Business Today

Creative Queen

At a time when family soaps ruled, Ashvini Yardi changed the game at Zee by coming up with a serial —Saat Phere- Saloni Ka Safar. Photos of young executives

Anusha Subramanian | Print Edition: April 4, 2010

Ashvini Yardi is known for her bold programming. At a time when family soaps ruled, Yardi changed the game at Zee by coming up with a serial —Saat Phere- Saloni Ka Safar—that explored the unreasonable preoccupation with the fairness of the skin over that of the mind and character of a person.

She has followed similar programming strategy at Colors, to tackle social issues such as child marriage, female infanticide and farmer suicide (Ballika Vadhu, Laado, Bairi Pia and so on) to name a few. Not to forget roping in superstar Akshay Kumar to host a television show for the first time ever. Colors was soon a strong No. 1 in Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC), pushing back all-time favourite STAR Plus within two years of its launch.

"My toughest challenge initially was to help Colors take the baby step and at the same time also manage my own son who was growing up. It was like bringing up two kids together," she adds. While she says she has been offered top jobs in the past, she prefers to be in the creative side of the business, always looking out for good, original and refreshing concepts.

Ashvini Yardi, 37, Programming Head-Colors

  • EDUCATION: PG in Advertising.
  • EXPERIENCE: 14 years at Zee, plus three at Colors.
  • 'AHA' MOMENT: Dropping 'Naya' from the tagline of Colors within three months of launch because we had been well accepted already.
  • MANAGEMENT STYLE: Open door policy, delegative.

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