"I was Bombay born, Mumbai bred and when I die I’ll be Mumbai dead"
A complete ‘Mumbaikar’ in body, heart and soul, Viraat Kasliwal, Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Raconteur Walks Tourism Company can be best described as one of his customers has put it ‘a cultural entrepreneur’. He set up Raconteur Walks Mumbai because of a burning desire to give back to the city a fraction of what he has got from it. Schooled at the Campion School Mumbai, Viraat completed his graduation in commerce from the H.R.College of Commerce and Economics (affiliated to the University of Mumbai). Though his education specialised him in marketing, sales and advertising it was entrepreneurship that drew his fancy. Inspired by the entrepreneurial achievements of his Great Great Grandfather, Sir Seth Hukamchand Kasliwal, Viraat was driven towards entrepreneurship right from his college days. Sir Richard Branson is his greatest idol and he considers Mr. Branson’s book ‘Business Stripped Bare’ to be his bible.
A Bcom graduate from H.R College with a 3 year diploma in Travel and Tourism, Dhiraj is the youngest member of our team who has quickly risen within the ranks of Raconteur to become a key operational cog in the reliable and efficient ways every tour is conducted. A Self-proclaimed foodie with a love for fitness & football, he is an animal lover at heart and finds true happiness in feeding and caring for the stray animals littered over the streets of South Mumbai. Staying true to his pursuit of happiness, he has adopted a dog himself & volunteers his free time serving several animal welfare NGOs. Having lived all his life in the Fort area of South Mumbai, Dhiraj finds his calling in regaling locals and tourists alike about the fascinating stories involved in growing up within Mumbai. Heading up the Operations for Raconteur, Dhiraj says he is more organised towards the company than he is towards himself. A lifelong Mumbaikar, he thinks Mumbai is the only place where chaos and harmony go well hand-in-hand!
Life is a journey not a destination. Saurabh is your quintessential happy-go-lucky chap. Mumbai has always been his heaven, his muse and his life. Anything that he doesn't know makes him curious! Anything that is monotonous makes him yawn! And anything that is Mumbai drives him on. A tourism professional from Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, he delights in projecting the real picture of Mumbai.
He who has said that “talk is cheap”, has never hired a lawyer and definitely not Saurabh Saraogi! Saurabh has five years of legal experience in litigation, dispute resolution and general corporate advisory. He has been part of both Amarchand & Mangaldas and HS Thangkhiew & Associates. He has been an advisor on a range of national and international matters. What’s more? He regularly judges national and international law moot court competitions and is a regular invitee as a guest lecturer in law colleges across India. But here at Raconteur he is no guest! He has been a legal advisor to Raconteur Walks since we first took our baby steps and has played a key role ever since. Saurabh is pursuing a postgraduate degree in law and finance from the University of Oxford. He has been a friend and guide to Raconteur and an important cog in our machinery ;)
Born and raised a Parsi in Mumbai with Irish & Australian roots, Jahan Peston Jamas is the Global citizen in the Raconteur team. A Commerce graduate from the reputed H.R College of Commerce, he has always held a penchant for social and extra-curricular activities that enrich his ability and allow him to contribute significantly to your experience with Raconteur.
His activities include participating in national quizzes and debates, taking on national and international social projects and acting as the jr.editor for newspapers and periodicals. Ultimately upon graduation, the desire to kindle his entrepreneurial drive led him to the doors of Raconteur Walks as a Senior Operations head, since then there's been no looking back. A lifelong Mumbaiker, Jahan aims to stay true to his life motto ' Share the happiness' by making your visit to Mumbai with the Raconteur family, a truly memorable one.
A marketting professional by day, a vocalist by night but a Raconteur at heart, nothing pleases Aakash more than the art of storytelling.
When he is not busy crooning the Radiohead-y grooves and scatting the jazz tunes in the confines of his room, he is regaling visitors with vivid narrations of engaging historical Indian events and customs.
For Aakash, the beauty of the city of Mumbai lies in the contrast and development of societies & cosmopolitan values across generations of time. His fondness for Mumbai and its trivia traces back to his younger days, so one mustn’t expect him to hold back from sharing fascinating nuggets of wisdom on the city he calls home.
Avrosh is a 24 year old Raconteur from Mumbai. He finished his early school from Colaba and has lived a 'local-train-ride' away from the sea-side since then. He has a tongue for good food, brains for philosophy, ear for patience and feet for curiosity. Sea beckons to him as a phone without a battery. He hopes to live in a house by the sea-side someday. History intrigues him and he thrives on British pop music. He and Aakash perform as Little Boys Who at local venues.
