Born in Otukpo, a small town in Nigeria, Naveen was brought up in a joint family in Delhi. He did his schooling and engineering from Delhi itself. After graduating from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT) in 2006, he joined an analytics firm called Inductis in Gurgaon where he worked for 2 years before moving to Mumbai in 2008, there he worked with JP Morgan Chase for a very brief period of time before making a final switch to films.
Naveen had always been film buff and a big Bollywood freak, he wrote his first skit when he was in Class 6. Govinda was his favorite actor. Often teased by his cousins by the name filmy encyclopedia, he ended up directing lots of skits/plays in his school and college days.
Post engineering he continued his stint with theatre. In 2007, Naveen along with his college friends started a theatre company called Right Click Entertainment under which he wrote and directed his first ticketed play called “Khel Khel Mein” which ran houseful and then there was no turning back.
His first job in films was of an assistant director on a film called Jashnn. The film was produced by Vishesh films and directed by director duo Hasnain Hyderabadwala and Raksha Mistry.
When he was in college, Khosla ka Ghosla had made Dibakar Banerjee his favorite director and he was desperate to assist him. When he went to meet him to ask for an AD job, Dibakar instead asked him to act in one of his coke commercials. That’s how he made his acting debut in television commercials. Today Naveen Kasturia is a very popular ad face with more than 50 ads under his belt, Vodafone and Mahindra’s being the most popular ones.
He went on to assist Dibakar Banerjee on two films, LSD and Shanghai. Later he also assisted an Oscar winning director Danis Tanovic on an international film called Tigers.
In 2011, Amit Masurkar, who he had met on the sets of LSD, asked him to do act in a movie called Sulemani Keeda which was about 2 writers and Amit was looking for real writers to act in them. Since Naveen was also trying to pitch his film script to productions and doing some trivial TV writing jobs, Amit felt he would be perfect to play the part. The film was a turning point in his career, it made him an actor.
During his ad days, he had also met an IITian Arunabh Kumar in order to assist him on a film Arunabh was about to direct. The film never happened but two became friends and stayed in touch. Later they collaborated on a sketch called Rowdies, which became a rage and also led to the emergence of Arunabh’s YouTube channel TVF. Naveen did a few more sketches with The Viral Fever before Pitchers happened.