Mumbai : Mr Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India, received a significant industry award, The Impact Person of the Decade – 2014. Maharashtra Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao gave the prestigious award to Mr Shankar late last evening in the presence of media visionary Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Esselworld and Zee, and Annurag Batra, Chairman of the exchange4media Group.
The award recognizes the one individual who has made maximum and far-reaching impact on and influenced and helped shape the media, marketing and advertising industry tremendously over the last ten years.
Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, addressing an audience packed with leaders and professionals of Indian media, marketing and advertising, said, “Shri Uday Shankar’s journey from being a journalist to head a large media organization has been spectacular. His agenda of driving a social change through programs like Satyamev Jayate has had a huge impact. In a country where cricket is a religion, he has brought to the fore games like Hockey and Kabaddi and demonstrated how these games could also be popularized in a changing world.”
Accepting the award, Mr Shankar said, “This is overwhelming – there is nothing more special than peer recognition. I consider myself a creation of this industry, and for this industry to recognize that I might have made some impact on the last decade fills me with a sense of both — pride and gratitude.”
Introspecting on winning the Impact Person of the Decade, Mr Shankar said, “When I was informed by Impact that I am the person of the decade, I couldn’t help but reflect on my journey and what led me here… I can say it in one word – collaboration. That seems to be the one thing that I have done better and better and better over the last 10 years.” However, he added that “the willingness to collaborate has always been built on a solid conviction to do the right thing – not just for Star but for the entire industry and society. The conviction to not do regressive content, the conviction to not compromise the larger interest of community.”
Mr Shankar attributed his success at Star to his excellent team. “I think my success at Star and the success of Star India are results of not just an extremely talented team that I could put together but that this team collaborates with and compliments one another extremely well… my amazing team at Star has always rallied around to die for every single ridiculous plan that I have come up with,” he said. “This recognition is yours!”
James Murdoch, Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox, said in a recorded message, “Uday Shankar is really driven by a belief in communications, and a belief that media and storytelling can make a positive difference. We’re enormously proud of Uday for being named the Impact Person of the Decade. It’s a great honour for him — one that he richly deserves. Star has always been a great innovator, and under Uday’s leadership, it has taken that to new levels.”
Superstar Aamir Khan, in a recorded message, said, “I’ve known Uday for about five years now — his razor-sharp mind, his intelligence, his courage, his boldness to take difficult decisions… He believes in the impossible, and that’s why he achieves the impossible.”
Media captain Aroon Purie, Chairman, India Today Group, said of Mr Shankar in a message, “He is a good thinker; obviously a great leader… I am delighted that he is getting this award. He has made a great impact on the industry, and I am sure that his leadership in Star, and also as part of the industry, will have a great impact in the years to come.”
Annurag Batra, Chairman – exchange4media Group, said, “Across the years, Mr Shankar’s contributions to the entire space have been remarkable – whether through his mission for innovative and socially responsible content that is based on great storytelling, or the investments in and support of sports genres across Kabaddi, Football and Hockey and Cricket, and his remarkable efforts in aligning industry stakeholders for issues of industry and social significance. These, with several other reasons, are why the Impact editorial team selected Mr Shankar from a solid list of respected industry professionals for having impacted the industry and society in such a positive and significant way through his vision for both Star and the industry. He is indeed a truly deserving winner of the top honour in the space of Media, Marketing and Advertising.”
It may be noted that Udayshankar took over the reins of Star India at most difficult time when the media group was struggling to retain its supremacy in the Indian Television market with plenty of uncertainties due to the exit of some big names from the organisation and unprecedented competitive atmosphere. However, Uday managed to steer through the tsunami and managed to position the ship in a commendable position.