Stage is set for crowning of the ‘impact Person of the Year’ on December 16, 2010. The Award, in its sixth year, is set apart from other awards in that the winner is nominated by her/ his own peers from the industry. This year’s nominees include Sam Balsara of Madison World, Ravi Dhariwal of BCCL, Arnab Goswami of Times Now, Sanjay Gupta of Jagran, Aroon Purie of India/ TV Today, Vikram Sakhuja of GroupM, Ronnie Screwvala of UTV, Uday Shankar of STAR India, Man Jit Singh of MSM/ Sony, and Rajiv Verma of HT Media. The award is presented by Jagran.
In the past years, some of the biggest names in the industry have been conferred the impact Person of the Year Award. The first impact Person of the Year was Peter Mukerjea (then CEO of STAR India). In 2006, it was Rajdeep Sardesai (IBN Network); the following year, it was Vijay Mallya. Lalit Modi was adjudged impact Person of the Year in 2008. In 2008 itself, based on reader feedback, there was also an impact Person of the Year (Editorial Choice) Award, which was conferred on Raghav Bahl (of Network18). Rajesh Kamat (Colors) was declared impact Person of the Year 2009.
While most of the people whom we asked laid their bets on Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, and Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, there were some who predicted that Man Jit Singh would be the winner due to the remarkable revival of Sony Entertainment Television.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM, lays his bet on STAR CEO Uday Shankar, citing the fact that STAR has maintained the top position among the GECs. “The fact that STAR has done extremely well inspite of the onslaught of other channels and has managed to retain its lead over everyone, creating a tough competitive environment, Uday Shankar definitely is the front runner.”
On the other hand, Suresh Balakrishna, COO, Mail Today, is torn between two nominees. He says, “I think the Sony turnaround story has been pretty good. A lot of people were very sceptical about Sony. But thanks to ‘KBC’, IPL and all the other things that they have invested in, Man Jit Singh deserves a mention. Also, Times Now has been a success story and it’s out there for everyone to see. Arnab has driven it with a lot of passion.”
Sameer Satpathy, Executive Vice-President and Head of Marketing, Marico, goes by the two popular names that most people have named. He says, “Both Uday Shankar and Arnab are equally strong contenders. Uday, for the way he has steered STAR back to the top, and Arnab, for being the voice in media that he has become.”
While names of who will be the next impact Person of the Year are already floating around, the wait to know who the winner is, is not a long one – the winner will be named at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai on December 16, 2010.