Hello Folks! Aahuti Mistry is here! Aahuti Mistry is here! Why did I mention it twice? Well, that’s because I had double the fun blabbing with her. It’s my pleasure having Aahuti with me on my talk show #BlabwithSandy. Aahuti Mistry is a trained dancer and a media professional. She owns the much famous ‘Media Vantage’ group, which deals with talent management and production activities. Let’s dive into the exciting blab I had with her:
Sandy: Hello Aahuti! Welcome to my chat show #BlabwithSandy. I believe the show gets a beautiful makeover with your presence. 🙂
Aahuti: Ha-ha-ha! Thanks for having me in it, Sandy!
Sandy: Could you please let us know a little bit about your early background?
Aahuti: I was a nerd during my schooling days. My mom is a taskmaster, so I turned out to be quite a disciplined child. I was very popular for my cultural activities, and be it any performance – classical dancing, Mohiniyattam, folk dancing, or singing, I was to be in the forefront.
I learnt Mohiniattam at Nalanda Dance and Rsearch Institute and Indian Folk dance under Bhartiya Sangeet and Nritya Samiti for 12 years. My inclination towards dance was very evident. I won numerous national level dance competitions for classical dance recitals as well as Indian folk group dance during my school and college days.
Post my 12th, I took up a degree in Mass Media, three year course. In my first year, I did an internship with an Ad agency called OMM, wherein I ventured into copy writing and client servicing. However, I realized that advertising was not my thing. Thus, I graduated with a specialization in Journalism.
Sandy: Sounds interesting! So, what happened after the completion of your course?
Aahuti: I was interested in Global Media Journalism. Post my college, I wanted to leave for Australia and I almost got admission at an University in Melbourne. However, when I broke the news of moving to Australia for my Masters to my family, everybody was shocked. My mother got worried and she wanted me to rather move to England, as we had a immediate family there.
My idea was to take International exposure and not to live with family. After a lot of convincing, I took
my admission in Coventry University. Across England, only two universities had the course that I wanted to pursue, and the reason I decided to pick Coventry was because its of the cost that I could afford. And, it was hardly two hours from home, which made traveling easy for me whenever I wanted to meet my family. I did my Post Graduation in Global Media and Communication.
Sandy: This sounds lovely, ha-ha! How did media and movies get tagged along with you?
Aahuti: It was lovely, indeed! I was in London for three years and was kind of feeling lost. I had a great lifestyle but I did not want to do a 9 to 5 job at all. While growing up, I was in touch with the film fraternity and also got a lot of offers in acting.
You know what? I was to be a part of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Main Hoon Na’ in the role which was later played by Amrita Rao. I wasn’t ready to be an actor back then, as I was still in college and was skeptical about accepting the offer.
Sandy: Awww, this sounds not so wonderful. It would have been great seeing you in ‘Main Hoon Na’! Hmm….!
Aahuti: Aww, ha-ha! Maybe, yes! But, I do not regret my decision. It could have been great but at that moment, I chose what I felt would be better. Sridevi ji was my neighbor and we went to her for advice. She almost slapped me and felt I should be completing my education and then think about movies and choices. She inspired me to continue with my education.
She told me that I look beautiful and should come into films someday. I was also supposed to participate in Femina Miss India. If we win the title, we can be seen in a film right away.
If we don’t win, we will get to know what we want to do in life, but if we finish education and then enter, we will have a wide range of things to do and choose from! I did follow her advice.
Sandy: Great advice from a great person. So, after your education,you moved back to India?
Aahuti: Yes, I moved back and did not join a routine job. I got a job as an assistant director in a reality show ‘Comedy ka Maha Muqabala’. I got a chance to work and learn around 20 celebs in the show, both senior and upcoming artists.
Sandy: When did you start ‘Media Vantage’?
Aahuti: While in London, I took care of the operations of TV channels 9X and 9XM for an year and a half. After which, I switched jobs and joined Z Media, which was a digital arm of ZenithOptimedia – a part of Publicis Groupe. Its a world wide commemorate for media agencies. I moved to the digital space and and worked for affiliate marketing campaigns.
When I moved back to India, it was a cultural shock. People worked 18 hours at a stretch and nobody caring for anyone. I decided not to work under anybody and I wanted to become my own boss. That’s how Media Vantage started.
