Profile: Joy Chakraborthy: What you see is what you get

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 12, 2011
Joy Chakraborthy, executive director, revenue and niche channels, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, takes afaqs! through his journey as a sales and marketing professiona, and as a confident leader.

It was after passing out of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, where he trained as a pilot, that life took a detour for Joy Chakraborthy. He decided to opt for civilian life, instead of pursuing the Armed Forces.

Chakraborthy began his career in strategic media sales with Bennett Coleman & Co in the early 1990s. Since then, he has changed just two jobs -- he joined the STAR Network in 1999, and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), in 2005.

Meanwhile, Chakraborthy also earned a degree from NMIMS (Masters in Marketing Management), and finished an Advanced Management Programme from the Harvard Business School. While chatting, he exudes tremendous self-confidence.

"All through my life, I have delivered. I have beaten the record. There are no benchmarks that have not been beaten by me and my group. More importantly, I am seen as a leader who can deliver from the front. I have been known in the industry for being very outspoken. What you see is what you get. There is no hidden agenda," Chakraborthy exclaims.

He goes back to his TOI (The Times of India) days to illustrate how he loves moving off the beaten track. "I got a lot of kicks selling innovations, rather than normal campaigns. The TOI was very strict on innovation, but I remember selling the first tricolour masthead to Asian Paints," he says.

Moving on, Chakraborthy talks of working at STAR as a major change and an enjoyable one. "I had the experience to work with one of the multinational companies, which are ruthless, but if you deliver, you are the best."

With ZEEL, it was his honesty and outspokenness that helped him in the long run.

"I was not scared to say that something was wrong and should not be done. My bosses, I think appreciated that. Today, Zee and I have grown together. It is the best place to work at, believe me," he says, adding, "I am lucky that I am working like an entrepreneur."

His admiration for the owners is simply because they have dirtied their hands. "They have reached this place through their skills. They take their time to trust you, but when they do, they do so blindly. Of course, I do have to inform my bosses, but I take pride and it feels as if it is 'my company'," he beams.

With the added responsibility of handling sales for DNA, Chakraborthy is one of the few people to handle both television and print for the same company. But, he is quick to admit that it is not a cakewalk. "It is tough. Television is more planned. Print, on the other hand, is sporadic. Also, the nature of clients is totally different. The categories that are very predominant on television are not existent in print and vice-versa. But, basic business etiquettes and mannerisms do not change. That is what has helped me to control DNA and Zee together," says Chakraborthy.

He is rather excited with niche channels as he believes that these channels have a bright future in a country where the pay TV market is set to grow further. The man is not without humility though. He fondly remembers Sujay Ghosh, who he says has been instrumental in helping him change over to civilian life. He also reserves special mention for Bhaskar Das, Pradeep Guha, Niraj Dutt, Raj Nayak, Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka.

Taking immense pride in his leadership skills, Chakraborthy swears he would never ask his team to do anything that he cannot do. "If I ask my team to come at nine in the morning, I will come at 8:45. If I ask them to make four calls a day, I will make five. If I ask them to keep their phones switched on 24/7, I will do the same," he says.

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