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Fashion Fiesta 2k18: The Bold & The Beautiful

Thiruvananthapuram: Everyone knows how a few ‘Like’s on Facebook can make one’s day. So imagine when it became one of the major criteria for a portrait contest, inviting employees from Technopark, Infopark, Cyberpark and other IT campuses in Kerala and Bengaluru. My Technopark, a mobile app developed by Technopark-based Prayan Infotech in association with technopolis

Thiruvananthapuram: Everyone knows how a few ‘Like’s on Facebook can make one’s day. So imagine when it became one of the major criteria for a portrait contest, inviting employees from Technopark, Infopark, Cyberpark and other IT campuses in Kerala and Bengaluru. My Technopark, a mobile app developed by Technopark-based Prayan Infotech in association with technopolis conducted Fashion Fiesta 2k18 from May 21 to August 31 which saw a whopping entry of around 1,200 participants.

Three months, around 1200 entries from IT Parks in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru, one app, several ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’, two winners, two first runners-up, two second runners-up and 15 finalists – we present to you the personalities that came on top in the Fashion Fiesta 2k18 photo contest held exclusively for IT professionals

Contestants were required to upload a recent, high-resolution photograph using My Technopark. The photographs would also be uploaded on the My Technopark Facebook page from where winners would be selected based on the most number of ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’, apart from categories like Best Face, Pose, Creativity and Quality. Fifteen finalists were shortlisted from which winners (male and female), first runners-up and second runners-up were selected.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for the many aspiring techie models in Kerala’s IT Parks. It is not easy for a person who is not a celebrity to appear on the cover of a magazine,” says Remesh Ram, CEO of Prayan. “‘Fashion Fiesta 2k18’ was meant to be a break from the norm,” adds Vinayan V, COO. Unnikrishnan J S, Digital Marketing Head, who was at the forefront to conduct the contest notes that although the last date for entries was July 31, it was then extended by another month after considering the number of entries that was coming in.

“The maximum number of entries we expected for this competition was around 500. But Facebook posts about the competition drew the attention of techies from Bengaluru too asking if they could participate in the contest. The criteria proved to be very successful as it was conducted in a very fair manner,” says Dabison K R, UX Designer. “Yadhu Krishna, the male category winner of the contest works in a company which has a strength of around 50 people. We are happy that the opportunity came to a person from a non-MNC with no modelling background.”

The My Technopark app was developed a year ago and it has 30,000 plus users. People have applied to more than one lakh jobs through this app as it provides information like job openings in organisations located at Technopark and Infopark as well as companies outside the Parks, accommodation options, news, events, transportation, restaurants, ATMs, banks, hospitals, malls, automobile workshops, live train status, emergency contacts and telephone numbers of plumbers and electricians. My Technopark team had earlier organised a grand event called ‘My Techno Fiesta’, at Technopark which featured an Auto Expo. More than 30 luxury and altered vehicles were showcased at the exhibition.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for the many aspiring techie models in Kerala’s IT Parks. It is not easy for a person who is not a celebrity to appear on the cover of a magazine” – Remesh Ram, CEO, Prayan Infotech

PICTURE PERFECT

Parvathy Somanath
Senior Systems Engineer, QBurst

FACT FILE

Favourite Actors: Mohanlal, Mammootty

Favourite Holiday Destination: Home (because I rarely get to go)

Favourite Dish: Homemade food, especially ‘Pachadi’

One character trait you’d like to change: I trust people easily and that has landed me in trouble

If you are wondering where you have seen Parvathy before, don’t think too hard. Let Parvathy tell you instead: “I was the second runner up of the ‘Face of the Year 2016’ contest conducted by a Malayalam fortnightly magazine. That was my entry into the modelling world. I then went onto model for Pothys, Kalyan Silks, Super Saravana Stores, Mall of Travancore, Lazza Ice Cream and many others.” Parvathy, who has anchored programmes for Mazhavil Manorama and Surya TV, is a dancer too.

When stuck in traffic, where most people while away time by tuning into the radio or looking around at the plight of fellow commuters, Parvathy, as a little girl, would gape, wonderstruck at the images of models on hoardings displayed on the roads. Little did she know what the future held. Recently, Parvathy also starred in Malayalam movie Panchavarnathatha, Ramesh Pisharody’s directorial debut. “In spite of my tight work schedule, the office was lenient enough to grant me leave of absence during the shoot,” she says crediting her employer with being able to make time for her alternate passion. “QBurst is very supportive. Most of my shoots are scheduled during the weekends and held in Kochi. So I need to travel a lot on a weekly basis. But the moral support my company gives me has played a major role in my success.”

She also thanks her academician-parents for giving her the freedom to choose what makes her happy. “My father has always been my pillar of strength and role model. He has never restricted me from doing things just because I am a girl. He accompanies me to shoots. His support gives me immense strength, considering the fact that I come from a traditional family where my choice to model was not initially welcomed,” she explains. A native of Kayamkulam, Parvathy loves the trendy yet peaceful environment that Technopark offers. “It feels like an extension of college,” she quips. “I don’t have dreams of pursuing acting or modelling on a full-time basis. Most of my family members are Engineering graduates so it is in my blood.”

STYLE FACTOR

Yadhu Krishna
Statistician, Cognub Decision Solutions

FACT FILE

Favourite Actors: Leonardo Di Caprio, Fahadh Faasil

Favourite Holiday Destination: Home

Favourite Dish: Homemade food (dosa and chutney)

One character trait you’d like to change: Concern about what others think about me

Never in his wildest dreams did Yadhu Krishna think a weekend trip with his friends to a resort in Munnar would land him on the cover of a magazine. “I am yet to come to terms with the fact that I am the winner of the ‘Fashion Fiesta 2k18’ contest. I applied only after the contest was halfway, that too because my friends pushed me to. That photo was taken in Munnar,” he recollects. “This is the very first time I am appearing for a photo contest.”

