Marching to His Own Beat - Harshit Madan

Harshit Madan is the business development head of his iron re-rolling mill (a family business that manufactures iron angles) and designated partner in his industrial consultancy firm. To top it all off, this young businessman is also passionate about drumming, and keeps himself busy by practicing and performing at gigs. In our recent candid conversation, he gave us some interesting insight into his life, work, and love of music.

What made you join the family business?
When I was in college, I’d often make trips to our factory and always found it extremely fascinating. Joining the family business felt like a step in the right direction as I would be able to apply what I’ve learned. The business would help me grow professionally, and hopefully in return, I’d help the business grow.

You also have a company of your own. Tell us about that.
Even after I had joined my family business, I still felt that I needed to explore different industries. So for four years, I worked with multiple
sectors in various industries. These includedthe minerals/mining industry, iron and steel, refractory product manufacturing, cooling tower manufacturing and more.

In 2017, when I was working with a cooling tower manufacturer, I incorporated Madan Industrial Solutions (MIS) LLP, for the sole purpose of dealing with cooling towers.In 2018, I enrolled myself in the Global Family Managed Business program at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, to learn more. After thatI expanded MIS into an industrial consultancy.

On a different note, we hear you’ve been playing the drums for the past 15 years. Tell us about that.
It all started back in 2003, when the movie Jhankar Beats was released. All the lead actors were part of a band, and that fascinated me – so much so that I forced my mom to take me to a music academy. Unsure about what instrument to learn, it was mom’s suggestion to go for the instrument that Rahul Bose played in the movie. That’s when I started learning the drums, and I fell in love instantly. That probably was one of the best decisions of my life. I then formed a band in school and was overwhelmed by the response. It made me realise how beautiful it is being able to play music. That’s when I decided to enrol myself for the examinations conducted by Trinity College of Music, London. In 2016, four others and I formed a band called Leela Fireworks.

You’ve also played gigs in the city.
Yes, since 2016 I’ve played multiple gigs in multiple venues all over the city. Apart from Leela Fireworks, I’ve played with Stranger Kids and did a couple of gigs for People’s Collective, a music community building initiative by Tree Huggers Cassette (THC). In 2017, all the members of Leela Fireworks were given the Rockstar Privilege Pass by Hard Rock Café. We play progressive and alternative rock. Now that most venues are moving to regional music (as it’s currently the genre that generates the most revenue), it’s getting a little tougher to get gigs in the city. But we would rather do fewer gigs than change our style of music.

We learned that you recently did a course in electronic music.
I went to an academy to learn drums, but I’ve always been fascinated by other instruments as well. So along with drums, I used to learn the guitar via YouTube lessons. During college, I decided to concentrate only on drums, as it felt like home. During the lockdown I figured I’d use that time to learn music production. A friend of mine introduced me to Udemy, which had a bunch of certified online courses. I always wanted to learn music production, as it would help me achieve a deeper understanding of music. Luckily, they had an amazing course on music production on Ableton Live.

If there was one person you’d like to swap your life with, who would it be?
Everyone is fascinated by superheroes and growing up, I was a huge fan of Batman. But if you talk about the movies, Iron Man has to be my favourite. And the only person who reminds me of Tony Stark is Elon Musk – the CEO of Tesla, founder of SpaceX, HyperLoop, Neuralink, and the list goes on. I think it would be extremely interesting to live life as him, even if it’s for a day. I’m sure there are a lot of projects or inventions in the pipeline, which haven’t been made public, yet. And if I’m lucky, I might just get my hands on the Iron Man suit one of these days.        --- as told to Anahita