Film producer Krishika Lulla reveals to Asmita Aggarwal how she has never given up through a lonely journey fraught with testing times.
She sits sharply dressed in Donatella Versace, a side slit, fitted, pencil skirt and a white ruffled top and tells you with a straight face, “Being a woman producer in Bollywood is no easy feat.” Growing up in Bangalore, Krishika – wife of Sunil Lulla of Eros International – never knew that she would be a star maker one day. “When I was growing up, I observed my dad financing Tamil and Kannada movies. Sunil Dutt sahib and superstar Rajinikanth sir used to visit us regularly. I was always interested in movies, they were an integral part of our culture and dinner table conversation, so I knew I would do something in films,” says Lulla.
But it hasn’t been that easy for Krishika, who admits it is a struggle to keep her head over water in a world dominated by men, and coming even this far has been an uphill task. “If you see the statistics, and compare data you will see that men are still ruling corporate boardrooms. Women are getting there slowly and surely, but the percentage is not equal, in fact it is skewed. “Very few women have become directors or CEOs. Men have an easier with male actors. They can strike friendships without worrying about rumours. So, I would agree that being one of the few women producers has been arduous, but I am not one to give up, I am just trying to work and create a place for myself,” she smiles.
Being at the top of the ladder and making decisions that could make or break careers, keeps Krishika on her toes and when it comes to launching new talent or giving an opportunity to greenhorns, Krishika has never been one to be afraid of the challenges. “There is a lot of pressure on me to be successful, to steer the company in the right direction, make winning films. But I feel it all depends on the script. And we chose actors based on the audience’s reaction; Dhanush, for example, I felt fit the part of a common man, we needed somebody not stereotypical. He was already a star down south and was a hit with Kolaveri Di, so people knew about him. Plus, he is a brilliant actor, so when we cast him in Ranjhanaa, we noticed people loved his relatable looks, so the risk paid off,” she smiles.
Ready with her next film, the jet-setting Krishika, will be busy promoting their other projects while her husband is busy with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela and Rambo Rajkumar. “I have learnt some very important lessons being a solo flyer; never give up your dreams no matter what you face in corporate world. Have lots and lots of patience, it is the only thing that will prove you were right. Go slow, never be in a hurry to succeed as this is not a race to be won,” she smiles.
Krishika’s Fav Couturiers:
“I am a mix and match queen, I do not like to wear sets, but like to pair different designers creating something completely clashing and offbeat,” shares Krishika who lists out her favourite designers.
Versace: I was a great fan of Gianni Versace, he was an artist who understood the beauty of glamour and taking the road less travelled. After him, his sister Donatella, who took over the business, added her raw and powerful energy into the label, making it marvelous! I like the way she makes you feel like a woman, in edgy, over-the-top styles.
Roberto Cavalli: I like his animal prints and the way he injects sensuality to his garments. Italians really know what a woman likes.
Turkish designers: Few know that Turkey has some fabulous designers who are original and give you something that is unique. Even though they are as expensive as the Italians I prefer shopping in Turkey, like I recently did when I took a 15-day break to rejuvenate.