Anil Srivatsa, the voice of 'Anil Ki
Awaaz', is a new format to Indian radio. A man of many professions and many
interesting views. Hear him once and be sure you'll be back for more. Could he
be the first Indian 'Shock Jock"?
We sat down with him, find out
what he told us.
Q. So why didn't you get
into a career as a Doctor, Engineer or Computer Professional?
Well, that's a legit questions and
the legit answer is that I did go through the phase of wanting to become a doctor, then I
found it takes a lot of work. At the time I brought new meaning to the word Lazy. So so
much for doctorgiri. As for the engineer part of it...well, I found we needed a reasonable
Mathematical ability and for me that word 'Math' was a nightmare ...My math was so bad
that even the army did not let me in. SO my next career plan got shot down because of Math
too. I must admit I did get into engineering school but turned it down for someone more
worthy. My career plans evolved into a fascination for Crime and how they get solved.
Logically I majored in Journalism
and Criminology, did a short two year stint as a Special Police officer in Bangalore City
at the same time I was the editor of Bangalore's only City Magazine Blossom City. I took
solace from the fact that My brother turned out to be a Neurosurgeon, My dad an Engineer
in the Indian Navy and My mom a well known Journalist and media personality in India...I
lived out my ambition through their lives. To cut a long story short my checkered career
evolution settled me into the world of Radio and TV Broadcasting so the path went like
this: Doctor...Engineer... Army... Criminal investigator... Broadcasting... somewhere
in-between I did a do a one year course in COBOL at NIIT in Bangalore.
Q. What is your education/professional background?
BA - Criminology, Journalism, Public Administration - India
MS. Radio and TV management (Telecommunications)- USA
Professional, Earliest to Latest:
1. Business Manager - Bangalore City's Magazine - Blossom City
2. Editor Publisher - Blossom City
3. Master Control Operator - Philly 57 TV WPSG
4. Board Operator/Technical Director/Announcer- Holt Radio - WTKZ/WXKW - American Talk
5. Production Manager of TV series on TLC/Discovery Medical Detectives - (Still running on
Thursdays at 8:00 PM)
6. Started Anil-KI-Awaaz as a hobby/Vocation
7. Currently Director of Cricket at Kelly Broadcasting Systems.
Through all this I have:
a. Been MC to over 50 public events in India and USA (Last year's India Day Parade in New
b. Hosted Radio programs on All India Radio - first one was when I was 7 yrs old.
c. Interviews on Bangalore Dordarshan, WFMZ-TV in Allentown-PA, AVS, News Anchor on TV
Asia, Hosted Cricket Highlights for KBS
d. Was a small time model in India and have done a few press ads, runway and TV
e. Was the full time (paid) DJ at two night clubs in Bangalore - Final Countdown and Knock
So I have had fun with my career.
Q. How did your Radio
program start? and for those who are not familiar with your show.. on what station/timing
can you be heard?
Well, in the US it all, started in Allentown where I
would host a show once in three weeks(we had a rotation of DJ's). I heard about the show
on WPRB 103.3 FM from Princeton, NJ. I could hear it in Allentown which is about 70 miles
from Princeton. So I decided I have to expand my reach and this was the station to do it
on. I made the management an offer and they accepted. The previous hosts were about
to graduate and the timing was perfect. The show was called Awaaz before I bought the
time. I did not want to change the name so I just added my name to it as this was going to
be a personality driven show in addition to being a music show...my personality, hence
Anil-Ki-Awaaz was born on March 8, 1997 and ever since airs every Saturday at 10:30 am on
103.3 FM. Now I can be heard live on the net all over the world by pointing you browser to
listen.to/wprb or following the link on my web site www.indiaradio.com
Q. What age group are your
trying to attract with your radio show?
I try an appeal to all age groups in my two-four hours. I am a
little partial to the younger lot as they have been deprived the most. I want to help them
play catch-up to us FOB's (heeheh)and at the same time expose them to the old classics and
help them appreciate it by giving them new perspectives about the old stuff.
Q. When did you know that
your radio show started to become popular in New Jersey?
At the risk of being modest...I still don't think the show is as
popular as I want it to be. But I hope to go on doing what my heart tells me and run this
show as one for my listeners and not as one for my advertisers.
Q. Are their any radio personalities that you
Yes, in the early days my mom...she
was good. She taught me to do it with my heart and passion. And now it's Howard
Stern...yes I can practically see the women stop reading at this point...it's not his
content that fascinates me...but his ability to appeal to the masses and his ability to
keep the air alive, his career story and how he made it and his business senses. He is
funny a lot of times.
Q. Do you have a co-host
like Howard Stern's (Robin Quivers)?
No I do not have someone like her.
Although I am desperately trying to find someone like her. I am looking for someone
feisty and able to stand up to my bullying on the air.
