Meghna Mirgnani, is the video head at MissMalini, the entertainment company of the popular celebrity blogger Malini Agarwal.
If your dream is to someday sit in the director’s chair and say ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’, you need to be prepared to juggle many roles.
You need to know lights, camera, editing, managing people, handling logistics, and a lot more. But fret not, it is possible and Meghna Mirgnani, Video Head-Operations/Director at MissMalini did it with a Psychology degree.
At 33, Meghna handles a 12-member team at Miss Malini. She produces video content for their online channel and works with several brands on their videos. Shooting, editing, direction, production-she handles it all.
Not doctor? Okay, do psychology at least.
Meghna says that her parents were the ‘typical 3 Idiots parents’.
“They wanted me to become a doctor but I was not interested. So I convinced them to let me study Psychology because I liked reading people and I found the subject interesting,” Meghna told us.
But when she finally graduated, she was not so sure about Psychology anymore. Instead, she wanted to learn Photography, something her grandfather had introduced her to when she was a child.
“It was difficult for me to stand up to my parents and say that I wanted to study Photography and not become a psychologist. Today when I ask my mom about it, she says they had no choice. I told them if they didn’t let me go, I would sit at home!” she said, laughing.
Meghna took up a short-term course in photography and the day she got the certificate in her hands, she called up all the photographers she admired to see if she could assist them.
She got lucky. The well-known Black & White photographer Rafique Sayed responded and that is how Meghna got her foot in the door!
“I worked with Rafique for three years and he became my mentor and my friend. I learned a lot about photography but more than that, it opened my mind. I had always lived with my family so their views were my views. Working with Rafique changed that and I saw the world in a new light,” Meghna said.
But as an outsider with no contacts in the industry, it was a challenge for Meghna to breakthrough. She had a setback when she went for a job interview and at the door, it was hinted that she would have to make a ‘compromise’. She was only about 23 and she was devastated by the experience.
Meghna decided to take a step back and that was when the opportunity to take part in Roadies turned up.
Yes, you read that right. Meghna was a finalist in Roadies Season 7!
For Meghna, Roadies was a calculated decision. She wanted to become a producer and work with MTV productions so being a contestant would give her chance to get in and see everything that goes on behind the scenes.
“I also wanted to test myself. You have to perform so many tasks and surprises are always being thrown at you. I wanted to know how I would react in such situations,” Meghna said.
And for those who have had their doubts, the show is not scripted. Meghna has been asked this so many times, she just wanted to set the record straight!
“Roadies was really difficult to survive. You couldn’t show your emotions openly so I would often cry in the bathroom. It was crazy! But the experience made me much stronger and I came out as a different person,” Meghna said.
Every job is a stepping stone which takes you where you want to be
At the end of Roadies, Meghna again wasn’t able to get her break in the media industry. But she rolled up her sleeves and took on the role of sales and marketing at a friend’s new event management company.
“I didn’t want to at first but that job actually taught me the skills I needed later for production. It taught me how to talk to people and convince them. I learnt to deal with vendors and also about event production, “ Meghna said.
Her focus was always on doing her best at whatever job she had and learning that craft to perfection.
“We fear failure so much that we forget to enjoy the journey. I wasn’t afraid and my goal was always to do really well at my current job because I knew that my work there would lead me to the next one. Every job is a stepping stone and people forget that,” she said.
That line really did it for us. It was an eye-opening epiphany. It might just go up as a poster on our wall!
Meghna’s advice: Invest in your relationship with the people you work with. And if you know what you want to do in your life, don’t wait. Start as early as you can.