The past two years have undoubtedly been challenging for businesses and individuals but I believe as New Zealanders, we have the ability and the strength to cope with adversity and look forward to better times.
Our heart goes out to people who lost their dear ones and property in the Christchurch earthquakes and aftershocks, the Pike River Mine tragedy and more recently in floods in Pakistan.
However, the onset of the festive season instils in us hope, encouraging us to maintain our strength and go about our duties with optimism.
It is while the chips are down and people are worried that we need to cheer them up, saying, “Every downturn is followed by an upswing. The future will be brighter and more prosperous.”
We carry with us messages of goodwill and understanding as we participate in the Diwali festivals around the country.
Along with those messages, we also offer fun and entertainment, so that the festival season is marked by happiness and rising confidence in people.
A unique opportunity
The main reason we invest our human and financial resources in the Diwali festivals is that they offer us an opportunity to be close to people.
We have been major partners in the festivals organised by the Asia-NZ Foundation every year in Auckland and Wellington and by a number of associations in West and South Auckland.
So far this year, Radio Tarana has been the influential, long-time partner and driver at the Waitakere Diwali 2011 organised by the Waitakere Indian Association on September 25 at the Trusts Stadium in West Auckland and by Asia-NZ Foundation and Auckland City Council at the Aotea Square and Aotea Centre on October 8 and 9, 2011.
We will further reinforce our commitment to the community as Diwali Festival is marked at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington (Asia-NZ Foundation and the Wellington City Council) on October 15 and 16 and at the Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre (Manukau Indian Association) on October 16.
As a people’s station, we will meet the members of the Indian and other communities and carry their views live on air from the respective venues.
We are certainly not the ivory tower people, imagining listener preferences and providing products and services in which they have little interest.
How others run their affairs is not my business but at Tarana, our focus is on people and on the need to optimise their satisfaction through quality services.
Among the Top Ten
I believe that quality cannot be comprised at any time in life – that of an individual or an organisation; for it is in its pursuit that we grow, prosper and enjoy.
In pursuit of quality, I am proud that Radio Tarana has created broadcasting history by recording a 55% increase in its listenership to become one of the top 10 radio stations in the greater Auckland region.
A recent Research International survey said that the Indian radio station had a listener base of 66,400, up from 44,100 listeners recorded during the previous survey. This represented an increase of 26,300 listeners, stated to be a record for any radio station in New Zealand between two survey periods.
The rating placed us on a par with the mainstream radio stations in the Auckland region. The station registered 4.7% share, beating Radio Hauraki (4.4%), More FM (4.1%), Radio Live and Radio Sport (2.6% each) and Solid Gold FM (1.7%).
Now back to that question about Tarana being up and about and not ensconced in the air-conditioned or heated comfort of the studio.
Years ago, we told ourselves that we will be with the community, share and add to its values, bring news, current affairs, shopping and music to their homes or offices.
The recently held Bula Festival and our annual Fiji Festival and India Festival illustrate our eagerness to promote the culture, heritage, cuisine and entertainment of Fiji and India.
We also told ourselves that we will go to Bollywood and bring home the messages of goodwill and friendship of celebrities.
As well as running competitions, bringing home a star or two from Mumbai, Tarana’s participation has improved and enhanced in recent years.
Though Diwali is essentially a festival of lights and fireworks many people are opting out of this kind of celebration in some parts of India, the Festival is growing in New Zealand. We often hear people say that Diwali is celebrated in this country better than anywhere else in the world.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year.
Robert Khan is Managing Director, Radio Tarana based in Auckland.