Most Indian American kids grow up watching Bollywood movies, and Sachit Grover was no exception. After years of enjoying them, through the University of Michigan’s Center for South Asian Studies’ Summer in South Asia (SiSA) fellowship, Grover was able to be part of the industry in Mumbai for a month in May 2019.
“I was fascinated with Bollywood growing up,” says Grover. “The fellowship allowed me to be part of Eros International in Mumbai and understand the industry's intricacies.”
While in India at Eros, Grover looked at industry trends, worked on spreading streaming services to rural areas, and analyzed the best actor-director-music label-producer combinations that garnered the most box-office success.
“One of my favorite parts of the job was meeting some Bollywood stars,” adds Grover. “I spent time with Anupam Kher and even studied at his acting institute.”
Today, Grover works at Amazon’s movie marketing department and is also a part-time actor and model.
“I learned so much during my time in India,” says Grover. “I had been there in the past but just visited family. The fellowship was a new experience, and Mumbai was a brand new place for me.”
Started in 2006 with a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the SiSA fellowship has provided more than 100 students with funding to volunteer or conduct projects in India during the summer months. In addition to Grover, nine other Michigan undergraduate students participated in the program in 2019. They traveled all over the country and worked in varying fields of study and interest.
“One of the best parts of the fellowship was the camaraderie with the other fellows,” adds Grover. “I was lucky enough to have another fellow in Mumbai with me, and we were able to meet up and even see a movie in one of the city’s historic theaters. It was nice to have others who completely understood your experience.”
The Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS) is currently accepting applications for the SiSA fellowship for the summer of 2023. They are due by January 20, 2023, and the results will be announced in February.
“With Covid restrictions behind us, we are hoping for a lot of student interest,” says Matthew Hull, CSAS director. “Going to India and studying there as a college student changed the trajectory of my own life. It’s an invaluable experience.”
For more information on the SiSA fellowship, please visit our website.