A vision to make the South Asian community feel at home in Sydney through music and events brought Radio Sur Sangam to life in 2009. Nitin Madan – the man behind the mic – pursues a career he never trained for and brings thousands closer to home, one tune at a time.
Tell us about Radio Sur Sangam and the audience to which you are catering.
Sur Sangam is a Hindi radio program for South Asian communities. Our primary listeners include Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Sri Lankans, and Bollywood fans from other communities. Started in April 2009, we recently completed eight years of an adventurous musical journey.
What were you doing when the idea about Radio Sur Sangam came to you?
They say, “There’s no business like show business”. I always wanted to do something that provided an outlet to my inner talent and skills. Living in a foreign country, migrants always carry the nostalgia of their homeland, especially music, and want to know what is happening in the community. I saw the opportunity and idea of producing a radio show started evolving. As you’ve heard, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. One thing led to another and after eight years, here we are today.
What is your claim to fame?
Our biggest achievement was when we were featured on international TV channels, including ESPN, Star Cricket and Ten Sports during the Australia-India test series. We interacted with members of the Indian cricket team and played their favourite songs too. It was a dream come true to be on a global platform and get recognised.
Besides radio, you’ve organised many successful events. Tell us more.
I stepped into the field of events in 2011 with the launch of Indian Australian Idol, followed by Indian Australian Dancing Star. These were the national-level talent competitions to encourage and provide a platform to local talent. Thousands of people attend our community events such as Holi Mela – Festival of Colours, and Diwali Mela. Our most popular event so far has been The Curry Festival at Castle Hill, a multicultural food fest attended by more than 18,000 people from various communities. Besides, our New Year’s Eve Royal Ball has been a sold-out event for past five years.
Everyone faces difficulties during the start-up phase. What kept you motivated in the face of challenges?
The biggest hurdle was a lack of experience, as I had no previous knowledge. I took it as a challenge and kept giving it my best. One thing I learnt during the process was that only constant thing in this world is change. You need to keep your mind open to new ideas. There is always something new to learn.
How do you respond to the high and low points of your personal and professional life?
Highs and lows are part of business as well as life; I have always found that low points actually give you more strength. They make you ‘stop and think’ to analyse what’s going wrong and you bounce back to achieve greater heights; whereas high points give you the energy to perform even better.
What does success mean to you?
More success brings more expectations and hence responsibilities. The goals get bigger and it is a continuous journey to thrive more.
What business lessons have you learnt from your professional journey that you would share with our readers?
Never give up. Keep dreaming, as dreams will give you goals to achieve. Make utmost use of all the available resources. Read motivational stories of successful people, they can become your guidelines.
How would you describe your dream lifestyle?
Keep a balance between work and play, and spend maximum time with your family.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change right here, right now?
Corruption. I believe it is the root cause of many issues affecting the society in every manner, from business to everyday life.
Do you have a quote or life mantra that motivates you?
Live life as if there is no tomorrow. Celebrate small moments, create beautiful memories with your family and friends, remember Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara! (Loosely translates to “life will not return again!”)
Before signing off
On behalf of Radio Sur Sangam, I would like to express our deepest gratitude and credit to our listeners, who always have provided their unconditional love and support throughout these years. Also, big thanks to our sponsors who believe in us and provide us with the resources to keep doing what we do best. I hope this relationship will continue to grow even stronger in the coming years.