DTU Times interviewed Mr. Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD and CEO, 94.3 Radio One who was one of the chief speakers at E-summit'19 organised by E-cell DTU.
You're living a life every Engineer aspires to live; first an Engineering degree and then a Management degree, what has kept you motivated all this while?
Education and degree are just a means to an end. It's important to have good education with respect to what you learn. During our young days, we had limited options. We could do either Medicine or Engineering. A lot more learning has happened post that. Today's education system is very different, where even a homeschooled child can learn a lot. I've met a couple of kids who haven't taken any formal education but learn from the Internet. Hence, I think education is an important thing to have and it doesn't matter how you get it.
During your talk you talked about how the radio is way more personalized and relevant as compared to the streaming services. What are the disruptive things that you plan to tackle so as to let ‘Radio One’ stay relevant?
It's a simple philosophy that when you look at something differently, you start getting ideas. We don't look at radio as radio, we look at it as forced social media. After the 1970s, when radio became popular, it had all the advantages of social media like one-to-one interaction and free expression. On Facebook you might be following travel or cookery pages, we allow you to do that on radio as well. Our one philosophy and technique to take Radio One further is to cater to a tribe of International Indians. Our behavior and approach is more tribal in nature, i.e., there's always a sense of community and togetherness.
You've been part of a band as well and you're a great orator. Are you planning to become a Radio Jockey as well?
RJs can talk for 5-6 hours continuously whereas I can manage only 20-30 minutes and that is my drawback. I think RJs are very talented and patient to talk for long hours everyday. At music, I have an unfair advantage because 'Singh' is my middle name!
Every Friday I do a weekend jam on LinkedIn and get a lot of followers for it. It has been a good experience till date. I think music has helped me a lot in my business as well. I come to know how people are changing, how music is changing, and also how listeners are changing. Even though I'm biologically 52 years old, it has kept my mind very young and I am hence able to connect with youngsters.
What final message or word of advice would you like to offer to the engineering students?
I think you are lucky in one way and unlucky in another; lucky because you have access to everything quite easily. The best of all information, the best of all people to speak to, and many more things which we never had when we were doing engineering. DTU has great credentials - founders of billion-dollar companies like PayTM, Zomato, PepperFry; all are DCE alumni.
But unfortunately everything that you have access to, everybody else does too. People have to realise that your access is not unique and actually start working towards creating that edge that people may think you have. A word of praise and at the same time a word of caution.