Yadhu is hard to miss with the mid-length tresses. He says his days as a student at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam was what shaped his outlook towards life. “I started growing my hair during my days there,” he says. There is a larger cause to his decision now though. Yadhu has been growing his hair for the last three years with the motive of donating it to HairBank – an initiative by Miracle Charitable Association for promoting hair donation to cancer patients. “My family has never said no to my decisions and support me in this as well,” says the youngster who looks up to his mother as the ideal leader and perfect finance manager at home.

Son of noted sculptor Reghunadhan K, Yadhu too is an artist. He specialises in pencil sketches and won first and third place during the literary and art festival Srishti, held at Technopark, in 2016 and 2017. “I like the atmosphere at Technopark. After a long break, it was Technopark that gave me the opportunity to polish my drawing skills through Srishti. I was lucky to receive the third place at Srishti 2017 from Malayalam writer Benyamin, whom I was longing to meet,” says an elated Yadhu who has been working at the Park for four years.

He appreciates the freedom his company allows him to chase his dreams. The statistician initially wanted to be an ornithologist, but his fondness for Statistics when studying B. Sc. Mathematics landed him at Technopark. Yadhu is also an ardent multi-lingual movie buff. Even though he is yet to give modelling a shot, he has no qualms about taking it up either. Yadhu dreams of starting a homestay near the major tourist attraction Kakkathuruthu Island, in his hometown Alappuzha.

First runner-up (Female)

Sreedevi Sarat, HR professional, Allianz Cornhill

Sreedevi Sarat, who has been working at Technopark for three years is an active participant and coordinator at all the socio-cultural programmes within Allianz. She has also participated in events conducted by ‘Natana’ – a cultural club at Technopark. “I got many opportunities after joining Technopark. If I did not become a techie, I would have chosen to make a career out of my passion for dance,” the Thiruvananthapuram native says.

 FACT FILE

Favourite Actors: Mohanlal, Shobana, Deepika Padukone

Favourite Holiday Destination: Switzerland

Favourite Dish: Anything with chicken in it

One character trait you’d like to change: My handwriting

First runner-up (male)

SunderJith K, Product Development Engineer, Envestnet Inc.

From Kozhikode, Sunderjith has been working at the city branch of Envestnet, a Technopark-based company. He admires Elon Musk as a leader and wishes to excel in his domain with a perfectly balanced personal, social and professional life. He also has plans to establish an automobile startup. “Modelling was never on my mind. But since I got an opportunity now, I am willing to give it a shot,” says Sunderjith.

 FACT FILE

Favourite Actors: Mohanlal, Aamir Khan

Favourite Holiday Destination: Norway

Favourite Dish: Malabar Chicken Biriyani

One character trait you’d like to change: Procrastination

SECOND runner-up (Female)

Anjali P Kumar, Senior Commercial underwriting Assistant; Allianz Cornhill

Anjali has taken up modelling assignments for Seematti, Oyshee, Saveri, Prakrithi, Vedhika and Amazon Kerala Sarees. She loves to dance and if not for a career in IT, Anjali would have become a yoga instructor.

FACT FILE

Favourite Actor: Kamal Hassan

Favourite Holiday Destination: Bengaluru

Favourite Dish: Amma’s fish curry

One character trait you’d like to change: Short temper

SECOND runner-up (male)

Balu Ramesh, Senior Analyst, Business Operations, TechVantage Systems

This young man’s father, social worker Ramesh B Menon, has had a huge influence on his life. Balu has participated in various campaigns at the Park, including the strike against Jallikettu, blood donation camps, Prathidhwani’s initiave for more trains at Kazhakootam, and post-flood relief activities. A social worker is what he would have been if not a techie.

FACT FILE

Favourite Actors: Dulquer Salman

Favourite Holiday Destination: Poonjar, where I hail from

Favourite Dish: Amma’s vegetarian dishes

One character trait you’d like to change: My emotional quotient, working on improving it

Other Winners

The 30 finalists (Men and Women) of ‘FF 2K18’ were selected from 25 companies in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The men finalists are Vishnu (Wipro), Syed Shah (PIT Solutions), Sreejesh (Wipro), Sarath Mohan (Allianz Cornhill), Vineeth R S (UST Global), Rakesh Kumar (Phykon Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Thomas George (Innovation Incubator), Abhilash (RR Donnelly),Muhammed Aslam (Ernst &Young), Tijo Tom (GES Infotek Pvt. Ltd.), Abhinand SJ (Allianz Cornhill), Jithin Kumar K J (Navigant Consulting), Anoop Nair (Envestnet Asset Management), Muhammed Niyas (Speridian Technologies Pvt. Ltd.) and Binil Baby (Experion Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.).

The women finalists are Josemin Jose  (Syntrio Technologies), Fathima Saleem (Innovation Incubator), Theertha Paikkat (PIT Solutions), Anjana Vijayadas (IBS Software), Ashna Satheesh (Allianz Cornhill), Sharanya Surendran (Tata Elxsi), Lakshmi M (Ernst &Young), Merly S Joseph (IIITMK), Femi Bluvet (Wipro) Reshmi Nelson (Wipro) Anjali Kumar (Finastra), Sreelekshmi M (SunTec Business Solutions) Arya  (RR Donnelley), Sharon Sara Varghese (IBS Software Services) and Aiswarya T Das (Tata Consultancy Services).

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