like civil services and engineering have always been preferred by parents, things have definitely changed over the years.

Bold career choices

According to Rahul things have changed greatly. "When we first began, we were a diploma course basically taking post graduates in you know students that have finished their undergraduate degree therefore they kind of have a freedom to in terms of what kind of a post-graduate course they want to do, however there was still a very large education that needed to be done to parents because there was a great of reluctance and didn't know very much about the placements would be like or how their careers would be like and all those kinds of things, And I think that over the last 10 years one of the good things Whistling Woods has seen through our initiatives in terms of marketing and education to parents and our partnership now with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences is where we are now working undergraduate degrees for courses like film and acting and music and fashion. Parents are far now more comfortable and sending students at a much younger age," he adds.

Adding to that Meghna said, "It was always that when we would recruit students the parents were always shying away from this career they never really thought that there was anything for their children and they always treated it like a hobby which always made me a little sad because I really felt that the students really had potential and talent but they weren't allowed to actually enter this field. But over the years we have really seen parents becoming more and more encouraging, parents who come and tell us that our child is creative but do not belong to this industry, so help us and advise us as to how our child could do better and I think one of the things that we have established with the outside world and especially parents is a relationship of trust ...."

(Learn more about the couple in the March issue of Entrepreneur India Magazine 2017)