Young President’s Organization (YPO) is the largest, most exclusive and well-connected network of business leaders in the world with more than 10,000 members, spread across 194 chapters and 94 nations. The average YPO member is 43 years old and manages a company with over 1,000 employees. The average annual sales for a YPO-managed company is $206M.
The YPO University is an annual get-together of 300 CEOs plus their spouses for a conference to discuss emerging trends, new markets and to exchange knowledge and experiences. In the year 2008 India was selected as the venue and the Bombay chapter played the host.
The Opening Night of any YPO University is always the flagship event of the conference and was a challenge from the outset. YPOers by virtue of their profile have seen and come to expect only the best. So the event had to be a first of its kind, had to showcase India and had to be a spectacular half hour. It also had to be staged at a signature location with prominent historical significance. Hence it was decided to hold the event with the majestic Gateway of India as the backdrop.
The theme for the conference was "Where Centuries Coexist".
The theatrical production was crafted to ensure that it was not merely a historical and chronological piece on India. Instead it had all the trappings of a powerful, vibrant and beautifully choreographed stage musical.
The grandeur of the Gateway of India that served as a stunning backdrop, a 120 strong cast of actors, dancers and singers, both adults and children, that took your breath away, beautifully designed and detailed costumes, impactful archival footage, a pulsating soundtrack and spectacular lighting were the ingredients we used to make the event memorable.
Director: Rajit Kapur
Dances: Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company
Music: Merlin D’Souza
Set Design: Xheight Design
Light Design: Pushan Kripalani & Arghya Lahiri
The Cast: Zafar Karachiwala, Sohrab Ardeshir, Joy Sengupta, Vikrant Chaturvedi, Devika Shahani, Pramod Pawar, Hemant Kher, Amruta Subhash, Parveena Banu Fakhar, Satchit Puranik, Vivienne Pocha, Anish Gandhi
An event managed by Fountainhead Promotions and Events
The event was received as one of the best events most members had attended in years. The YPO University Opening Night 2008 received the rare distinction of having been the only opening night of any university to have received a huge standing ovation.
"The show, 'India Where Centuries Coexist' was outstanding and deeply moved and touched all the 260 YPOers and their spouses. It is for the first time that a standing ovation was given to any Opening Night Social. We would like to thank you for giving us an unforgettable evening, showcasing the best of India and Mumbai."
— Raj Salgaocar, Social Chair, YPO India University 2008