Profile: Jitesh Rajdeo: High on Media

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 12, 2011
Jitesh Rajdeo, the new revenue head -- ad sales at DNA, talks about his journey so far.

He has been at the helm of affairs at Zee in various roles, for quite some time now. He was head of sales at Zee Cinema, when the highly successful Zee Marathi came up and took the regional television scene by storm. He handled a bouquet of 11 regional channels as its cluster head and has been the executive vice-president -- sales at Zee TV.

Jitesh Rajdeo, the new revenue head -- ad sales at DNA, got into selling media because it always gave him a 'kick'. Rajdeo also believes that the fast changing dynamics of the industry have made it more challenging in recent times.

Of the 17 years that Rajdeo has been in the media industry, a major part of it has been with Zee. Between 1994, when he started off his career, and July 2000, Rajdeo went through five jobs before hooking up with Zee Entertainment in July 2000. From that point on, it was all Zee.

What is the kick that media gives him? "Well, I was attracted to this field, while I was working with an accountancy firm. I found this field to be more profitable as compared to many books of accounts, I used to handle for companies. I was lucky to have been exposed to selling almost all mediums, barring radio. I started with outdoor, print, TV, cable advertising, internet, film promotion, and C&S channels, across all genres, and now back to print," says Rajdeo.

According to him, his life is an open book and there is nothing that is not known to his seniors or colleagues. For the outsider, however, Rajdeo's reputation as a trouble-shooter at ZEEL (Zee Entertainment Enterprise) kept building up over the years. "Right from handling one channel to handling a cluster of channels before being deputed to DNA, my seniors at ZEEL have used my strength across all possible roles in sales," says Rajdeo. Handling network sales at Zee Group has been the most challenging experience so far for him.

In 2009, when Zee restructured its ad sales division to form two core clusters, Rajdeo was in charge of the cluster that included the regional GECs (general entertainment channels) and news channels of the group.

He believes that television is more dynamic and fast-paced, where the sales team faces huge challenges on a daily basis while filling inventory and keeping the yield in mind. Selling smartly helps to get the desired yield.

With a marketing degree from Chetna's Institute of Management, Mumbai, Rajdeo wants to take up teaching media sales more seriously, and would someday, like to pursue an independent teaching institute. He wants to inculcate -- in students -- the desire to learn new things and the art of multitasking, something which he had even as a student. "One should know one's own product and the dynamics of market well to ascertain demand and define strategy to achieve the objectives," he says.

And, how would he define his success mantra? "Define the rules of the game based on market dynamics," he explains.

When not busy chasing sales targets, Rajdeo likes spending late evenings and weekends with his two sons and his better half, going to the clubs, playing cricket or badminton with his son or taking him for a swim. This routine is often followed by a visit to a food joint or movie hall. A self-confessed movie buff, Rajdeo likes watching action, thriller and fast-paced movies. "I also ensure one long vacation every year to unwind and be with my family," he says.

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