- Batch: 2000-2002
- Current Designation:Business Head
- Current Firm:www.101india.com
- Industry: Media
- Current Location: Delhi and Mumbai
In Rohit’s own words:
Brought up as a Navy kid, since dad was a Marco’s. Had some of the best times/ memories of my life growing up and making friends in some of the most beautiful coastlines we have in the country.
Graduated in Eco from Venkateswara College in Delhi and then had the privilege to be part of the second batch of Sri Balaji Society IIMM now BIMM 2000-2002. I know every batch says they had it tough, but we truly truly did, from sitting on narrow steel benches in the Agrasen campus for 2 years to the 2002 IT bubble burst which led to extremely tough conditions to get recruited. Especially for a person like me, who was clear that he wanted to get into the media industry. Did not know it then but was stuck in a vicious circle. When the economy goes through turmoil people stop spending disposable income, this results in lesser money being made by companies on their products in the market, this results in brand managers reducing the first cost they can control…advertising. And finally this results in lesser monies being given to media houses, who restrict recruitments. So this was the scene I was unconsciously battling.
But like Bala Sir always says ‘Problems are Opportunities’ the scenario drove me harder to gain what I wanted, I haven’t been part of as many interviews and rejections as I was part of for those initial 2 months of searching. And at the end of it, what I realized was I had gained total power over how to conduct myself in tough interviews (something I was always weak in). At the end of it, I had 3 offers in hand, with me getting to choose what I wanted. What a kick that was! So just want to sign this part off by saying don’t ever lose hope or conviction in yourself no matter how tough the odds. If you believe you are good at something and can make a difference with it, go all out to achieve it. Trust me at the end it will make you stronger and more effective, no matter what the result.
So I started my professional career with the Times of India in Pune. It was my foundation to understand Media basics and the power of working with a No.1 brand. 2.5 years down the line, when I look back now I see I had moved into a comfort zone. I knew my work at the back of my hand, was doing a great job on achieving targets; All my immediate bosses were happy with me, had met my future wife to be , felt I was the cats whiskers, life was good.
And then had a solid jolt come my way…for the first time I was exposed to what is known as ‘office politics’. We had a new super boss (branch head) join us. And from day 1 he took a dislike to me for various reasons. To fuel this my immediate superior to make himself look good took all the accolades with the super boss on work I was doing. This in a period of 6 months led to an environment where I was being picked on in meetings and quite frankly being told to exit the company. I was heartbroken, because when you give a company your heart and soul, a boot on your back side is the last thing you expect. Though in retrospect it was the best thing to happen in my professional career. Because it made me start looking out and I landed a job with STAR TV (Star Plus) in the mid 2000’s. STAR was a giant in the TV industry that time and so began my journey with TV. A year and a half down the line, I realized that on a personal note the STAR PLUS content was not something I could relate with and so my selling of that content lacked conviction.
At the same time MTV reached out to me for an Assistant Manager Sales profile. I always felt I had an affinity to a brand like MTV, because I understood the content and felt I would do a good job with it. How right I was! I spent the next 8.5 years climbing the ranks and eventually exiting the company as AVP (Assistant Vice President) and National Sales Head for branded content. My tenure with MTV has been the best of my professional career. From learning the power of running a brand which has a solid impact on the youth, a brand which can change the audiences interests, influence them and more or less forge a young persons personality basis what we showed them was cool or not. To making friends for life, from my teams to the VJ’s…Raghu, Ranvijay, Nikhil & Gaelyn. To the wildest office parties I’ve ever had. Building iconic programs like Coke Studio and Unplugged. Will end up filling 6 – 7 sheets with stories if I start so will restrict myself right now.
Eventually I had reached a stage where I had given enough to MTV and vice versa and it was truly time to move. My next move was a challenge to myself…to revive a once strong brand…ZOOM. ZOOM was a pioneer in bringing Bollywood news to TV. I joined them early 2015 as VP sales, responsible for all revenue verticals nationally. I’m proud of what we created there in the small period I was with them. The channel today has a steady branded content revenue stream flowing in because of a team that I help create and put in action.
I recently took on one of the biggest challenges of my professional life, which is joining as business head for a new digital venture… www.101india.com. The aim is to create a platform that will give you unique video content which is interesting, inspiring and a whole lot of fun.
So quite frankly from working with No.1 brands for most of my life, climbing the corporate ladder till almost the top, to now starting something from scratch, it almost feels like my journeys only just beginning…
Best of luck to all of you and remember stay hungry for knowledge and experiences. That’s what will make you stand out amongst your peers and seniors.