'I do not enjoy movie promotions one bit'

'I do not enjoy movie promotions one bit'

She's an actor, a producer and a businesswoman. She rose to fame in the South Indian film  industry with movies like 'Motorcycle Diaries', 'Rowdy Fellow' and 'Oru Oorla Rendu Raja' to name a few. But it was Vishakha Singh's role in Bollywood films like 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se' and 'Fukrey' that gave her recognition in the Hindi film industry.  

She'll soon be playing a key role in the upcoming film 'Fukrey Returns'. That's not all! She's co-producing a short film titled 'Mehram', a film starring Farida Jalal.

Apart from her film commitments, Vishakha has started a new business venture called 'IconicBOT'. In a chat with Anila Kurian, Vishakha talks about how she juggles managing multiple  ventures at the same time.

Which film are you working on right now?  

A couple of them actually. I am in the midst of the pre-production of my next Marathi film called 'Udhaan' which I am producing with Satish Kaushik Entertainment.  After winning the National Award for our film 'Onaatah' last  year,  we have just produced a short film called 'Mehram' that is currently doing festival rounds.  I am also awaiting the release of 'Fukrey Returns', where I don the actor's hat once again, albeit briefly.

Tell us about your latest business venture.

I am the co-founder of 'IconicBOT' which is India's first celebrity  fan management chatbot tool, which aims to bring fans and their icons together by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence technology.

It is the best digital advertising tool that gives maximum ROI to any ad spend.  

How do you manage juggling work with personal life?

Simple. It's personal and professional life. There are no further demarcations. As long as you love your work and know your priorities, juggling becomes easier.

You've worked in various film industries. Which industry did you enjoy the most?  

I enjoy working in Hindi and Tamil the most. I have been lucky to have done selected work with some good people.

What have each film taught you?

Tamil industry is all heart. Hindi industry is extremely professional when it comes to paper work. Telugu industry is target at the masses; the kind of devotion I
see for actors, it is unparalleled.

What do you enjoy the
most about movie promotions?  

I do not enjoy movie promotions one bit, especially the unnecessary dressing up part. The emphasis is too much on clothing and looks and I feel it takes away the message you actually want to convey. If I had my way I would do all interviews via telephone and Skype!

How important is social media for promotions?

It's important to create a buzz before a film releases but it's important to find a balance. However, these days, it's mainly noise. Promotions have become more hectic and commitment centric than a film's actual shoot!


If you could change one thing about Bollywood what would it be and why?

We need more female producers, directors, writers, directors of photography and editors in the industry. They will bring fresh and balanced perspective to the table. There is an entire generation of female audience that is growing. It would be interesting to see how Bollywood caters to their changing viewing demands.

What's something you're proud of?  

I have just been selected by the Department of Science and Technology as one of the top 10 women entrepreneurs in their 'Woman Entrepreneur Quest'.
I've also been selected by Facebook into their exclusive global programme
'She Leads Tech' initiative.

How do you spend your time when not working?

Not working? What's that like? I have two startup companies, I am like a mother who has twins. There is no time to rest, I have miles to go before I sleep. I would love to catch up on some sleep, have a spa day and read.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Chocolates and sleep!

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