With a vision to change the game in the entertainment industry, Rohini Iyer, owner & director of Raindrop group of companies, one of the country’s leading reputation management company is fearless and understands how to set things straight. This comes as no surprise that she was a part of the book, Change Makers and was also honored at the Women Economic Forum in London, the Stardust Achievers Awards in Dubai and at the Brand Vision Summit among others. In 2018, the global reputation management company pulled off events of monstrous proportions including the Sonam Kapoor Ahuja -Anand S Ahuja wedding, the Mijwan annual fund raiser show & Baba Siddiqui’s Iftaari dinner. However, the icing on the proverbial wedding cake has been the recent wedding of international icons Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas. Excerpts from the interview:
We read that you started your career as a film journalist at the age of 16. So, was this something that had been in your mind always?
I loved writing. Writing has always been a passion, and more than writing it was the world of movies, especially Bollywood that fascinated me. I was a hardcore movie buff and I still remain so.
When was the time you decided that you wish to start your own reputation management company?
It actually happened by default. I always believe that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans. So, I don’t make plans and let life happen. When Main Hoon Na was being made and Red Chillies just launched as a company, they were looking for an agency to handle the marketing and publicity of the film. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time and that’s how Raindrop Media became the Media Director for the film.
Take us through some of your favourite memories associated with celebrities.
Honestly most of them have been friends so I’ve never really looked at them as clients or celebrities. I have had so many wonderful memories with them down the years; however, they are too personal to share.
What is that one mantra or advice that you abide by?
Never let yourself be defined by your last success or your last failure, and to not let success get to your head or failure to your heart. Also it’s important to always be curious and passionate about your work.
How do you think your approach towards work is different from that of others? You are one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry so, what sets your apart?
It’s pure fearlessness. I’ve always been fearless since my childhood, I always spoke up for what’s right, and I always called a spade, a spade. I was extremely politically incorrect which is ironical considering what I do. But I think that’s something that has always set me apart and that has also been a reason why I can work the way I do because that brings a great deal of authenticity to everything I do.
As an owner of a reputation management company, what are some of the challenges that you face?
Actually the challenges I face on a day to day basis are looked after by my team. I have the most wonderful team .They are the most talented people in the business. Even though we fight, yell and scream at each other day in and day out, they still create magic. Good work happens when there is passion, when there is magic and when there is belief and I am very fortunate and lucky to have a team of likeminded people who believe that.
What does ‘power’ mean to you?
True power is defined by the ability of saying no. To be truly successful and powerful you need to say “no” more often than you say “yes” and even before I was powerful (I still don’t think I am) I’ve always been someone who said no and in the bargain made a lot of enemies. In the long run however, it has been something that defines me and makes me who I am.
In your opinion, do you think are there any gender disparities prevalent in the industry?
Of course there are gender disparities in the industry. We are slowly trying to correct it. It has definitely been an encouraging time for women in the industry and a lot of things are changing not just in the industry but society at large. However, I believe that we still have a long way to go.
Do you think Bollywood as an industry is organised? If not, then why do you think so?
Yes it is – there is a certain method to the madness now. There used to be a time where the industry wasn’t very organised but now it’s filled with mavericks and very bright professionals, people who know their jobs and are innovative right from the actors to the technicians. Everyone coming in today comes with not just their dreams and skills but
also with a lot of experience and insight.
Tell us how is the New Year treating you? Any projects lined up?
I haven’t even begun yet. But this New Year, I resolve not to have a resolution. The only thing I aim to do is to approach life playfully, to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher. My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. There will be a lot of surprises this year.