Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, writer, an entrepreneur and a yogi, is the author of eight books, including the popular novels, The Newsroom Mafia, Revenge of the Naked Princess, Chaddi Buddies, Golmaal In Goa, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, Army Girl Steals Civilian’s Heart and the self-help book, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life. With more than 35 years’ experience in journalism, he has worked in mainline newspapers and magazines in senior editorial positions in India and abroad, including The Times of India, Financial Express, Outlook, and Times of Oman. Oswald Pereira has also taught at The Times School of Journalism. In his forays outside journalism, he was Group Vice President of an IT company, and secretary general of the Call Centre Association of India; and owner of an image management consultancy and an editorial services firm. Oswald Pereira is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.
Oswald was also editor of niche publications on infrastructure and defence. In journalism, he has hand-held many young journalists. In publishing, he has been mentor to many authors.
CHANNELING his core competency in media-based solutions, built after decades of experience, Oswald Pereira has built a virtual powerhouse of editing, content, training and communication services. Oswald offers customised solutions to corporates, multilateral agencies, NGOs, publishing houses, and professionals. His peerless media practices and rich and varied expertise has won him the trust of a global clientele.
In the early part of his career in The Times of India, he covered communal riots and crime. In a bid to get first- hand information about the crime scenario, he spent time with Mumbai’s notorious underworld. Oswald wrote a weekly column, Police Lines for Times of India’s The Evening News of India. In The Free Press Journal, Oswald wrote a weekly labour column.
In Outlook magazine, where he held a senior position in the business bureau, he wrote special stories, including cover stories on the power, telecom and information technology sectors.
He is considered a veteran in journalism. He has also appeared on television as an expert.
After his stint at the Times School of Journalism, his students never tire of crooning, “To Sir With Love.”
Oswald is an alumnus of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, where he studied Economics Honours.
Before taking up journalism, Oswald, who lived in Mumbai, worked in various other jobs including as a store-keeper and an assistant to his businessman father, who fabricated heavy equipment for chemical factories. His job as a store-keeper included physical stock taking in dingy storerooms and preparing inventories. He kept accounts for his father and managed the less critical parts of the business. Oswald enjoyed standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his Dad as he supervised heavy gangs hoisting mammoth machines in chemical plants.
In his spare time, Oswald furiously stroked the keys of a rickety Remington Rand typewriter at home, churning out a young adult novel. An editor of a big publishing house in Mumbai (then Bombay) liked the book, but it was rejected by the chief editor.
Oswald was disheartened but luck seemed to have smiled on him: he had bagged what was then considered a ‘plum job’ in a top company as a salesman of weighing machines. On the eve of joining the company as Oswald was preparing his best clothes and a natty tie for the start of his sales career, Providence stepped in—in the guise of a friend—to change the course of his life and career.
His friend came over and tipped him about a vacancy in a small magazine, For You, edited and managed by a reputed journalist. Oswald discarded the tie and his formal clothes for more liberal attire and a breezier job, but at a less lucrative salary of 450 rupees. The editor earned two thousand rupees— considered a princely salary for a journalist in the late seventies—and drove a Hillman car.
The editor, who was also a boxer, pampered his four-member team of sub-editors-cum-feature-writers, taking them out for lunch and movies, inspiring them to write interesting human interest and investigative stories. One of the investigative stories that Oswald wrote was on the sinking of a state-owned ship, due to negligence and neglect of safety standards. It was a story that Oswald cited as a big achievement in his interview with The Times of India board members, who were impressed enough to offer him a job.
But it was in The Free Press Journal, which Oswald joined after For You became a sinking ship when the editor quit for greener pastures, where he first learned the ‘ropes’ of city reporting. The newspaper’s maverick chief reporter took him under his wings and taught him the skills of virtually cooking up instant ‘scoops’, without even going out into the field.
‘Cadaver Crisis In City Medical Colleges’, ‘Drug Addiction Rising Among Rich Kids’, ‘Criminals Run For Cover After Police Crackdown’, were among the ever-happening stories that the ‘chief’ taught him how to hype and convert into front-page by-line stories by an expert ‘new angle’ as journalists are wont to say. He coached Oswald on the art of building and cultivating all kinds of ‘sources’ for stories.