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Offbeat: Alok Sanwal – the secret romantic poet

In our constant endeavour to give our readers content that is a little ‘hatke’ from the trade media norm, Adgully has been coming out with Special sections like The W-Suite, Ad Land’s Young Guns, Spirit W and ‘Offbeat’. 

Our newest offering, ‘Offbeat’, seeks to give a glimpse of the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. We present, in the industry leaders’ own words, an interesting read on areas that are not usually highlighted in regular media coverage – be it about their childhood days, secret skills that they possess, how they unwind from their hectic schedules, and much more. 

Alok Sanwal, COO of Dainik Jagran INEXT, is an engineer turned editor who re-engineered the world of print media in India. His claim to fame is the disruptor newspaper INEXT that he brought to life and turned into a success story. The product raised many eyebrows and attracted much attention only to reach the heights of success and popularity in the urban-urbane population of northern India. 

How were you as a child and which childhood trait do you still possess?
Innocent. Innocence. 

Which superhero did you look up to as a kid and why? Which superhero power you wish you possessed?
Mandrake, because he could do magic. Wish I had those magical powers. 

What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
I fear drowning. To overcome this fear, I go for white water rafting. 

A skill you possess that no one knows about?
I write romantic poems. 

What would one find in your playlist?
AR Rehman’s compositions, Hemant Kumar, Kishore Kumar in the 70’s and 80’s, Lobo, MLTR. 

Your go-to activity to relax?
Movies. 

What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?

Be patient and do not give up. 

A social cause that you are most passionate about?
Career guidance to youngsters. Several talented kids waste their time and energy getting into wrong careers. 

What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?
Nothing in particular. 

If not the COO at Dainik Jagran Inext, what would you have been?
Teacher, guide or a travel planner. 

What are three apps on your mobile phone that you can’t live without?
Google Maps, Ola and Make My Trip. 

What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, because of Amitabh Bachchan – his diction, his powerful communication is mesmerising. Can’t afford to miss watching him. 

Which two organisations outside your own do you know the most people at?
GroupM, because I had worked there. I also have a lot of friends in Times Group and Dainik Bhaskar. 

Two things about this industry that you don’t like or don’t understand?
Why do people use so many jargons? Why is there a snob value in not knowing about Indian culture? 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I love my country and am extremely proud of being born in India, but I love Paris just as much and would love to live there.

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