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Meet the Finance Man Turned Comic Successful Massive Laughs on Standup Phases


“I’m a Marwari funding banker from South Bombay.”

Vikram Poddar’s introductory line on our name is sufficient to crack me up. Because the dialog progresses with the 39-year-old, he explains that the style of comedy he specialises in is area of interest — company monetary comedy. 

“I all the time get requested why I made the change from funding banking to the comedy house and I’ve my retort prepared,” says Vikram. “In the event you solely knew of the quantity of comedy that occurs in funding banking, you wouldn’t ask the query.” 

However when he traces his steps to the time he switched fields round 2009, he notes that taking over comedy wouldn’t have been potential if he hadn’t labored in funding banking within the first place. 

‘I all the time thought I’d make a profession in finance’

Vikram Poddar, a standup comedian who now performs corporate comedy
Vikram Poddar, a standup comic who now performs company comedy, Image credit: Vikram

Vikram grew up in an surroundings that was all about finance. 

“My father was a pioneer in finance and I grew up seeing the Nationwide Inventory Change (NSE) and buying and selling occurring in real-time on a pc. This was in 1994 when the web had not even correctly damaged the market. One finally ends up doing what they develop up seeing and, likewise, I obtained into funding banking,” says Vikram.

Nevertheless, in 2009, when he was laid off from a consulting agency and had free time on his palms, he determined to discover his humorous facet. 

“I occurred to go to a Toastmasters Membership and that’s the place lots of people advised me that I had a humorous bone. From then on I started doing impromptu comedy and participating in standups. In 2011, a possibility not like another offered itself earlier than me,” he says, referring to an open mic contest hosted by celebrated Indian comic Vir Das. 

Vikram Poddar, an investment banker turned standup comedian, at a corporate show
Vikram Poddar at a company present, Image credit: Vikram

Vikram received the semi-finals and it was his fashionable line ‘Marwari funding banker from South Bombay’ that managed to do the trick. A collection of open mics on the Canvas Snicker Membership, standups and extra adopted, however whereas venturing into this new territory was thrilling, it was difficult as effectively owing to the competitors, he recollects. 

It was in 2014 that Vikram discovered his house within the cacophony of company comedy

“I joined Weirdass Comedy, a comedy consultancy by Vir Das. He needed somebody who may write jokes that might enchantment to a senior viewers and that was the actual starting of my profession in comedy,” he says. 

A slew of exhibits below his belt 

Since 2014, he hasn’t seemed again. He has finished numerous fascinating gigs however there are just a few that he phrases unforgettable — as an illustration the one he did in April 2015 for Aditya Birla at their World HR convention. 

“I used to be advised that my phase was the spotlight of the 3-day convention, which noticed audio system from all around the world. To high it off, the phase was within the afternoon, a time when not many are alert. However the present went so effectively that it was the start of all the things that adopted,” he says.   

Vikram's first love remains public standup comedy shows
Vikram’s past love stays public standup comedy exhibits, Image credit: Vikram

The identical yr he hosted the ET Startup Awards and was featured on LIVE TV. 

“The present was a month and a half after my dad handed away, nevertheless it was an enormous alternative. My viewers had the likes of the founders of Snapchat, Flipkart, Snapdeal and many others,” he recollects. 

Doing company exhibits the place the viewers is the ‘who’s who’ of the industries can positively give one a excessive, however Vikram says there’s a sure magic about public exhibits. 

He recollects one such incident when he was in Chennai for a company present for HCL Applied sciences. “I requested an area man if I may do a public present and he agreed. Although the quantity I used to be paid was a fraction of that of a personal present, the happiness it gave me was unparalleled,” he says. 

On the identical time, although enthralling, comedy has its downsides, Vikram admits. “Comedians have to look at their phrases fastidiously today, with comedy in India usually turning controversial.” 

“In 2013, I used to be referred to as to do a present for the LGBTQ group. I opened with a joke that I believed was a praise to the group, however was booed by the group. Everybody began speaking and nobody was listening to me. Lastly, I wrapped my phase with a music by Adele and that obtained me plenty of cheers,” he says, including that standup comedy is unpredictable. “You by no means know what’s going to work and what received’t.” 

Vikram Poddar performs at Canvas Laugh Club and various other corporate events in India
Vikram Poddar, Image credit: Vikram

However wanting again, Vikram is amazed at how the dots linked. “Each time I’m requested the place I see myself within the subsequent 5 years, I reply that I don’t even know the place I’ll be in 5 months.”

An ideal instance of this, he says, is the lockdown. 

“There was a lot chaos occurring on the earth. However I ended up touchdown my first digital worldwide company present in April 2020. Then Clubhouse went viral and I obtained validation for my poetry,” he notes, including that company comedy may be very totally different immediately from what it as soon as was. 

“However I’ve to confess that I’m given extra respect as a comic than as an funding banker,” he quips, including that what he has learnt from life is that specializing in the algorithm won’t ever deliver one success. “You need to hold accumulating talent units and networks and hold modifying your act. Life might be unpredictable however it’s essential be ready for something and all the things,” he cautions. 

“A diversified portfolio method — that you just use to your funds — is what it’s essential apply in life too.” 

(Edited by Asha Prakash.)



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