Rajen Udeshi

In conversation with  Ashwini Vethakan


Born in

Alma mater
Thomas’ College

Family members
My wife Sonal, daughter Diya and son Jash

Wanted to be
The CEO of an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise

Running an electronics business

A BMW – although I’m not really a car enthusiast

Would like to drive
A Lexus

One place you would like to go back to
Visiting the tulip gardens in Keukenhof (Amsterdam) for the first time in 2015 – my wife had always wanted to go and we made the trip after 22 years of marriage

Best advice received
Keep an eye on the future but live in the present – courtesy my wife


Likes to play
Table tennis, chess, Scrabble or sudoku on my iPad

Likes to watch
Cricket, NBA or Premier League football

Most unforgettable event
The birth of my children

Most forgettable event
I’ve forgotten it!

Purpose in life
To be happy


Most hated chore

Mantra to unwind
Using my iPad, watching TV shows and sports, reading or searching for new music

Impressed by
High achievers who are humble

Is challenged by

Happy place
My bedroom

Sports, music, watching TV series, and reading about finance, psychology and law

Pet peeves
Arrogant people and cigarette smoke

What you think about when you’re in the car
Reaching my destination

Items on your bucket list for the next six months
Travelling (if possible), losing weight (virtually impossible), improving my DJing skills and learning to scratch

Three items on the bucket list following retirement
I would like to host a retro dance show on the radio or at a club, open a multi-cuisine restaurant and eventually become a volunteer counsellor

The type of music you would play at a retro dance show
I’d play synth and electro pop, disco and R&B

Three must-haves
Passport, credit card and phone

One thing you would like to do
Talk to three of my closest family members who passed away – my parents and father-in-law. Sadly, it’s not possible

Three little-known facts about you
People find it hard to believe that I don’t use hair dye, can be very serious and intense, and was among the first batch of radio jockeys when Yes FM launched in 1993


Day of the week

Blue, grey and white

Chill out spot

Work wear
Short sleeve shirt and cotton trousers

Leisure wear
T-shirts with shorts or track pants

Polo Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer and ColorPlus

Pizza, Italian, Mexican, North Indian and everything my wife cooks – and she cooks everything!

Homemade ginger beer, Coke or Pepsi

Local holiday destination
A tea factory

Overseas holiday destinations
The US, Switzerland and Loughborough in the UK

Rocco’s, The Mango Tree and Shanmugas

Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Kevin Spacey and Michael J. Fox

The Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Commodores (Lionel Richie), Pet Shop Boys, Diana Ross, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Calvin Harris, Duran Duran, Kool & the Gang, New Order, ABBA, The Weeknd and Yazoo

Jeffrey Archer, Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum

Favourite international sportsperson
Sachin Tendulkar – I consider him a great performer, ambassador and role model

Obsessed with
My sports teams winning

Likely retirement destination
Colombo or the Monterey Peninsula in California – because they’re both very beautiful and scenic places


Colombo in one word

The world in one word

When you dance, you look…

The first thing you notice when meeting someone
His or her eyes

You know it’s going to be a bad day when…
I don’t get enough sleep

Recently laughed out loud when…
Playing board games with my wife and children

You are saddened when…
I see people suffering with mental health issues

Sri Lanka will have a chance to develop when…
It’s ready

Social media is…
Both good and bad – it depends on how it’s used

Sri Lanka in a few words
Paradise and traditional with a modern touch

Message of positivity in these trying times
The curfew reminded me that very lit­tle is needed to live if you have food, clothing, shelter and loved ones


Memory skills on a scale of 0 to 10
When I was younger, they were between 9.5 and 10. Presently, I would say my memory skills score an eight… but according to my wife, it’s three!

Computer ability in one word

Most productive in the morning, noon or night

A leader or follower by nature

Cook or foodie

Work out preferences
Walking or going to the gym

Quality or quantity

The glass is half full or half empty
Half empty

Work or play after retirement

The most delightful word you can think of

Do you consider yourself to be a student or teacher?
Student – I’m not patient enough to teach

A technology that you think will transform the future
Driverless cars

Your most used word or phrase
Let me finish, please…

Role model
There isn’t one person; I’ve learned a lot from different people but must mention VVS Laxman because his dignity and poise under pressure is something I really admire

Yourself in a few words
Logical, intelligent, sensitive and deep

Motto in life
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Rajen is a Director of Siedles