I met Raj Nayak for the first time in 2000. At that time he was EVP of Sales & Marketing at Star TV. IBF and AAAI were at loggerheads over some details of the Agreement to be entered into between the two industry bodies. Raj stood up like a true statesman and suggested a solution, which broadly addressed the concerns of both parties. And the ‘historic’ IBF-AAAI Agreement was made possible.
In the past 15+ years I have known Raj, he has always come across as an affable person. I worked with him at the IBF-AAAI Joint Working Committee for over 7 years. If he had a point of view, he would say it in a way that offended no one. He was always ready to take on any role, any responsibility assigned to him. Qualities, that gets you more friends, and more importantly greater respect from your peers.
I have seen Raj as a lovable boss too – at Star TV, NDTV Media, Aidem and now, Colors. All his people just love to work for him. He is generous in his praise and has a knack of getting the best out of his people.
In 2009, I was invited to join the IAA Managing Committee by Raj. Already in his second term as President, he had put IAA on top gear by increasing its membership base, getting IAA’s first website going, getting IAA a social media face by initiating a Facebook Page, Twitter handle etc. The ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’ initiative in the previous year was a landmark event, which must be one of the reasons why IAA India under him was recognized the best Chapter at the IAA World Congress in Moscow during May 2010.
When I took over as President of IAA India in 2012, Raj was a big supporter in many of our initiatives. The first edition of the IAA Leadership Awards in February 2013 was a passion for him and it was soon seen as the industry’s benchmark when it came to measuring quality of any event. The party that Colors hosts after the Leadership Awards is truly outstanding in terms of the quality of the attendance. Many leading actors, producers, directors and technicians attend it because of the love they have for Raj. When it comes to people management there is a lot one can learn from him!
As an industry colleague, I have also observed that Raj is very conscious of his duty and loyalty to his company. Raj may support many industry initiatives that he does so only if these have a good connect with his audience – advertisers and agencies. His decision always came from the aspect of whether it makes sense for his company – not whether it makes him feel good.
An astute and savvy person, true to the book of Dale Carnegie, Raj can ‘win friends and influence people’. But through the charm and gloss, you may miss this aggressive businessman who today rules the Hindi General Entertainment space, through Colors.