Rajendra Kumar Misra
Founder President & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
A profession which engenders heightened sobriety ends up unleashing a hardened sense of hermitage humour. It is thus that this grey haired gentleman finds top billing not for his success but as a reward for his failures. He tried unsuccessfully to form a Press Club in Gujarat for almost forty long years until the young worthies who are enumerated below came along and did it in a matter of about forty days (though thanks mainly due to a kick in their vital midsection by the black coat’s of the judicial profession!) to honour the efforts of a failure, the successful put him at the head of the heap hoping that the forlorn walls of the Club building may have something to ‘hang’, at least one photograph with a garland and a plaque that will speak the truth-Late….. After all the old die Young in Journalism.
As for formal introductions, Uttar Pradesh the land of his birth found him a tad distasteful to retain and dumped him on Gujarat after modicum of education. His state of domicile gave him bread, butter, booze and blossoms. Beginning his career with Gujarat Herald (now defunct) in 1971, he graduated through Western Times to the Times of India in 1973. As Reporter before moving on to Rajkot to take charge of Saurashtra and Kutch in 1979 and to Surat for South Gujarat in 1984. Four years later, he moved to Delhi as Asst. Editor of Probe India group of publications to cover trouble torn Punjab and Kashmir, only to return to Gujarat as Special Correspondent of The Pioneer in 1991 just before the launch of its Delhi edition by Mr. Vinod Mehta. At the inception of the Club, he was the roving editor of the same paper, also doing duty for numerous other publications including Outlook and AP under a special arrangement.
Brajesh Kumar Singh
First Secretary General & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Great things are done when men and mountain meet, This is not done by jostling in the street. India is casteist to the core. Ever at loggerheads in the format of North Indian Politics, the Thakur and the Brahmin made for stabilizing combination just like the Patels and the Kshatriyas did to usher in Narendra Modi to the helm of oil rich Gujarat in 2007. A key component-in fact the main man-to see the Gujarat Media Club become a reality, sober and cautious Singh was the glue which got men and mountain together. In the words of Rath Dorothy, I have come to where I belong, not an enchanted place, but the walls are strong, is how he would put it. Organization building is not just chic showmanship. It is hard, back-braking labour. Edifice building, brick piled on solid brick with a soiled hand mason shoveling soft sand to weld hard cement into a lofty profile. Many merge selflessly to create a masterpiece. Brajesh is the maddening glue that forced you into submission through sheer persistence. Give him a document do dissect and he would open it’s innards until B.R. Ambedkar rose from the grave to give his approval. The Constitution of India, he would say, was an easier job. Journos are hard to heard. Using his tongue for a ship and hand for a poke, he has managed to ensure the herd and also keep it moving-for a charge in a single direction.
For the record Brajesh began his professional career after passing out from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi in the year 1996. He did his internship with Aaj Tak under the legendary editor SP Singh and later joined Amar Ujala group at New Delhi. He spent about eighteen months with the group’s business newspaper ‘Karobar’ and then babbled with the electronic media which was in its infancy. He was part of the team that launched the first 24-hour Hindi news channel in India that was Zee India TV after renaming EL TV. Moved to Aaj Tak in June 2001 for a six months sting returning to the Zee News fold soon after. Singh moved to STAR News in December 2002. At the inception of the Club he was with STAR News.
First Organisation Secretary & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, said the legendary John Lennon. Same stands true for roller coaster rider Sanjay. His journey through time has been a precise one, to turn every old saying on its head. Rolling stones gather no moss. This one here rolls at an incredible speed and besides moss also picks up money in salary hikes as he changes jobs like jackets. One in the hand is better than two in the bush. One in the hand is for keeps, but two are lined up outside his office door and three others idling on the streetside. Jobs that is. But he remains a milestone man for the Gujarat Media Club. There is a method in his madness, so to say. He is very dependable and can be trusted to carry a job to its logical end. He is therefore always in demand. One can go on and on. Born to a security forces officer whose perforce kept on the move thanks to frequent postings, Sanjay’s skill keeps the old whirl, through changing jobs rather than towns. For all the leg pulling, he is a jolly good fellow who has set his own rhythm of life and goes chugging merrily along. But for his dynamism and ability to pull all the dreary, donkey-load of a work, there would be no Club. It is his single-minded perseverance, incredible patience, boundless energy and exemplary commitment that has seen a distant dream turn into a pride instilling reality.
Sanjay started his professional career in 1996 while studying at Centre for Development Communication, Ahmedabad as freelancer for the Indian Express and thereafter worked for The Pioneer as a trainee journalist. He began his full time career with the Asian Age. Ahmedabad edition and thereafter joined Press Trust of India in New Delhi. Sanjay came back to Ahmedabad and worked for the Times of India and subsequently moved to STAR News in 2003. He had a stint in business journalism too with CRISIL MarketWire which was re-christened as NewsWire18 later. He then joined NEWS24, a 24-hour Hindi news channel in October 2007. At the inception of the Club he was with STAR News.
