Gitikka Ganju Dhar has talked for a passion for over eighteen years now. Her career is truly the hallmark of excellence. One can safely say that she is among the initial few who have shaped the category of the professional show host in India.
Many an award and recognition have been conferred upon her, namely, The Bharat Nirman Award for Contribution to Anchoring in India and The Best Anchor India Award at the Live Quotient Awards.
She is widely acknowledged as India’s most skilled host on stage, a thought leader in the field. She is idolized by aspiring anchors from all over India. Contrary to popular belief, she began talking for television and is a veteran of more than a two dozen television shows including Meri Saheli on Star Plus and Zaike Ka Safar on Zee TV. On stage she has hosted more than three thousand events which include anchoring many an iconic event properties such as Make In India, IIFA Press Conference, The National Games, Lakme Fashion Week, The Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Awards, The Overdrive Awards, ICWF, WOW Awards Asia, Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, Petrotec, and has represented brands such as BMW, TATA Motors, WHO, UNICEF, Coke, Pepsi, Apple, ICICI Bank, SBI, Google, Toyota, Honda, Samsung, OPPO, Indian Army, Jindal Steel, ONGC, IDC, Auto Desk, India Today, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Colgate and many more.
She is a preferred choice for government and PSU led events in India and has hosted several events in the presence of heads of state, ministers and global management leadership from the corporate world. An ace content writer, she also writes for online industry platforms and magazines and she is all set to pen her first full-fledged book. She hails from the beautiful valley of Kashmir and is married to a senior banker, Vineet Dhar. They are parents to a daughter. She holds a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication form the AKJ Mass Communication Research Centre and a graduate degree in Business Management from Delhi University.
Gitikka believes that her work is the real celebrity and is the force behind her unstoppable career in the world of talk. Her presence in the leadership bracket for almost two decades is standing proof of her unwavering popularity and solid expertise. One may see her wielding the baton of a motivational speaker in a few years from now. “Nothing matters more to me than being respected, as a professional, as a creative person and as a woman. “ She says. Well, they don’t call her one of the most respected anchors of the country for nothing!
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
I am currently very busy executing live events of all genres, across the country, whether social, corporate, culture, art or government led events. I enjoy changing character according to the varying demands of various genres. It takes up all my time and energy to execute the same. It has taken a massive amount of focus and effort to get my career back on track post my comeback in 2012. I think I am in a good space now. So, I have now begun the spadework for the years ahead. Alongside anchoring events, I am now looking at spending equal amount of time moderating at both live events and for television shows. Public speaking is a dream I may focus on post 2018. Content design and generation interests me, I may think of ways and means to pursue these passions. And I will definitely get down to writing a book before the turn of 2017. I may act too. Or I may just travel or study. Who knows! Whatever I do, it should make me happy and give me the undiluted time to spend with my family. But whatever I do, I will always talk the stage. I have received satiating amounts of love and respect over the last few years and all of it is real. So, I am not in a hurry. The journey here on needs to be wholesome and has to allow me the time to pursue my personal goals.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
My biggest challenge is that I have always had to work very hard. It just does’nt work any other way , in my case. Even if I cheat on a small, unimportant element, be sure, I will pay the price. So, I have never really been able to take it easy. The only time I could do so was during my sabbatical. I was completely burnt out by 2008. I had no option but to take a long break. It is very challenging to have to work very hard all the time. And the other challenge is that I have always had to push against the existing mind set, especially, in the last few years. The expectation from an anchor had completely changed in the last few years. I am glad to say, the agenda now stands rebooted. No more fooling the end customer, unless, he or she is agreeable to it.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
My daughter. Can that be called an achievement? I guess not! It is more of a blessing. So, it would be the fact that I have a heart-warming number of genuine well-wishers, both in my professional and personal life. And the fact that I loved and served Peppy with all my strength till her last day.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would have been an actor/interior decorator/dancer.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I have never really had idols in that sense, but there are historical figures and some real people who fascinate me. I remember, when I was seven I think, my mother bought me an illustrated copy of Joan of Arc. Ever since, I have held her story and her valour close to my heart. Maharana Pratap, I wish I could go back in time and meet him. Mahatma Gandhi, for his fortitude. Amitabh Bachchan, for the dedication and discipline he works with, despite the fact that his talent is staggering in proportion! Steve Jobs for his sheer cockiness and steely will. Narendra Modi, for his passion for India. Ghalib, for his words, Gulzar Saab for his ability to express and Harivansh Rai Bacchan for his poetry that has inspired generations, me included.
What does the future hold for you?
The future is the rest of my life. I spent the first few years of my life growing up, the next few gaining an education, the next few pursuing a professional dream, the next few falling in love and setting up a home, the next few raising my daughter and then these last few years were spent toiling at work. I now want to live my life as me. I want to travel, cook, read, write, discover world history and relish the myriad experiences the worlds of art and entertainment have to offer. Ofcourse, the professional dream will continue to unfold. But, this time around, the dictates will be mine.
Any advice for aspiring anchors?
Come one, come all, but come if you can add sense to the chaos! Come for the passion of it, not for the perks you perceive from afar, because it all work and no play in Anchorland.