Indian Actress To Enroll At HBS

Bollywood star will take course on negotiating, deal-making next month

Renowned Bollywood actress Preity Zinta is adding to her resume of blockbusters by enrolling in an executive course at Harvard Business School next month to study negotiating and deal-making, the Indian media reported this week.

Zinta, who already spends a significant amount of time in the United States, told the Indian media she decided to hit the books to enhance her experience in the country.

“I thought that since I spend so much time in the US, I might as well use the experience better,” Zinta said in an interview with Indian Express.

Zinta, who is recognizable by her right dimple, has starred in popular Hindi movies such as “Kal Ho Naa Ho,” “Veer-Zaara” and “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.” She debuted in Bollywood over 10 years ago and currently appears on “Behind the Seams”—a reality television show that follows the lives of cricketers on the Kings XI Punjab team, of which Zinta is a part owner.

In previous interviews, Zinta has not explained her interest in coursework, and a spokesman at the Business School declined to comment further on her status as a student, citing privacy concerns.


Richard S. Delacy, a Harvard preceptor in Urdu-Hindi, said that Zinta has shown an appetite for tackling challenges in her acting career.

“She’s known to be one of the most intelligent actors in India,” Delacy said, describing Zinta as an “A-list star” comparable to Julia Roberts or Renee Zellweger. “She seems to be more of a thinking person based on the roles she’s taken.”

Bijoy M. Misra, outreach coordinator of the department of Sanskrit and Indian studies, said he was pleased to hear that Zinta will be studying at the Business School. It may benefit film stars to develop business skills and to involve themselves in a more intellectual environment, he said.

Students in the South Asian community at Harvard also expressed their excitement for Zinta’s arrival.

“Her attendance really shows how relevant a business education can be in various industries and in a global context,” wrote Monica Sharma, co-president of the Business School’s South-Asian Business Association, in an e-mailed statement.