When it comes to lending support to a business idea, actor-producer Alia Bhatt on Wednesday said the “story” behind the brand is a motivating factor for her and not money.
The actor was in the capital to attend the launch of Prime Video’s Mission Start Ab, a business reality series in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India.
Alia, also the founder and sole investor of children’s clothing brand Ed-a-Mamma, said she will always be a storyteller first. She launched her production banner Eternal Sunshine Productions in 2021.
“It’s not about the money. Money does not attract me to any brand to invest in, support or create. It is the story, I’m a storyteller first. It’s always the story,” the 30-year-old said at the event here.
Alia said she plans to create “an Ed-a-Mamma universe”, which will include personal care, sustainable diapers, and sustainable toys, with storytelling at its centre.
“As a mum, one of my favourite things is when I read a book or sing a song to my daughter. My dream in the beginning may not have been to create an Ed-a-Mamma universe, but that’s my plan now… The universe where you feel connected to nature, the planet, and celebrate the child within you,” she added.
Talking about Mission Start Ab, the actor further said she hopes the stories from the series surprise and inspire her.
“I expect to be wowed, surprised, on the edge of my seat, being so proud of where our country is today. I am expecting to see honesty and a lot of vulnerability. I would like to see that because it’s not easy. At the end of the day, this is a competition. What I know is one will win but the other nine are not going to go unnoticed. You’ll have people sitting at home and watching the show, maybe resonating with them,” she said.
Mission Start Ab, a seven-episode series, will show promising entrepreneurs, focussed on scaling made-for-India innovations with the potential to impact socio-economic change, undertake a series of challenges in pursuit of scaling their business and securing funding for their ventures.
Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India; Sushant Sreeram, Country Director, Prime Video, India; Chetan Krishnaswamy; Vice President – Public Policy, Amazon India, and Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Prime Video also attended the event.
The actor said she was “bit by a bug” to create something amid the mushroom growth of social media applications in 2015-16.
“I also want to create an app. Little did I know you need a lot of money, a clear idea, and somebody to back that idea. When I sat to ideate about what I want to create, usually you’d consider an actor to do a fashion brand, clothes, the limited edition of something, which is fine in its place. But then I thought ‘Do you need another fashion label?’ Why would anybody come for any product just because my name is associated with it?” she said.
The actor said when she was expecting a child with actor-husband Ranbir Kapoor, she found a “gap” in the market which she attempted to fill by releasing maternity wear. Alia and Ranbir welcomed their daughter Raha in November 2022.
According to Alia, for a start-up to be successful a budding entrepreneur should “find a gap” in the market.
“Do not be afraid of failing but that’s easy to say when you’re not putting in your money. It takes time but that’s where (having a) mentor is sort of important, this is where the support system comes into play… Looking actually not where people have succeeded, sometimes (it’s about) looking where people have failed but there was something there. When Sreeram, who moderated the session with the actor, asked Alia how she strikes work-life balance considering she dons multiple hats, she said it is all about sorting out priorities.
“Everyone has a balance they need to maintain. Your family, work life, take care of the house, yourself, your health, everything. But we do it because such is life. You need to just keep moving… Sometimes I do not manage, but I know what my top priorities are. Now, my daughter is at the top of the mountain. Stop every now and then to give yourself a pat on the back,” she added.
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