It was a meeting that I had requested, one with no agenda.
We spoke about cabbages and kings and about his plans for his to-be-born new company, AIDEM Ventures.
And Raj took me through a presentation on what AIDEM’s vision was and what they proposed to do.
And he took me through an audiovisual which captured the opinions of various captains of industry on Raj the person, Raj the salesman, Raj the partner, Raj the strategist.
And I went through the AV, quickly making a list of the interviewees; I noticed that each and every one of them was in the Campaign India A List.
Which, of course, was sponsored by NDTV Media, a company headed by Raj Nayak till yesterday.
Funnily, it was the first time that Campaign India and NDTV Media had done business together. When my colleague Jim (James) and I met prospective advertisers before the launch of Campaign India, Raj was one of the first we called on. Before the tea arrived (which was about five minutes after we reached his room), Raj committed 104 pages per year to us; 4 pages per issue.
The caveat was the rate, which was too low for us to accept. We didn’t accept, we didn’t do business – we stayed friends.
When, more than a year later, we met him with a proposal to sponsor the A List, the deal was done in about two minutes.
In essence, we did a Raj Nayak on Raj Nayak.
We went to him with a deal that was fair to him and fair to us – and, therefore, there was no need to waste time on discussing such mundane issues as price and deliverables. That could wait for later; first, confirm that we were doing business with each other.
Raj has done hundreds of such deals with hundreds of buyers in hundreds of companies. I must underline, to those who do not have the benefit of knowing Raj, that the usage of hundreds is not for the sake of dramatizing Raj’s capabilities but is the literal truth. Hundreds of deals, hundreds of clients, hundreds of buyers.
And not one of them has done badly on a deal, or regrets that he or she has bought from Raj. As Raj has grown in capability, stature and in decision making, so have a number of his clients. If Raj met someone in his early days as a salesman for the Sunday Mail, Raj probably has sold to him again when he joined STAR, and again when he joined NDTV Media, and again and again each time he signed on a new contract to represent a media product.
And they’ll buy from him again when he signs on new products at AIDEM.
Because with Raj, once a friend, you’re always a friend – he makes sure of that. He keeps in touch, he remembers key events in your life and your career (depending on how close you are) and keeps you informed on his.
And today, he closes the last chapter in one book and opens the first chapter in another as he launches AIDEM Ventures. His team? All (yes, all) who worked with him at NDTV Media. Because Raj is what he is, he is their mentor, their boss, their colleague, their guide – and their friend.
And with a basketful of buyers who trust him and colleagues who will walk the earth for him and friends who root for him, Raj can’t fail with AIDEM.
And I’m just one of thousands who count Raj as a friend.
All the best, Raj.
To read about Raj Nayak's new company, AIDEM Ventures, click here.