Whether it is earning a livelihood or entertaining people, this man surely knows how to create an edge over others! From having his own premium transportation service to a music band, he has done it all!
Meet Mr Krishna Prasad Sharma. He owns a premium car rental company called Lemon Cars Rental Private Ltd in Kolkata and also has a music band called GAONA INDIA.
Q- Hello Krishna. Tell me about your journey from car rentals to a music band.
A-Car rentals is my primary business. I am also a member of the BNI. Once, I was at a BNI event where I met Neeraj Banka who is a singer and a keyboard player. We got along well and gradually started jamming together. After practicing for a few months, we decided to perform. At the next BNI event, I sang while he played the keyboard. People really liked our collective performance. Then we felt that we could have our own band! We formed our band called Gaona India and well, it has been 4 years now.
Q- Interesting. Gaona India is a catchy and an unusual name for a band. I am sure there is a story behind the name.
A-Yes there is. We believe that everyone likes to sing, whether inside a bathroom or elsewhere. The thought behind Gaona India was essentially interactive singing. Whenever we have a show to perform, we don’t just stand in the barricade and sing. We interact with people and ask them to sing along. This is our main forte.
Neeraj and I both realized that we are not great singers like Arijit Singh and we don’t have the ability to mesmerize people for long. So we thought of doing something exceptional to hold the audience’s attention.
Q-If we talk about the pre-covid era, did you ever have trouble balancing car rentals with singing?
A-Not at all! Car renting is a very stressful business. Clients can be very demanding and unreasonable at times. We obviously train our drivers, but they are ultimately drivers, they do make mistakes or even damage the car once in a while.
These 2-3 hours of singing is a stress buster for me! Aur relax karne ke paise mile toh kya baat hai (there is nothing better than getting paid to have fun).
Q- How supportive is your family of your singing?
A-Very supportive. I have been into car rentals for about 10 years now, so my wife clearly understand the nature of my business. I have 2 daughters, both are very artistic, the younger one loves to sing. She sings along with me at home or when I jam with my friends. My wife occasionally comes as an audience in my performances and also pulls my leg at home. She is a great critic.
Q- How is your car rental business different from the contemporary car rental services like Ola and Uber?
A-The other rental services are for the masses, mine is for the classes. I ensure that the cars look good, they are well maintained and not dented, the cars smell fresh, they are well sanitized and vacuumed, in each car there is a chauffeur in a formal uniform who opens the door for my clients.
I handle a lot of corporates, MNCs and PSUs. The Vice Presidents and the Directors of these companies travel in my cars!
Q- What is your most cherishable memory as far as car rentals are concerned?
A-Once, a driver couldn’t make it to work, he fell seriously ill. So I drove and went to pick a guest. I was not aware that the lady I received was the CEO of an organization. When I picked her, she realized that I was not the driver, but the owner of the company. She started interacting with me. She then felt that if the owner of a company can give this kind of a service then definitely she could depend on that company.
Q-Fabulous! You have met so many people from all walks of life as a premium car rental provider and also as an entertainer. Have you ever collected an autograph?
A-During the IPL 2008, I was looking into the transport of the KKR team. One day, I candidly told Chris Gayle that I wanted his bat, so he actually gave me his practice bat! I requested him to sign it and he did that too.
It was easy for me to collect his autograph but I know that people who pursue autograph collection seriously, go completely out of the way to collect each autograph. I have a lot of regard for them!
I wish all the best to the Autograph Collectors Club of India.