Neeraj Vyas, Business Head - Sony sab and max cluster of channels at Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) is a business leader driven solidly by a focus on viewer delight for sales, brand salience and industry-wide growth. Over more than two decades at SPNI, Neeraj has been a strong achiever in Sales and, for the last 12 years or so, as custodian of multiple channels that he has been steadily growing.
Neeraj began his journey with a sales mandate at Sony Entertainment Television (SET) in the mid-nineties, rising to the position of National Sales Head for the channel in 2005. Within a span of five years, Neeraj was appointed Executive Vice President for Sony MIX, the network’s Hindi music channel.
Thereafter, he was given responsibility for MAX in 2011, and SAB and PAL in 2017.
What makes Neeraj a remarkable Business Head is his extensive experience in GEC and other-genre sales, and the manner in which he also deploys his fine content sensibilities for greater delight for viewers, brands, associates and teams.
In fact, when he took over channels from genres most of the industry had given up as having been ‘done and dusted’ Neeraj infused new value into the channels through a strong and incisive understanding of content which helped him re position retro films and their stars for a movies channel, and also re-look at the content scheduling on Music channels that mapped the varying moods across each day part, to breathe great viewer acceptance and therethrough business salience in his early Movies and Music channel mandates.
And the same confluence of astute sales experience and content sensibilities helped Neeraj realise that his initial persistence with comedy for India’s most family-friendly, purely comedy-focused channel Sony SAB, was not going anywhere. And he decided to do an about turn on Comedy, “the most difficult genre to sustain”, and went on to broaden the spectrum and offerings of Sony SAB with content that would only be about Hope, Fun and Happiness.
With shows like Alladin and Tenali Raman, and now the futuristic-tech-narrated mytho of the great love and devotion of a dutiful, doting son for his mother, Garud, the most significant example of the enrichment and growth of the content genres Sony SAB is offering. And it wasn’t just an everything-but-comedy decision. Neeraj says Sony SAB will remain devoted to Hope, Fun and Happiness, by never doing shows about crime, violence and soapy dramas ‘about two girls chasing a boy with a stubble.’ And that helped Neeraj successfully reposition SAB as a premium entertainment brand and propel its growth with a new programming line-up and content strategy.
Over the years, Neeraj, who started as a young Sales person, has grown into an accomplished Business Head veteran driven by strong sales, brand salience, and a status-quo challenging vision that is strategic and not just short-term tactical. And has delivered extremely well on all his mandates.
So, join me on this, the 51st episode of MVP – The Master’s Voice Podcast from MediaBrief.com, and listen to the usually self-effacing Neeraj open up and speak his mind in the soft-spoken manner he has made his own.