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Featured Alumni

Sudhanshu Sarronwala
Name: Sudhanshu Sarronwala
Batch: PGP 1988
Introduction:
Sudhanshu Sarronwala, CEO, SoundBuzz. Sudhanshu graduated from IIML in 1988 and is currently based in Singapore after an interesting career through the entertainment industry.

Achievements:

  • Exciting 2 decade long career in media especially in emerging segments
  • Involved in setting up MTV India in 1996
  • Currently CEO, Soundbuzz - first entrepreneural venture

Interview:

Sudhanshu, you seem to have had a very interesting career path after IIM Lucknow. Could you tell us a bit about that?
I joined HTA / JWT (in advertising) immediately after passing out of IIML in 1988. During this period I perceived a gap in terms of my sales experience. In order to get sales exposure I joined Gillette in Delhi and looked after their sales department in the western UP region.
At this point in my career, I took a decision that I would like to work in emerging industries. Star TV in Hong Kong was the first manifestation of this objective. The job profile involved a combination of sales and marketing in a completely new industry - Satellite television. Ground breaking as far as TV in Asia was concerned. I continued with Star looking after Consumer Marketing for the rest of my tenure for the entire Asian region.
At this point, I felt that I was keen to further my work I had started at Star TV, a significant part of which was in the area of music marketing. MTV was starting from Ground Zero after its separation from Star TV and setting up in Singapore. I spent four and a half years there and ran the marketing, research and communications functions across Asia.
I was involved in setting up MTV India in 1996, thatís when I moved to a General Management role. This transition was perhaps one of my more significant career experiences. Though I was based in Singapore, I spent more than half of my time in India overseeing MTV Indiaís set-up operations. It was during my time at MTV that I recognized the technical shift potentially taking place in the music industry. Though I was not formally trained in advanced technologies, my interest helped me understand and estimate the MP3 impact. While I was keen to see MTV pursue this, the fact was that. MTV was firmly rooted in television. That was when I entered the entrepreneurship arena with this foray into digital distribution of music through Soundbuzz, my first entrepreneurial sojourn.
How do you think the 2 years at IIMLís contributed to your success? IIML contributed to my success in two ways viz. helping me in some ways to structure my common sense and secondly in learning to take calculated risks.
Are there any special memories related to the time at IIML that you would like to share? When we joined IIML, it was a small campus, relatively new, with little or no exposure to most parts of the industry. There were no hostels at that time. The institute had rented out small houses. My interaction was more with the senior batch and even now, Iím in touch with most of my colleagues from my senior batch. During my visit to the campus for the 2003 re-union, we were five of us, the other four being seniors. One thing that I distinctly remember about my IIML days was attending a few lectures in a Dhaba or an informal setting since there were just a few students. Class sizes were especially small in the 2nd year when we chose our electives, the strength sometimes being just five to six (which is a real luxury)!

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