A dreamer, entrepreneur & an achiever
From being the son of farmer in a little known hamlet in Telangana , Suresh Reddy has come a long way to become the Chairman of a TV channel
The only articles on display in his spacious office chamber are two coffee mugs with the logo 6TV printed in capital and bold, arranged bang in the middle of a row of empty display spaces. Images of Vivekananda, Gautam Buddha and Srinivasa Kalyanam (Lord Venkateshwara’s wedding) adorn the white wall behind his chair.
The furniture in his office, we learn was custom-made by a modular furniture company also owned by Suresh Reddy, Chairman, 6TV, the latest addition to the growing list of Telugu news channels in Hyderabad. Last month, they launched 6 TV Telangana, an exclusive channel dedicated to Telangana. “This is my contribution to the state of Telangana,” he exudes.
The news scroll on one of the many wall-mounted LED set catches his attention, he picks up the phone and says, “CM Old City visit chesina visual lo mana logo kanipiyale enti… CM kanna important emi untundi… evaru a reporter, naaku phone cheyamani cheppandi (There is this visual of the chief minister in the Old City… why isn’t out logo seen there… what can be more important that the chief minister…ask the reporter to call me).”
The channel was rated No. 5 among the list of news channels with a viewership of more than 1 million. I don’t believe in number game. But since going live in September last year, we have managed to create a brand for ourselves. I need to be on top of my game to keep my team on their toes,” he says smiling.
Launching his own TV channel has been his dream for the last 12 years. “The inspiration came from a news show, Close Encounters I watched many years ago. The journalist was interviewing a politician who looked terrified.
I said to myself, I will launch a TV channel one day,” recalls Suresh, who was working as a sales executive in a firm selling vacuum cleaners then. “Buying a big screen colour TV was a big deal for me back then,” he recalls laughing.
Suresh’s life is a rags-to-riches story that started in a little known hamlet of Venkampally in Nizamabad. The eldest son of a farmer, he grew up on the 2-acre farmland owned by his father. After passing out from the Zilla Parishad High School, Tandur, he moved to Hyderabad in 1991 hoping to make a living and get an education
“I soon realised that even after seven years of education I would become a teacher or a constable at the most. ‘Goli maro education ko,’ I said to myself and took up a job as a salesboy in a medical store with a monthly salary of `100. After three years, I took up a job as a sales representative for a company selling vacuum cleaners.
It was in 1999
That I got into business by taking up a franchise of a cellular network provider,” recalls Suresh who got into the modular furniture business in 2005. He was awarded the best interior design works in the government sector, for furnishing the Sangareddy collectorate by former CM Rosaiah in 2010.
Suresh reckons the tagline of his news channel Samanyudi Aaro Pranam (sixth life of the common man) is a reflection of himself and his vision. “I believe there are only two ways to serve the people — politics and through media. Serving the society by highlighting the woes of the common man is the motto of our channel.
Health, education, agriculture, business and youth are our target segments. We have set up a charitable foundation as well to fill in the gaps that we identify through our coverage,” he says.
He has big plans for the future. “Last month, we launched the 6TV at a gala ceremony in the US. In the next one year we will be expanding in Karnataka, Maharashtra and increase our reach,” adds Suresh.
His mantra in life is simple — ‘dare to dream and care to achieve’. “I have nothing to loose after all. My dad did not leave me a fortune that I must protect. I want to be able to create employment for over 10,000 people by 2020 through my businesses,” he says signing off.