Radio on his mind
NRI Sridhar Serineni’s target is to entertain Telugu audience globally
Team work Sridhar Serineni with the Radio Khushi group
Trust an NRI to get all nostalgic about old Telugu songs and then do something about treating the world to them and other stuff 24/7. Sridhar Serineni is the man behind RadioKhushi.com, the Telugu internet radio that is making waves and wowing Telugu audiences globally.
Sridhar recalls how he missed listening to Telugu songs from movies of the 60s and 70s on FM in the USA. This NRI entrepreneur’s job entails web-hosting and web-server maintenance. While in the States, minus access to any Telugu radio, and technically sound that he was, he decided to do something about this. A year of conference calls with a motley group of 10 friends, with everyone throwing up ideas, metamorphosed into the Big Idea. Provide Telugu-based radio entertainment to everyone anywhere in the world.
A studio was constructed in March 2007 in Hyderabad. The infrastructure was put in place in another four months. In July, Sridhar cast his net wide. His only brief for his team of 11 radio jockeys was RadioKhushi should not be about just song-based and film-based programmes.
A day with RadioKhushi starts with a spiritual dose, followed by a daily forecast. Songs from old Telugu movies are a big hit. A programme on the common man and his bugbears has a mimic as a character. So, hotshots right from film stars to political heavyweights get mimicked on this show. Must be ruffling quite a few feathers? “Obviously,” Sridhar says smoothly. There are topic-based songs. The news at 9.30 is a daily feature. An interesting ratio of 2:1 was worked out by V. Srinivas and Varaprasad Thota for the three interviews every week. One interview is with a politician while two are with film personalities. The first person to be interviewed was Chief Minister Y. S. Rajashekhara Reddy.
There is the poetically named web-interface Hamsalekha. One can send in one’s request for a song.
Sridhar is especially enthused about Namastey Mama, a comedy-based chat between an uncle and his nephew. The uncle, a retired Air Force officer, with his age and experience likes things slow and steady which is at contradiction with the fast and furious lifestyle of his nephew.
With hits emanating from the Andhra hinterland to places as far away as Australia and New Zealand, Sridhar is gung-ho about the increasing success of his venture. On the personal front, he has just enrolled his daughter in a school in Hyderabad, “not one of those fancy schools, just a normal school in the neighbourhood”. “You can’t outclass our education system and wealth of culture,” he expounds. “My daughter is staying with her grandparents in India whereas I take care of the business in the USA.” With fortnightly visits to Hyderabad every three months and RadioKhushi being on his radar even in the States, Sridhar declares his endeavour has been: “Wherever you go, you get your Telugu radio. You just need a computer or a smartphone for this. Hook up the phone to your car speakers. You can enjoy RadioKhushi while you drive anywhere and everywhere in the world.”
KOMAL VIJAY SINGH
Send this article to Friends by