By Faz Zia
Karishma Kotak is no stranger to the media, she has graced the covers and featured in such magazines as OK!, Hello, Elle, FHM (hottest presenter of the year), Maxim, Femina, Stuff, Beauty and style, Asiana, Kush wedding to name a few, as well as countless press clips and news paper articles about her.
Her journey as a presenter has seen her on the field and studios, presenting live and all over the world for the likes of such cricketing leagues as the Indian Premier League, Karnatika Premier League, Asian Premier League, T20 league and T10 league. As well as cricket, her skill set has brought her to the forefront of other sporting events such as the Super boxing league (created by Aamir Khan), and the polo league.
A household name from the moment she stepped into India, Karishma obtained the coveted role as a Kingfisher calendar model, beating the top models in the country and placing her at the doorsteps of Bollywood, ready to dive into an array of prestigious film projects.
Her film work has seen her working across several regional languages with the likes of Nawazudin Sadiki, Amy Jackson, Chiranjivi, Karan Singh Grover, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Gippy Gerwal, Sanjay Kapoor.
Her advertorial work has seen her working with the biggest movie stars in Bollywood such as Salman Khan, Abhishek Bacchan, across 75 television commercials with products ranging from, Dove, Nivea, Ponds, Sunsilk, Tanishq, Lakme amongst many others.
Perhaps, the feather in her proverbial cap of entertainment, Karishma has always had a special romance with the field of television, where she has presented countless lifestyle and sporting tv shows and hosted the countries most prestigious award shows such as the International Indian Film Awards (two years in a row).
Her TV shows range from the highest rated TV show on Indian television, Bigg Boss 6, hosted by Salman Khan. Karishma featured as a celebrity contestant on Bigg Boss 6, where she won the heart of the nation and survived for 11 weeks, making her one of the top 6 in the finale. Karishma was hailed as India’s sweetheart and garnered a great deal of appreciation for her sweet natured temperament and resilience.
In addition to Bigg Boss 6, Karishma anchored comedy show Mazaak mazaak mein with Harbajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar for star India, spa diaries and numerous music videos with International stars such as Jay Sean, Appacchi Indian, Badshah and Gippy.
I had a great time to interview her.
Q: Leaving UK to work in India how hard the decision was and tell us about the struggle and challenges you faced.
KK: I graduated from university I studied marketing and advertising and I was always modelling in London part time for many magazines, doing lots of fashion shows. My father is from Mumbai and mum is from East Africa and we always visited Mumbai with my parents and brother and I was in boarding school in India so I am very comfortable living in Mumbai but yes it was a tough decision to move to India for work as I didn’t know any agency to apply for work and I wanted to take a year out and be there.
I was very lucky to find an agency and my first work was Kingfisher calendar shoot with Deepika and other girls and after I did many fashion shows, brands shoot , etc
Q: Work as a model, host and acting in films and TV. Where you can see yourself in a long term?
KK: Definitely I love as TV presenter I did cricket anchoring such as T20 and show as a Spa dairy travel all over India, I do lots of live and cooperate events I like hosting and now I did movie with Sanjay KAPOOR and Karan Singh Grover so I like doing everything.
Q:Tell us about your experience in Big Boss.
KK: Big Boss was a very difficult
experience I don’t recommend it but I guess it teaches you a lot is like a house arrest no sense of time, people think is a rig but it is not scripted and rigg, is a difficult experience but I think is very fruitful for me, I am not watching the show in London but I definitely watch the Indian one that Whats happening in the show.
Q: You worked in a Travel show which city you like the most and why?
KK: I love London I love Mumbai and I like Barcelona, Greece I think world is so beautiful and lot of my earnings go on travelling eating and drinking I am blessed that I have the opportunity to see the world, I went to Switzerland to host the T20 and that was also spectacular.
Q: As a sports presenter how you prepare yourself ? Do you like sports or you study just for the game.
KK: Basically by watching the games and you can depend on your producers and directors and also if you have a inside on the game and pay attention is the best thing , it is such an amazing sport in T20 you never know what happens at last minute so preparing myself is watching the game and you are aware what’s going on and I think anything live watching in a stadium with thousands of people is amazing. I did T20, IPL in Abu Dhabi , Mumbai T20 League and I think anything can happen at the last minute that is the beauty.
Q: Your take on MeToo movement.
KK: Unfortunately this is something that’s happening in lots of industry and I think people need to be heard I hate when people turn around and say why you didn’t reported earlier, lot of things take time and courage too , those who are coming out and telling their stories support rather then pin pointing them it is about time this MeToo movement and I think anyone use their beauty and sexuality get work and I think anybody should take advantage and have a power trip is disgusting, it does exist in every industry so if anyone coming out with their stories we should be kind enough to listen .
Q: What can you advise to girls who wanted to join the media and fashion industry?
KK: It is a beautiful industry is so much happening with Netflix, Amazon and movies there are many platforms to work just join a good agency and people to work , work hard go to acting classes learn the art , don’t think if you pretty face you will last knowledge last longer Q: Tell us about your future projects.
KK: I am doing movie with Nil Nitin Mukesh and Karan Sing Grover releasing soon and movie with Sanjay KAPOOR and many sport presenting