Viacom 18’s Raj Nayak took home the maiden ‘exchange4media Influencer Award’ this year at its flagship property the exchange4media conclave. A well -deserved win, Raj Nayak has been the driving force behind making COLORS a name synonymous with Hindi General Entertainment in India. He has provided vital insight and impetus to consolidate the brand’s position as an influential player in the GEC space. His business acumen is marked by an eye for creative content that aids high revenue generation to strengthen the bottom-line effortlessly.
A complete people’s person who leads from the front, Nayak is a risk taker and quick decision maker. Today he is one of the most highly regarded thought leaders in the advertising, marketing and media circles in India.
Here’s what industry stalwarts had to say on Raj Nayak’s win:
Uday Shankar, Chairman & CEO, Star India:
I have known Raj longer than I have known anyone else in the television industry. Raj and I go back, well before, either of us came to television. He was a business executive in newspaper and I was a journalist in a newspaper, so our acquaintance and friendship goes for that long, probably two- and- half-decades or more.
Qualities which I love about Raj are that, if he is around, there is a laugh riot all the time. He is a prankster and he loves his friends. He is overall a great guy. You may have your fears and business rivalries with Raj, disagreements with him as well, but when he is around, there is no way to not like him. He is one of the most charming people that I know of. He can really sweep you off your feet.
Also he has a point of view in everything and he is never afraid to express that. He is a big risk taker and he is not afraid to do new and different things. At a time, when he moved from print to TV, there was hardly any TV at that point of time and for a person of hisprofile andas successful as him, it was not the right thing to do, but he decided to leave his top executive job and become an entrepreneur. Even in his current role, what he is doing in terms of the direction of the channel and the type of content, people may have a view on that, but he is of strong conviction, he does what he wants to do and doesn’t really care too much about what people have to say, that’s what I really like about him.
I find it really admirable, that after almost three decades in the industry, he remains as young and energetic as he was 20 years ago. He is very positive in his thinking. His positivety and energy are two huge assets and everybody can take a leaf out of those books from Raj. Congratulations my dear old friend, couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy, more power to you man.
Arnab Goswami, Former President-News & Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, ET Now
I am really delighted that at the 15th edition of exchange4media Conclave, my friend, very special, one and only- the Raj Nayak is being conferred with the ‘Influencer of the Year Award’. Few things I would like to say about you Raj: I have known you for a long time and I am proud to be your friend. I can’t think of anyone who is a greater influencer than you in so many ways.
There are three things, why I feel you are not just an influencer, but a positive influencer. Firstly, over decades, you have inspired and motivated thousands of media professionals in this country. This is not just in sales or marketing, but everywhere. I am an editorial person and you have inspired people like me. You have faith in this media industry, of which we are a proud member. Secondly, you have innovated and how, I remember when a particular series was being brought in, where a film star was going to the front, we were in NDTV and some people thought it was unconventional, some thought it will break the lines and it is not really news. But people like you had faith, you pushed it and you stood by it. So you brought in content innovation and changes, which you continue to do, in your present job in Colors as well. I think, your ability to express with formats and styles is truly amazing. Thirdly, if I have learnt one thing from you, it is to remain positive.
That big smile of yours, it warms many hearts, I will try and copy that as well on television and outside television. Probably, give a big smile, surprise people and then say that I have been inspired by Raj. You are positive, you have introduced changes, done new things and have encouraged and always stood by young people. I can’t think of a better influencer than you. If I had to start my career all over again, it would be under someone like you. You are special guy, many congratulations and I am super proud of you.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited:
Congratulations Raj, I am delighted to hear the news and it is no surprise to me. Influencing and networking are among the strongest traits along with the many skills you bring to the table. Raj has managed the Hindi Mass Entertainment Cluster for Viacom18 very effectively. He has made Colors the leader, along with launching Rishtey and more recently introducing Rishtey Cineplex as our movies channel in the Free 2 Air channel space. Raj is very ambitious, driven and result focussed, this combined with his ability to share and have concern for his people, makes him an outstanding professional and a person, who is endearing to many. Raj well done, keep it up. Here’s to this award and many more!
Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL):
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about somebody who has not only been a great friend and a colleague, but also has been a great influence in the way I have dealt with businesses in so many years. I met Raj very year in my career and over the last few years, he has been a great positive influence in the way I look at people, at business and the way I see challenges and opportunities. exchange4media is known to do things well and very innovatively and they have done a great job, by titling the award- The Influencer Award. This is a good step to make sure that the industry understands the power of influence, because everything can’t be topped down and Raj has an innate ability to keep people together, take them together and influence them positively. All the Best Raj!
Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM:
Congratulations Raj, well-deserved and a huge hug for the same. Raj and I have worked for almost 20-25 years together now. I have no hesitation in thinking that; he is probably, the best person who can sell a concept to both us and clients. I have seen this being repeated across, numerously avatars which he had over the years. When he was at Star, he changed the way cricket was sold. The kind of money that was invested in cricket, the willingness to pay additional for cricket I think Raj is one of the people who changed the way the sport was sold. I have seen him in the news avatar on NDTV and the channel saw it’s hey days, when he was associated with it. The latest is off courseis Colors, infact, when he got 24 in, he and his team shared the concept with us and we were so excited. The big thing was that, we knew if Raj was behind and supporting any particular project, we knew that the client would get their money worth. Raj delivers more than what he promises and the result is there for everyone to see it.
Raj is a people’s person; my kids rarely know people at this side of this industry and who I work with and what my day to day activities are. But, somehow, they know Raj and we often have a conversation talking really nice things about him, even at home. So Raj congratulations once again, truly well-deserved and may you get many more.