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This social media influencer started a podcast amid the lockdown to offer both inspirational and creative content

Mumbai-based Meenakshi Kuwadekar is a luxury and lifestyle connoisseur and travel enthusiast, who leveraged her social media following to become an influencer and popular podcaster.

This social media influencer started a podcast amid the lockdown to offer both inspirational and creative content

Thursday December 02, 2021,

6 min Read

In this age of influencer marketing, many people look towards influencers who have a prominent presence on social and digital media. Thus, the role of a digital content creator comes with responsibility.


Mumbai-based Meenakshi Kuwadekar – a luxury and lifestyle connoisseur, podcaster, and travel enthusiast – certainly takes this role very seriously. On her popular podcast M-Power, she has interviewed celebrities like Edward Lalrempuia, Pooja Dhingra, Rocky S, Aishwarya Nair, Zorawar Kalra, and Monisha Jaisingh among a host of others.


“My podcast is a platform that showcases many of my interests, passions, charitable causes and experiences in a creative, content-driven and authentic manner. I believe the podcast is a platform for bold views and unfiltered thoughts, where I bring guests from all walks of life to discuss subjects as varied as fashion, family, friends, food, travel, entrepreneurship, and design. The stories we have documented are all personal experiences of people who have courageously started something they are passionate about and in the process, empowered themselves and those around them,” says Meenakshi in a chat with YSWeekender.

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

The idea

Meenakshi specialised in communications in Art History and Journalism from Richmond American International University in London. Having started her career at Time Warner’s Time and Fortune Magazine in London, she knows how to create engaging content. With NKA Architecture Group in Mumbai being her family business, she also knows architecture and design.

“I am a lover of all things fun, fashionable and fabulous. I started documenting my love for travel, luxury, fine dining and fashion on my social media channels, and soon, the organic nature of my content and storytelling took a more professional turn when brands and entrepreneurs started reaching out to me to be part of their narrative,” she explains.

Aware of the immense potential of social media, Meenakshi learnt to leverage the strength of her own social media pages to get her message across to a wider audience. Her key focus areas include fashion, lifestyle, beauty, travel, food, art, hospitality, and parenting. She works with several brands to create unique campaigns with strong visuals and compelling content, enabling her to narrate the brand’s vision accurately. 


However, it was her podcast that really put her on the map. She says, “My podcast adds a layer of personalisation, authenticity, and creativity to every partnership that I work on. Through this medium, I find audiences can organically discover ideas and unique content.”


She has interviewed personalities like Rosemin Madhavji, Accessorize London, Aligne, Lavie, Wacoal, D-Decor Export, Havaianas, Times Avenue, Khanna Jewellers, Karyna Bajaj and Suraj Popley of Popley Eternal Jewels, and Kresha Bajaj.

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

The growth story

 Meenakshi says that the lockdown was the catalyst for her to start her podcast, explaining,


“When the pandemic hit and life came to a halt, it made me take stock of all the things we took for granted – meeting friends and family, travel, eating out and living the way we did. It was moments of isolation, lockdown, and introspection that made me want to find a platform to share my experiences and learnings. While staying at home, binge-watching shows, cooking, and spending quality time with my husband and son were all a plus side of the lockdown, I felt a deep desire to do something I love, something that would inspire me and others more.”

“The change in life made me want to start my own podcast, which came to be called M-Power. Looking back now, I know that a lot of good has come out of this. It hasn’t been easy – and by no means has it been a one-person job. It’s teamwork and perseverance that has seen me through to this point, and now the only way is forward,” she adds.

According to PWC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2020 report, India is the third-largest consumer of podcasts after the US and China, with 57.6 million monthly listeners, and is expected to be valued at Rs 17.62 crore by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 34.5 percent. Hence, Meenakshi’s entry into this domain came at the right time.


She describes the M-Power podcast as a platform that features inspirational personalities from across the globe. These range from established powerhouses to emerging influencers, with the only thing in common being their innovative thinking, big dreams, and the steps they have taken to achieve them. 


When asked about her competitors, she explains that each podcast is unique and creative by definition, as it focuses on the podcaster’s own personality and vision. However, she names other visionary podcasts which have inspired her. “Vision-Nari, Real Talk with Smriti Notani, Kali Presents: My Indian Life, and The Michelle Obama Podcast are all great podcasts and I love what their hosts offer to audiences,” she says.

 

Meenakshi’s favourite part of her career is meeting inspiring people who share their entrepreneurial journey. She also loves the packed social calendars that come with the job – where she could be recording a podcast episode with an artist in the morning, at a brand launch in the afternoon, and at a snazzy restaurant in the evening. “It’s exciting and it’s everything I love doing!” she beams.

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

Meenakshi Kuwadekar

Challenges

However, as with any job profile, Meenakshi also faced challenges. Initially, she struggled with the technical aspects as it was tough to keep up with fast-changing trends in the social media space. She overcame this by investing in the right tools, tactics, and team.


Further, since podcasting in India is still at a nascent stage, many people are unaware of the logistics. She explains, “You won’t believe the number of people who come to me and say, ‘Oh Meenakshi, I loved watching your podcast on Instagram.’ I have to keep telling them that you have to tune into the podcast platforms to listen to it, what they’re ‘watching’ is only a promotion! It will take a while for podcasts to fully take off in India, but I’m happy to be in this space now and be part of its evolution.”


In 2021, the content creation space is saturated with a surfeit of talent, which makes it necessary for one to find their niche to shine. Meenakshi believes she found hers by being a genuine consumer of the things that she showcases.

“I didn’t start out as an influencer or brand consultant – I started out as Meenakshi Kuwadekar – a person who is outgoing, friendly and loves to live life to its fullest. But with the onset of social media and brand collaborations, I began structuring my content in a considered manner, making it into a profession,” she adds.

Edited by Kanishk Singh