MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Rob Wijeratna

The joint managing director of Rocket Licensing tells us about his start in the business at BBC Worldwide, getting Postman Pat into Buckingham Palace and eyeing up the NASA licence...
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Name:
Rob Wijeratna

Time spent in licensing industry:
Many years in numerous guises, it must be 16 years in all.

First job in licensing:
Setting up BBC Worldwide’s international licensing network with Teletubbies, then going on to be BBCWW’s first ever global brand manager on this ground breaking brand.

What were your responsibilities?
Appointing international agents, then managing the brand on a global basis.

Current job in licensing:
Joint managing director at Rocket Licensing.

What are your responsibilities?
Working in tandem with Charlie Donaldson, Rocket’s other joint MD, managing and extending some of the best and most innovative brands in the business, whilst at the same time building a great company.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
Getting Postman Pat into Buckingham Palace, then flying him around the UK delivering the Queen’s Garden Party invites to lucky school children, all featured on the BBC national six and ten o’clock news. It was a relief when it all finally came together, as I’d promised to run naked down Hammersmith Road if it didn’t happen!

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
I’ve worked on some classics such as The Teletubbies and Wallace and Gromit, but the ones we’re working on now take some beating.

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?
Rockets work for us, so it would have to be the ultimate rocket licence - NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

If you could choose your dream job in licensing, what would it be and why?
I don’t think it can get much better than this: running our own independent company, whilst having lots of fun helping to build a great portfolio of brands.

What’s the best thing about working in the licensing industry?
Working with some really talented people, in an extraordinary range of very different businesses, whilst making some really good friends.

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