The beauty of lakes, a taste of cultural cuisines, and an imperial history all these things define Udaipur very well. No wonder Udaipur has been a choice of movie shooting over the years. History of movie shooting is not a new thing to Udaipur as urge from international as well national banners have selected Lake City for the shoots.
When it is about being a helping hand to producers and directors for the shoots in Udaipur, one of the prominent names is of Mukesh Madhwani. He is the versatile personality handling multiple businesses of Catering, Bakery, Event Management and Line Production in Udaipur. Team UT met him and got to know that beside business, he is also serving social reformation as Secretary of Rotary Club “Udai” and Committee member of Jacobabad Sindhi Panchayat and Sindhi Yuvaaz.
He believes in the statement of Paulo Coelho that “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: The fear of failure”.
UT team caught up in a one-to-one conversation with him to understand him and his dream of Film City in Udaipur.
Journey from catering business to film production
It’s easy to reach the top but hard to maintain. But, in the case of Mukesh Madhwani, it’s been a long journey to get to the top. He stated that struggle is not over yet. When we asked about his introduction to Film Industry, he said:
“It was a random catch for my father as during 1980’s when the shoot of Octopussy movie was about to start in Udaipur. My dad was asked by a good friend to provide catering at the shooting spot. The meal was prepared from our kitchen at Ashoka Caterers on a quick note and visit to Shiv Niwas Palace was made where authorities tasted the food. Luckily, everybody loved the food and rates were appropriate as per their demand. So, we started our supply to the production department for crew members in the film. Later on, we also covered the catering at the shoots of Jodhpur and Jaipur which gave us the opportunity to provide a supply in all over Rajasthan.
And, when I completed my graduation and course from Food Kraft Institute, I got involved with my father in the business of catering. In the year 2000, we started A-catering where we served food to the different big banners. After that, the actual turn towards movie production came up with The Fall film which was shot in Rajasthan in 2005. Along with one of my friend and companion in this industry Anil Mehta, I got involved in taking the legal permissions for the shoots as many directors and producers conveyed to us about their problem to have a rush when they want to shoot historic places.
In the year 2007, I became the Local Assistant Manager in the Film production sector of Rajasthan (Udaipur). This continued for two years and in the year 2010, actual turning point, the idea of Film City was crystallised in my mind. I have since then striven hard for a Filmcity in Lake City.”
Brief Overview of Ashoka Group
“Ashoka Group comprises of several firms. Ashoka Bakery provides finest of cake and bakery products. Ashoka Caterers serves catering services to Royal weddings, film and television shootings and other corporate events. The other firm, Ashoka Palace, provides ideal venue for wedding/birthday party and other events venue with all the latest facilities.
Besides, the group recently launched its new venture CineSpectrum. A Pre-wedding & wedding film production house with the high-end photography studio. .
A dream in wait but has the power to lead
“In 2010, we started out with the idea to have a Filmcity in Udaipur. We first contacted our local administration to initiate this plan. And, got positive feedback as well. Later, we reached print media to spread the idea of Film City in Udaipur. From there also we got positive review. Again, we shared our idea with film stars shooting in Udaipur, and they also loved the idea of Filmcity in Udaipur. Continuing in the series, we met with television stars as well, and they also supported that a Filmcity in Udaipur would be great!!
Big day came for us when we got to meet stalwarts of Tourism, Rajasthan’s Royalty and Government. And, from there on, a series of meetings started with Vasundhara Raje (Chief Minister of Rajasthan), Royal Custodian of Udaipur, ShreeJi Arvind Singh Ji Mewar, and Maharaja of Jodhpur Shree Gaj Singh Ji, Fondly called as Baapji. During meeting with all the higher authorities, we also got to know that even they were interested in promoting a Filmcity and complete production set-ups in Udaipur itself.”
Apart from all this, in our campaign of having Film City in Udaipur, I have assembled the best people to associate with. One out of which one is Anil Mehta who is my mentor and Rajasthan Line Producer. He has 35 years of experience in various aspects of Film Production. He has been a part of hundreds of Hollywood films, Bollywood films, television serials and advertisement shootings. He knows the mega budgets of the shoots. Santosh Kalra is an IT Guru and Consultant. He is one of the pioneers in Udaipur IT industry since 1999. He manages our social media communication, presence and impact. He has successfully launched and runs hundreds of online campaigns. And, Dinesh Gothwal manages print media, press releases, and print communication with government and administration.
Views to share with Udaipurites
“We were fortunate enough to meet all the personalities of Rajasthan. And, they all liked the innovative idea of Filmcity and gave us the privilege to share our effort to bring something unique to the Lake City. The government understands that film tourism is a source of hundreds of crores of rupees. It will bring thousands of new employment opportunities and has a potential to expose our Udaipur even more at the global level. Besides this, it will offer a platform for local artists and talents to the silver screen. And, also it will give more presence to beautiful locations and historical culture of Mewar.”