Mangalore: Meet Louis Pinto - An Organizer Extraordinaire
by Walter Nandalike
September 27, 2006
Achievers from various fields have been regularly taking their deserving and cherished slots in daijiworld's columns.
To earn the title of an 'Achiever' one need not excel in any certain category. The scope is large, but one has to dedicate himself / herself to the pursuits in such fields.
Louis Joachim Pinto of Valencia, Mangalore, perhaps, is one of a very few achievers, who love to keep a low profile and find more satisfaction in remaining behind the scenes always rather than in the limelight. But, even while sitting behind the scenes if he receives a great applause from the people, that is something one ought to rate as extraordinary.
And given the magnitude of some events he has organized so far, Louis Pinto could hardly remain in the dark and could not but get noticed. But Louis is indeed one such person, who has become a role model for budding event organizers. The greenhorns in the line have everything to learn from him.
Louis is in Dubai on a short visit with a mission to promote the second phase of Kalaangann, along with Eric Ozario.
Daijiworld decided to introduce this skilful and successful organizer to the community, so that the rest of us could derive some inspiration from his achievements.
The man and his mission
Fortyfive-year-old Louis Pinto hails from Valencia, son of a transport entrepreneur. His father Albert Pinto those days owned the largest fleet of autorickshaws in Mangalore. Owning fleets seems to be a family trait.
Transport business is inherited, all right. But only in rare cases it goes off the beaten track. In keeping with modern world's trends, Louis brought in revolutionary ideas and an element of novelty into the transport business. With success coming his way naturally, he put in innovative ideas into his business, which wrote the success story of 'Pinto Tourism'.
Besides expanding his business, he also diversified into other territories, one of them being the "Hi Spirits" outlet near Bendorewell, which is very well known to Mangaloreans.
Commitment is the mantra
MBA graduate Louis is characteristically known as 'Mandd Sobhann' man, in token of all the efforts he has put into its development, progress and success. Yet, he makes himself available at the service of many other organizations in the hours of their need.
He is most deservingly called a Mandd Sobhann man since he has been one of its strongest pillars, having worked with Eric Ozario, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder, all through the past two decades.
Their joint efforts, backed by an enthusiastic band of supporters and generous donors from worldwide has brought glory to the Konkani world in the form of Kalaangann, which, by any standards, is Konkani's largest cultural and heritage centre in the world.
Only recently Louis was re-elected Mandd Sobhann's president for another successive - and also successful - year.
What makes an organizer
Organizing any event is not an easy task, be it a dinner at home, a wedding, a social event, stage programme, a festival or a mega event. It needs dedication and experience. We have been seeing a number of programmes mostly flopping on account of lack of organizational skills.
Does an organiser need any qualification?
Ask Louis, he will say NO. But the most important thing you need is commitment and hard work as a rule.
Louis - A Master Organizer
His skills in organizing mega events have been developed right through his college days. He was active in NSS and he honed his leadership qualities through NSS in Aloysius College Mangalore.
"I remember helping our teachers and the principal by organizing major school events, specially the Centenary Celebrations of St Aloysius College," he recalls with a gleam in his eyes.
Many people would not even have the slightest clue that Louis has organized some of the memorable events in Mangalore which not only created history but also gave way to many more major events in Mangalore, with others getting spurred by such happening shows.
In 1988 The World's first Baila Show organized by him on Padua School grounds was a huge hit. That was a time when the Mandd Sobhann troupe had just put their initial steps into the public show terrain and this show gave the group a big boost.
'Porob', the first all India Konkani Cultural Festival organized in 1992 on at KTC ground, Balmatta was his most favourite, best-organised and best-remembered event, he says. "I do not know why this show gave me such a lot of satisfaction. It was not easy to organize such shows. But the enthusiastic influx of the people, time management during the shows, quality of performance of the artistes, and indeed discipline of the crowd was the formula behind the success. At the same time, the entire volunteer team which worked hard behind this show cannot be forgotten. Most part of the success was because of their efforts, " he says, gracefully giving credit to his team, rather than taking the whole of it.
