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Wealthy voice

Being a part-time radio jockey helped Raman Bhanot, 31, develop an alternative career that pays well.

Print Edition: February 21, 2008

Raman Bhanot
Raman Bhanot

How did you become a radio jockey (RJ)?

In 1993 when an audition for RJs was being held for the only FM channel in Delhi, I managed to get the job. Soon I was hosting a onehour show. I have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

Was it paying?

More than the money I earned per show—Rs 500—it was on-the-job learning that equipped me to grow at a fast pace in a nascent industry. I started working as a voice-over artiste, did radio jingles and compered events. This helped me earn enough to part-finance my MBA.

How did you balance your studies and passion?

The timings were flexible and I was free on weekends. Since I was getting a chance to do popular shows, I did not want to miss out on the opportunity. In fact, I also got into the production of radio ads, which was very paying.

How did you create an enterprise out of this passion?

I tried a regular job, but my heart was in the business of radio ad production. With a Rs 75,000 bank loan and some help from my father, I set up an advertising agency, Elan Communications, in 2000. I continued freelancing as an RJ. From 2002, I started taking classes on radio and TV anchoring at YMCA, Delhi.

Did you face any hurdles?

My foray into print advertising was a bad move. I even ran up debts. I decided to stick to my core skill. That’s when I opened a centre to conduct workshops on RJing. Thanks to the FM channels there was a huge demand. From 15-day workshops to one-month intensive programmes.

Why did you close the centre?

In 2006, I took a break from radio to concentrate on television. Also, TV anchoring involves travelling. However, I expanded my role at YMCA and became a more involved teacher in planning the course content. I earn Rs 2,200 per class.

So it is TV anchoring for you now?

There is more money in TV. I have anchored a number of sports events including the Olympics and international cricket matches for DD and Mobile ESPN. I have also done commentary for websites.

—As told to Rajshree Kukreti

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