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Portrait of an engineer as a leader

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Sohan Roy who is chasing two passion - marine engineering and films

Sohan Roy, a marine engineer and a film enthusiast based in Sharjah, UAE, has pioneered in various fields and strives to improve the image of India in the international scenario…. writes Rajitha Saleem.  The visionary,  who want to elevate India to international standards, is on a $ 10 billion project—Indywood—intends to revolutionise the production, screening and marketing strategies of Indian cinema

Sohan Roy who is chasing two passion - marine engineering and films
Sohan Roy who is chasing two passion – marine engineering and films

Mr Sohan Roy carries many laurels…the director/producer of only Oscar entry from the India in the mainstream competition category so far; an entry into the Guinness Book of World records; ranked among the `Top Indian leaders in the Arab World’ by Forbes… the list goes on.

His bio-data reflects on his accomplishments in varied fields of life that one is prompted to go back and forth through the pages to ascertain that these are the achievements of a single person. Sohan Roy hails from Kerala, the God’s Own Country in India, and determined to change the way world views Indian film industry and Marine technology, the two main passions of his life.

“Every work if done with passion will give you results which often surprises oneself,” comments the man with the Midas touch to turn everything into a roaring success.  Roy is in the midst of an ambitious $ 10 billion investment project—Indywood—which promises to take the Indian film industry on par with Hollywood. Project Indywood, as it is fondly called intends to revolutionise the production, screening and marketing strategies of Indian cinema.

Receiving World Leadership Congress Award (2015)
Receiving World Leadership Congress Award (2015)

The highlight of the project is that a consortium of 2000 corporate firms and NRI investors will initiate 10,000 new multiplex screens with 4K projection facility and 100,000 home cinemas with 2K projection in the next five years.  The project also has plans to revamp the existing theatres, film studios, animation/FFX Studios and film schools to international standards.

“My intention is to set up a first film carnival in the world with film festival, film market, red carpets, awards, entertainments, theme park, talent hunt, panel discussions, network parties, investor meets etc. to promote film tourism, which will bring thousands of foreign delegates and tourists to India,” added Roy.

Sohan Roy dreams of forming an India based world film society, which will launch many international co-productions from India. He hopes to create 100,000 job opportunities in the animation, VFX, 2D-3D conversion, VR and AR fields, through this venture. He also wants to establish the world’s largest film school, animation school and media school in India in the next five years.

At Dreamworks Animation
At Dreamworks Animation

Sohan Roy acquired the first DTS mixing studio in Kerala, Vismayas Max from the famous Malayalam actor Mohanlal and made it to Aries Vismayas Max which now houses state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos Mixing Studio and Davinci Resolve DI Suite in Thiruvananthapuram. He also has to his credit the Ariesplex, which is one of the most advanced multiplexes in South Asia incorporated with 4K twin projectors, DMAX 3D and 64 Channel Dolby ATMOS technology, which has 6 screens. The Aries Epica studio from the Aries family in a pioneer in stereophonic sound mixing.

What is amazing is that all these initiatives come from a man who is professionally trained and highly successful in another trade—Marine Engineering and Technology. Trained in Marine Technology, he joined Merchant Navy as a marine engineer when he started his career. He worked for a while in UAE, but soon established his own company Aries Marine and Engineering services in 1998. The naval architecture and marine engineering consultancy, headquartered in Sharjah, soon expanded to more than 43 establishments with subsidiaries in India, Singapore, Qatar, Malaysia, USA, Oman, Italy, UK, Bahrain, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Combining his interest in media and marine technology, Roy started the first global maritime TV channel—Marine Biz TV. He was recently in the UK to interview the director of International Maritime Organisation.

It is his interest in sea landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the maker of `Aries Punnamada Chundan’ which is the largest steel snake boat in the world, with a length of 144 ft. accommodating up to 141 rowers. He is also the maker of the first scientifically designed unsinkable houseboat in India, made of steel, Safe BOTEL, with an unusual facet including great interiors and eco-friendly features.

Sohan Roy who is chasing two passion - marine engineering and films
Sohan Roy who is chasing two passion – marine engineering and films

But, what shot Sohan Roy to fame was the controversial 3D conceptual movie DAM 999, which contested in the 84th Academy Awards, for the Best picture, Original Song and Original score categories. The movie, a tribute to the 1975 Banqiao Dam disaster in china that claimed 250,000 innocent lives, was the first Hollywood project by Roy and was banned in Tamil Nadu, because of the similarity of its plot with the Mullaperiyar issue. The film also has to its credit that the screenplay written by Sohan Roy was added to the permanent core collection in Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The lyrics of the soundtracks in the movie were also written by Sohan Roy.

He has also made an award-winning documentary DAMs – The Lethal Water Bombs, on the Mullaperiyar issue, which reflects the miseries of thousands of people who are under the terror of a possible dam collapse. Saint Dracula 3D, Roy’s second international venture as the producer and the project designer, was also a contender in the 2012 Academy awards.

Another engaging project that Sohan Roy is immersed in is the 75 crore movie, `Burning Wells,’ a Hollywood film on Kuwait War to be co-directed by famous Malayalam director IV Sasi. As though all these engagements were not enough, Roy is engaged in many philanthropic activities, prominent among which is the charity movie, `Jalam,’ relief activities in Nepal and Chennai, adoption of 10 Ekal schools, Aries Education scholarships, parent pension scheme for the employees, and many more. Roy has introduced MediBiz TV, spreading the message of healthy living, Aries International Maritime Research Institute, a management assessment software, TIME (To Improve My Efficiency) and glass free 3D EPICA tablets and TV.

Sohan Roy is a visionary and his vision is to elevate  India as a global hub of the film industry and driving that vision is his childhood passion for films and the thrive to perfection. He is the recipient of many awards such as Alleem Excellence Award 2015 for ‘Next-Generation Leadership of the Year’, Global Indian of the Year 2014 Award, Sevachakra Puraskar/ Shining Image of India Award 2014 by All India Economy Survey, Super Quality Crown Award for Aries Group from All India Economic Survey Award Council, Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award 2013, Indira Gandhi Sadbhavana Award 2013, Newage Icon of the Year 2011, K R Narayanan Foundation Award for the Year 2011 and many more.

He lives in Kollam district in Kerala with his wife Abhini, an exemplary interior designer and a gifted dancer and has two beautiful and talented twin daughters, Nivedya and Nirmalya.