I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.

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Podcast with Sunita Rajan, CNN’s Head of Advertising Sales for Asia Pacific

Listen to my podcast with Sunita Rajan , the Head of Advertising Sales for the Asia Pacific Region at global TV and media network CNN. She has over 25 years of experience in media including roles at Star TV and BBC Worldwide.
At CNN, she oversees an extensive client base across the Asia-Pacific region and leads teams in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Delhi and Mumbai, in addition to a network of representatives across Asia.

In this podcast, we discuss her career path, her passion for sales, what makes a great salesperson and how she manages to run a distributed global team. This podcast was recorded just before the CNN Asia Business Forum that took place in Bangalore. Listen to the conversation with Sunita Rajan.


Kristie Lu Stout on what Made her a Successful TV Anchor

CNN International_Kristie Lu Stout small
Kristie Lu Stout, the award-winning host of ‘News Stream’ on CNN is a familiar face. When I met her at the CNN Asia Business Forum in Bangalore, I was very curious to know what made her successful in her field and how she sculpted her career to become a well-known broadcast journalist.  I recorded a  half hour long conversation for the Leadership Podcast which I host at The Hindu Businessline. While the Podcast will eventually be published in a few week’s time (my column is a fortnightly one), here are some interesting takeaways from our conversation.

Kristie studied Journalism at Stanford University and graduated at a time when the Internet book was just happening. She got her first break at the celebrated new age tech magazine, Wired.
My Takeaway:  Have clarity of what you want to do in life. Kristie clearly loved journalism and picked up a course she enjoyed.

Kristie moved to China where she freelanced for the South China Morning Post and later worked at Sohu. She started to learn Chinese at Tsinghua University. Remember that, even though Kristie is a Chinese American, she spent most of her early life in the United States.
My Takeaway: Kristie could easily have built her career in the US. After all, the rest of the World is trying to get into the land of opportunities. Yet, Kristie realized the opportunities in China and stepped out of her comfort zone to move to another country. She took the effort to learn the language and dove into studying the burgeoning Internet space which proved to be a turning point in her life as seen in the next point.

While she was focused on print journalism, her breakthrough in broadcast journalism happened serendipitously. She gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club on the state of Internet in China. As part of the audience was a senior member from CNN who was impressed with her. He invited her to come over to CNN and that’s what resulted in her first break.
My Takeaway: Breaks like this one is rare. And Kristie knew it and she was determined to make it count. During our conversation, she mentioned that the learning curve was very steep. After all, she was brand new to the TV medium. I loved how she was open to learning from others and constantly improved herself that made her now a name to reckon with.

Look out for the full conversation I have with Kristie Lu Stout in a fortnight.


Lessons from Instagram Founders.

I was listening to NPR’s awesome podcast titled, ‘How I Built This’, which had a segment on the Instagram founders.  After I listened to the half hour interview with Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, I asked myself what would be the two important take-aways from the podcast.  Here’s what stood out for me.

They quoted Eric Ries, the author of ‘The Lean Startup’ who said its important to have conversations with people who liked your product, why they liked your product and take steps to make it even better.  Many times, we pay higher importance to things people don’t like and work at solving those.

Another important takeaway is that they made Instagram open to follow. Back in 2010, it was common for most social networks to be closed and one can only follow someone else if both are connected as friends. Instagram was among the earliest social networks where anyone can follow anyone else. This means you can follow any celebrity, sports star or politician. This was a key point for Instagram’s growth. Now, these features are used in most social networks, including Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.


Podcast Interview with CK Kumaravel, CEO of Naturals Salon. How He Built India’s Largest Chain of Beauty Salons.

Imagine if, a decade ago, you started your first company. After showing initial signs of success, it suddenly tanks, dragging your property and savings with it. It leaves you with a staggering debt of ₹5 crore. What do you do next?

Well, if you were CK Kumaravel, you get up, dust yourself off, train your subconscious mind to think positively and create one of the largest chains of beauty salons in India! In this podcast, the CEO and co-founder of Naturals Salon talks about the failure, about how, despite studying in a Tamil-medium school, he made it a point to learn English because his father had once said “Business success and English are related”. He also shares other important business lessons. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a businessman, then you will benefit immensely from this podcast.



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