For a long time, Bollywood journalism was devoted to breaking news, juicy gossip, hottest stories, gossip and scandals, until a humble blog appeared. If you were to go back in time and pull out a typical interview with the King of Bollywood, Sharukh Khan, there would be the usual series of questions about upcoming movies, working with co-stars, yada yada yada competition.
Now enter this young “creator”, a term that was not yet fashionable, with a camera and a box of cupcakes! The incident dates back to 2014 when the film was released Good year. This blogger/creator was one of a long line of journalists waiting for their slot with the stars of the film. After eight hours of waiting, the moment finally came in the wee hours of the morning.
She quietly handed the cupcakes to the team and went on to do the most unusual thing in a star interview – a game of charades! The public saw for the first time Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bacchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood in their most “out of the ordinary” avatars and they loved it!
It is Malini Agarwal a.k.afor you! Always breaking the mold and carving out his own niche.
Malini managed to do something the creators are trying to do a decade later: relate to audiences and create a differentiator– something that was missing on the Internet at the time. Reigning supreme in the space for many years now, Malini is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable faces of the Indian internet.
“My turn for the interview came after 8 hours and I was the last one because no one took the web so seriously back then. The worst thing is that the journalist who preceded me asked a nasty question to Shah Rukh about a twitter spat, which annoyed him. The reporter waited 8 hours just to piss him off. Why would you do this, what did you hope to achieve?” says Malini .
It is this human and sensitive side of Malini that has made her such a success in space. It wasn’t an overnight miracle, but a decade of investing in building relationships, understanding what audiences would like, daring to start something new and meaningful, human writing .
“I literally just had a camera with me. I never really asked anything mean, I see people ask such ridiculous questions about feuding with spouses, getting kicked out of parties, etc. J clarified my relationships—of the record is of the record, I’m not a hypocrite. I’m sensitive to that. Gossip is fun, but when you cross the line, it’s malicious,” she says.
Secret sauce to success
Like any other blogger, Malini had her doubts when she entered space in 2008. The ‘girl with an accent‘ (she lived in different parts of the world thanks to her father being a diplomat), landed in Mumbai and wanted to jump and jump on different things and explore the uncharted.
What marked her during this time was her impeccable confidence, her networking skills and her sense of writing, in addition to the support of her co-founders. mike melli and Noushad (who is her husband now). Malini points out that while she may be the face of the brand, “it wasn’t a one-woman show.”
Interestingly, a few years ago Malini was offered to sell the blog for around Rs 25,00,000, but was convinced otherwise by her partners, who made her see through the future potential of her work and the growth to come. “Thank God they arrested me!”.
The key to Malini’s success was the fact that she created a differentiator. He came a independent voice that spoke positively about the world of entertainment. She went back to the drawing board contemplating the gap between voice and fun pop culture representation in addition to video and radio jockeys.
She managed to package her content in a unique and personal way, managing to stay ahead of the game.
“When I started in 2008, people didn’t know what a blog was and now it’s an entire industry. People go into it as a complete career choice, seeing opportunities to learn how to topic. I used to struggle with the idea of who I am, I wasn’t a Bollywood star or a Kim Kardashian. I was just writing a blog and I didn’t know who to emulate. So I I was afraid of doing things wrong,” she shares.
MissMalini has come a long way, from starting her business as a blog from her couch to now, when it has grown into a 70-member company.
What started as a blog, now offers five different verticals spanning marketing, talent management, production, content and creative agency services, and a reach of around 60 million people each month thanks to to digital assets.
Recently, MissMalini was acquired by. A new adventure—Good Creator Co. (GCC) was born from the collaboration between the two, with , and . With its new initiative, Malini aims to empower creators to go mainstream and support them through the process.
“We are creating the largest and most compressive ecosystem of creators the country has ever seen. It will be led by the capabilities of the four companies. We can do bigger campaigns, creators can come to us and all of their people will be sorted. It’s like a digital academy. You no longer need to work in silos and have a whole community to learn from,” says Malini.
Malini believes collaboration is key to the future of the booming creator economy and the space is likely to witness more such efforts.
Tips for new designers and branding
“Don’t limit yourself to one platform.Malini explains how creators were quick enough to gain access to YouTube and other social media apps when TikTok was banned in India. but there’s no reason why the same success can’t be replicated with repurposed, straightforward content on other platforms. Don’t be at the mercy of just one platform.
Malini also urges brands to get out of the rut and find new voices. “The biggest mistake brands make is repeating their cycles. They have to reinvent themselves and open up to new platforms and let creators do the talking and create new concepts. Work with talent managers and follow their advice.
Malini lived “a less ordinary life”. The girl who came to Mumbai 14 years ago has scoured almost every stream of media – audio, video, television, web, print – having witnessed first hand the evolution of the creator economy.
Rapid fire with MissMalini
philosophy of life
—Do everything at the same time. Try everything and keep doing what you love.
It gives you peace of mind to seek love and happiness.
Thing you wish you could change from the past
I wish I could think less. I think too much that I think too much about things. It’s ridiculous.
Tips for newbies
Seize the day, don’t procrastinate.
People/events that changed your life
—My business partners—Melli and Noushad. They changed my trajectory.
—An RJ audition: I was hesitant to leave my day job at MTV to become RJ when programming director Aditya Patwardhan convinced me to choose the latter. He said, “You are so talented and you are making a huge mistake!” So I quit, and I thank him all the time.
—Prahlad Kakkar: When I moved to Bombay, I wanted to be a VJ. So a friend of mine introduced me to him. I told him I wanted to be a VJ and he said no! and asked me what else I see myself. He shattered my dream in one fell swoop. I said I like to write and he triggered me, did few calls and pushed me to become a writer. It all started from there…
—26/11: I have to witness the friendliness of Mumbai. I was stuck in a cafe for hours and people helped me in all sorts of ways. It was comforting.
—Sushmita Sen: During an interview, we were talking about adoption and I asked Sushmita, why people always say that adoption is not the same as having a biological child. Tumhara khoon nahi hai (It’s not your blood). The actress said the next time someone says that, ask them how they fell in love with a complete stranger, who is not of their lineage, and decided to marry her. People come, dance and celebrate the alliance of two strangers, so why can’t they do the same for the children?
Message to 21st century women
You are doing amazing things and living in 2022, when you can be anything! Do it! Now there are enough people who will listen to you. Use social media wisely and don’t be affected by toxicity or trolls. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re amazing…
Here’s another fun fact about Malini. Did you know that she was the backup dancer for the Spice Girls and Peter Andre during their musical tour of India when she was a student?
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Recognizing the burgeoning creator ecosystem and accompanying new wave of entrepreneurship, YourStory celebrates the work of established and emerging influencers in an initiative to identify, celebrate and accelerate the journey of digital creators creating content. extraordinary, unique and engaging. . We’ve teamed up with Trell to bring you the Top 100 Creator Challenge, which you can apply for here.