The force and vision behind NDTV itself – Radhika Roy

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‘NDTV’ – Does this gigantic media house require any introduction at all? Yes, that is in itself a rhetorical question.

Who doesn’t know what NDTV is in today’s world? Pretty much synonymous with the word ‘news’ in India, it has become a household name in every TV watching family.

Believe it or not, it was all was started by one lady visionary who had the foresight and business acumen for it. She could predict how television would shape as a source of reaching out to the masses and become all-encompassing in the media sector.

Nothing short of pure genius, Radhika Roy, is truly recognized as “the guiding vision and force behind NDTV”.

More about the lady herself…

Born on 7th May 1949, Radhika completed her education from the Miranda House, Delhi and the Welham Girls’ School. She majored in English from the University of Delhi. It was while at Welham’s that she met her husband and another co-founder of NDTV – Mr Prannoy Roy. She married Prannoy in the year 1972. They also have a daughter together, Tara Roy.

Radhika was a passionate journalist right from the start. Before starting NDTV, she was in the print industry for over 10 years. Her skills were greatly honed at major media giants such as The Indian Express and India Today.

However, it was in 1988 that she founded her own baby – New Delhi Television i.e. NDTV. Her husband joined her in the same post a few weeks of its inception. It was indeed Radhika’s vision that brought into existence what today is one of the most popular news channels. Radhika was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Information, Communication and Entertainment in the year 2003.

So how did this shift from print to TV take place?

It was actually during the mid 80’s that she came up with the NDTV idea. She could clearly see the limitless potential the TV boxes offered as news mediums. Everyone would watch the television and outpouring news through this medium was more effective and people-friendly. To start her journey in this new sector she abandoned her print media career and started with Television media in 1988.

Radhika at NDTV today

Since its inception in 1988 until 2011, Radhika was the Managing Director of NDTV. Since 2011 to the current date, Radhika co-heads the company as Executive Co-Chairperson of NDTV and as the Executive Director.

Today she uses her expertise in editorial and production to guide one and all at NDTV. Programming formats are suggested and finalized by her along with the team. In fact, she has been spearheading the company for over 25 years now.

Today the media giant boasts of a portfolio of 500 + reporters, media specialists and producers across India. The brand in itself is highly recognized and talked about amongst the general public of the country. Credible path-breaking stories have also extended the love coming their way across the nation.

She is said to be heavily invested and involved in all daily functions at NTDV. All this and more, but yet one would barely spot her interviews and photographs anywhere. Despite being in the television industry for 25+ years, she chooses to remain behind the screen totally. Quite private as a person, she lets her work speak.

Major bottlenecks along the way yet she strides ahead stronger and successful

Radhika indeed boasts of a long-standing career that manifests nothing but sheer dedication and intellect. However, what’s even more noteworthy is that this journey for her has not been all flowery and smiles. Topsy-turvy and featuring acute obstacles, her NDTV path to success has seen her overcome various challenges.

Firstly, being a Media company, there is always considerable room for contention, controversies, political pressures and the sensitivity of public emotions. Mental strength to deal with this and more is the essential forte that any media giant team and its CEO need to possess. Radhika and her team have done this brilliantly.

However, if we look back, NDTV specifically has been alleged with serious charges from time to time. For instance, in 1998 the CBI filed a case against NDTV Managing Director for fraudulent and corrupt practices in Doordarshan upgrade. However this could not deter Roy, and she with the team came out victorious. In July 2013 the charges were proven wrong in court and no one was found guilty.

Not this alone, the news channel has dealt with resentment on larger scales yet. In November 2016, the Indian government ordered a one-day ban on the Hindi channel. Why? They proclaimed the media channel was breaching national security laws while covering the Pathankot attack. This was the first time a ban on an independent news entity was ordered in the history of India. However, this too could not bring down NDTV. In fact, much of the public took to criticize the government for this step, on the basis of it violating the freedom of media.

More recently (5th June 2017), the CBI conducted a raid on the properties (both home and offices) of NDTV’s power duo – the Roys. Nevertheless, today in 2019, the media house still stands tall in all its glory.

And this alone speaks volumes of the effective leadership behind the company. Issues are a part and parcel, especially in this particular industry. However, going forward and even bigger despite all the controversies shows how able Radhika and her team have been in it all.

If nothing else, NDTV enjoys a far-reaching familiarity with mostly all citizens of India. And is till date one of the most influential media voices in the country.

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