Colors’ former CEO Rajesh Kamat, was and would always be amongst industry’s favourite examples of cases where promoting young talent reaped dividends, where the future path was putting money on a new leader rather than “recycling”, a word, I must point out, I was told by a very senior industry leader in a conversation on the subject three years back.
Three years ago, everyone’s pet conversation was about how the Indian media and advertising industry was going to be about fresh blood taking lead. From Sony Entertainment Television to Ogilvy India, it was all about new heroes. In 2011, not a lot turned out to be the way one had expected at the time but no one is questioning the fashionable ways of choosing young energy and ideas instead of experience and seniority to lead a company.
Hence, when Colors announced Raj Nayak as the new CEO, it immediately led to another interesting set of conversations. Are we at a place, where to take the game to the next level where one needs experience on their side? Didn’t we see a similar example only recently when Starcom MediaVest Group brought CVL Srinivas back in the media service brands business. Given the many recent instances, we can easily get into a heated argument on this, which would probably not even give any right answers right now.
There is no taking away from the contribution that someone like Kamat has made to Colors. If the company is talking of revenues comparable to industry leaders today, the credit goes to Kamat and his young team. His decision to leave Viacom18 was as much of a surprise, as was the week when Colors beat nine-year old leader Star Plus.
But Star Plus came back and how. And the credit there goes to the experienced, senior leaders in the Star structure.
Which is why, Raj Nayak’s move to Vaicom18 comes with many expectations. The company has brought experience back in the equation. Of course we have to still see what happens next but for now, the move looks strong for Colors.
Nayak to Colors also means his return to mainline broadcasting and that is good news for the broadcasting business per se. His skill-sets and leadership can take Colors to a new high, provided Viacom18 is able to give the right backing and support that Nayak would need at Colors.
In the meanwhile, Indian broadcasting industry is truly set for some interesting times. Whether experienced or fresher talent, it is a new land of opportunities everyday – guess that is the reason we love this industry so much.