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7 Questions on Leadership with Rajen Garabadu

Name: Rajen Garabadu

Title: Chief Executive Producer

Organisation: Network 18

Rajen Garabadu is a dynamic and internationally acclaimed producer with over 28 years of experience in video production and creative communication. 🎥✨

As the creative mastermind behind India's largest news network, Rajen has been at the helm of over two dozen TV news channel launches, rebranding initiatives, and refreshing projects. 📺🌟

But Rajen's journey is more than just business – it's a passion-driven adventure. He kickstarted his career as a Correspondent, and his love for the "3Ps" – packaging, presentation, and promotion – propelled him into the fascinating world of producing and directing. Since then, he's been the driving force behind thousands of hours of captivating content and a guiding light for countless professionals in creative and operational roles. 🚀

This is not where Rajen's talents end; he's also a distinguished figure on the jury panel of prestigious events like the Asian Academy Creative Awards, The Association for International Broadcasting Awards (AIBs), Asian Television Awards, Promax Asia, and Promax Africa, just to name a few. 🏆🌏

During his teens, Rajen was a quiz whiz; today, he's a passionate writer. Take advantage of his weekend newsletter on LinkedIn, where he shares valuable insights and nuggets from his wealth of lived experiences. 📚💡

If you're eager for more, you can catch Rajen's thought-provoking opinions on and delve into his world through his captivating blogs on 🌐📝

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Rajen's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

To have difficult conversations with your team. To sit them down and tell them where they went wrong, especially the top performers, and those who are elder than you. These conversations, though unpleasant and uncomfortable, are much needed for organisations to evolve and thrive.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

My first few responsibilities managing a team showed good results. The top performers who worked closely with me rarely left the team.

From then, every few years, I was given additional charge of other teams.

What started with just five people 20 years back is now 300 plus and counting.

How did I get here?

1. Being a people's person helped.

2. A mantra I have adhered to: Every achievement in the team is the individual's. All failures are mine.

3. I always publicly praise and pull up an erring team member privately.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I start early to get time to myself. This is my most productive time of the day. There is nothing else I do that's different or special from others during the day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

We often make the best impression when we don't try to impress.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Satya Nadella's Hit Refresh taught me how:

1. Empathy will become even more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.

2. Microsoft rediscovered "its soul" under Nadella's leadership —transforming everything from culture to its fiercely competitive landscape and industry partnerships.

3. Soft skills that are often derided in the cutthroat world of corporate politics are, today, increasingly essential to outsize performance

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Make your time on Earth count. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. No point saying or thinking: "I wish I had done that." Live every day as if it is your last.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

At a particularly tough time when the company had to trim its workforce for its long-term sustainability, a team member met me and offered to be let go.

I was shocked and asked her why.

She said she could never forget how I gave her a job when she needed it when I could have done without her. Though there was no pressing need to hire then, I had hired her because good candidates are hard to find.

I have not met someone like her after more than two decades in a leadership position. Rarely do you come across a situation where a colleague voluntarily steps forward and suggests what she did.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with her.

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