061 – Nusrat Durrani of MTV – Reimagining Yourself (Part 1)

How do you know the “you” that you are now is the best you? Have you have ever wanted to reinvent your self?

NusratIn the first of a two-part interview, a recovering media executive reveals how Intuition and the willingness to humble himself allowed him to make the hardest professional decision of his life, to travel across the world on a whim to become MTV’s oldest intern in history, how he consciously reimagined himself (twice), took a sabbatical after twenty years to get in touch with what really matters, the ways American ignores the rest of the world, learning to make furniture with his bare hands, and why Bob Dylan and David Bowie are so important to him. Nusrat Durrani, General Manager of MTV Networks, joins Julie Chan in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • When Durrani saw MTV while in Dubai, how he decided he needed to be a part of it at age 35, while working as marketing manager for Honda with multi million dollar budget and large team
  • How Durrani had intuition that media and creative was his calling
  • Flying to New York on a whim, interviewing and failing to get a job at MTV, but pushing, eventually becoming the oldest intern (age 35) ever hired at MTV, and how that was incredibly humbling
  • Working for MTV market development team, identifying new distribution platforms for the network
  • How Durrani wasn’t person he is now, had worked for a Japanese brand in a different country, went into creative and rowdy environment, and was shy person
  • Telling his management at MTV that he could be an intern and do intern things, or do something using his experience
  • How MTV gave him a project and he did so well that they hired him
  • Being at MTV for some 20 years, one of the most remarkable cultures anywhere, how it didn’t feel like work, and they believed they were creating magic every day
  • How Durrani never took job for granted
  • Like a light switch, how Durrani completely and radically reimagined his entire personality and self as a deliberate act to fit in and be productive at MTV
  • Growing up in India – the only son of a scholar and doctor, privileged
  • How his knowledge of Bob Dylan created shock in a meeting and changed everyone’s perception of him at MTV
  • His blueprint to success at MTV in NYNusrat
  • How he handled needing to become expert in the industry, needing to become an eloquent and expert speaker, losing his accent
  • Flipping the light switch again after 20 years, taking a sabbatical
  • Knowing he would always reimagine his life from time to time
  • Stayed so long at MTV because he loved his job so much, could do largely what he wanted to make the network more of a global connection around the world
  • How a lot of companies and senior executive incumbents need a wake up call, often trying to solve the wrong problems
  • Wanting to unlearn everything you have learned – rebooting the mind
  • Traveling as a civilian, having never been in the business of serving anyone for a long time
  • Really putting himself bodily in situations that require him to serve with all his being, not just writing a check
  • Learning to create in organic and rough manner, getting into grit of doing something with the hands
  • To travel and dream again
  • Mother has developed Alzheimers disease, and what it meant when Durrani went back to India and spent a lot of time with her
  • How his mother is a hero, one of the most empowered, self-reliant, selfless women he’s ever met—to see her reliant on others now is humbling

1 Comment

  1. Joe June 1, 2018 at 11:52 am

    He hasn’t worked for MTV for over 3 years.


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