Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


Bringing out the Real Accent of 'Mr. Naggs' - Danish Sait

When I was trying to catch up with Danish on phone, he suddenly passes the phone to Vinod Kambli and I end up pulling the words out of my surprised expression "Hi Sir, I really admire you" only to realize a few seconds later that I was a victim of his prank. But imagine the importance of those few seconds of excitement and joy in a depressed person's life. He is a Santa Claus in the lives of people who are badly in need of the medicine-laughter. Read on to know more about his journey.
The guy whose prank calls have gone gaga today was the same notorious brat who wrote a letter to a bank manager when he was six years old, says his mom (momager). Danish recollects being famous in his boarding school for imitating his teachers. It clearly depicts that he was always a creative man and a fun man and this shade of his is not something that he discovered now but has always been there and in fact it’s a lead up to what he does presently.

His one year stint as a client service executive was his learning period, says Danish as he believes that you learn the most when you are on the ground level. During that period, while working with various Emcees and suggesting them with their work, he realized that he had the potential to do better than them and that thought made him lay the first stone towards building his path.
Danish Sait
Mentioning about how radio came his way, this firm believer of Karma says that, “If it is meant to come your way and steer you in a certain direction, then nobody can evade that.” So it has happened in his case where he received a call from them asking him to join. Danish says that the five year journey with 104 FM has been incredible and they are a very supportive network. Initially he started off as a writer for them and then a character in ‘Coffee with Kiran’, the guy who gives Bollywood gossips. But after a span of six months, they informed him that the show had to be stopped and he had to come up with something new to justify his position. At that point, he was suggested to put in use his best weapon of ‘Prank call’ that he showcased during the auditions. He had to design the entire idea to fit in the 90 seconds time he was allotted to a call unlike the original one which takes about 9 minutes. It ended up being a product that made a label for Danish, that made people happy and that fetched name and money to the radio.

Danish asserts that at times he had to pull down on his pranks as it hurts people. “But at the expense of one person I’ve had 28 million people laugh. Even if 8 million people did not find it funny, the other 20 million people have laughed their hearts out which is a big number. If someone is really serious by attitude, I cannot change his personality but I can change a person’s mood and make him smile. I try to explain them when they are upset with my work but I cannot sit and argue with them. So it is better to move on and continue to make the rest of the world happy.
Danish Sait
When asked about what he exactly likes about his work, Danish points out that radio has been a powerful medium through which he could connect to people at a personal level. He receives calls from people saying their mom has not laughed since ages but his prank call has brought a smile on her face or people thanking him for lifting up their spirits. The joy of leaving a positive mark on a person’s life is what he loves about his work.

Danish mentions that the most special moment of his television career has been the opening ceremony of Pro Kabaddi season 1. It was special because it was a big debut for him and a historic event which involved some elite personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Sachin Tendulkar. However, Danish has more precious moments on radio and internet in comparison with the TV. “A message from a person thanking me for cheering him up or being a part of his life makes my day. It holds more value than being on television.”

He calls the RCB Insider Series, a significant milestone in his life. The commercial and operation head of RCB happened to come across his prank calls and a show called Improv, that he is a part of and roped him in as Danish was a complete package that they wanted – a spontaneous, funny and experienced entertainer. He recalls that initially he had no clue as he never worked with a sports team. He just told them that his strength is to make something out of nothing and is not bound by paper and pen but by sheer liberty. He researched quite a lot and came up with Mr. Naggs, a character born out of his instinctive creativity. It has been two years and they have managed to create one of the country’s biggest sports marketing exercises. It remains the top most IPL channel on Youtube and people enjoy Naggs and his silliness.
Danish Sait
Danish doesn’t believe in the word ‘milestone’ and never measures his career with milestones. He emphasizes that nothing can be called as a milestone because with everything we do in life, we eventually grow and learn. He has constantly been moving from one venture to another. Starting out as an Emcee many years ago at malls and road shows, then moving onto a corporate job for one year, then going on to do radio and branching on to Internet. He would rather call them highlights of his life. No matter big or small, he puts his heart into everything  that he does.

Writing has been something that Danish always enjoyed. He spent six years of his life writing letters to his mother in boarding school. Answering if he has any plans of penning down his life into a book, he says, “Book? Sure. I would love to do it one day but I do not know how interesting my life is. I wonder if people would want to read my journey( with a laugh).

The secret behind Danish’s work-life balance is not discussing people but discussing people’s ideas. He likes extracting the best from a person’s life rather than pondering over other things. Danish highlights the importance of a mentor in life in order to face the shortcomings of life. There are two most important people who played a phenomenal role in his success. One of them is his principal at school who helped him channelize his energy by providing him with great opportunities and feedback. The other is the person who shaped his radio career. “He spots those aspects of mine that I fail to see for myself; be it my growth or faults and he has been my pillar of support.”

Talking about the biggest challenge of his life, Mr. Naggs says impatience has been a huge hurdle that he had to cross. He was very fretful about his career and wanted to turn into a successful ball of fire very soon. Initially he was a person who set his eyes on the destination of being a star rather than focussing on the journey that could take him there. But Danish has very soon learnt to handle it and transformed himself. In the technology dependent era, the evolution of digital ventures and growing internet casts a doubt on the future of radio industry. But Danish strikes them off saying that in a country like India, there is absolutely scope for a career in radio industry. Radio can be a good platform for those who want to be presenters and a market place for talk talent. Satellite radio is going to be the biggest breakthrough for our country where entertainment is everything. Radio can be a good background where you play something while in the kitchen or sitting on your bed.

The story of Danish shows how a person can evolve and forge ahead into the path of success. The guy who is known for his pranks and making people freak out with his quirky accents sends out an electrifying message to the youth. Setting realistic goals with a proper self-analysis of where we fit in and staying patient all through the journey is the success mantra according to Danish.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 13th December 2016.
Interning IJ Sowparnika Koka
A spirited individual who believes in passing the learned lessons to the world.

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