B Shankar : National Sales Head, Raj TV


Name: B Shankar

Designation: National Sales Head, Raj TV

Sun Sign: 16 Jan 1974, Capricorn

Educational Experience

I am a science graduate, BSc Physics. Later, I did my post graduation in System Management, followed by a sales training course. Besides, I have also done a number of courses to keep myself abreast of the latest technologies, be it in the IT sector or the advertising and marketing field.

Professional Experience

After my PG in in System Management, I joined a computer firm as a programmer. The job was smooth sailing except for the fact that I felt that my creativity and talents weren't really being used to the optimum. I felt stifled, I knew that it wasn't something that I would be happy doing for the rest of my life. My boss at the computer firm offered me a sales project and I found my calling. I knew I wanted to be with people and so I chose to opt for a career in the advertising and marketing sector.

My first stint was with Get it Yellow pages in Hyderabad, it was a challenge. Later, I joined the investment firm Capital Market and then Indian Express. With most of my formative years spent in Chennai, I had always wanted to visit Mumbai. I have been fascinated by the city. When accidentally I landed up in Mumbai, I was amazed by the spirit, the professional attitude of the city, but due to some personal compulsions, I had to go back to Chennai. However, I guess coming back to Mumbai was in store for me.

It was just some time later that I was contacted by Raj TV and thus began my career with Raj TV as the sales head. Later, I was appointed as the National sales head in Mumbai. I have been with Raj TV for six years now.

On moments of personal triumphs

One thing that I learnt in the course of my career is that, establishing a relationship with the client is a must. In 2002 when we approached Cadbury's to sponsor our Rajnikanth film festival, it seemed like quite a task to convince them to advertise down South. Since Rajnikanth is a superstar, we created a campaign with Five Star chocolate bar. It was my first mega campaign in Mumbai and I pursued the clients till we got the deal done.

Another campaign that has been quite memorable is the Videocon Kollywood festival. I was in Mumbai at that time and the we got the news that Sunil Tandon would meet me at Chennai. I clearly remember it was 26 April 2001. So I immediately flew there but due to some problem he didn't land there, I waited the entire day. The very next day, I managed to fix an appointment in Mumbai. After convincing Sunil Tandon about our capabilities, I clinched the Rs 7.5 million contract. Later, there were quite a few, including soft drink giant Coca Cola.

Marketing in Television as career choice

Television as a dynamic and glamorous field fascinated me a lot. It has that audio visual feel, the ability to connect with people that wasn't there in print. Besides, I have always wanted to meet people, interact with them. Television was ideal for me to broaden my horizons. There is a constant need to innovate and dynamics of the field are brilliant.

Current television scenario

Good and looking up by the minute. It has a lot of scope for improving but I guess we are getting there.

Right and wrong about current television scenario

One good thing about current television scenario is that it has opened up a myriad of job opportunities for people. It offers 50 per cent more jobs than cinema. As for the creative aspect, people are getting more and more content savvy, there is a certain programme loyalty and there is a market for niche programming.

One thing that irks me are these TRPs, GRPs,CPRPs... for me it is very difficult to sell an half hour show. Advertisers are very skeptic. As a result, there is a chance that a good project will wither for a lack of sponsors. The entire cycle is vicious. In such a scenario, people are unwilling to experiment.

Personally, I believe that only public broadcasters like Doordarshan are beyond all this and are willing to experiment.

The rating system cannot be done away with till an alternative yardstick is established. But people need to look beyond the numbers; only then can television and its advertising market bloom.

Five years from now

Be it in this industry or any other, I should be the one of the best. Up and raring to go would be my state of mind even then.


I guess catching up with my friends, either on phone or personally. In my profession, where spare time is a luxury, I have learnt to squirm in some moments of fun. Listening to FM is my hobby, I used to love 94.6. So whenever I am stuck in traffic, I am very happy! Besides, the industry itself is a hobby.

Now that I am married for two years, we both try and catch up with the city. She is also from Chennai... though she had some problems earlier, she loves the place more than I do now. We just live and love every moment of it

Idea of enjoyment

Switching off the mobile phone and going for a drive to Lonavala.

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