TODAY´S NEWS

HOME Redio Shariq Patel

Radio Interviews

Shariq Patel

Station Head | 15 Dec 2005

Private FM radio is a three-year old medium, and with more than 330 licences being issued in 90 cities, FM as a medium will gain more acceptability and popularity. Consumers will get more entertainment choice, while advertisers will get an additional vehicle to reach their consumers. For existing players, the need to differentiate and stay ahead of the competition will be of utmost importance when the market opens up.

Shariq Patel, Station Head, GO 92.5 FM, believes in the importance of innovative programmes. He has been with the FM channel since 2003 and makes sure that the station always connects with its listeners. In conversation with exchange4media’s Shikha Saroj, Patel talks about what’s new at GO 92.5 FM and the future of radio in India.

Q. What does GO 92.5 FM represent?

GO 92.5 FM has always positioned itself as a ‘fun and young’ Mumbai brand. As a radio station, whatever we do in terms of programming or marketing, are efforts to maintain and substantiate this positioning.

Q. What are the recent tie-ups that GO 92.5 FM has done?

We are always partnering with a number of organisations, events and brands. Recently, we had tied up with Smriti Irani’s production company to help promote her play ‘Kuch tum kaho, kuch hum kahein’. We also supported I-Rock in its 20th year. When BBC Radio did a live broadcast of a programme featuring Abida Parveen and Shubha Mudgal, we broadcast an edited version of the programme.

We’d also tied up with Orange (now Hutch) for the College Radio Challenge for second year in succession. We have also partnered with over 25 college festivals (including Malhar and Kaleidoscope) this year by covering them on air. We also hosted the Flirty @ 7.30 speed dating special. The idea was to provide the best way for people to establish relationships that added meaning to their lives in a manner that was fast, fun, safe and comfortable for singles to meet one another.

Q. How will the revenue sharing arrangement transform the Indian radio industry?

Private FM radio is a three-year old medium, and with more than 330 licences being issued in 90 cities, FM as a medium will gain more acceptability and popularity. Consumers will get more entertainment choice, while advertisers will get an additional vehicle to reach their consumers. For existing players, the need to differentiate and stay ahead of the competition will be of utmost importance when the market opens up.

Q. Are programmes at GO 92.5 FM aimed only at music or is the station also looking at programmes such as news and debates?

News, according to regulations, is still prohibited on all radio stations besides AIR. However, given the constraints, our non-music content covers scans, which give you a round-up of events, sports and stocks through the day.

City Scan is aired at 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm and 9 pm everyday. Business Scan airs at 8 am and 7 pm, which covers the latest stock market activities. Sport Scan at 9 am, 4 pm and 8 pm gives special reports on sporting events and your favourite teams. Entertainment Scan covers music, movies and events at 10 am, 3 pm and 6 pm.

We also have a few talk heavy segments like Sports Talk Radio with Ayaz Memon at from 11 am to noon on Sundays. Shaina NC comes in every Tuesday with an NGO and we discuss city related issues on that time slot. We also do a special talk segment for car owners / potential buyers called Car Clinic on Sundays.

In the past, we had a show called Milind on Mumbai, where we had MP Milind Deora talk to the Commissioner of Police, Chief of BMC, MMRDA, etc, to discuss their roles in the system. We also did something called ‘Beyond the Boardroom’, where we had the top brass in the corporate world like Bharat Puri, Piyush Pandey, and Sameer Nair talk about their lives with Jaggu and Tarana.

Q. Where do you think radio in India is headed?

The listener base is growing, but experiencing the medium to its fullest is not yet complete. And we need radio advertising as well as the individual radio brand to reinforce the fact that the content that we get on the radio is a different entertainment experience compared to what we get in TV or print.

Q. What is the core mantra behind programmes at GO 92.5 FM?

GO 92.5 FM’s programming mix stems from its positioning – ‘A fun station for young Mumbai ’. Essentially, GO 92.5 FM is a station programmed for the young, be it a young professional, a college-goer or a young housewife. From there follows its programming philosophy of catering to the young with respect to both its music and non-music entertainment. GO 92.5 FM has also identified specific time bands during the day that cater to different sections of the target group (read young), depending on their listening patterns.

Good Morning Mumbai with Jaggu and Tarana targets the young adult and is geared to cheer them up for the long day ahead. As we move into late morning, 11 am onwards we have The Mid-Day Show, which caters to the young housewife. This show gives dollops of information on what’s happening in bollywood, TV related gossip, games and the best mix of new and old music (only Hindi music with radio jockeys talking in Hindi).

College Radio is a show that caters to the youth of Mumbai city. With contests, brand new tracks (both international and Hindi) and the best in what’s happening in the college scene, College Radio is a daily college magazine show. The Evening Drive Show is more upbeat and encourages generic participation, which is the perfect recipe to put a smile on one’s face after a long day and plan one’s night out in Mumbai. The Night Shift caters to music lovers who want to travel back to the past with the best of International classics.

Q. How does GO 92.5 FM connect with the listeners?

It is extremely important for us to connect with our listeners. Our aim is to make the station as interactive as possible. As GO 92.5 FM understands and follows the trends that young Mumbai enjoys, it partnered with Lee to host the first Flirty@ 7.30 speed dating special. Every Friday, the station also helps someone find a special blind date on air through the programme Flirty@ 7.30. People can add their profile at www.go925.com after which they can check the received messages through a personal mailbox. The show has three boys who try to woo one girl who is the week’s flirty pick. Programmes like Flirty@ 7.30 gets our listeners together and have harmless fun.

In another event, we had interviewed actor Suniel Shetty after he purchased the Hummer. During the interview, Suniel Shetty and we at GO 92.5 FM (in an impromptu manner) invited two lucky winners for a ride in Shetty’s new Hummer. We did not give the winners any prizes, but we did gift them a wonderful experience.

We believe that listeners appreciate new experiences like winning tickets to the Grammy Awards or a party more than winning a bag or a DVD. It’s about making them a part of a special event or sending them to places where they otherwise might not be able to go to.

Write A Comment