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Ninder Johal

Ninder Johal is CEO of Nachural Media Group specialising in events, a record label, film and video production, and he's been in the role since 2002.

HOW HAS YOUR COMPANY HAD TO RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS? While the music side has continued to function (both physical and on line sales), the events side (which had been growing) has been decimated. We have taken the time to reflect and adjust our long term strategy.

HAS THE LOCKDOWN PRESENTED ANY OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL AS CHALLENGES? The events side has clearly had its challenges. We have decided not to go online with our events as we believe that the experience of our live events cannot be replicated on line.

We have had the opportunity to examine our business model and look at how we can offer additional services and build our eco system. This includes greater emphasis on branding, podcasting and video and film production. We have used the opportunity to build a much more robust offering, and to deep dive into understanding and improving our systems and processes while forecasting what our future workforce will look like in this ‘new norm’. We will be launching number of new products including a podcast which will include conversations with entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? Communication is key – at first it was reassuring the staff that the future was safe, and then an explanation of how our immediate plans would change and then an opportunity to shape our plans.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU TEND TO GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? Interestingly, the number of emails has slowed down over the lockdown but they can be up to a couple of hundred per day. I struggle to read them and have built in a system that allows me to scan them in terms of priorities. I have also noticed that I get a lot of notifications recently promoting webinars and lots of invites for Zoom events

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Tenacious and resourceful. (I hope).

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? Turning on BBC’s Top of the Pops and watching one of my music tracks hit No.5 in the UK charts.

ANY PARTICULAR FAUX PAS OR EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD PREFER TO FORGET? Yep – I am a tabla player with a bhangra band called Achanak – and at one gig in Bradford (in front of a crowd of 2000) the table upon which my tabla (two percussion drums) sat collapsed and my instruments were rolling all over the stage. It was not great scrambling all over the stage to retrieve my drums … not very edifying at all.

PET HATES? People who do not do things as they promised and people who waffle on too much in meetings.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Enjoy life – have a plan but do not be afraid to take a risk and do something you love and finally enjoy meeting people.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? I love cricket and have recently taken up reading. Always enjoy a game of badminton with the family in the garden and of course still enjoy performing with Achanak.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS COMMUNITY? They are friendly and welcoming and extremely knowledgeable.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW. Performed with my band alongside Sir Tom Jones, Prodigy and Fat Boy Slim.

YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? Book: Ricardo Sembler – Maverick; CD: Michael Jackson - Thriller; film: Predator.

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Martin Luther King (inspirational); Churchill (dealing with conflict); Steve Jobs (brand and leadership); Marie Curie (dealing with science amongst a time of male dominance of the science and her views on Coronavirus); and Elvis Presley (what a sensational artist!)

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT FOR YOUR LAST SUPPER? Alooh Paratha (with yogurt and achaar) – pancakes with potatoes and chilli pickle.

https://www.shropshirebiz.com

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