Employee Speak: Name: Sunil Lulla, Director & Group Chief Executive Officer, Alva Brothers Entertainment, Miditech: V3 Issue 2

1.  Your leadership has acted as a catalyst for the success of TV channels such as MTV, Sony and Times Now.  What was your success mantra for these channels?

I would not say it is my leadership or a mantra. I happened to work with some very smart people, good companies, great business partners and clients. The fortuitous mix clicked. I have passionately followed a few diktats and shared them at the cost of sounding old fashioned.

  • Dream and follow your own dreams. Set the rules, own the game. Win !
  • God is in the details and atheists don’t survive to be successful.
  • Don’t just work hard. Work harder. Eventually the other guy just gets tired.


2.  An old adage says “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”.  What made you launch the ‘Real’ channel during difficult times? 

Well you don’t choose tough times. But one cannot remain “pregnant” for long either. So we thought why waste a recession. It is easier to make market entry under such circumstances. However it also makes the revenue climb steeper. Tough times test you and makes one tougher. In the case of REAL, the channel was ready to roll and given its differentiated offering we wanted to take it ahead.


3.  People make companies. How do you energize and motivate your team in these challenging times?

I try and inspire people to think differently; challenge their own expectations. Make sure they eat well. I am a walking, wondering, doing kind of manager. Encouraging, pushing, making them laugh. (Ask them, I would like to know what they honestly think). Making friends, but being tough when needed.


4.  How do you get different teams or for that matter even different people to work together in synergy?

Understand their dreams and give them a common one to chase. High enough to stretch and close enough to reach out too. Involve their passion and their strengths. I do not ask people what their weaknesses are, as you don’t pay to work on their weaknesses. Team players are more important – but you always need the one solo maverick to score the goal. Noah’s Ark of complementary differences is a great example.


5.   In the course of your career you would have worked with many teams. What do you feel contributed to the success of the best teams you have worked with?

Pressure to be innovative and the genuine respect and care people have for other members of the team. Their belief in the goal has made them stronger.


6.  What hampered the productivity of the other teams that were not that successful?

Deafness – not listening to the wind that is whispering in one’s ear, all the time. 


7.  What are some of the things you typically do to motivate your team to deliver exceptional results?

Create an experience for them. It’s not 9 to 5 – it’s the joy of creating something magical and being applauded for it.


8.  What message would you like to share with our readersto enable them to build teams with greater commitment to the team objectives and more contributionto the company?

Don’t copy anyone’s style. Yours is great. Just practice it with honesty and originality.