[Photo Courtesy: Preeti Bedi & Jay Seth Photography]
Kanika Chadda Gupta is a true renaissance woman. She’s a journalist turned entrepreneur with a passion for telling stories. But these aren’t just any stories; these are the human interest stories of the Mumbai terror attacks, entertainment stories covering Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire,” and the fashion stories fresh from Lakme Fashion Week. No one day is the same for the businesswoman whether she’s reporting or running business meetings for Kronologie Agency—the company she launched.
So how did Gupta get her start?
“My foray into television was nothing short of serendipity, ” Gupta said. “After being crowned Miss India East Coast at a national pageant, I was given the opportunity to host my own show on Darshan TV, a local South Asian television network.”
It was at Darshan TV that she knew she had a knack for television production, which led Gupta to pursue her Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her degree—combined with her love for her culture—inspired Gupta to move to India where she began working for a CNN affiliate. She even became a host of “E tonight” and “Fashion Police” where she interviewed celebrities including Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, and Hrithik Roshan.
When Gupta was ready to return to the U.S., she moved to New York where she became an Executive Producer for Zee TV Americas.
“I produced original content for generation Y (e.g. “Doonya: The Bollywood Workout Series”). I went on to work as the Editor-in-Chief of SquareKey, an online fashion retailer coined as “India’s Net-a-Porter” that featured brands like BCBG, Nanette Lepore, and Cynthia Rowley,” Gupta said.
Last year she launched her company, Kronologie Agency, a digital marketing firm that aids business in establishing their unique online footprint and conveying their brand story through branding, web design, mobile apps, social media management, and video production.
“My unique selling point is my perspective,” the entrepreneur said. “I view each facet of my business through the lens of a journalist, and I am constantly probing and asking questions to formulate an objective view of the whole.”
Gupta hopes to eventually have satellite offices in North America and India. The former beauty queen plans to further expand into the lifestyle, hospitality, and corporate sectors as these companies heavily rely on their online presence to drive online and offline traffic.
“…What’s most important is that a company’s brand voice and messaging is consistent and cohesive throughout the creative process. My team and I have seen success in creating a niche for our clients in highly networked environments,” Gupta said.
When she’s away from the office, Gupta is involved in a multitude of activities, whether it’s speaking engagements on media and digital marketing or leading discussions at the Asian Women in Business, Advertising Women of New York, and National Association of Personal Finance Advisors. She serves as President of a New York chapter of Business Networking International, an organization that garnered $9.2 billion in revenue for its members in 2015.
When she’s not working, the CEO said she enjoys performing with the Sa Dance Company.
“The Sa Dance Company has been lauded for its unique song choices and the amalgamation of dancers who have trained in various disciplines like Kuchipudi, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Bollywood, and folk,” she said. “We’ve performed to the instrumental score of Devdas and Sridevi’s classic “Megha Re Megha,” which became instant crowd pleasers. Our works are a true celebration of our culture.”
Celebrating culture is something Gupta takes very seriously and is proud of, “I have been acknowledged as a cultural ambassador because I straddled key positions in India and the U.S. I have seen success as a television personality and an entrepreneur, and I am honored to represent my community through my work.”
Gupta’s parents are also very proud and supportive of her daughter’s endeavors.
“I am fortunate that my parents have been extremely supportive of my career path. At age 18, I moved to Boston University for college and have been living on my own ever since in Miami, Bombay, and New York,” she said. “I enjoyed immersing myself in new surroundings where I was forced to live outside my comfort zone, make new friends, and experience the local culture. A lot of my family members and friends told me they enjoyed living vicariously through me. To this day, my parents get phone calls from their friends who say, ‘We saw Kanika on TV today!’ or follow my videos on YouTube; they get a kick out of it.”
If you’re looking to start your own business or are in the midst of a crossroads in your career, Gupta said she lives by these two mantras.
First: “Love. Laugh. Learn.” Love deeply, laugh for no reason and learn something new every day. Rinse, repeat!”
And second: “This too shall pass.” We all have ups and downs in life, and the impermanence of our experiences compels us to keep moving forward and appreciate what we have,” she said.
If you’re interested in learning more about her company or the renaissance woman herself, click here. Or, check out her YouTube channel, The Kanika Show, in which she conducts interviews with tastemakers from various industries and provides her own tips for entrepreneurship and lifestyle, with a touch of comedy.