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MissMalini Entertainment recently launched its first studio web series called The Girl Tribe on its YouTube and Facebook pages. The web series showcases insightful conversations with personalities from diverse backgrounds and is an extension of the Facebook community, ‘Malini’s Girl Tribe’ created by Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Malini Agarwal. Some of the people featured on the show include former editor-in-chief for Buzzfeed, Rega Jha, actress and comedian Mallika Dua and Anjali Lama, the first transgender model to walk at Lakme Fashion Week. Agarwal tells us about the inspiration behind The Girl Tribe, and explains how the recent funding from Orios Venture Partners and NEA will drive MissMalini’s leadership position with a focus on community building.

Q] Tell us a bit about the concept of The Girl Tribe. What was the insight behind it?
It started as a small Facebook post, really. I thought I’d invite a few hundred of my girlfriends, and then slowly I began to invite more. The conversations on the Girl Tribe have shown me that women are just really looking for a safe space to talk, connect, share, be inspired and support each other. In six weeks, there were about 5,000 and then a few weeks down the line, there were 13,000 women in the community. We are in an age where social media fatigue has set in, where we’re focusing on how many likes or followers we have. With this platform, we have finally created a space where none of that matters now. What matters is what you say and how you say it.

Q] What kind of response have you seen from followers towards the new web series so far?
When we saw the kind of response on Facebook to The Girl Tribe community, I realised that we should do a show around it as well. That way we could rope more people into the conversations we were having. So every week, I have had amazing conversations with women like the activist Trisha Shetty (of SheSays) and Bollywood actors Sonali Bendre and Dia Mirza. The response to the web series so far has been really good. We get about half a million views for our videos.

Q] Are we going to see any brand integrations for The Girl Tribe?
In terms of brand integration, I want to make sure that whatever we do has to be in a way that gives back to the community. For example, we would be happy to look at working with a medical brand that could provide free medical check-ups for the women in the tribe. Something like that will offer real value to them. The Girl Tribe is such an honest, real space and I would never want to abuse that.

Q] With the new round of funding, what is your vision for MissMalini now?
We raised this round to expand our capabilities in video production, influencer marketing, and community building. Our vision remains the same, which is to empower, inspire, and entertain young Indians. Beyond the showbiz and fashion content that people know us for, we will be creating much more content and building larger communities around topics of equality, environment, women’s empowerment, youth activism, mental health, love, relationships, and more. This will all be done with a focus on Hindi and vernacular audiences, where there is a huge gap of meaningful, quality content.

Q] What is next from MissMalini?
The one big focus area for us is to create more vernacular content. We need to reach out to a whole lot of women and create a larger, stronger community. We are also looking at taking The Girl Tribe to an OTT platform or on television so we can reach a bigger audience. I have another book coming up next year, so yes, there is a lot coming up from MissMalini.

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