Pavan Chawla : Manager

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Name: Pavan Chawla

Designation: Manager, Public Relations - MAX

Sun Sign: Capricorn, 9 January 1960

Educational Experience:

Arts graduate in Economics, Public Administration and English, and enjoyed my college years thanks to excessive extracurricular activities like dramatics, music and volleyball. Which also yielded a second class in the aggregate, but then in MA-I English Literature, I was third in the merit list in Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Professional Experience

Twelve years of print and electronic media experience, which breaks down to: PR & Journalism: six and a half years Electronic Entertainment Media: five and a half years.

Executive Editor, Zee Entertainment Guide (October 1994 to April 1995) - Worked with Rajat Sharma on The Guide. I managed the content, wrote for, edited and designed the entire magazine. Took the guide to the newsstands in Bombay, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. The Zee Entertainment Guide had a print order of 400,000 copies!!

Four Years with The Times of India Group. Magazine Coordinator, E-Times. (February 1994 to September1994) - Managed content, wrote for, edited and designed this entertainment guide. Was involved along with Bharat Kumar Raut and Arun Arora in the conceptualization, dummies and the final launch of E-Times from Bombay, New Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore.

Senior Feature Writer & Sub Editor, The Metropolis on Saturday (March 1993 to February 1994). The Metropolis was Bombay's up-market weekly news- and features-based 'paper. My specialization was News and Features, particularly Lifestyle, TV & Film Entertainment, Indian and Western film and popular music, and leisure in general. Worked with Bachi Karkaria, Bharatkumar Raut, Ayaz Memon, Shashi Baliga, and Carole Andrade. I handled both, news and features pages such as the Front Page, Cinema, Leisure and Nostalgia, and the City, Nation and World news pages. Was also the in-house music and food critic.

Feature Writer & Sub Editor, The Independent and The Metropolis (July 1992 to February 1993) - Was part of the team that created and shaped The Metropolis on Saturday.

Sub Editor - The Independent (November 1990 to June 1992) - Pritish Nandy's ad had said in 150 points: "Pritish Nandy will train 12 bright young journalists." Well, I was one of them! Slaved at the News desk, which is where you develop a news sense. Handled all news pages, and contributed extensively to the news and features pages. Worked with Anil Dharker, Pritish Nandy and Nitin Padte.

Freelance contributions - Extensively for Saturday Times, The Illustrated Weekly, Sunday Mid-day, Mid-day, The Independent and other publications. Have been music and food critic for Femina, The Illustrated Weekly, The Independent, The Metropolis on Saturday and E-Times.

Concurrent with my job at the Times, I was news reporter for Vinod Dua's Parakh for a while in 1993, and also had the first Top Ten show of English songs in the country on All India Radio FM way back in 1988. Received great help from Shashi Gopal, Suresh Thomas, Bashir Sheikh, Parag Kamani and Atul Churamani of Magnasound, Vijay Lazarus of Music India, V.T. Ravi and Meena Iyer of HMV, and R.V. Pandit of CBS for this. They'd give me rights to air the songs on AIR without a royalty payment!

In 1993, on the day of the launch of Times FM in India (15 August 1993) one of the shows on air was researched, written and presented by me - a rockumentary on Michael Jackson, with Irshwin Balwani. Those were fun days!

My Programming & Production stint with cable & satellite (C&S) TV was with Sony Entertainment Television, from September 1995 to mid-June 2000, during which time I worked my way from Production Executive to Senior Executive Producer and then Head of the Friday PMU. My job was to creatively and strategically manage shows for content and promotional activity.

Through my tenure, some of the shows I handled became the biggest in C&S in India, and included Aahat and CID. I also worked on several other shows including Kanyadaan, Family No. 1, Mahayagya, Take Five, Tujh Pe Dil Qurbaan, Hum Aapke Hain Countdown, C.A.T.S., The Rasoi Show, India Magic and Cover Story.

I've also written several shows like Kanyadaan, CATS, Jagjit Singh's Revival concert, Archana Puran Singh's Celebrating India, and co-written with Rishi Talwar, a feature film starring Sanjay Dutt, Shamita Shetty and Chandrachur Singh, called Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai Tumse. For five years, I was Sony Entertainment Television's male voice for on-air promos.

My journalism experience helped me in handling the election news specials in the Chunav Chunauti series of 10-minute bulletins in 1998 that ran for three days, and were hosted by Vinod Dua and Mark Tully, and produced for us by TV 18 in New Delhi.

Current Job profile and Designation

I'm Manager, Public Relations for MAX, the premier Movies and Events channel from Sony Entertainment Television India Pvt Ltd. I drive PR for every MAX programming and business initiative including MAX corporate in the media marketplace through print and electronic media, targeting all our valued viewers and business associates.

I drive PR for the biggest acquisition in Indian television history - the C&S rights to all the ICC Limited Overs Cricket tournaments for six years all the way to 2007 and an ICC Trophy. I target print, Internet and electronic media regardless of language and location across India. Equally, I also drive PR across the country for MAX's other mega entertainment genre, Hindi Movies.

Television as career choice

I'd already been with The Times of India group for four years, and if anything seemed bigger and more mass than print journalism, it was Television. I got into Sony Entertainment Television a month before it launched in 1995 the opportunity and the challenge were huge as it was the 37th or 38th channel in India then.

The goal was to break through the clutter, get noticed and established as a channel that provided complete family entertainment, and within a couple of years of our launch, we had arrived at the top spot, with the biggest shows in television history!

It's as dynamic as print or any other kind of journalism - you're only as good as your last episode or byline. And more creative too. That hasn't changed. In fact, today, it's even more dynamic, and constantly challenging. I've been fortunate, but I'm proud of two things: the TOI and the Sony Entertainment Television pedigree.

Current Television scenario

Not as cluttered as it was, thankfully, but far more organized and intensely competitive.

Right and wrong about current television scenario

What's right about present day television - I think style, look and feel is up there… but we've lost out on variety in content. With so many daily soaps, somewhere the vibrancy of variety has lost out.

Earlier, there were so many many different talents and genres, but I guess it's all part of evolution and we'll say some day, "Wow, that was some phase, but thank God it's over!"

Five years from now

Retired, in Hawaii, writing, playing the percussion, composing music on my computer, scouring the net, working on my websites, reading W Somerset Maugham's recommended 100 Best Books of all time and watching all the great movies I missed or want to watch again. Just chilling out.

Hobbies

I just mentioned some above… as for the rest, maybe this isn't the right forum.

Idea of enjoyment

There you go again!

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