Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Anusha Srinivasan Iyer: Queen Bee of Brand Strategy

Published: Apr 1, 2019 07:02:28 AM IST
Updated: Jan 3, 2020 01:24:59 PM IST

Anusha Srinivasan Iyer: Queen Bee of Brand Strategy
Anusha Srinivasan Iyer

A cat here and a dog there; greens inside out; colours all around; the smell of energized camphor and bakhoor filling the room; daylight walking in from all quarters of a lavish bungalow set in Andheri, Mumbai… that’s the setting for our chat with Writer-Filmmaker-Media Strategist-Brand Custodian-Gender and Animal Activist Anusha Srinivasan Iyer, what she calls home…

A saree painstakingly created out of multiple sarees, a huge silver necklace piecing together antiques with Aurangazeb’s coins vying for space with an energetic Om, Rabari bangles, Afghani earrings, a huge lotus nose pin that you cannot ignore, long tresses, an abstract bindi drawn out of kajal and lipstick combo… these are things that you would notice about her at first glance, apart from her kind eyes and her contagious smile, that is.

Meet Anusha Srinivasan Iyer – Writer, Filmmaker, Media Strategist, Brand Custodian, Gender and Animal Activist all rolled into one… one woman who is most certainly living her dream!

Perfection In Imperfections!
“I shy away from the mundane, there is an amazing sense of satisfaction when you create a work of art in what others would perceive otherwise as imperfection,” she smiles. And the same applies to my work. I like the not-oft-treaded path, the out-of-the-box approach!”

A single mother of two beautiful children, Anusha is a workaholic who believes Giving is Living. She is also mother to over 70 dogs and cats she has opened the doors of her home to, aptly naming it Pawsitive Farm Sanctuary. “When you love something and someone, you make time for both.”

Anusha Srinivasan Iyer: Queen Bee of Brand Strategy

Brilliant Brand Custodian

Indeed. For, Anusha, who has put in 29 years as a Journalist-Media Strategist and PR, Promotion and Publicity Head of companies like TV and Sahara India Pariwar, has today, as the Managing Director of the agency Naarad PR & Image Strategists – easily the Numero Uno in the entertainment and lifestyle media strategy space, has been the Media and Brand Custodian of many films, latest being Sanjay Raut, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Carnival Motion Pictures’ Thackeray; The Lunch Box, Monsoon Shootout & Shorts for Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga, Jism 2  for Pooja Bhatt, Jackpot for Sachiin Joshi, Vivah for Sooraj Barjatya, Righteous Kill, Outbound among many others.

Who’s he to Who’s Who
A behind-the-scenes specialist, Anusha is clear that her  job is to see to it that the client gets into the limelight, not her. “A true PR is one who moves a ‘Who’s He’ into the ‘Who’s Who’ list with his strategy,” she says simply.

Naarad boasts of a plethora of brands -- Lata Mangeshkar, Hridaynath Mangeshkar and family, Asha Bhosle, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Amaan Ali Bangash, Ustad Ayaan Ali Bangash, Bappi Lahiri, Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh, Sunny Leone with Jism 2, Amrita Rao, Manoj Bajpayee, T-Series, Mithun Chakraborty, Mahaakshay Chakraborty, Govinda, Yuvika Chaudhary, Richa Chadda, Jackie Shroff, Sachiin Joshi, Urvashi Sharma, Sagarika Ghatge, Riya Sen, Raima Sen, Sonal Sehgal, Shaleen Bhanot, Richa Sony, Aanjjan Srivastav, Govind Namdev, Payal Rohatgi, Sangram Singh, Ashmit Patel, Koena Mitra, Padmini Kolhapure, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Ashish Sharma; and in the humanitarian and philanthropic spheres, Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan Trust, Audiologist-Speech Therapist Devangi Dalal and JOSH Foundation, Dr. Aneel Kashi Murarka and Ample Missiion, Smita Thackeray and Mukkti Foundation, Asif Bhamla and Bhamla Foundation among many others.

Family Woman
The Naarad Family of talented and dedicated youngsters, their global associates, and her family is Anusha’s strength. “My sister, Nandini Viswanathan, who moved from Calcutta a decade ago to intern with me, is now the Director of Media Relations of Naarad PR and Image Strategists. She infuses fresh energy into the business and handles the media with a strong team. My son Siddhant Gill, who has studied photography at Symbiosis, is part of the amazing Naarad core team, while Vedant, who is studying scriptwriting at Whistling Woods International, is an avid reader-writer besides being an actor. Life is beautiful indeed!”

The Write Choice
Interestingly, Anusha has also penned shows like Parchaaiyan, episodes of Avinash IPS, besides assisting veterans like Raman Kumar and Brij Katyal with the writing of Mili, Sonpari, Siskiyaan and over 14 Indonesian shows and two feature films.

She also curates films for various film festivals globally, besides actively managing the careers of actors of the likes of Ranvir Shorey, Dino Morea and Gracy Singh.

Her directorial debut, Saare Sapne Apne Hain got a standing ovation, besides winning rave reviews at Entr’2 Marches - Cannes, and was also amongst the top ten films in the 600 world films that competed from across 60 countries, besides travelling to over 52 global festivals. Her subsequent film The Wait, a silent movie is over 16 awards old now and growing.

Next are Mehek, on a woman’s choice between motherhood and motherland; The Stranger In My Bedroom, and A Handful of Earth, all diametrically different genres stitched together by one word-- emotion.

Passionately Professional
Anusha is clear of her line between her professional and personal moves. The binding thread is the contagious energy and passion. “My success mantra is that I have always stuck to my scruples. At the end of the day, today’s gossip is old trash tomorrow, but good stories can be relived forever.”

No wonder, Anusha Srinivasan Iyer is christened the Queen Bee of scrupulous yet unconventional media strategy!

By Aatish Jaisinghani

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.