Shushma Datt, i.t. Productions Ltd., Vancouver
Datt was awarded the Influential Women in Business award, in 2007, for being the founder, president and CEO of i.t. Productions Ltd. and its subsidiaries Radio Rim Jhim and AM radio station RJ1200. Multicultural programming being her focus, she produces nine multilingual TV programs on Shaw Cable Television and OMNI TV.
Datt is one of only six women who received the Influential Women in Business Award in 2007. The honourees were chosen for their extraordinary achievements and success in business.
Starting her career in journalism as a young reporter for the Times of India, it wasn’t long before Datt soon moved up to the prestigious British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC). It was her experience at the BBC that Datt notes as a turning point in her career.
“It was the BBC who set me on my path as a journalist and broadcaster. They saw some talent in me and encouraged me to write and produce programs, and they provided me with the opportunity to showcase them,” acknowledges Datt. “My colleagues there were world-class broadcasters who shared their creativity and genius with me.”
In the 1970s, Datt became a radio and television host and producer in Vancouver. At this time ethnic programming was limited.
Women’s Enterprise Centre was pleased to help Datt develop her broadcasting business, starting in 1998 with a loan for working capital. Offering financial and business advisory support over the years to Datt as she developed her production company and expanded, Women’s Enterprise Centre knew they were working with a client who was headed towards success.
In 2005, Datt hit an all-time high in her broadcasting career: she was granted an AM radio license by the CRTC for her new station RJ1200. This station became Canada’s first South Asian AM station that focuses on 18 to 44 year olds who enjoy dual-cultural lives. It took Datt 20 years to win the license for this station.
Through her programming with i.t. Productions Ltd, Datt has become an ambassador for the South Asian community. Without a second thought, she takes on the tough issues.
“I always aspired to be a top-notch journalist, adhering to the principles that I admire in mentors and colleagues and mostly I have managed to accomplish this,” says Datt.
Her programming has led her to be known for encouraging and inspiring young South Asian women to take on roles that might not be considered traditional in their cultures. Through the production of television programs like Women in Focus, Datt has been able to highlight successful South Asian women who are making a difference and overcoming barriers. By focusing on these women, she is offering inspiration and motivation to women in what are generally male-dominated cultures.
Women’s Enterprise Centre is proud to be a sponsor of the Influential Women in Business Awards, working with Business in Vancouver to recognize extraordinary women for their outstanding accomplishments. And we congratulate Shushma for her outstanding success, which we are proud to have helped her achieve!