Sardesai was a key part of the team that successfully entrenched CNN IBN in the English news channel space, and the group, GBN, also took over Hindi news channel Channel7, now re-christened IBN7.
“I think we are very clear in that we wanted to be the most influential and most impactful news broadcaster in the country. This is just Stage One of the process and we still have a long way to go,” said Sardesai, a day before news of his winning the award was announced.
The journey from the days of drawing a princely four-digit sum at The Times of India’s offices, to where is today, reflects a climb that has been steady yet laden with risks that only a dreamer can pursue.
The Impact person of the Year is an award property into its second year now, and last year’s winner was the CEO of Star India, Peter Mukerjea. The poll is conducted through a three-stage robust process, and the methodology involves open voting and votes invited from a qualified random sample of senior professionals from advertising, media and marketing. Refer methodology sheet below for further inputs.
On the award property, Anurag Batra, editor-in-chief and Publisher, exchange4media Group, said, “Rajdeep has showed that serious journalism wins and that’s what a news product is made of. You can create history in short time. You have to dream. People and their teams, and their ability to lead their teams, and work as a key member of the leadership team, are the things that matter. Several of the nominees were custodians of challenger brands, and that made them even more endearing, even more inspirational for the rest of us.”
The nominees for the Impact Person of the Year 2006, were (in alphabetical order): Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO, Asia Pacific, MindShare; Balakrishnan R, Executive Creative Director, Lowe India; Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India; Girish Agrawal, Director – Marketing, Bhaskar Group; Kalanithi Maran, CMD, Sun Network; Parigi A P, CEO, ENIL; Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and National Creative Director, India and South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather; Raghav Behl, Managing Director, Television Eighteen Ltd., Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-chief, CNN-IBN and IBN7; Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Dentsu India; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, CEO, Naukri.com; Shobhna Bhartia, Vice-Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd.; Srinivasan K Swamy, CEO, RK Swamy BBDO Ltd.; Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Zee Telefilms and Promoter, ESSEL Group; Venkatram Reddy T, Chairman, Deccan Chronicle Holdings; and Vineet Jain, MD, BCCL. Industry practitioners have chosen the list of nominees; and the winner too was chosen by them.
For Sardesai, this year’s winner, the timing couldn’t have been better, coming as it does a day before his son’s birthday.
IMPACT PERSON OF THE YEAR 2006 – Methodology
Phase I A
The first step involved identifying a pre-list of 20 to 25 nominees (the final number being dependent on the number of positive responses and the margins therefore). This was conducted by Impact through a panel comprised of Senior Professionals from across industry segments, to facilitate a broad spectrum of candidates. There was no prompting involved at this stage, and the intent was to cover different geographies and industry segments. An attempt was made in the case of organizations with multiple representatives (that people identified as candidates), to understand the driver among the representatives, in the sample’s opinion.
While some new names came up, some of the pre-list nominees we had put up post consulting with Senior Professionals failed to make it to the nominee list.
Phase I B
The next step involved selecting 10 to 15 nominations from the pre-list (the final number being dependent on the number of positive responses and the margins therefore). For this, a list of 120 senior level executives and entrepreneurs from across Ad agency/ PR agency or Media/ Production houses/ Publications/ Radio/ TV channels or marketing was the universe. TNS contacted 40 industry practitioners randomly from this sample, to be on the expert panel.
This was in the form of Computer Aided Website Interviews (CAWIs) and each respondent was asked to nominate six candidates and rank the top three among them. They could also nominate persons other than the pre-nominees, that -- they felt -- deserved to be nominees. The top 16 people from among these (since there was a tie between spot 15 and 16; and margins between the several names were slender) were selected for the next phase.
Senior Professionals voted upon these 16 candidates in a large-scale quantity exercise. This exercise consisted of open voting; and voting by selected respondents using CAWI and Computer Aided Telephonic Interviews. These respondents were asked to rank three candidates from the list of nominees. Calibrated weights were assigned to voting by selected respondents and to open voting.
The person with maximum points from Phases I B and II was selected as the ‘Impact Person of Year’. The weights assigned for the open voting and the qualified sample were calibrated keeping in mind the risks involved in an open voting process.