Entrepreneur Anjula Acharia Turns Passion Into Profit
Education and Careers With a rare eye for passion and a dedication to positivity, the celebrity manager and start-up guru has made it her mission to foster great talent and help women succeed.
Anjula Acharia is not only a tech guru who co-founded the multimedia platform DesiHits, she's also the manager of "Quantico" star Priyanka Chopra and has helped introduce stars like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to India. "It's always been a passion of mine to champion people and causes I believe in," she says. "But I think I really got deliberate about supporting female entrepreneurs soon after I co-founded DesiHits and Payal Kadakia, founder of ClassPass, was referred to me. The word got out, and other amazing women started to approach me."
An eye for passion
Acharia has worked with many remarkable women, so how does she pick them? "Whether it's pop stars or tech stars, I like to find the magic in someone and help cultivate it. For example, Payal Kadakia was one of America's most talented Indian dancers, and she cares about people living their dreams and staying fit and healthy, so she built a start-up to allow people to do just that. I knew she would succeed, because her passion and drive was so evident to me."
A global goal
She also had a global vision for Priyanka Chopra when she was one of India's biggest movie stars. "I can’t take all the credit, because Jimmy Iovine, who was also one of my mentors and investors, was my partner on signing Priyanka," she says. "But she and I both bonded immediately on wanting to change the face of global pop culture for people that looked like us. We were both bullied at school for being different. I wanted to have a South Asian in western pop culture that represented me, not a stereotype. Priyanka is so truly a bad ass that I think she represents women regardless of their ethnic heritage, as just go-getters and hustlers."
A positive outlook
She does have advice for how other female dreamers can overcome obstacles, too. "I encourage them to ignore the obstacles and ignore the rhetoric. Worrying doesn't help you, and I speak from experience. I have raised a lot of money for myself and my entrepreneurs, and I stick to my goal and mission and do not deviate from it. I stay positive, network, evangelize and try to inspire people rather than sell to them."