GM, Star Plus
GOAL IN LIFE: To enable novel and impactful story-telling.
BEST LEADERSHIP LESSON: The job of a leader is to enable conditions for teams to take risks and create a strategy that supports risks.
As a TV journalist, first with Aaj Tak and then with Star News (now ABP News), Gaurav Banerjee says story-telling came to him naturally. "Every story needs to have a structure. Every story can become big if it is told in the right context," he says.
He was roped in by his mentor, Uday Shankar (CEO of Star India), in 2008 to kick-off Star India's regional news channel business. He went on to set up the Bengali news channel, Star Ananda. When Shankar offered him the role of putting together the content strategy of the network's Bengali entertainment channel, Jalsha, Banerjee says he was initially intimidated. "But I soon found myself enjoying working with writers and creating and shaping stories."
His stint with Star Plus began in late 2009, when the channel had lost its leadership position to Colors. He framed the content strategy of Star Plus and took Star Plus from 225 Gross Rating Points to 400 GRPs in six months. Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director, Balaji Telefilms, says Banerjee has the ability to extract the best out of his creative partners. "My best show till date is Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. I had the script with me for a long time and when Gaurav heard it, he at once said he wanted to do the show," she says. The show today is Star Plus's top-rated show.