Rajat Sharma, the founder of the Indian news channel, India TV, visited Whistling Woods International (WWI) recently to share his experiences with the excited students of WWI. Rajat Sharma is the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India TV and has hosted famous TV shows like ‘Breaking News’ and ‘Aap ki Adalat’. He is one of the pioneers of Hindi news Journalism and is often associated with credibility in Indian society.
Subhash Ghai, Chairman, WWI, introduced Rajat Sharma as a man with revolutionary thinking, who could always think ahead. Rajat also spoke of Subhash Ghai in high regard as a man who makes dreams come true, just the way he dreamt of a world class institute like WWI for several years before he turned it into a reality.
Rajat Sharma then spoke about his journey from being a face in the crowd to being the best known face on Indian news television. He started off his studies in a Government school and then read at Shriram College of Commerce, Delhi. He shared, “At the age of 21, I dreamt of having a simple job which would enable me to facilitate the basic needs of my family. But destiny had some other plans for me.” Mr. Janardan Thakur, a renowned journalist, gave him an opportunity to work as a researcher for him and step in the world of Journalism. His first few articles were published in a national magazine called ‘Onlooker’ and in July 1982 he got an opportunity to join them as a Trainee reporter. Rajat became one of the youngest editors in the print media when he became an editor for ‘Onlooker’ in 1985 at the age of 25. Since then there was no looking back for him.
On being asked by Subhash Ghai about his views on the trend in Indian television industry, Rajat remarked, “Indian television, today, is the best in the world. The amount of creativity, talent and the audiences that we have, nobody in the world has. There are 2 aspects of Broadcast television, News television and Entertainment television. Both of them have captured the Indian market in last 10 years, such that Cable TV has become a compulsion in every Indian household rather than a luxury. It’s only during the last 3-4 years that the entertainment channels have started promoting social causes. News in this country has played a big role in empowering the people.”
Elaborating his struggle in the battle for TRPs, Rajat said, “India TV was an ideal channel when started about six years ago. We exhibited pure journalism then. But that didn’t work commercially and our sources started drying out. Commercialization was the only way left to survive and I opted for that. I thus entered the fight for ratings and India TV became one of the top news channels in a couple of years with the new strategies that we undertook. Once India TV became commercially viable we cleaned up the channel and have now moved back to genuine content.”
Rajat advised students, “There is tremendous responsibility on your shoulders. You need to have a very good mix of commercialism and idealism for success. India is a different story. Today the world is looking at us. We should not imitate the WEST and hold the uniqueness of India in everything we do”
“I am delighted to meet the students here and I am delighted to see an institute which has been created, keeping in mind the requirement of Indian film industry. I am sure that students here will learn and contribute to the great Indian film industry,” said Rajat, at the end of the session, expressing his joy to be at Whistling Woods International.