'Saant' in 1993, the Dalit Rally in 1996, the Eucharistic Congress in 2000, Inaguaration of Kalaangann in 2001 and World Convention of Canara Catholics in 2004 are the few other events where he played a major role in organizing.
But, the funeral ceremony of the late Bishop of Mangalore Basil D`Souza has made great impact on his personality. He was the brain behind the entire proceedings where it was made possible for over 30,000 people to have a glimpse of the late Bishop prior to his final rites. This occasion won the admiration of all communities for the discipline and dignity shown even in sadness and mourning. Louis, of course, played a vital role in the smooth conduct of the ceremony.
"Yes, it was a memorable moment for the people of Mangalore Diocese, as there was no scope for much planning and organizing such a large-scale ceremony. But the Bishop being the topmost religious leader of Catholics in the diocese, we wanted to give him a special tribute and farewell and it touched the hearts of all the people and religious around Mangalore," says Louis.
The first World Konkani Convention in 1995 was a historic event. Cutting the barriers of caste, creed and class, worldwide Konkanis gathered to celebrate the greatest convergence of Konkani and its culture, heritage and language. Louis' masterly acumen helped to organize this event in a successful way, beyond imagination.
The memories of Manddo Utsav in 2003 have remained etched in his mind for good as well as sad reasons. While it was a matter of great pride to hold the event with over 13,000 people having gathered to witness Mandd Sobhan's mega event, it is sadly remembered for the reason that the person who was to compere the event, George Pinto Aikoll, passed away following a heart attack a few hours before the event, when he was on his way to the venue!
Also remembered is the fact that the news of his death was received just before the event. But only Louis, Eric and a very few kept it close to their hearts, without disclosing to even team members. Suppressing their grief, they put up a brave show, only to announce the shocking news to a stunned audience right at the end. This proves the mettle Louis and Eric are made of.
On the positive side, this show got the credit of bringing together 970 singing artistes, under the baton of maestro Joel Pereira, on a single stage, at a time ! Hats off to this great organizer who made this possible through experience and confidence.
Louis as a leader
A person cannot be a good organizer without leadership traits. Louis has great qualities of leadership too. He was a student leader while in school and college. Llater, in order to serve the community and language, he joined hands with the revolutionary Konkani leader Eric Ozario with whom he been there right from the inception of Mandd Sobhann in 1986, through thick and thin.
"Eric is a great leader; he creates leaders; he gives a chance to talent, and he speaks straight forward and works very hard," says Louis, in praise of Eric for his leadership qualities, and adds that Eric inspires everyone in the Mandd Sobhann group.
Louis' parish-level leadership has brought real changes in Valencia. We spoke to some of the parishioners in Dubai to find out more about Louis at the parish level. There was just one voice: "Louis commands great respect from the parishioners and the priest. He brought innovative ideas. Today the entire parish people have basic needs in their houses like toilet, water, electricity..etc, and Louis is the brain behind such projects." Louis, as the vice-president of Valencia parish. leads from the front.
Success formula for organizing event
- The first and the foremost formula is 'Visualize the entire event, much before the show'. If you do this, a half of your job is done.
- Take people into confidence; don't be selfish. Don't go after name. In fact, it is the name that should follow you.
- Manage your time well
If you follow the above three formulae, you will succeed in organizing an event, emphasizes Louis.
Louis and Family:
Though Louis is deeply involved in his business as well as a number of social events and causes, he strikes a perfect a balance between his family and social commitments. When in town on Sundays, one will not find him anywhere else than spending time with his family at home or on outings.
His wife Patricia Pinto nee Mascarenhas is always very supportive in his social service. They have three children - Samantha, Jake and Nicky. Jake already seems to be walking in his father's footsteps. He is the school pupil leader at St Aloysius High School.
Leadership, they say, runs in the family.
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