PG Attracted A Lot Of Talent: Ashish Sehgal

He and I shared the same birth date, recalls Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer - Ad Revenue, Zee Entertainment Enterprises

All my stories with Pradeep Guha have been on the lighter side. 

I remember the first time I met him during my interview at Zee. An amiable leader that he is, all he asked me about was my life experiences, about the sport I loved, my friends. Not once did he mention my past work experience or business outlook. I believe this was his little effort in understanding my bonding with the people around me and how my personality will align with the company. Somewhere he wanted to know the kind of team player I was.

While all this came as a surprise for me, I later realised his perspective. Before he joined Zee, the company worked in siloes. It was him who combined all the teams and shaped Zee into what it is today. The company actually continues to work on the ethos he had set. And yes, he handed over the appointment letter to me within 2 hours of our conversation. He was that quick a decision-maker, who wouldn't ponder much over things. 

I would happily mention that it was because of him that we all joined Zee. He attracted a lot of talent, which was perhaps the need of the hour. People were apprehensive of numerous things. He did go on to eventually build a formidable team at Zee. 

Apart from my work relations with him, my learnings with PG have been very experiential- learnings through life, as we say. He never told us much about numbers or ad sales nuances, even though he created so much of it. He was also very rewarding as a senior. I remember this one time being awarded a trip to Rio for our first-year business. It was him who brought in the reward culture at Zee and motivated us through all these things. 

How can I not mention the style he brought in sales. He made sure to allay all our apprehensions, especially when we went for presentations. He motivated us to be well prepared, both work-wise and the way we carried ourselves. 

When he left Zee, I continued to be in touch through different forums. When I became the network head here, the only suggestion he had for me was to be humble and approachable to all. Exactly how he was. Perhaps, all these forums, where he was the prime architect, will not be the same without him. It will be difficult for anyone to fill that gap.

Last but not the least, he was a great storyteller, in literal sense. He would always share funny stories, which would bring everyone together. He also gave that authority to you, wouldn't micromanage or control. This is precisely why so many people follow him today or are his loyalists.

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