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Sunday Special » People

Posted at: Apr 16, 2017, 12:08 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2017, 12:08 AM (IST)

Deconstructed: Real to reel

Vijay C Roy in Chandigarh
Deconstructed: Real to reel
An engineering degree from London and a handful of job offers during college placement drives were unable to persuade Gunbir Singh Sidhu, 35. Overshadowing all those offers was his love for cinema and a dream to be an entrepreneur. Co-founder of a production company with a turnover of about Rs 100 crore, Sidhu has produced more than 10 movies and distributed over 50 across the globe.

After completing his masters’ degree in chip designing from Imperial College, London, in 2003, Sidhu returned to India the next year. With no one to guide but his instinct, Sidhu started selling and buying used cars with an initial investment of Rs 1.5 lakh from his personal savings.

He switched to real estate, education, agriculture and finance. He ventured into the Punjabi cinema (Pollywood) in 2011 with a co-producer and came out with an all-time hit, Jatt and Juliet (2012), after pledging shares and equity. Among his other successful films are Sardaarji 1, Sardaarji 2, Jatt and Juliet 2 and Punjab 1984.

As a distributor, Sidhu was the man behind the wide release of Jatt and Juliet 2 in Pakistan in 2013 in association with two other companies. It was the first Punjabi film to be released in over 15 screens in Pakistan.

What prompted him to change his career midstream? Sidhu says: “It’s passion for films. As a child, I used to watch at least one movie a week. I didn’t realize when my liking for films turned into a passion.”

Does his academic knowledge help him in any way? “It helps a lot in building and managing my team. Technical knowledge, too, makes me understand things better. Education is never a waste of time: it helps you in achieving your ambition,” Sidhu says. He has ventured into music. “Movies are my passion and I will continue working in the field to improve my skills.”

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