Interview with Raj Nayak

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Chief Executive Officer of India’s leading GEC channel COLORS –Viacom18

About Raj Nayak

Raj Nayak [CEO of Colors TV] is one of the biggest Indian tycoons. With over 24 years of experience he is currently the CEO of India’s leading GEC channel COLORS – Viacom18. He is one of the most respected and well-known names in the Advertising, Marketing & Media circles in India.

Recognised for his vision & foresight Raj began his career with Tata Economic Consultancy Services and has since worked in various capacities both in the print & electronic media.

 

He joined hands with NDTV in 2003 to set up NDTV Media Limited as its CEO & a minority stakeholder in the company. NDTV Media soon became one of the leading revenue generators in the Indian advertising industry in Television, Internet & Digital Cinema. With over 1500 clients on board, NDTV Media has the largest client count for any independent media marketing company in India.  He Quit NDTV Media after 8 years to set up his own independent entrepreneurial venture.

 

Prior to joining NDTV Media, he was the Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing for the STAR TV Group (a News Corporation company owned by Rupert Murdoch) where he spent 10 years and was responsible for strategizing, packaging and marketing of all the STAR TV channels and for the groups advertising revenue.

He was a part of the start up team of STAR TV in India and went on to become a key member of the STAR TV India management committee.  He was also on the Board of Vijay TV & Indya.com. Raj brings with him a proven track record of revenue generation & a great understanding of the media industry.

 

Raj joined Colors –Viacom 18 from AIDEM Ventures Pvt. Ltd of which he was the Founder and Managing Director.

 

He is an extremely astute and savvy person and his biggest strength is his entrepreneurial style of functioning & his ability to create long-standing relationships with agencies, clients and the talent fraternity. The ability to mingle with ease across levels and across industries and be accepted by them is something that is his unique characteristic.  A complete people’s person, who leads from the front, he is also known to be a tough task master, risk taker & quick decision maker.

 

He is the immediate past President of the International Advertising Association (IAA) – India Chapter and its board.  He is also   been on other industry bodies such as the board of Media Research Users Council (MRUC) & The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) etc. Raj has recently been elected to board of The Advertising Club –India.


Interview with Raj Nayak

 

There is a lot of viewer demand for 24, by when do you think the UK audiences can watch 24 in their homes?

 

We are in discussion with the format owners for the UK rights and sometimes these negotiations take time.

 

24 has also received a lot of positive reviews and feedback from day one. Are there any plans to buy other successful formats?

 

The Indian adaptation of 24 season 1 has been a big success. We will now focus on season 2. We are open to adaptation of  good fiction content from anywhere in the world.

 

There are rumours that MTV India will be launched in the UK market shortly, can you confirm?

 

It is a little premature for me to speak about it at this stage but we do see an opportunity for a channel like MTV India for the South Asian diaspora.

 

Besides MTV India, what new channels are you planning to launch, to strengthen your UK network?

– Will this include a movie channel? (Star, Zee and Sony all have a movie channel)

– Is there a HD variant of Colors TV planned?

 

At this moment there are no specific plans to launch new channels immediately. We will definitely look at an HD version of all our international feeds including UK but haven’t yet decided on the timing.

 

What are your views on having such a strong network which is so young and is challenging well-entranced players in the market? How do you see this progressing going forward?

 

I feel proud that the network and especially our channels Colors and Rishtey are among the top 3 channels for the south Asian comity in the UK. We would like strengthen our content offering focus a bit on marketing and ensure our constituency of viewers and advertisers in the UK are happy with our product.

 

Rishtey is the first South-Asian channel made exclusively for the European audiences. Are there any plans to take the Rishtey channel global?

 

Yes this channel was specifically tailor made for the European market and its success has compelled us to look at taking Rishtey to other markets globally.

 

Bigg Boss is currently performing very well and is the slot leader in the UK. Can you give us some insights into the Bigg Boss house and tell us who’s your favourite? Who do you think will win?

 

Bigg boss this season is not only the slot leader at 9 PM in the UK but is also doing very well in India. The casting of contestants this year has been very good. At this moment it is very difficult to predict the winner as there are still 9 weeks to go. My favourite in the house is heaven 😊

 

Other networks in the past have done awards including Zee Cine Awards and Star Parivaar Awards. Is Colors planning on doing the same and thereby getting the stars closer to their viewers?

 

This is something we would also like to do. It involves a lot of logistics especially to get our stars to take a break from their shoot and also is an expensive affair. If we find willing sponsors in the UK to back an initiative like this, we will definitely consider. 

 

Comedy nights with Kapil is a high-rated show in the UK. Are there any plans of bringing him here to entertain the audiences?

 

Yes we would like to and again it is about getting the right sponsor backing for such an initiative. Our teams are already exploring this.

 

You have accomplished so much at such a young age, what’s next for the CEO, Media Moghul, Entrepreneur Raj?

 

I have always lived in the present and believe in doing my job to the best of my ability and achieving the task at hand gives me a high. Would definitely like to see our Petal on many more channels.  The future is not ours to see… Ke Sara, Sara… 

 

Being a very successful businessman / Professional yourself, do you think there is a mantra for success? Or does luck play a huge role? What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs on starting and sustaining a business venture?

 

It is a combination of ideas, passion, ambition, integrity, hard work, opportunity, timing, luck, etc. There is no one formula to success. 

 

My advice to young entrepreneurs is to stay focused. Don’t get disheartened with failures, peruse your dream and accept each failure as a stepping stone to success. If you believe in what you are doing, if you are passionate with high level of integrity and are willing to work hard, walk that extra mile, sometimes it may take longer but success will eventually, come your way.

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