Television

Action Hero - Rohit Bhandari

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/02/18/Untitled-1_1.jpg?itok=ZoDgtKI6

Young Turks. The third in indiantelevision.com's series profiling the brightest and the best among the youth brigade in the Indian television industry, focuses this time on Rohit Bhandari, the young ad sales head of AXN.

Barely 32, Bhandari has already earned the admiration of his colleagues and grudging but honest appreciation from those in rival channels. A hard working, soft spoken thorough professional, Bhandari is ambitious, though not overtly so. He has inched his way up tenaciously and may well be one of the key players in the television industry in India, in the days to come. We present here, a look at the man behind the profesisonal...

At 32, Rohit Bhandari can well lay claim to have been there, done that. He may have no hefty management degrees to fall back on, but that is probably what drives AXN India's assistant vice president, sales and marketing to constantly exacting standards of perfection.

"Career switches for me have always stemmed from boredom," says the soft spoken 32-year-old, sipping on endless cups of tea. His almost purposeful soft mannerisms hide an attitude of steel, something that has probably helped propel him to giddy heights within the corporate bureaucracy, which usually favours the academically endowed. A Mumbai University commerce graduate, Bhandari consciously and tenaciously cut his way into the advertising field, then crossed the fence and joined Sony in the late 1990s. Barely 18 months after he took charge at AXN, Bhandari has ensured that the channel has instant recall in the minds of his target audience and that corporates now view AXN as a viable advertising option. Not for nothing does his immediate boss Gregory Ho, VP, marketing, AXN Asia, term him as 'a very focused and highly driven individual.'


 
Rohit has a special combination of attributes and abilities, which are so vital to success in the TV industry, and so rare: a keen marketing mind, hard-working ethos, passion for the brand, determination to win, and a challenger brand mindset. Most importantly, he collaborates well, and on a personal level, is a fun guy to work with on a daily basis - Todd Miller, MD, AXN Asia

He may no longer keep the 12 to 14 hours that he put in when he joined the media planning unit at Enterprize as a rookie, but having to coordinate with the AXN Singapore headquarters on a daily basis ensures that Bhandari begins his day checking mail before leaving for office and continuing official conversations on phone on the 45 minute ride home in the late evenings. His tryst with outdoor sports, despite his current association with an action and adventure channel like AXN, held on only till college. Music, his favourite way of relaxation takes centrestage on weekends, only broken by the occasional official correspondence. Cooking is another favourite pastime that occupies much of his weekends, says Bhandari.


 
If there is one word that best describes him, it is "professionalism" - Rohit never loses his cool no matter how stressful things get and his ability to rise above the situation to focus on resolving the problem is indicative of his leadership qualities - Gregory Ho, VP, marketing, AXN Asia
 

Bhandari's rise up the corporate ladder in media took an unusual route though - starting off in the accounts department of O&M after completing his graduation in commerce, he got interested in the creative side of the business. While O&M did not appreciate his enthusiasm, Enterprize that he joined in 1994 did. A year later, he joined Trikaya, and then Madison as media manager, planning and buying before shifting to HTA as media buying supervisor.

It was in June 1999 that he crossed fences to join SET India, although in the interim, he even considered joining forces with the late Mark Mascarenhas who at the time had some potentially brilliant ideas for marketing sports events. And just when he thought he was reaching saturation point again, Rohit was offered charge at AXN. In the 18 months he has been here, business has jumped 300 to 400 per cent, something he modestly attributes to team work, both here and in Singapore.

But the man has never really lived life by the book. From commerce to advertising and then to the television industry, life has thus far been a roller coaster ride for the guy, who believes in 'breaking rules, if it helps in raising the bar'. Television, he says, is a business of perception and AXN, when Rohit came in, was perceived, as a blood 'n gore channel, one that reached only about six to seven per cent of the available eyeballs although it was the only one that had a potent mix of reality shows, action and adventure.

Baywatch, Sheena and VIP were the top scorers on the channel at the time. Intuitively, Rohit says he decided that out of the available genres of series, movies, adventure and reality, it would be reality that the channel should concentrate on. "The idea was to sharpen the image of the channel in India," he says. Beginning 2002, the channel image in India has a keener look - gone are the Geena Lee Nolins who promoted the channel in India, it is series like Agency and CSI that have taken centrestage. The idea has paid off, with the 9 pm slot on AXN now commanding a stronger viewerbase than any of the rival English movie channels.