Q. Are you interested in the
I like Bollywood and in fact I am
desperately trying to get myself a role in atleast one movie before I die. I am of course
trying to be the hero, but I am soon getting into the phase of settling for a character
actor...if not I can always be the Hero's dad or grand dad...so I have a long way to
fulfill my bollywood ambition - for now I am waiting to be DISCOVERED!!!! I love
Amitabh, Govinda is funny, Amir Khan, I liked Neelam, Kalol and Oooo la la la (I mean
Urmila). My favorite movie - Agnipath.
Q. From my understanding you
are from Banglore. In your opinion are people in India wittier than the ABCD's
in the US.
I think wit comes from being aware of your surroundings and noticing
things most people take for granted and then be able to narrate interestingly. Not to
mention the importance of haveing a sharp mind and tongue. If language is a barrier then I
must Say ABCD's are more witty... understood better by ABCD's. If you throow away the
language barrier and open the contest to all Indians...I have to say that the wit of
Indians (FOB's) is more interesting. The play on world, puns sarcasm and more exposure to
a cosmopolitan environment makes a difference.
jo log duniya zyada dekhi hain na...Wit unme tazi hoti hain.
"Ghar ghar me paida ho shayar...tho shayari kis kaam ki. agar
hijde bacchen dene lagen, tho Biwi kis kaam ki"
Q. Who are some interesting
people that you have met though your radio show and other journeys.
Interesting people I have met
through the radio:
Aishwarya Rai, Anoop Jalota, Apache
Indian, Asha Bhosle, Shabana Azmi, Bali Bhrambhatt, Sikander Bhakt (Minister for
Industry and Commerce), T.P Srinivasan (Indian Diplomat at the Indian High
Commission in Washington D.C) - Great sense of humor, Shekar Suman (Host of movers and
Shakers on Sony Entertainment in India) Wants me to be on his show when I am in
india next, Shashi Tharoor (Executive Assistant to the Secretarg General of the UN).
Through my other Journeys:
Sorab Modi - A Bollywood legend
Raj Kapoor - Never met a sweeter man. His Holi celebration
was the best
Ashok Kumar - A very good homeopathic doctor - Cured my
mom's Asthma attacks and symptoms.
Shammi Kapoor - Well, he could have been my dad ...I keep
teasing my mom as they had a thing in the good ol days!! :(
Smita Patil - Very elegant.
A perfect example of how beautiful Black can be.
Firoz Khan - A regular Cow boy he
Pooja Bedi - Sexy all the way.
After her modelling assignment for Kamasutra (the Condem) her film caree was Condomed I
mean Condemmed. Ditsy girl..you know like a flakey Blonde.
Protima Bedi - Very interesting
outlook in life unlike her daughters . We hit it off real well. I am sorry she had to die
a tragic death.
Dev Anand -- Advised me not to
join the films. WHY?
Ila Arun -- when she was a
nobody...cam to our home in Mumbai to ask my mom to do a story about her...my mom was a
prolific Journalist back in the 80's
Suman Ranganath - We are teenhood
friends and she was my Lambada/Swing dance partner. One of the most sexiest women I have
met and Known. Very strong person and very focused about her career.
Vani Ganapati - Showed people that
there is life after Kamal Hassan
Zakhir Hussain - Very much a
Ladies man and I'd love to study the art from his notes
Ashwini Nachappa - India's former
Sprint queen and Telegu movie star - Story of guts and glory ---almost married her!!
Rahul Dravid - Family Friends for
years (over 30). Saw him grow up and shape his own future. Very dedicated and hardworking.
Q. What is your Favorite
Q. Do you like cricket?
I love Cricket. In fact I still play
serious cricket in the USA. I play in the Washington League and the NJ league. I have
never played better cricket like am playing now... well almost. I loved GR Vishwanath,
Kapil Dev, Sachin is fascinating to watch and Saurav Ganguly
Q. How are you involved in
With Kelly Broadcasting, I am the
Director of Cricket. I am responsible for the success or failure of the channel. I will
also be directing the new Channels we are about to Launch- B4U - a Premium Digital Desi
Movie Channel set to launch in September and alos Sunworld - the full-time South Indian
Q. What are the future plans
for the radio show?
As for future plans, Of course I
dream of going 24 hours with other variety programs hosted by others. But for now...I
would like to syndicate my show to other cities and become a household name across
America. I know I have a good product, I am just looking for someone with money and faith
to back me up. As a product I feel I am delivering almost the best. Anyone can press
buttons and play music. My show is all about the life of a normal person at different
times, moods and situations- All about a personality--no one can recreate this.
Q. Any word of advise for
aspiring desi disk jockeys.
Not too many words just be honest,
natural and be dedicated to your listeners not to yourself. Don't forget the presentation
side...learn and watch from around you and absorb what fits your ability and put out the
best show in a professional manner.
Q. For all the ladies out
there...are you single?
What ladies? I am married to Deepali and have a beautiful little one
year old girl Kavya. But why should this stop anyone!!!:)
Visit the official Anil Ki Awaaz web site.
Some images are courtesy of Anil