I sing in Hindi and Malayalam: MK Anand

public://images/exec-life-images/2015/01/06/a_28.jpg

MK Anand's total lack of pretense is striking, both in his personality and in the way he approaches life. He has on his table 'World's Greatest Boss' engraved on a cup.

Background

My father was in the central government and regular transfers across the country were part and parcel of my growing years. As an infant, I was in Delhi, then Kanpur where one really did not see the age limit before being enrolled in school. In all, I have been to 13 schools, but coped being a Kendriya Vidyalaya product as their syllabus is the same all over the country. I studied in Kerala from the second to the tenth standard.

Soon after that, my father was transferred to Mumbai in 1981, and I completed my graduation, post graduation and MBA in Mumbai. I am the oldest among three sons. One of my siblings is in the Central Excise in Bangalore and the other manages his business of executive placement consultancy services in Mumbai. My wife, Smita, was also working in media till very recently. My father has now retired and my parents stay with me.

College days

I loved zoology in college, but then realized that genetics is what I wanted to study further. Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi) was the only place to do an MSc in biotechnology and their admissions was two months before my results so losing a year was inevitable. To bridge that year, I applied for MSc and got selected by Khalsa College, but subjects like endocrinology were not appealing.

Just then we heard of MSc in Fisheries Management from Mumbai University at the Central Institute of Fisheries at Versova, Mumbai. I took it up in the sense of a stop gap to study biotechnology a year later, but it appealed to me as a long term profession and I ended up completing the two years course.

My dad was liberal and gave me the freedom to pursue my choice of career. The only time, he showed keenness was for me to do an MBA. Though at his insistence, I did appear for the entrance exam at S P Jain Institute and made it to the second list but, ended up convincing him that an MBA was not necessary, and took up a job instead.

MK Anand with his wife Smita

I met Smita in college when studying for BSc. My rush to get a job was centered on getting married as I feared her family would pack her off somewhere. She hails from a Gujarati Jain family. We were so very young when we got married in 1991. I have two children, my older son Aditya is 14 years and my daughter Priyanka is a year and three months old. Smita worked for a magazine for seven years and was practically handling the business in the last three years and left, feeling she could use it in a larger organisation.

When we got married, Smita tried to converse in Malayalam with us but my younger brothers would take off on her and she gave up! We understand each other's languages but do not speak it.

Professional life

My first job was with the pharmaceutical company Cynamide and it was a sales job. I did not like it and realised soon enough that an MBA was necessary. I did an MBA (Human Resources) from Narsee Monjee in 1989.

I started working in production as a management trainee at Rallis India Ltd., but watching the fish processing was really tiresome and weird. Someone referred me to an ad sales position for Delhi Press. I took it up and just coasted along as, not really sure if it was my line. But once in, I decided I may as well go to the best companies in India.

I prepared separate resumes for The Times of India, Business India, Malayalam Manorama, Readers Digest and two large agencies. In 1990, I first went to the Times group and fortunately got the job and did not have to use the remaining resumes. I was the first development executive for classifieds in the Times of India.

I quit after three years and moved to Citibank as an assistant manager. They had just launched Citiphone banking. This job did not suit my appetite and soon became very mundane and boring. I started looking for a change. My boss at Times, Kanta Advani put me on to Pradeep Guha and I rejoined Times. When Kanta moved on to television, I was put in charge of the classifieds department. From then to now, I have contributed in my own small way to the group and launched many properties. My move to television has had its own learning graph.

I never take papers home and prefer sitting up late. Till recently, I have never worked on Saturdays and Sundays. My father is content with the way my life has taken its course. Though he did express a desire for me to join the IAS; for him The Times is akin to the Government of India.

I always consider a role in a company as something what one defines and not what the company defines for one. Getting a designation in an environment is like getting yourself in a room. It is like getting into a train, once in, whether you get a seat, keep standing or get pushed around is entirely up to you. In any job, one takes calls based on one's sheer knowledge and guts.

More degrees to keep up with the times...

