With an impressive roster of clients that includes Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Freida Pinto and many more, the head of KWAN’s celebrity management division, Jayanti Saha has seen it all up close and personal. If you’ve ever considered a career managing the stars this one’s a must-read! xoxo
The perception of Celebrity Management in India is still very “secretary” like and people don’t realise the amount of thought and strategy that goes into managing a celebrity’s or an artist’s portfolio. The Indian film industry has seen immense transformation in the past few years. Managing a celebrity today is equivalent to creating and managing a brand because you are essentially looking into everything from their films to their endorsements, appearances, media and public perception.
While most people look at the job of a celebrity manager as a glamourous one, hob-knobbing with the stars, high profile events – the works, while those are definitely the perks, there is a lot more that people don’t know about celebrity management:
1. It’s surprising how stimulating the job is, in terms of how much thought goes into it, because you are looking into everything that a celebrity does – from the films they decide to associate with, to their media perception and magazine covers, brands and public appearances. Everything has to be in sync with the image that has been defined for your client. As an agent/manager you are solely responsible and every decision you make has a direct impact on your clients career.
2. Your client will often look to you for advice. Hence it is imperative that we as agents are up-to-date with the industry’s current state of affairs. This could include everything from latest fashion trends, box office numbers and reports, to what every studio/producer is casting, the list is never-ending.
3. Being a manager/agent doesn’t translate into being your client’s “Best Friend”. This is a common misconception, however, it is essential to create and maintain a healthy balance between personal and professional relationships.
4. As a manager/agent, you are on call 24-7. This is not a job for the faint-hearted. You are battling with back to back packed schedules, meetings and not to forget – the egos!
5. This field gives you the opportunity to be a part of some of the most amazing conversations & interactions – be it discussing how to convert an interesting concept/book into a film, being a part of brain-storming sessions with an ad agency’s creative team or a brand, to a preview of soon to be released films, followed by a feed back session with the makers of the film.
6. Your phone will be an extension of your body.
7. As the agent, you are not the ‘bitch’, as you are most often portrayed to be. More often than not, you are just the messenger.
8. As the manager, you will often have to double up as body-guard and as a girl/women that definitely has been an ‘interesting’ experience; it’s a good thing my company offers health insurance!
9. One of the highs about this job profile is that it’s totally unpredictable, there is no monotony, you are challenged every day and you can never get away with saying “I’ve seen it or done it all.”
10. The most important thing is that as this job requires insane hours at times, involves more than a fair share of stressful situations (more often than not resulting in a good amount of hair-loss!); at the end of the day it’s the team that you work with and the people who you work alongside that really makes a difference and makes it all worth it.
Having done this for about 4 years now, I still feel like I have just scratched the surface!