Walking in the aisles, absorbing the architectural beauty of the city at night, when it is less crowded, is his favorite pastime. He owes his shelf full of books, his most prized possession, to the second hand book vendors near Lady Flora. He loves this city, its people and the confluence of the ideas that they bring together.
Born and brought up in this city of dreams, the 21 year old student of Xavier's college has many hobbies including exploring the city and studying rocks, yes!!, we mean ROCKS for real. Currently pursuing his masters in Geology, this petraphile's Raconteur story started when his younger brother asked him why the area that they stay in is called 'Fort'. "It got me thinking really," recollects Dwayne gravely, "And since my close friend was already working with a reputed firm, I went ahead and asked him," he adds with a look of contentment on his face. And as they say the rest is history! He has been successfully taking walks with the guests having a "rock"ing time.
Born and brought up in a sleepy suburb of Mumbai, Saurabh is a true Mumbaikar. An avid reader, an aspiring writer, a technology geek and above all a history buff, Saurabh’s range of interests span across a wide spectrum. An engineer by profession, his love for the city and his interest in history brought him to the always welcoming doorsteps of Raconteur.
When he is not lost in the enthralling world of books, Saurabh spends his time helping tourists uncover the solemn mysteries of Mumbai. A happy go lucky guy, Saurabh loves to meet new people and make new friends.
Born and brought up in the bylanes of heritage rich Khotachi wadi, Juilee loves to hear and share stories about her most favourite city - Mumbai. Having travelled all over India, this marketing professional who is also a cat lover and a foodie by appetite, spends her weekends being a Raconteur on the streets, always looking to meet new people and trying out different restaurants.
Architect and an art historian by training, Koumudi is fond of reading fiction and collecting trivia. Lover of beaches, struck by Wanderlust. Lives life with a Third Eye Blind background score.
Nimish is a technology scribe by profession and despite the cutting-edge tech he is exposed to, day in and day out, he is afflicted with the Golden-age syndrome. Walking down the streets of South Mumbai, searching for remnants of a bygone era and capturing them in his camera, help him stay sane. Reading, travelling, photography and learning about cultures are the defining passions of his life. He is currently obsessed with improving his spoken German. So if you know the language, feel free to start a conversation :)
Being a Raconteur, not only gives him a platform to introduce travellers to his birth city (something he enjoys thoroughly), but also lets him interact with interesting people. Being born and brought up here, he has witnessed the evolution as well as the devolution of Mumbai. But there is no other city he’d rather live in. The method in Mumbai’s madness keeps him going.
Born and brought up in South of India, Chandrashekhar has been living in the city of dreams for the last 25 years. He is a commerce graduate and loves to experience and explore the city. He has widely travelled across India and Europe. He is passionate about travelling and learning about new places and cultures.
The vibrant lifestyle and the hospitable inhabitants of Mumbai are the focal point for him and his family. He takes pride in being called a Mumbaikar and loves to be a part of Raconteurs just for the reason that it offers him an opportunity to let people from around the globe experience the rich heritage of his city.
Siddharth is a quirky, energetic 21 year old. He graduated from The Cathedral and John Connon School in 2011 before completing a business degree from Warwick University in 2014. He then returned to Mumbai to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a lawyer, thereby following in the footsteps of generations of his family before him. On returning from England he happened to notice that there was so much history in the city which he would casually meander past without noticing. He happened to join Raconteurs for a walk and was so enamoured by what he learned and experienced the that he decided to become a Raconteur himself! Siddharth finds the melting pot of cultures prevailing in Mumbai extremely alluring. The street food, fast life and ever-optimistic attitude of the locals in this city make him proud. He believes that this is truly the City of Dreams. The Maximum City.
If you like what we do and if you think you are passionate about any aspect of this city, it's history, it's people, it's food, it's festivals, it's stories, it's bylanes, it's bazaars, it's architecture, it's snobbery, it's humility, it's haunted corners, it's pleasant rooftops, it's karaoke clubs, it's nightlife, it's seashore or anything that enthrals you then let us know here Contact Us.
Board of Director
Ranjit Shahani is Country President Novartis India responsible for the overall operations of the Novartis AG Companies in India
He started his career with ICI in India in their businesses of Fibres & Speciality chemicals. Later, he rose to the position of General Manager with ICI / ZENECA in the U.K., overseeing their Asia Pacific and LatAm operations for their Petrochemicals and Plastics division.
This was followed by a period as CEO at Roche Products Limited, after which he moved to Novartis in India in 1997, following the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy.
Mr Shahani is President, Organisation of Pharmaceuticals Producers of India (OPPI), an organization he also lead earlier from 2001-2007, is Past President of the Bombay Chamber