As my basic education is not in the field that I work in, I decided to do a PhD in Media Economics from Narsee Monjee. This is not to further my career. It's been a year now and I have finished the basic course covering six subjects and now all that remains is publishing two papers in recognised journals and a few teaching assignments. People always mistake me as a professor and always ask, "How do I sell?" I tell them, "I really cannot sell, it is my team that sells."

We are long living creatures and after some time, we won't be relevant to commercial enterprises, so we should keep updating ourselves for the future. In the future, I may take up an academic or consultancy based profession, this will be useful then.

Unlike earlier times, where 60 was the given age to be retired, it will be a big thing if I can keep a job till 45 years of age today. One can really not predict one's health, family, adaptation to new media, market, etc., so in essence we are really underpaid today and unsure of our future.

Calm and composed

I am very calm and do not get stressed easily. My whole agenda is to put everything in order and let people work. I take off in the middle of the day, faff around with friends and mostly start work towards post lunch. Then working till midnight and beyond is not a problem. I make up for it by coming late and that is a huge destresser. I avoid peak hour traffic and leave from my residence in Juhu after 9 am. Being called in early is a sure way to give me stress. I love to drive. I currently drive a Scorpio and my dream vehicle is a Mercedes.

This and that...

Till a few years ago, I did not wear a watch. But, as I am growing older, I do tend to make insecure purchases to keep up with the times. I have become brand conscious and shop for all my stuff.

I am a 'one helping' eater unless it is biryani made by my mother. I love the food at Indigo and the variety offered at the restaurants at JW Marriot.

Saying that reading is a hobby is clichéd as it is a requirement in any field. I am famous for buying books and not reading them. The only books that interest me are those on History and Philosophy.

If somebody cares to listen, I sing in Hindi and Malayalam. My wife sings too and on occasions we end up singing together. Watching my father play the bulbul, I have learnt to play the keyboard.

I collect cassettes and CDs of sufi qawalis. I have picked up some excellent songs from outside mosques at various places. I listen to Carnatic music and maestros like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, etc. I unfortunately cannot lip sync on English songs much to the amusement of my son and my brothers. It may stem from the fact that at an age when I had to pick up these, we had no television at home.

Movies

MK Anand with his daughter

I am not an avid movie watcher. I recently went to Forum (Bangalore) and picked up over 30 Malayalam VCDs. I realise, I watch Malayalam films because I see Kerala in them. As long as I see a nice village with a teashop, I am happy. My wife is fed up with me as I prefer to stay home on holidays. She has started going to the theatres with my son. I usually end up going mostly when my parents accompany us. I recently saw Krissh. But, sitting home drinking chai and eating pakoras is what makes me most happy.

Once I reach home, I am a complete homebody and when I am out, I am totally consumed by work. It's inertia of motion: Any motion, which is in motion or at rest, stays there.

I am the oldest grandchild and the eldest son on both sides of the family and there is a major MK Anand iconification in my family. My son often says that he is fed up hearing stories about how good I am. But, I am chilled out as far as his performance in school goes, much to my wife's dismay. I was not a topper student and don't expect the same of him.

Travel

As part of Times Response, I have traveled to many destinations for their annual conferences since 1995. Smita has also traveled extensively on her job and Aditya and I have joined her on two occasions. Kerala is a regular haunt and my best holiday so far has been a drive there with Smita, Aditya and my brothers - Anish and Ajay. We drove from Mumbai to Kerala, stopping at Pune, Kohlapur, Bangalore, Mysore, Vyanad in to Calicut and back via Mangalore and Goa. We would take a stop at unknown places to spend the night. I would love to do it again.

My wife does complain that we don't travel and in fact, since the birth of my daughter who was 12 weeks premature, we really have not been out together. Though, my son and I have just returned from an amazing week long African safari.

MK Anand's total lack of pretense is striking, both in his personality and in the way he approaches life. He has on his table 'World's Greatest Boss' engraved on a cup.

Background

My father was in the central government and regular transfers across the country were part and parcel of my growing years. As an infant, I was in Delhi, then Kanpur where one really did not see the age limit before being enrolled in school. In all, I have been to 13 schools, but coped being a Kendriya Vidyalaya product as their syllabus is the same all over the country. I studied in Kerala from the second to the tenth standard.

Soon after that, my father was transferred to Mumbai in 1981, and I completed my graduation, post graduation and MBA in Mumbai. I am the oldest among three sons. One of my siblings is in the Central Excise in Bangalore and the other manages his business of executive placement consultancy services in Mumbai. My wife, Smita, was also working in media till very recently. My father has now retired and my parents stay with me.

College days

I loved zoology in college, but then realized that genetics is what I wanted to study further. Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi) was the only place to do an MSc in biotechnology and their admissions was two months before my results so losing a year was inevitable. To bridge that year, I applied for MSc and got selected by Khalsa College, but subjects like endocrinology were not appealing.

Just then we heard of MSc in Fisheries Management from Mumbai University at the Central Institute of Fisheries at Versova, Mumbai. I took it up in the sense of a stop gap to study biotechnology a year later, but it appealed to me as a long term profession and I ended up completing the two years course.

My dad was liberal and gave me the freedom to pursue my choice of career. The only time, he showed keenness was for me to do an MBA. Though at his insistence, I did appear for the entrance exam at S P Jain Institute and made it to the second list but, ended up convincing him that an MBA was not necessary, and took up a job instead.

MK Anand with his wife Smita

I met Smita in college when studying for BSc. My rush to get a job was centered on getting married as I feared her family would pack her off somewhere. She hails from a Gujarati Jain family. We were so very young when we got married in 1991. I have two children, my older son Aditya is 14 years and my daughter Priyanka is a year and three months old. Smita worked for a magazine for seven years and was practically handling the business in the last three years and left, feeling she could use it in a larger organisation.

When we got married, Smita tried to converse in Malayalam with us but my younger brothers would take off on her and she gave up! We understand each other's languages but do not speak it.

Professional life

My first job was with the pharmaceutical company Cynamide and it was a sales job. I did not like it and realised soon enough that an MBA was necessary. I did an MBA (Human Resources) from Narsee Monjee in 1989.

I started working in production as a management trainee at Rallis India Ltd., but watching the fish processing was really tiresome and weird. Someone referred me to an ad sales position for Delhi Press. I took it up and just coasted along as, not really sure if it was my line. But once in, I decided I may as well go to the best companies in India.

I prepared separate resumes for The Times of India, Business India, Malayalam Manorama, Readers Digest and two large agencies. In 1990, I first went to the Times group and fortunately got the job and did not have to use the remaining resumes. I was the first development executive for classifieds in the Times of India.

I quit after three years and moved to Citibank as an assistant manager. They had just launched Citiphone banking. This job did not suit my appetite and soon became very mundane and boring. I started looking for a change. My boss at Times, Kanta Advani put me on to Pradeep Guha and I rejoined Times. When Kanta moved on to television, I was put in charge of the classifieds department. From then to now, I have contributed in my own small way to the group and launched many properties. My move to television has had its own learning graph.

I never take papers home and prefer sitting up late. Till recently, I have never worked on Saturdays and Sundays. My father is content with the way my life has taken its course. Though he did express a desire for me to join the IAS; for him The Times is akin to the Government of India.

I always consider a role in a company as something what one defines and not what the company defines for one. Getting a designation in an environment is like getting yourself in a room. It is like getting into a train, once in, whether you get a seat, keep standing or get pushed around is entirely up to you. In any job, one takes calls based on one's sheer knowledge and guts.

More degrees to keep up with the times...

As my basic education is not in the field that I work in, I decided to do a PhD in Media Economics from Narsee Monjee. This is not to further my career. It's been a year now and I have finished the basic course covering six subjects and now all that remains is publishing two papers in recognised journals and a few teaching assignments. People always mistake me as a professor and always ask, "How do I sell?" I tell them, "I really cannot sell, it is my team that sells."

We are long living creatures and after some time, we won't be relevant to commercial enterprises, so we should keep updating ourselves for the future. In the future, I may take up an academic or consultancy based profession, this will be useful then.