I had strong digital branding and film background, and a friend of mine asked me to handle the social media of clients and market their events and films. I met a lot of celebs and had the ease of talking to them very effortlessly.
The highlight is, the first artist that I worked with was Amrita Rao, who actually played that character I was ought to play in ‘Main Hoon Na’. 🙂 I helped her with social media and digital branding. She asked me why don’t I take up a job in talent management with a reputed talent management agency.
The six months that I worked with her was enjoyable and felt like a new revelation for me with regards to my media management skills. There began, a start of my own baby – Media Vantage.
Sandy: Looks like a power packed film story this one, ha-ha! You were to work in place of Amrita Rao in ‘Main Hoon Na’, and eventually you got to work with her with your firsts. Brilliant! 🙂 So, what is Media Vantage all about?
Aahuti: Lol! Media Vantage is a Talent Management and a Digital Marketing agency. It is a boutique
space to manage talents. We started of with managing actors. We also went on to managing musicians, which we still do.
I helped Neha Bhasin, who was a friend once upon a time, in releasing her singles. She introduced me into music talent management. We manage an array of talents across actors, musicians, singers, performers, chefs, sportsmen, writers, directors, and more.
Quick Shot Round:
- Love: All about respect, trust, and companionship
- Your biggest regret: I don’t think I have any, but maybe, should’ve tried acting
- Media Vantage: We are the best friends that an artist can get 🙂
- Aahuti Mistry: I am Multifaceted. I make unconventional choices and my instincts guide me
- A habit of yours that you aren’t happy about? I love my desserts. I am a text person and I wish I was more of a phone person
- The most used App on your phone: Gmail/WhatsApp/Instagram
- Good thing and bad thing about the media industry: Good thing is there are so many opportunities if you truly know where and what you want to be! Bad thing is the Hypocrisy, with a lot of fakeness
- Your close friends in the industry: I don’t have best friends in real terms from the industry as the industry is very competitive. But, I am close to Arshad Warsi, Anand Bhaskar, Rehan Khan (Writer-Director), Munna S, Anjana and Evelyn. I am blessed to have found friends within the industry who work relentlessly behind the scenes like me- Kanishk, Shweta, Joel and Alaap.
- If not for this profession, Aahuti would have been into: Interesting! I would be somewhere in the RAW or in the Intelligence Services for the government
- South Cinema: Love its content! The Malayalam and Tamil industries have superb content and fantastic actors. The mega stars are all grounded and are well connected to the audience. The fans down South are loyal and worship actors who are talented
- Your favorite actors/actresses: Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopta, Ranbir Kapoor, Arshad Warsi (not because he is my talent but I seriously love his talent), Mr. Bachchan for his dialogue delivery
- When idle, what does Aahuti indulge in?: I would listen to music, dance, and meditate
Sandy: What’s next in the pipeline for you and MV (as I like to call it) in the coming months?
Aahuti: Yeah, MV (Media Vantage) it is haan! 🙂 Once the pandemic recedes and we get to recover (don’t know how soon), I wish the remaining year turns great for me and all. I pray that people recover and we have a better end to 2020.
I have films that I would like to produce. I would like to produce shows for OTT. We have quite a few conversations going on in the pipeline. Restructuring of MV (Media Vantage) is happening.
Sandy: Fantastic! See if someone named Sandy gets to collaborate with someone named Aahuti. Ahem..ahem! Can you hear this?
Aahuti: Ha-Ha-Ha! Lol, indeed. MV is listening. Let’s ask MV, okay? 🙂
Sandy: Ha-ha! A few words about Hyderabad Local.
Aahuti: I read some of your interviews and it was evident that you are cool. Your language and the dialogue delivery (If I can say) has ease. They give an impression on the artists being featured. Their real identity is brought into the picture and it definitely is a revelation. Kudos on that front, Sandy! Love it.
Editor’s note: It has been my immense pleasure in interviewing Aahuti Mistry. Getting to know her from close quarters makes me realize her unique and abundant talent in finding talent. She is one of the very few individuals, who quickly understood my quirk and reciprocated it with her own tinge of fun. 🙂 I feel happy to have found a talented friend in her. Wishing Aahuti and her Media Vantage, a mazeedaar cinematic journey ahead, filled with beats and whistles.
Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)
Follow Media Vantage @mediavantage
Follow Aahuti Mistry @aahutee
Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy