Bangalore-based Karan Kadam (14) created history on May 12, in the seaside resort of Colva, Goa, when he won the â€˜Group Aâ€™ â€˜Indian Experts Foreign Motorcycles Class Raceâ€™ (upto 250 cc) in the second leg of the MRF National Motocross Championship. The youngest to have achieved this feat, Karan was also adjudged Best Rider of the meet. Though under-age to qualify for an official driverâ€™s license to ride the streets of the garden city (or elsewhere), he is the youngest Indian to obtain the Riders Competition License from the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India (FMSCI). No small achievement given that Karan took to motorcycling only 24 months ago.
Born into a family of automotive racing buffs â€” father Gautam Kadam, a two and four wheeler racing enthusiast and elder brother Bharat (16), an amateur two wheeler racer â€” Karan was initiated into biking when he was all of 12. "I started riding my fatherâ€™s Yamaha RX 135 in and around our farm in Kollegal. Initially it was the joy of riding a motorcycle that made me learn to handle the bike, but later the thrill of speed got me hooked to biking," he recalls.
Karan started racing in local motocross championships in the garden city in 2002. His prize-winning performances attracted the notice of Team Yamaha Racing â€” a group of bike racing professionals put together by Escorts Yamaha Motorcycles Ltd â€” who immediately invited him to ride with them. Team Yamaha loaned him two racing bikes â€” a YZ 250 cc and another training bike of the same series â€” and packed him off to Thailand for a two-month training stint under international racing champion and coach Among Srikarskit. "I learnt several riding and energy saving techniques in Thailand. During my two months there I practiced on several international race tracks, which helped me fine tune my riding skills," he acknowledges.
Contrary to popular belief, thereâ€™s more to competitive mobike racing than stepping on the gas. Young Karanâ€™s daily training regimen is gruelling. He wakes at 4 a.m for a three-hour gym workout before going to school and makes time for three hours of practice riding at the Agram motocross track in the evening. A student of Bangaloreâ€™s Stracey Memorial School, he also obtained a decent 69 percent average in the class VII board exam last year.
Currently ranked third in the national motocross rankings, Karan is not in the least inclined to slow down. "I want to be ranked first by this time next year which will make it easier for me to participate in international motocross championships in Malaysia and Thailand," he says with a determined glint in his eye.
Suddenly following economic liberalisation thereâ€™s a renaissance in Indian sport. Swimming, athletics, cricket, hockey, snooker, now young Indians are moving at full speed in the international motorsports arena. Vroom away!
Srinidhi Raghavendra (Bangalore)
Straying from the beaten career path, he has written a best-selling book and is the president of his own coaching classes company. All this before he has attained the age of 30! Meet Murtuza Gadiwala â€” CEO, administrator, author, and teacher.
A computer engineering graduate of Mumbaiâ€™s Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Gadiwala pressed on to acquire a business management degree in finance from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. Following his graduation he signed up with ICICI Bank as a manager between 1997 and 1998 while doubling as visiting faculty at the Institute of Management Studies (IMS), Mumbai.
Even while a B-school student and later when lecturing at IMS, Gadiwala became painfully aware of the paucity of quality study material to prepare for the tough CAT (Common Admission Test) exam for B-school admissions. Thus came MBA Entrance Made Easy, a comprehensive volume that provided model answers for prospective questions in CAT and other B-school entrance exams. Published in September 2000, this title has sold 7,000 copies thus far.
"After I had written the book, IMS asked me to either withdraw it from the market or quit. I choose to quit," reveals Gadiwala. Shortly thereafter he promoted SharpMinds â€” a tutorial college â€” which prepares students for entrance exams of most business schools in India. Classes begin in April and conclude in February. Included in the curriculum are mathematics, analytical studies and English with an emphasis on solving practice papers.
Currently Gadiwala has 120 students enrolled (tuition: Rs.14,000) at SharpMinds, and expects the number to rise. According to him many students from the newly promoted institute have made it into the countryâ€™s top management institutes such as the IIMs, Bajaj, XLRI, S.P Jain, NMIMS, Symbiosis among other front rank B-schools. "Our success rate in MBA entrance exams is excellent. Against the usual rate of 1:100 students, ours is 1:15," he says.
Future plans include establishing more centres in Mumbaiâ€™s suburbs, introducing tutorials for the BMS, GMAT exams and starting a correspondence course. "We have students approaching us from Ghaziabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Jamshedpur, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore for teaching materials. We plan to meet this demand by establishing centres in these cities as well as offering study material by post," adds Gadiwala.
Mona Barbhaya (Mumbai)