Unlike earlier times, where 60 was the given age to be retired, it will be a big thing if I can keep a job till 45 years of age today. One can really not predict one's health, family, adaptation to new media, market, etc., so in essence we are really underpaid today and unsure of our future.

Calm and composed

I am very calm and do not get stressed easily. My whole agenda is to put everything in order and let people work. I take off in the middle of the day, faff around with friends and mostly start work towards post lunch. Then working till midnight and beyond is not a problem. I make up for it by coming late and that is a huge destresser. I avoid peak hour traffic and leave from my residence in Juhu after 9 am. Being called in early is a sure way to give me stress. I love to drive. I currently drive a Scorpio and my dream vehicle is a Mercedes.

This and that...

Till a few years ago, I did not wear a watch. But, as I am growing older, I do tend to make insecure purchases to keep up with the times. I have become brand conscious and shop for all my stuff.

I am a 'one helping' eater unless it is biryani made by my mother. I love the food at Indigo and the variety offered at the restaurants at JW Marriot.

Saying that reading is a hobby is clichéd as it is a requirement in any field. I am famous for buying books and not reading them. The only books that interest me are those on History and Philosophy.

If somebody cares to listen, I sing in Hindi and Malayalam. My wife sings too and on occasions we end up singing together. Watching my father play the bulbul, I have learnt to play the keyboard.

I collect cassettes and CDs of sufi qawalis. I have picked up some excellent songs from outside mosques at various places. I listen to Carnatic music and maestros like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, etc. I unfortunately cannot lip sync on English songs much to the amusement of my son and my brothers. It may stem from the fact that at an age when I had to pick up these, we had no television at home.

Movies

MK Anand with his daughter

I am not an avid movie watcher. I recently went to Forum (Bangalore) and picked up over 30 Malayalam VCDs. I realise, I watch Malayalam films because I see Kerala in them. As long as I see a nice village with a teashop, I am happy. My wife is fed up with me as I prefer to stay home on holidays. She has started going to the theatres with my son. I usually end up going mostly when my parents accompany us. I recently saw Krissh. But, sitting home drinking chai and eating pakoras is what makes me most happy.

Once I reach home, I am a complete homebody and when I am out, I am totally consumed by work. It's inertia of motion: Any motion, which is in motion or at rest, stays there.

I am the oldest grandchild and the eldest son on both sides of the family and there is a major MK Anand iconification in my family. My son often says that he is fed up hearing stories about how good I am. But, I am chilled out as far as his performance in school goes, much to my wife's dismay. I was not a topper student and don't expect the same of him.

Travel

As part of Times Response, I have traveled to many destinations for their annual conferences since 1995. Smita has also traveled extensively on her job and Aditya and I have joined her on two occasions. Kerala is a regular haunt and my best holiday so far has been a drive there with Smita, Aditya and my brothers - Anish and Ajay. We drove from Mumbai to Kerala, stopping at Pune, Kohlapur, Bangalore, Mysore, Vyanad in to Calicut and back via Mangalore and Goa. We would take a stop at unknown places to spend the night. I would love to do it again.

My wife does complain that we don't travel and in fact, since the birth of my daughter who was 12 weeks premature, we really have not been out together. Though, my son and I have just returned from an amazing week long African safari.

TV shows

I watch movies on The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Discovery. If I ever happen to see any soap by mistake, my mind is always keyed up thinking how much unnecessary expenditure is incurred when the camera pans without moving for three-four minutes, the cost of the sets, etc. I also tend to break in to a sweat each time an ad break comes on TV and always reach out to SMS my sales head as to why a particular ad has not appeared!

I watch movies on The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Discovery. If I ever happen to see any soap by mistake, my mind is always keyed up thinking how much unnecessary expenditure is incurred when the camera pans without moving for three-four minutes, the cost of the sets, etc. I also tend to break in to a sweat each time an ad break comes on TV and always reach out to SMS my sales head as to why a particular ad has not appeared!

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