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She is a rare but lethal combination of brains, beauty and poise., Anuradha Preetam brings to you Shereen Bhan – the epitome of professional commitment and humility.

Will be in the trenches with my team

 

ANURADHA PREETAM | New Delhi, July 6, 2012 11:39
Tags : CNBC TV18 | science | emotion | passion |
 

She had science for her class XII exam, graduated in philosophy honours from Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College and did her Masters in Communication Studies from Pune University before ending up with a career in matters that deal with business and finance.That is Shereen Bhan for you, the beautiful Executive Editor of CNBC TV 18.


“Through school, I had always wanted to be a doctor, may be because members of the family on my mother’s side were all doctors. But the sight of blood in the OT – courtesy a visit organised by an aunt to see a real operation – put me off.” The revulsion she experienced completely changed the course that Shereen had charted out for her future.


She took up philosophy in college as it was an opportunity to study something “new and different”. Her thirst for philosophy slaked, Shereen turned to the other facet of her personality – she was “always a creative person” – and chose Communication Studies for her Masters and moved base to Pune. It was later in Delhi where she had an opportunity to intern with Siddharth Basu’s Synergy Communications which eventually led to her first job with Karan Thapar’s Infotainment Television where she worked as a researcher.


“Though I have been lucky to work with the top notch media persons of the country, from Siddharth Basu to Vir Sanghvi, I have a special place for Karan Thapar,” says Shereen. “Karan taught me to be thorough. He told me to check facts 15 times. I still do it. From him I learnt the biggest lesson of my professional life. Karan used to say, ‘You are not there as an interviewer on a fishing expedition. Do your homework well and ask very pointed questions. Remember, its going to make an impact’”, reminisces Shereen.


Shereen moved on to UTV from here and then to CNBCTV18 in 2000. When Shereen had been interviewed for the first time for CNBC, it was for a political affairs channel that they had planned. However, the project failed to take off. Despite her already chequered choice of subjects through her school, college and university, finance and business were Greek and Latin for her at that point. Undaunted, Shereen began to strengthen her concepts in these matters and joined CNBC TV18, not a mean feat by any standards. The list of awards she has received stands testimony to her intense grit and determination.


The nature of the awards and honours that Shereen has won are as diverse as her academic career. While she has been honoured for her work as a journalist., her beauty has not gone unnoticed either. She was awarded the FICCI Woman of the Year award in 2005 and in 2009, the World Economic Forum included her in its list of young global leaders.

Femina included her in its list of 20 Beautiful Faces in 2005 while she featured on the  December cover of Verve magazine and the Vogue list of 50 most beautiful women in 2008.


As the Executive Editor of the channel, she puts in an average of more than 18 hours in her job every day and leads from the front. “How can I expect someone else to work on a week-end and not be around myself? If
need be, I too am in the office on the week ends. I believe in being in the trenches with my team,” says Shereen. She produces the shows she has to anchor and does the research for it herself. Her programme, Young Turks, initially planned as a 13 episode programme is in its eleventh year.


One would rightly wonder, how does she manage all this? “Last 12 years I have not had a regular, routine life. I have not seen movies, rarely been at family get-togethers. There is no room for spontaneity. My day starts at 6.30 am and I attend the conference call at 8.00 am. I am in office at 10 in the morning and go only after anchoring my 10’o clock show at night. It is an all consuming job.”


This passion for her job has led her to forego other, smaller loves. She has had to give up her love for music and theatre. “I am a very emotional person. It is just that it has not happened. It is not because of my career”, says Shereen. To the younger generation, who seem to be drawn to the media, mesmerised by its glitz and glamour, she has a word of caution. “This job has very little to do with glmaour. Yes, we get our hair and makeup done but that is where it ends. There are days when you are shooting outdoors in the sweltering heat for hours, standing outside a ministry for a sound byte that eventually never happens or staying up at night to track an important global event. You can complain but you cant stop shooting because the show must go on”
Speaking of her personal idols, Shereen says,  “You learn something from everybody. Outside news media, it is Narayan Murthy, whom I look upto. I am one of the lucky few to know him personally. He has such grace and humility. He is one person who never forgets where he came from.”

Any person who spends time with Shereen would  agree, she has learnt her lessons extremely well.   

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017