From realistic and edgy digital shows to melodramatic soap operas on television and hit films such as Dream Girl, Nachiket Pantvaidya, Group COO, Balaji Telefilms and CEO, ALTBalaji, is in the business of entertaining Indian masses across multiple platforms. While the company he steers is all about mass entertainment, Pantvaidya keeps himself energised through niche Indian classical music. Trained in tabla from the age of nine, his day seldom begins without an hour-long session of tabla every morning. He also plays the harmonium occasionally.
"My tabla time is my 'me-time'. I fiddle around with it and create new notes. Even there, I have good days and bad days when my notes go horribly wrong, but I look forward to that experience every morning," he says.
Pantvaidya's favourite raga is Khem-Kalyan. He also has a tabla instructor tutoring him once a week to fine-tune his skills, but tabla for Pantvaidya is more of an escape and he has absolutely no aspirations of becoming a professional tabla artist. "One needs to rehearse for seven-eight hours a day to play at a professional level and I don't have that kind of time," he adds.
When asked if his passion for tabla has actually taught him any business lessons, his response is rather candid, "Classical music is all about learning and not expecting anything in return, while business is all about investment and returns. I would rather insulate the two. Tabla gives me my personal space." Classical music also doesn't help him in his creative business. "The expressions used in classical art forms are quite different from that of neo-classical," he says.
Though playing the tabla neither opens a third eye nor does it inspire him to excel in his profession, Pantvaidya does feel incomplete on days he doesn't get to spend enough time with the instrument. "It's a part of my life," he says.