When Rohit Khandelwal moved from Hyderabad to Mumbai to pursue a full-time career as an actor-model, he would've laughed off the thought of being crowned Mr World, one day. But Rohit's done it! Looking suave in a Nivedita Saboo designed tuxedo for his final appearance in the contest, Rohit became the first Indian to win the coveted title at the Southport Theatre on July 19, taking home $50,000 which he plans to invest in himself, after donating a portion to a cause he believes in.“I'd been prepping up for the contest since the last three months. My parents (Rajkumar and Sumanlata Khandelwal) were initially hesitant about what I was getting into and when I won, the first call I made was to them. They were ecstatic! My mom began to cry. I am thankful to Mr Vineet Jain (Managing Director, The Times Group) and the Miss India organization for giving me this opportunity and guiding me throughout this exciting journey,“ Rohit said in a telephonic conversation from the UK. He admits his `victory' is a milestone in the modelling world. India has had Miss Universes like Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta and Miss Worlds like Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra, but male models haven't got the same kind of international recognition.“I'm immensely proud and hope that I can be an inspiration to many other male models in India,“ he exults.
Set to return to the Bay on Friday, a grand airport welcome is being planned for Rohit, with his fans, band and baaja. Even though he is contractually bound and will travel across the globe for several humanitarian causes, he is ready for a Bollywood career.