“Media will be different in 10 years from now”: Dr. Subhash Chandra

MUMBAI: “Failure is only when you accept it,” said Essel Group and Zee chairman Dr. Subhash Chandra, right before he stepped on to the stage to address more than 200 entrepreneurs and management students in the Mumbai based Welingkar Institute.


Dr. Chandra, who hosts Dr. Subhash Chandra (DSC) Show, believes that even if 5 per cent of the audience benefits and becomes successful entrepreneurs, his job is done. “You may call it a CSR activity or my desire to give back something to the society. Through the show, I share my experiences with the youth,” he said on why he decided to mentor through the show aired on Zee News every Saturday.


According to Dr. Chandra, learning is a two way process. “While people are learning from me, I am learning from them,” he added. 


The show doesn't end with him interacting with the audience during the shoot, but also sees many writing to him for suggestions. The man behind one of the most successful media ventures, Zeel, feels that things have changed now. “45 years ago, businessman was considered to be a thief,” he said and added that today Angel Investors are willing to invest in young and budding ideas in the country.


However,he believes that more sectors should be opened for people and corruption needs to be tackled in order to ensure that small and medium level businessmen do not leave the country, as they feel operating in India is unviable. 


Dr. Chandra is of the view that digital will grow in media. “We haven’t even reached the surface. Media will become very different 10 years from now,” he said adding that the monopoly of publishers will be gone in the future. 


Through the show, Dr Chandra has already picked up close to 10 budding entrepreneurs, impressed by their talent, and absorbed them in his own empire.


Ask him the key ingredient of becoming a successful entrepreneur and Dr. Chandra is quick to respond, “Have the conviction and go for it.”


The Dr. Subhash Chandra (DSC) Show while began its initial shoot in an auditorium in Noida, Delhi, but soon saw tremendous response from several colleges and started travelling to different B Schools in the country, the first one being IIM Ahmedabad.  


The 20th episode of the show which was canned in Mumbai on 3 January was shot in two parts: one with the entrepreneurs and the other with a mix of management students and entrepreneurs. “We had to divide it in two parts looking at the tremendous response from the people here in Mumbai,” said a crew member from the show who always travels with the man along with the core members behind putting it all together.


According to Dr. Chandra, the attrition of the company should be at least five per cent. “This helps one remove the mediocrity from the bottom. Only if the attrition is 10-15 per cent, then it is the experience that is getting drained,” Dr. Chandra said during the course of the show. 


The man is not only a great businessman, but a great showman as well.  With no retakes or script, Dr. Chandra after sharing his own experience with the audience talks and answers audiences' queries patiently and at ease. 


He is a firm believer that while experience can be acquired and knowledge transferred, talent can neither be acquired nor transferred. “You either have it or you don’t. There are no boundaries for an entrepreneur,” he said.


According to Dr. Chandra, employees are of four types: Detractive (those who do not want to work), passive (those who have mastered the art of survival and they do not contribute to the work), participative (People who work as directed), contributor (they take responsibility and are ready to work) and generative (they are the ones who generate ideas and execute it).


“Break the rules,” Dr. Chandra announced adding that anyone can become an entrepreneur. 


During the show, he also delved into how the Human Resource (HR) should function in an organisation. “Spend more time with the best performers. Understand what they are thinking and working and transfer the same to other employees,” he said. 

“People are demotivated by the managers, not the company,” Dr. Chandra further added. 


He emphasised the need for risk assessment. “It is only if one doesn’t measure all the risks that an idea fails,” he said adding, “Failure teaches faster and better than success.”


The man who has created one of the biggest media firms concluded, “If I knew that media will become such a big monster, I wouldn’t have started it.”  


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