“I don’t get into highs and lows, because the higher you go, the lower you go too. All my friends tell me that I don’t get excited about anything, and I really don’t. I may get upset externally, but I never get upset internally. Like when I go back home, I am never boiling from within,” says Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) when we quiz him on what have been the various high points in his journey at RNBL.
The 41-year-old media veteran, who calls himself passionate but detached and one who trusts easily, completed decade at RBNL earlier this year.
He leverages experience of over two decades in the Indian media industry and has successfully produced and marketed shows across genres including reality, soaps and comedy on television to retro programming on radio.
Katial, who received significant media attention earlier on in his career (given that he worked on some of the most successful shows in the country - Kaun Banega Crorepati, Indian Idol, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi) now shies away from the limelight.
He says he does not give too many interviews, but that doesn’t come as a surprise, coming from a media veteran who interacted with none other than Rupert Murdoch as a 23-year-old during his stint at Star.
When we ask him about the hardest decision he had to make in these past ten years, “Not being able to do best for my team is the hardest thing possible, everything else is secondary,” he replies promptly.
In a dynamic media environment, where high profile exits, and businesses shutting shop are a common occurrence, how often has he felt the need to say “this is enough”?
“I have a high level of perseverance. I never get up in the morning saying - God, it’s enough. I look at problems as a way for finding solutions.
At the same time, God does test you often enough with new challenges, especially business challenges and in the last 10 years we have all have gone through 2-3 bad and good economic cycles. We have seen the Lehman brothers happen, we have seen the Indian economy go through a tough phase. Everybody has seen those business cycles and they have been very testing, especially when you think you should put money behind growth but you are putting it behind survival, because that is the need of the hour,” shares Katial.
Katial who wants to combine technology and consumer insights and come up with a better product for the media industry going forward, gets candid on little known facts about himself including wanting to retire as an academician, detesting shortcuts and more …….
1) I’m not religious; I have given up organised religion many years ago.
2) I don’t want to retire from the corporate world and I want to be an academician and pursue my PHD
3) I have many acquaintances but very few friends. I choose my friends very judiciously
4) It’s truly very lonely at the top
5) To me, Reliance shareholders are the best shareholders to work for in the country
6) Empowerment to me and my team has always been the key factor in our journey so far
7) As a society, we are under-leveraging the power of technology
8) One of the key DNAs, we, as a country, need is innovation. We believe ‘Jugaad’ is innovation but it’s not.
9) I love to work with good people, talented people, younger people, imaginative people, consumer centric and customer centric people.
10) Shortcuts put me off. One of the big things I have learned in these ten years is that the God is in the detail.
You can read complete interview on 10 years of Big FM in this week’s issue of IMPACT http://digital.impactonnet.com/948747/Impact/volume13issue16#dual/18/1