Ace-publicist Rohini Iyer has a unique “weapon” for netting the who’s who of Bollywood as clients

This chapter of her life began on one particular afternoon in 2003, when she and her friend Rahila Mirza met with Farah Khan. The famed dance choreographer was exploring a new phase in her film career as she sought to don the director’s hat; and was on the lookout for someone she could trust for the marketing and publicity of her directorial debut, Main Hoon Na.

The meeting went as planned till she asked them one crucial question, “So, what’s the name of your company?” “We told her that we don’t have a company and she said, “Then get one,” reminisces Iyer.

Iyer had previously managed marketing and branding of several entertainment projects during her stint at entertainment channels, MTV and Channel V. She had also worked with G Magazine and Stardust.

She named the company Raindrop, after the award-winning song by BJ Thomas. With around Rs.5 lakh from their savings and a little more borrowed from friends, they registered the company in 2004.

Farah Khan wasn’t the only one who had a dream debut with Main Hoon Na. Iyer made a rather illustrious entry into Bollywood, garnering an impressive portfolio to attract future clients. Soon after the release of the film, Iyer and Mirza were flooded with calls from all quarters. The first one came from ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam, followed by another from veteran actress, Revathi, for her directorial venture Phir Milenge, succeeded by another from the late artist, MF Husain.

Right from the time her accountant and friends advised against setting up a company because she was a woman and might not be able to handle the operations to the time when her partner quit, she has kept her head down and tried to be the best she can be at her job. So, how does Iyer manage to keep herself calm given the temperamental stars and their unexpected crises? “I actually get a rush out of it. If there is no crisis, then I will simply sleep. I can’t imagine a day when there is nothing to do,” she says.

With success also comes negativity. Some of it, Iyer says, stems from the fact that as a publicist she holds up a mirror to her client before suggesting ways to alter any shortcomings, something that most do not like. The woman who takes pride in being the Olivia Pope of the Hindi film industry is now looking at foreign frontiers with an office coming up in New York and Los Angeles in the next six months.  

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