How I Got Here: Aishwarya Ajit
Tell us how you got into TV presenting
I started my media career at the age of 19, when I moved to India for university. I did a bit of modelling on the side to make some extra cash and later, tried my luck in the South Indian movie industry. But I discontinued when I realised dancing and singing was not my area of expertise.
When did you realise that television was a career that you enjoyed?
I was offered my first television gig in 2007 to co-host a dance reality show on a leading South Indian channel. That’s when I realised how much I enjoyed television and connecting with the audience. I moved back to Dubai at the end of 2008 and a few months later, my friend saw an ad on Dubai One TV saying they were looking for presenters. I auditioned in early 2009 but I didn’t get selected.
How did your luck change?
I got a call back in mid-2010 to audition for the youth show Twenty Something and this time I got selected. I have been with the network ever since and that’s how I decided to take up television as a full-time career.
You are co-host of the lifestyle show Studio One, famed for its mix of food, fashion and lifestyle features. Do you have a favourite subject matter that you love?
There are several perks to my job. The cooking segment on Studio One is extremely popular amongst our viewers and every night, my co-host and I get to eat amazingly delicious food prepared by top chefs from around the world including celebrity and Michelin star chefs. That is my dinner every night. I have also had the opportunity to meet a lot of celebrities and other inspiring people.
Fashion is also a big part of the programme...
That is definately my favourite segment – known as our Fashion Thursdays, which I produce. We have had some really talented regional and international designers come on the show, dress up our models and give us style tips. It’s really an exciting part of the job for me.
How do you cope with the pressure to always look TV ready?
Doing a daily live show on TV and a weekly show online means I have to look like a doll most of the time. It takes a toll on your skin and hair when you get your make-up and hair styled every single day, but that is just part and parcel of being in the media industry. I can’t complain too much because I also get to wear big brands and have designers dress me all the time, which is a bonus, so life is good.
Any beauty tips and products that you can’t live without?
I love everything to do with beauty and make-up and, if I wasn’t a TV presenter, I would be a make-up artist. My favourite and staple beauty product is my concealer – I can’t live without that because I have raccoon-like dark circles. I also love doing eye make-up, for which I always get compliments. I love my eyeliner and mascara to death.
You are also the celebrity gossip host for Yahoo Maktoob’s new TV series OMG Now. How are you enjoying that?
This is the latest feather in my cap. I auditioned for it two months ago and I am really excited to be a part of the Yahoo Maktoob team. Besides presenting, I am also the scriptwriter for the English version of the show. I am very new to scriptwriting.
Do you have a casual look or, for you, is it all about glamour everyday?
I sport a casual look during the day or when I am going out for movies or dinners with friends. I like to switch to glamour mode for a nights out and parties, but I make sure both variations are chic and stylish!
What advice would you give to women wanting to break into the TV industry?
TV is not something I was taught in school or university. It is a passion that I discovered just before I turned 20. I learned more about it after I entered it and through experience on the job.
LESSONS I HAVE LEARNT
1. Take the plunge and chase your dreams, that’s what’s worked for me
2. I don’t have a mentor but I am a huge fan of Ellen DeGeneres. She is the best TV personality alive!
3. TV is a tough industry to survive in because you are held accountable for your words