First Joint Secretary & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. These words of Alphonse Kerr find fulsome echo in Sunil’s outlook of life. He is an optimist who hopes for the best even as he is prepared for the worst. In the dark and dismal days after the initial euphoria had subsided and the enormity of the task at hand struck home, it was Sunil’s easy banter and we-will-do-it-not-to-worry approach that kept the fires going. Himself being educated as an increasingly mercenary face of ‘friends’ came into full view, he nevertheless held on to sanity and made his fellow travelers keep their cool as well. This too shall pass, was how he would put it and make the teammove on as well, laughing off heartaches and celebrating pint-sized victories with élan. He keeps doing so till date as the Club gets close to celebrating it’s second birthday.
Sunil began his career by joining the Economic Times in 1995 after passing out from Centre for Development Communication, Ahmedabad. He then moved to Bangalore and then Mumbai. He came back to Ahmedabad with the same business daily till 1998. He joined CNBC-TV in 2004 and went back to print business journalism in 2007 by joining MINT. Sunil has seen a lot in his chequered career. At the inception of the Club, he was with CNBC-TV18.
First Joint Secretary & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. Rohit who takes life by the horns and cruises through at his own pace, is the gentleman journalist who believes that all is well that ends well. He never baulks at whatever the task entrusted to him, carrying it out with an easy countenance that spoke much. Perhaps, guided by the belief that if you need me, you just have to call, Rohit chose to prod here and push there so that matters kept moving. And lo and behold the Club became a reality.
Rohit began his professional career with the Indian Express in 1996 in Ahmedabad after passing his BJ honours from Delhi College of Art & Commerce, Delhi University in 1995. After a brief stint with BiTV as a trainee, he changed gears to print. Doing duty at various bureaus of the Indian Express stretching from Ahmedabad to Vadodara and there from to Jammu and onto Bhopal was a decade long journey. He moved to Times Now in mid 2005 and then joined NDTV 24X7 in October, 2005. At the inception of the Club, he was with NDTV 24X7.
First Managing Committee & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you always know they are there. The bachelor badshah from the cooler climes of Solan, the town made famous by its distinct brand of bachhus brew was equally at home in Satellite suburb of Ahmedabad sans the bubbly though merrily swigging away on the side. He walked into Gujarat on padded feet, became a very intrinsic part of the media scene in the state, helped set up the Club, and one fine morning returned to the country’s capital. But that was only after he had actively seen the Gujarat Media Club become a reality. Unable to ever think of any get together for work or fun without the great SMSes from the ever jovial Rajeev and the repartees that flew from his verbal quiver timelessly, the small gap became a yawning void after he left Ahmedabad for his home state.
Rajeev is now back in town in Times of India. He began his journalistic pursuit in 1995 by freelancing for Statesman. Then he joined Indian Express and worked for the national daily at Chandigarh, Punjab and in Gujarat. Rajeev then came to the Asian Age in New Delhi and covered all major ministries including Defence and Home. He then switched job and moved to BBC Radio in London and then to Gujarat he moved to NEWSX 24-hour English News Channel later on. At the inception of the Club, he was with BBC Radio at Ahmedabad.
First Managing Committee & Signatory to MoA & AoA of the Club
Goals are dreams with deadlines. For Lokesh who has been busy chasing both of them most of the time, his bit for the Club and been his very total support. His endorsement of the move to form the Club has been a very warm gesture which has been followed up with cooperation and commitment at a time when it was badly needed. Confidence in the ability of the group of youngsters to be able to do something that could not be done for decades was at a very low ebb. Lokesh was one who kept the faith and was part of the initial group which made the Club possible.
Lokesh Kumar has been in the field of journalism for more than ten years. He has worked with leading English news daily and has spent most of his journalistic life in the TV media of Delhi and Gujarat. He has done investigative stories and has experience of desk, news-gathering and handling news operations of a regional channel based in Ahmedabad. He has conceptualized and produced some popular news-based programmes. At the inception of the Club, he was with Zee News.
Hard work spotlights the character of people. Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses and some don’t turn up at all. Ram Mani Pandey known among his friends and colleagues as ‘Pandeyji’ is the silent soldier who was around anytime and every time something had to be done. Sleeves rolled as if his shoulders anticipated every point and need to be harnessed to the wheel he was ever ready to get to work, even before the words were out of the mouth. His was the battery that kept the GMC charged and ready after every stretched day’s brain storming. Every time one staggered out of these extended sessions, it was Pandeyji who kept track of every rupee that came in or went out. He was the proverbial Shylock guarding the GMC coffers, even when there was no GMC and no coffers. Every cup of tea or coffee, every eat or sweet had to be paid for from your pocket. Let’s go dutch’ was the Pandey Credo. If the GMC bank account bulges like a pregnant cow, he deserves credit, a little more than the others do. Who would know the value of money better than Pandeyji. He has literally clawed his way up from very humble beginnings.
Beginning as a professional photographer, he got attracted to news photography and joined ‘Gujarat Vaibhav’, a Hindi daily in 1993. He also tried his hands at freelancing for United News of India (UNI), Business World and the Telegraph besides working for Ahmedabd based ‘Chaupal’, then a weekly. Meanwhile ‘Pandeyji’ started developing interest in television news gathering and started working for ETV-Telugu from Ahmedabad and also reported for Associated Press Television Network (APTN). He is currently working for STAR News as Senior Cameraperson since 2003. At the inception of the Club, he was with STAR News.
