Sanjay Prabhu (April 2002)
Radio Indigo, like most start-ups, has had its share of turbulence. It all started when the BPL Innovision Business Group bid for an FM license to cover Bangalore, Cochin and a few other places. The bid went in their favor and license awarded in year 2000. Confusion prevailed within government circles as to how they would go about this whole thing. Add to that were government policy changes. No surprise, that. It took over a year for the first FM station to go on air. Meanwhile, the BPL Group reworked on their Maths and voila! They found they were going gaga over an unviable proposition. What next? The return of the radio, like the prodigal son, sounded exciting and this rock-solid entertainment company needed a presence in the radio space. Just about then the WorldSpace network had kick-started. This comfortable and affordable platform suited the BPL Group. They moved in. And Radio Indigo appeared on the scene.
Sanjay Prabhu, heads Brand Management at BPL Innovision and calls the shots at Radio Indigo. He's optimistic that this niche channel would soon be very visible. And How? "The game-plan is firstly to make it viable this financial year. Because it's on a satellite-based network, it's a niche channel but with a vast reach. We're playing great music and once this channel becomes viable, maybe we'll have more niche channels on the WorldSpace platform." He breaks into a cherubic smile when he says, "The romance of radio is making a comeback."
Presently, the focus is to maximize visibility for Radio Indigo with on-ground events. Such as the Roger Waters concert in Bangalore on April 13th and the Deep Purple concerts in Bombay and Goa scheduled for May this year, where Radio Indigo is the Official Radio Station for both events. Hopefully this will drive visibility and increase the penetration of WorldSpace receivers in India, which at the moment is extremely low. One reason attributed to the low density of WorldSpace receivers is that manufacturing outputs of receivers isn't too high. Explains Sanjay as to why receiver sets are a constraint, "The WorldSpace receiver is based on a patented chip-set and presently five manufacturers are authorized to produce various models of receivers. Like Hitachi, Sanyo, JVC, National Panasonic and BPL. So, it's not that any manufacturer besides these can produce them in bulk and dump them into the markets. And these units are producing sets for the whole world. Therefore, there's a gap in supply and demand." All this is set to change, at least for India when BPL comes out with a range of models in the next month or so. Much-needed impetus to Radio Indigo is just around the corner.
Exude an attitude, Man! Sanjay believes that Radio Jockeys and the Programs should do just that. "Always! It should be youthful and reflect the attitude of the segment we are catering to," says Sanjay. "Unlike Television where you have to watch it, the experience of listening to a radio channel is different. You could be writing a book, typing out an email or be reading something," driving home the point that radio plays a subliminal role in providing that experience.
In Sanjay's case, charity obviously begins in the office (and at home)! We couldn't help notice a WorldSpace receiver in his neatly kept office, and music from Radio Indigo softly playing in the background. He tells us that he has one at home too.
Talk of subliminal role of the Radio. Sure thing!