For young Indians, radio jockeying is a rage
If you are blessed with the gift of the gab and a pleasant voice, then add a dash of humour, sensibility and sensitivity and you might be the next best thing on radio.
Radio jockeying has assumed a dynamic and competitive nature since the introduction of nine private FM channels in the Indian capital. And young enthusiasts are up to it.
"We receive at least two CVs every alternate day. The number of people aspiring to be a radio jockey (RJ) is mind-boggling and increasing each day," Punit Mathur, station director, Big 92.7 FM, told IANS.
Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM, seconds that. "The business of Indian radio is booming and with time it will only get better. From just playing plain vanilla music with standard radio jockey talk since pre-private FM days, the profession is taking centrestage," she said.
According to Mathur, it is mostly fresh graduates in the age bracket of 19 to 20 years who desperately seek to join the profession.
Ritika Singh, 20, is attracted by the fame, recognition and sharing of views and ideas associated with the profession.
She said: "I want to become an RJ as it makes a person famous among the masses. Besides, I love to talk and share views and ideas. Also, by being an RJ, I can solve people's problems and counsel them, it will be a bonus for me." This is what most people seeking a job as a radio jockey say.
But the job entails a lot of hard work along with an alert, liberal and a humorous bent of mind.
"Our profession requires awareness about the surroundings. One has to be abreast of the latest in the city so that a conversation can be struck with the caller immediately," Archanaa who is an RJ in Mumbai said on phone. She co-hosts "Whatte Fun Mornings" at Mumbai's Radio City 91.1 FM.
Purohit explained: "Creativity in radio is all about flexibility and fun. On a very broad spectrum other than very profile-specific competencies, we seek people with a passion for music, radio and scriptwriting to be a part of our team.
"A creative bent of mind is a prerequisite. To be successful, one should also have an out-of-the-box approach regarding every issue."
For this, several media institutes as well as stand-alone training institutes offer training in radio jockeying. To help students and nurture their aptitude of becoming radio jockeys, a number of institutes across the country have initiated the concept of community radios on their premises.
"Training is essential, if not a mandatory aspect of being a radio jockey," Mathur said and added that training always helps enhance the quality of a person's output.
But is this profession good enough to be a prime time career for a person?
RJ Anu, who hosts "Hi Delhi" on Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, vouches that it is a well paying job. "A fresher might be paid around Rs.10,000 or even Rs.15,000 depending upon the quality of work. Otherwise, highly experienced RJs even earn up to Rs.80,000-90,000, a month," she said.
Interestingly, professionals with different educational backgrounds are also getting attracted to this medium.
Purohit agreed and said: "We have a doctor as an RJ, a psychotherapist as a producer and several engineers, MBA graduates in our creative functions."
Added Archanaa: "The profession is indeed as satisfactory and fulfilling as the job of other professionals."