The Boss Brown Women podcast is a show for and about inspiring women, and the heartbreaks, lessons and triumphs they experience on their journeys to success. My name is Lavanya Aneja, and I’m the creator and host of this podcast. My aim with this project is to create and foster a community for women starting out in the fields of business and entrepreneurship; by providing a platform for female leaders in these fields to share their stories, I hope to inspire and educate the next generation of pioneers, and to provide them with access to guidance and mentorship on their journeys.
The words blogger or social media influencer today have become commonplace— but there was a time, pre-Instagram and Facebook—when the terms had little to no significance. In India, this term began to take shape and meaning with the advent of digital platforms like Miss Malini. In this episode, I’m talking to Malini Agarwal herself, to learn about how she created her online empire, and how in 2020 she continues innovating and breaking boundaries with ventures like GirlTribe and Miss Malini Trending.
- With her personable aura and tenacity, she’s warmed her way into one of the most sought-after industries in the country: Bollywood. In her book, “To the Moon: How I Blogged my Way into Bollywood”, she explores how she got her start with her blog, and
- However, Miss Malini has grown far beyond the confines of just being a bollywood gossip platform (though that does make up a chunk of their content). A lot of that is owed to Malini’s uncanny ability to adapt to the times and keep up with all trends before they even become that. She possesses an innate savviness when it comes to using social media-- Miss Malini is present on every social platform, and works on promoting and recognizing trailblazing content creators on said platforms as well. Her latest venture, Miss Malini Trending is a social desk that recognizes and posts about social media influencers-- she describes them as the “new age celebrities, the ones people look up to and follow” (literally and metaphorically).
- Malini has a deep understanding of her consumer-- she’s built a persona of the average Indian millennial woman, “Robbie”, and she has a calendar in place, that keeps track of all the things that “Robbie” would care about. This technique is how she ensures Miss Malini consistently delivers relatable and desired content to its average consumer.
- From that understanding, she started a Facebook group called “Malini’s GirlTribe”: a safe space for women to express themselves and share their thoughts, fears and revelations with each other. She herself had been subject to a lot of online hate and objectification as a woman on social media, so she strived to make a safe haven for women online, where there are simple rules on engagement that make for kinder, more humane interactions.
- Malini views social media as a mirror of reality: if you wouldn’t behave in real life how you do online, how can you justify such behaviour? Malini has a few simple rules that she prescribes to be a better, kinder person online--one that mimics how you would be in real life.
- Never post anything about someone that you can’t say to their face.
- Remember that followers are people too.
- Spark joy with what you post.
These rules, she believes, can be a catalyst for change, to make social media a better place; one free of cyberbullying and hateful rhetoric.
“Social media has democratised everything— you don’t need to be born into wealth or have connections anymore.”
“With Miss Malini, I would say I’m trying to create the modern-day Oprah network, for the digital age, for the millennial brown girl.”