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Not Just Cocktail Conversation

Bangalorean Namu Kini launches a new talk show with a difference. The show is online. The audience pays to watch the show live, over cocktails and supper.

Namu Kini, who is the founder of Kynkyny Art Gallery in Bangalore, has just started something she hopes will resonate with Bangalorean women. Called ‘Conversations with Namu Kini,’ it’s a concept that’s similar to an Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres talk show where well-known people are invited to share their innermost secrets with a live audience.

“I want to invite high-achievers, innovators, risk-takers and trailblazers,” women who seem to have it all – career, family, health, happiness, and money, says Kini.

Set in the plush environs of the Taj Westend, once a month, Kini will conduct a show which will cost the audience Rs 2000 and that includes entry, dinner, a glass of white wine and the chance to ask the guest speakers a question or two.

The show will be taped, edited and aired exclusively online.

Her objective, besides the obvious commercial one, is to provide a platform for urban Bangalorean women to meet and interact in an open way and then put it out on the internet for the world to see. “To reach out, share and learn, to mentor and to be mentored in return,” explains Kini.

This is her plan anyway. Her first show is yet to air, and at the time of this writing, Kini is excited and ready for the debut. One imagines she is nervous too.

The first show will be uploaded online sometime next month, at www.namukini.com.

First off, what’s the peg? Who does this show cater to, and how?
Essentially, once a month, around 80 women and I will get together to swap notes and perspectives on life, love, work and everything in between. It’s a show for the urban Indian women – the English-speaking Indian woman with a high ambition quotient.

This is a talk show of a different kind. It doesn’t follow a question-answer format. The informal setting allows for freewheeling conversation that goes right to the heart of issues, while leaving sufficient room for humour, laughter and funny anecdotes.

The audience can pick and choose to take away from the show whatever they relate to the most. We’re not preaching to anyone here.

And this show was inspired by?
During my time with Kynkyny, I had the chance to interact with a lot of people. Conversations with people from widely differing worlds and industries helped me grow as a person. I thought it would be interesting to start a platform where we could speak to some, “high achieving” women and learn through their journey.

Challenges in hosting such a talk show?
Scheduling three very busy people every month to be featured on the show, for a start. And also, raising funds and finding sponsorship.

This isn’t a panel discussion, so we try to get a cross section of people from different walks of life to come on to the show and share their valuable inputs. While the focus is on the achievements of the guests, we go beyond that: tough days at the office, hard-hitting choices, provocative issues, personal battles, parenting challenges and bad hair days – nothing is taboo or off the table. The guest speakers lead by example, inviting members of the audience to peek into their lives and find solutions, ideas, and resources to transform themselves.

What, according to you, will be the audience’s biggest take-away from the show?
The show will leave the women in the audience with one compelling question: “If they could do it, why can’t I?”

Who are your role models?
Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Having interacted with her personally, I find her very down to earth, and relatable. Naina Krishna Murthy, who is founder and managing partner at K Law. She has personally mapped the blueprint for her personal and professional life, and continues to make sure that both facets of her life are enriching and fulfilled.

And finally, do you think women can have it all?
I think so. It depends on what you want. Depends on how reasonable your timelines and goals are.

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