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‘Radio connects people from all walks of life’

Ramit Jain, National Creative Producer at Radio City India, and an alumnus of Apeejay, reveals what goes behind the scenes when millions of people are tuned into a radio station

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Commencing a career in radio as a student in 2007, Ramit Jain (35), National Creative Producer at Radio City India, comes with 15 illustrious years of experience in media. From being a popular Radio Jockey in Jalandhar to writing scripts for television channels in Mumbai, Jain has aced it all. In an exclusive interview, the dynamic professional shares his creative process, inspiration and key learnings. Edited excerpts:  

Please tell us about your educational journey.

I studied at Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg from classes 1 to 12. I then completed a degree in B.Com from the Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) in Jalandhar. While I was in my second year of graduation, I auditioned to become a radio jockey at MY FM India. I got selected there and eventually joined them to start a career in radio.  

From pursuing Commerce to choosing radio, how did that happen?

Well, I was a very studious child till class 10 and after that I took Mathematics as a subject in +2. I regret doing so till now. Honestly, it is one subject I cannot manage. I chose Commerce for my graduation again, so I could contribute to my father’s business. However, my mother encouraged me to audition for radio. Since the time I got selected there, there has been no looking back. Everything I have become today, I owe it to my mother because she thought I could do it at that time.   

How did you pick the skills that are necessary to become a radio jockey?

After my audition, I received thorough training for about two months in Chandigarh. The skills required to become a radio jockey are mostly inbuilt, it’s just that one has to identify and polish them with time and age. During my training, I was taught how to verbally express the same thing in 10-12 different and interesting ways, how to script a show depending on the morning or evening time, the different kinds of voice modulations, maintaining a happy and refreshing tone etc.

What did the initial years in your career look like?

As a fresher, it was very exciting! At that time, Jalandhar city was booming due to the emergence of several private radio stations. Right at the start of my career, I got several opportunities there. As a radio jockey, I was part of the limelight and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Every month, for at least 5-6 days, I used to sleep in the office because I loved devoting all my hours to work. I learnt a lot from my seniors, they taught me the nuances of writing and scripting.

How does one come up with relevant content for radio? What is your process?

If I have to do a morning show that is usually from 7 AM – 11 AM, then I am to prepare for it a day in advance. Firstly, I would go through the newspapers, news apps and prepare a gist of what are the current issues/topics in the city. I would then decide the topic I want to talk about in my radio show.

For example, if I am choosing to talk about roads in Delhi, I will think about the different opinions people might have about it. My method to conceptualise my script is to take a pen and paper, and write a common theme on it. Around that, I would make arrows so as to know what thoughts people have when they think about roads in Delhi. Then, I would shortlist the key opinions that I could use to make my show interesting. I could also attempt to solve people’s issues around it by looping in an expert.

There can be various other segments in a 4 hour show such as pranks, advertisements etc. In every 1 hour, a radio jockey speaks 4 times for a maximum of 2 minutes which totals to 8 minutes. In those 8 minutes, s/he has to cover a relevant topic and make it worth listening to.

Could you give the readers a look and feel of the studio?

 Yes, the broadcast studio is very similar to what we all saw in the movie, Rang De Basanti. Each studio can have a different set of consoles and equipment. A large-screen television that broadcasts news headlines is a fixture at a studio, so that radio jockeys are aware of what is going on in the city at all times. A radio jockey is typically a multi-tasker, they speak, play music, take care of the console, all at the same time during a running show.  

Does radio open doors for other kinds of career opportunities?

Yes, very much. On the radio, people connect with you through your voice. Therefore, voice modulations, voice-overs, mimicry are essential skills one needs to have. Currently, radio jockeys are doing much more by coming on screen, they have become celebrities in their own right across social media channels whom millions of people view and follow every day.

What is the most important learning for you as a radio jockey?

It is to know how to connect with the listeners. People from all walks of life should be able to laugh, cry, and feel sad or angry with me. When the microphone is on, my biggest motivation is to deliver a good show and make people happy.

How has Apeejay contributed to your professional growth?

Apeejay provided me with the stage where I built my confidence. I am grateful to all my teachers at school and college. My ability to write, conceptualise and to even talk to people has come from my years at the school.

Your advice for students wanting to pursue a career in radio?

Radio can be a tough ride so one has to work hard. Believe in your capabilities and come up with an original line of thought. Nowadays, to be part of radio, it comes as an advantage if you are a digital influencer too. Be confident and give new things a try.  

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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