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Arati Singh

CEO, GoodTimes

Life is either a social experiment or an adventure. Applying that to a situation, however difficult the situation is, makes it fun or challenging.
Journey so far

From my great great grandfather to my father, all have served in the army. My great-grandfather won some medals in World War I. My grandfather was in the British army, where he won a DSO in World War II. Post-independence, he became the first IMA head and NDA head; and was instrumental in shaping the Indian Army as we see today. My father too is a well-known retired officer.

Our army background and constant change in locations lead us to also be very social and also a reason for a lack of attachment to anything. That combined with attending school of planning and architecture ( one of the most difficult and demanding courses) has made me very resilient and used to hard work. It's also the reason I expect and demand the same level of dedication and work ethic from people around me. Having grown up in war torn Kashmir where we'd have guards escort us to school, I at times find it funny when people tell me they can't come in to work because of pollution or something similar. Post college, I joined NDTV in 1995 and have been with them ever since. Being with the same brand for over 27 years for a person who never had that sense of attachment to anything is often strange to me. Perhaps it's the need for stability for once.

Professional life

My parents have always been very encouraging and unlike the norm, they've never pushed or asked us about marriage. Instead, it was always about being independent and doing what we loved.

At least professionally, I feel I was blessed. I got into television only because I wanted to compensate for the lost fun during my college days. I picked and switched my entire career because my priority at the time was to meet people, go out every night and have a stable 9-5 job that would ultimately pay for my social life. TV was growing in India at that time, and it had just started cable television. So I saw the birth of the news industry in India. There were no private news channels at the time so we became the first ones. I experienced the fight for ratings and was a part of every major news event that took place from 1995 till 2010/2011. My last pieces of news I covered was the Bombay terrorist attack, at which point I felt I'd seen enough, the war to get the highest rating at a time like that was in my opinion the worst side of TV which lead me to quit it altogether and move to lifestyle.You sure may not be serving the greater good in lifestyle but atleast you aren't actively harming anyone. From running with tape to doing audio to doing vision, detecting news events, being on location at terrorist attacks, making shows and now, for the business side of things, I've done everything that there is on TV.

Philanthropic interests

I'm very connected to educating children and have been associated with The Schooling Project in Bangalore where I contribute to educating five children every year. I've been doing it for the last 10 years. As for Delhi, there's an NGO for special needs children wherein I provide for one special needs child a year. I firmly believe in education changing lives and it being a basic right.

On a slightly even more personal niche basis, I also contribute to every dog charity that exists.I am a dog owner and an ardent animal lover and this is just my way of contributing to something I love.

Arati Singh