While most of Rohit's decisions are a combination of dipstick, IMRB and intuition, he admits to having less than no time for leisurely TV viewing. Cinema theatres he abhors, "for there is no remote control in my hand."

A do it yourself guy, often he still spends long hours on weekdays, even couriering stuff himself if it means completing a job on time. He is no taskmaster, he avers, but expects the same professionalism from his peers as he puts in. He probably drives himself the hardest, evident from the fact that despite his several job jumps, he has never taken a break longer than four days between jobs and his last long vacation was over four years ago. Allowing himself a short break when he got married, he still worked till late into the night the day before the wedding. Time management obviously scores high on his priorities - the guy even reads two books at one time!

Blessed with what Todd Miller calls a 'challenger brand mindset', Bhandari views the television scenario in the near future as belonging to the niche channels. There is space for more channels, he feels, only if the new entrants are able to provide novel entertainment to viewers, he says. "What will be needed will be a distinct positioning statement," he says. The challenge in the coming days, he says, will also lie in getting viewers to tune into a non movie channel.

For now, it is action - on screen and off it, that is of prime importance to Bhandari. A man of few words, as Ho succinctly describes him, Bhandari prefers to let his actions speak for him. And for an action channel like AXN, that's indeed a blessing.

Rohit Bhandari speaks on life in the corporate fast lane:

"The moment I stop making a difference is the time I'll retire"

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/25/anmol.jpg?itok=f-BJ33Wt
Zee Anmol most watched channel across genres

BENGALURU: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GEC Zee Anmol has reached the realm that has been normally occupied by the Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV or by one of the Hindi channels that has been airing the Indian Premier League. What is remarkable is...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/25/Star%20Sports.jpg?itok=RfDxBBn0
Star India mulls adding VR to PKL 6

MUMBAI: Star India is taking the Indian Premier League (IPL) experience to other sports. After a phenomenal reception for using virtual reality (VR) in IPL 2018, it is diversifying into Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/25/megha.jpg?itok=HUy8yJ6a
BTVI to leverage digital mediums for growth

MUMBAI: English business news channel BTVI is completing two years in August this year. The company was transformed from Bloomberg TV India after Bloomberg decided not to renew its deal with Business Broadcast News. BTVI got its COO Megha Tata in 2016 at the same time it got its new name. 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/zeetv_0.jpg?itok=Pu75zUWg
Zee TV the leader amongst GECs

As per the recently released BARC HSM weekly data (Urban + Rural) for week 20 ’18, Zee TV has claimed the top position in Hindi GEC space with 316640 impressions in HSM and 199155 impressions in urban markets and saw a robust growth across its primetime fiction shows. The channel continued to be a...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/zeetv_0.jpg?itok=Pu75zUWg
Zee TV the leader amongst GECs

As per the recently released BARC HSM weekly data (Urban + Rural) for week 20 ’18, Zee TV has claimed the top position in Hindi GEC space with 316640 impressions in HSM and 199155 impressions in urban markets and saw a robust growth across its primetime fiction shows. The channel continued to be a...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/quint.jpg?itok=4S9HA15q
Bloomberg|Quint’s The Mutual Fund Show marks one successful year of educating viewers on personal finance

MUMBAI: India’s premier business and financial news company, has recently announced the completion of one successful year of its highly popular series ‘The Mutual Fund Show’. The feature, streamed across multiple platforms to a wide user base, provides critical guidance to India’s new generation...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/cn.jpg?itok=5ILJtVV_
Cartoon Network Enterprises’ new Back to School collection

To kickstart their new school semester, kids can now flaunt and stock up the coolest & cutest school essentials! Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), the global licensing and merchandising division of Turner India, brings to kids a brand new Back-to-School collection at offline and online retail...

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/nick.jpg?itok=6gATqWXY
Summer of fun and excitement with india’s no 1 kids entertainment destination - Nickelodeon

India’s leading kids’ entertainment franchise Nickelodeon has kids beat the summer heat with a host of exciting and fantastic entertainment spread of new movies and new episodes starring favorite Nicktoons. Adding to the excitement are interesting and once in a life time opportunities for kids to...

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/05/24/kumkum.jpg?itok=XS-zvCNv
Zee Anmol retains leadership in GEC (U+R) in week 20

Star Plus and Star Utsav swapped their sixth and seventh positions in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data of week 20 of 2018 in the Hindi GEC (U+R) market, whereas in rural markets no changes were observed as compared to the previous week. Sony Sab and Star Bharat exchanged their...

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories