The Q Factor

The first letter of the English alphabet may not be Q but it is of the English keyboard!

Firsts in the Q

Qamar Waheed Naqvi is among the new age icons of Hindi journalism. One of the most important links in the chain of the founding team of Aaj Tak, the superhit news bulletin of the nineties, QWN led the charge under the stewardship of the great SP Singh and helped unshackle News from the stranglehold of bureaucrats and politicians . To him goes the credit of coining the name Aaj Tak, today the superbrand of Hindi News journalism. Not only did News begin to mirror the sentiments of an emergent, liberal and democratic India, QWN worked at liberating the language itself from the puritanical and often absurd official idiomatic confines shaping it into a lucid and lively language of the masses – one that has a far wider appeal than only the Hindi speaking demographics of a multilingual India. QWN was born and educated in the intellectually vibrant city of Varanasi. He was first published at the age of 14 in a local journal. Even as he was contributing regularly in the city’s leading newspapers his formal journalistic career began at the age of 18 with a local Hindi weekly. However QWN credits a street side hawker, one of his ‘sources’, for guiding him into the big league when the man handed over a crumpled news paper wrapping that carried an advertisement for trainee journalists at The Times Of India Group in Mumbai. QWN was the only one selected for Hindi from across India. The year, 1980. The Sub Editor at Navbharat Times(NBT) in 1981 began to gather a reputation of someone who delivers. In 1983 he joined NBT, Lucknow, as a part of the dream team of Rajendra Mathur. In 1985 QWN joined as the Chief Reporter at the Anand Bazaar Patrika group’s widely circulated news weekly, Ravivar, in Kolkata, then being edited by the mercurial firebrand Udayan Sharma. The spirit of an explorer and innovator propelled him to the post of the News Editor of India’s first broadsheet weekly Chauthi Duniya in 1986, a product that he took from the design board to newsstands, a concept that vowed the Hindi readership. Of course the name was his coinage! From a trainee in 1980 to News Editor in 1986 QWN’s rise was meteoric. In 1989 he returned to the NBT fold in Lucknow, now as its News Editor till 1993, when he took over the charge of NBT Jaipur, later becoming the newspaper’s Dy. Resident Editor. It was while serving at The Navbharat Times that the call came from the legendary SP Singh and the India Today Group. They were planning an ambitious news programme for Doordarshan. Television! A new and glorious chapter of Hindi News Journalism was to come alive, that would forever change the tone and tenor of Indian News Television, with QWN in the thick of action. QWN ended his first stint with brand Aaj Tak as its Editorial Head and the Chief Executive Producer. He returned as the News Director of the channel in 2004 helping the group to expand with the fast news channel Tez and Delhi Aajtak. The group’s flagship English News Brand Headlines Today was consolidated under his supervision. He also helped the group establish the TV Today Media Institute to identify, groom and mentor a fresh and young lot of journalists, infusing them with liberal and progressive paradigms while benchmarking for them the highest standards of journalism as he has himself practiced.

I ’q’

  1. Editorial Director, India TV2013-2014
  2. News Director, TV Today Network2004-2012
  3. Chief Executive Producer, Aaj Tak1995-2000
  4. Dy. Resident Editor, Navbharat Times, Jaipur1993-1995
  5. News Editor, Navbharat Times, Lucknow1989-1993
  6. News Editor, Chauthi Duniya1986-1989
  7. Chief Reporter, Ravivaar1985-1986

The Ten ‘Q’mandments !

  1. Ideating: To go where no man has gone before
  2. Columnising: Where Words Play With Heartstrings
  3. Leading Teams: when to nurture and when to challenge
  4. Grooming Talent: From Cradle to the saddle
  5. Strategizing: Blueprinting a model future
  6. Creating Content: Contentious, Not Content; Engaging, Not Enraging
  7. Managing Newsrooms: The Steady State In the Big Bang
  8. Motivating: Helping overcome the mind barrier
  9. Gauging Appetites: Serving the Right Fare
  10. Guiding Change: Towards Positive
He retired from Aaj Tak in 2012 and joined India TV as its Editorial Director in October 2013. The spirit of mentoring and transferring knowledge, even hand holding his colleagues is part of QWN’s DNA. A stain that makes him a natural leader and a team builder, a stain that opens up the locked up possibilities of his team mates as well as lets him create innovative, effective, new and energetic workflow systems. A streak that has earned him the affectionate sobriquet of ‘Dada’. As a young man he wrote poems too as a hobby, but since nothing about him ever is half hearted, he got published and appreciated just as he guided the design of a new font for Aaj Tak much later in his life as the group’s News Director, again in a restless spirit of innovation. Qamar Waheed Naqvi and wife Tripti live in Greater NOIDA. He enjoys the invigorating drive on the Expressway to his office some fifteen kilometers away.
Hi! 'Q'