Malini Agarwal was working at Radio One as a Programming Director and also writing gossip columns for Mid Day when she met Nowshad in 2007. Nowshad Rizwanullah had moved to India in late 2005 and was working with Mahindra and Mahindra. Both of them met at a social gathering and within a few months started dating. After confessing his love for Malini, Nowshad went to a B-school abroad. The couple went on to make this long distance relationship work.
“During that time, I started blogging as a hobby apart from working for Channel V and doing my radio shows,” shares Malini. The column grew as people devoured undocumented gossips about glamour world, fashion world and Bollywood. When Nowshad came back in 2010, he started working as an investment banker. However, he regularly advised Malini on strategies and how to make the project financially viable. Eventually, about a year later, along with their co-founder Mike Melli, they started their venture MissMalini Entertainment. In 2011, Nowshad proposed her for marriage.
“We raised an investment of Rs 1 crore in angel round in 2012 and just after raising investment, we got married,” shares Nowshad. On how both of them think together on a particular subject, Nowshad says, “If it’s about management requirement then we have management meetings and we discuss it and we have a team of 33 people where we all sit and discuss if required.” On ironing out conflicts, Malini opines, “We tend to have different expertise and do healthy discussion and try to get it sorted and sometimes we agree to disagree as well. We also discuss with outsiders and have their perspective as well.”
The challenge was to build a start-up in this field. Talking about the role played by Nowshad, in turning the idea into reality, Malini says, “He always stood by me, he is the CEO and without him the company cannot run. He is a very confident man, who runs a company which is named after his wife.” The venture has gone beyond just a blog.
Currently, the website has four million monthly visitors. The company runs TV shows on three different channels; and has radio audience of Saavn. Going forward, the plans are to start video operations. “We are pitching Netflix and Amazon for shows and trying to integrate commerce and content,” shares Malini. Malini and Nowshad both are fond of travelling and are foodies at heart.