Will make all TV channels look like a pale version of Doordarshan says new Prasar Bharati boss
Shashi Shekhar Vempati was on Friday appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Prasar Bharati Board. Soon after news of the appointment came out, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Venkaiah Naidu took to twitter and said, “Congratulations Sh. Shashi Shekhar Vempati on your appointment as CEO of @prasarbharati. Hope PB scales new heights under your leadership.”
The road ahead for Shekhar, an IIT Bombay alumnus, is a tough one and he hopes to transform both Doordarshan and All India Radio during his 5 year stint. In this interview with OneIndia, Shashi Shekhar speaks about the road ahead and also adds, "when we are done restoring the "glory of DD and AIR" by 2022 the rest will look like pale versions of a transformed DD and AIR.
You have spoken about a trust deficit which has pulled back the Prasar Bharti. Could you please explain?
We must restore Trust within the entire ecosystem of Prasar Bharati across all of our stakeholders especially our many external partners and internally within our large workforce.
When I refer to Prasar Bharati it is to all of the organization across DD and AIR as one single family.
It is unfortunate that over the decades so many critical issues have not been addressed resulting in this lack of trust - it impacts both "Ease of doing Business" with Prasar Bharati and Workforce Morale within Prasar Bharati parivaar leading to unnecessary litigation.
We have to put our heads own and work closely with all of our stakeholders to restore trust in our operations, our policies, our transactions so we can improve "Ease of doing Business" with Prasar Bharati and make Prasar Bharati a pride place of work.
Serials such as Malgudi Days are being telecast again. Do we need to rely on nostalgia alone or is there is a need for more creative content to attract viewership?
Nostalgia about DD is a strength and an important asset. It is the starting point for building Brand Loyalty. However to attract and retain audience we have to go far beyond nostalgia. We have to capture the imagination of our Youth, engage them with compelling content, become a critical part of their everyday life.
Can Doordarshan and AIR can become a global voice like BBC and Al-Jazeera?
As the world's only Billion People Democracy we have a responsibility to the planet to have a strong global voice that reflects Indian ethos, Indian values and echoes the aspirations of a Billion people.
The world deserves to be told the India Story, the India Experience - a unique and unprecedented moment in Modern History of a Billion People Democracyat work, going strong and soon to touch the 75 year milestone in 2022.
The world also needs to hear the India Perspective on global events, shifts in geo-politics and on the critical issues concerning our planet.
So we have to build a strong global platform and Prasar Bharati will step up to address that challenge and make it happen.
Do you think there is enough presence of Doordarshan and AIR on social media?
A beginning has been made on social media. We have to expand it, deepen our engagement which is going to be crucial. We also have to get creative in our use of social media so the engagement is effective and impactful. This will be a top priority.
What plans do you have to make DD and AIR more competitive in the digital age?
We will come up with a Digital Roadmap soon as part of our Vision 2022 for Prasar Bharati.
Can DD and AIR play a critical role of the government as well?
They are already doing that in several ways through information campaigns of the various missions launched by the Prime Minister like Swacch Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc this will continue.
Is there really a need for a glamour face on Prasar Bharti Board? If yes, how does that help?
It would not be proper for me to comment on any individual. Appointments to the Prasar Bharati Board are made by a selection committee headed by the Vice President of India and we must trust the wisdom and judgment of the committee.
We value the diverse experience and knowledge every Member of the Board brings to Prasar Bharati.
They are critical to our transformational journey and we hope they are able to devote adequate time and share their inputs guiding us and advising us every step of the way.
Private TV channels have beaten DD. Have governments done enough to promote DD considering the reach it has.
The DD network continues to have the widest reach across all channels. This reach is our strength and we have to build on this to make an impact through innovative use of technology and creative use of content.
How long before DD becomes a 21st century media organisation?
It is about effecting a mindset and a culture change. Once that happens the rest will follow in terms of technology and systems.
What can we expect DD and AIR to look like by 2022?
On a lighter note, these days there is talk of "glorified versions of DD and AIR". When we are done restoring the "glory of DD and AIR" by 2022 the rest will look like pale versions of a transformed DD and AIR.