Prof Y K Alagh
Professor Yoginder K. Alagh is a renowned national economist, social scientist, thinker, and planner. Professor Alagh’s presence as the head of the body that would guide the Managing Committee in its various growth endeavors is a measure of the seriousness the Club attaches to the attainment of its goals.
Currently, he is Chancellor, Central University of Gujarat. He was the chairman of IRMA, Anand and Chancellor of Nagaland University. He was earlier Minister of Power and Planning & Programme Implementation with additional charge of the Minister of Science & Technology.
He has been Member, Planning Commission (in the rank of Minister of State). He also chaired the expert group of Cauvery dispute, constituted by the Prime Minister of India, and was Consultant to the Mekong river commission. He has been Senior Advisor and Consultant to FAO, UNFPA, ILO, ESCAP World Bank, UNDP and Visiting Professor at the prestigious Sc.PO of Paris in 1995, distinguished Fulbright Lecture in the U.S. in 1994 and Shastri Lecturer in Canada in 2000. He is Senior Fellow of CIGI in Canada, Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Delhi and the World Innovation Foundation, UK. He writes a column for the Indian Express on agriculture and rural development.
He recently chaired an expert group on doubling production of pulses and is also Chairperson of a draft National Framework Law for India’s water sector as announced as an initiative by the 12th Plan and the National Water Policy.
Dr. Bakul Dholakia
Dr. Bakul Dholakia is currently Advisor to Adani Group. Prior to joining Adani Group he was Director of IIM, Ahmedabad. Dr. Dholakia is a Gold Medalist from Baroda University and he has a doctorate in Economics. He has 39 years of professional experience including 33 years at IIM, Ahmedabad. During the course of his long tenure at IIM Ahmedabad, Dr. Dholakia occupied the Reserve Bank of India Chair from 1992 to 1999, served as the Dean from 1998 to 2001 and as the Director of the Institute for a period of five years from 2002 to 2007.
Dr. Dholakia has been a major motivator and a guiding force behind the numerous initiatives and expansion as well as diversification of activities at IIM-A contributing to its enhanced international image and recognition. He is widely recognized for his contribution to Management Education in India. His achievements in institution building have been nationally and internationally acclaimed. In 2007, Dr. Dholakia was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in recognition of his distinguished services in the field of education. In recognition of his efforts to improve the quality of management education, the Government of India appointed Dr. Dholakia as the Chairman of the National Board of Accreditation for Technical Education in India.
He has also served as external director on the board of public and private sector companies. He has visited many countries in connection with management consultancy and research on economic policy issues. He has an extensive experience of counting executive development programmes for top management of leading companies and also for senior bureaucrats in India and abroad.
Dr. Binod C. Agrawal
Currently Director General of TALEEM Research Foundation, Ahmedabad, Dr Agrawal holds the merit of being the first Vice Chancellor of Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya, Dehradun. He is deeply involved in anthropological research related to communication, education and development in India. Earlier he was Advisor (Social Applications in satellite communications) at the prestigious Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ahmedabad.
He has widely traveled and lectured in various universities in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, United Kingdom, Singapore and has been visiting professor in the universities in India. He is visiting professor at Dowling College, Oakdale, Long Island, N.Y. and CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
In 2004, Dr. Agrawal conducted one of the largest opinion poll studies from the 13th Parliamentary Elections of world’s largest democracy, India. He continues to be involved in consulting, teaching and research along with communication studies in India. He worked over two decades in ISRO and pioneered use for qualitative methods for communications research during the world famous Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) while leading the SITE research and evaluation team. The research findings and experiences are documented in the book SITE Social Evaluation (1981). The other significant publication included an edited volume titled Anthropological Methods for Communication Research (Agrawal ed, 1985). Dr. Agrawal is founder director of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) where India’s first professional teaching programme in business communication and advertising was started in 1994.
Shri Pankaj Patel
Dynamic and far-sighted, Mr. Pankaj R. Patel is one of the most successful and highly respected pharma entrepreneurs in India today. With Masters in Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Technology and over 30 years of experience in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Patel combines both research and techno-commercial expertise. He has published 35 research papers.
As the Chairman and Managing Director of Zydus Cadila, one of India’s leading pharmaceutical groups, Mr. Pankaj Patel has been the guiding force behind the group’s fast tracked growth. From a turnover of Rs. 250 crores in 1995, the group’s turnover today stands at over Rs. 4500 crores and is a global healthcare company. For his innovative business practices that have accelerated Zydus Cadila’s growth, Mr. Pankaj Patel was declared the ‘Pharma Man of the Year’ by the Federation of Indian Industry and Economists (FIIE) in 2004. Mr. Pankaj Patel is associated with industry associations such as Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Export Promotion Council (CHEMEXCIL) etc. He is also actively involved in various educational institutions and is on the advisory committees and academic councils of leading pharmaceutical colleges and management institutes.