Excerpts from an interview.
From being Santoshi’s college friend to now, her business manager… tell us how has the journey been like?
It’s been a great experience. Everything that I’m doing right now has been totally unexpected. Five years back I wouldn’t have imagined this at all. It’s almost every person’s dream to work with their best friend, and it’s turned out very well for me. Both of us always had an inclination for this, and that’s also why we don’t feel like we are ‘working’. That said, trust me it’s not all play. There’s a lot of effort that goes behind it, but it’s fun on most days. No complaints whatsoever.
How did you land this job?
Then in the last year of our college, she hesitantly asked me if I would like to convert this into a proper job. She was hesitant because we did invest a lot of time and money studying architecture (in college). So I understand it must have been difficult for her to even ask this question. But I thought I should give it a try, and that’s when I got on board for a month… only to see how it goes. Santoshi herself had learnt through her experiences, and whatever I would be doing next would be an extension of her work. In 2016, I got on board officially, and it will be two years this March!
Blogging is a growing profession in India but it’s still pretty unconventional. This also stands true for a blogger’s manager. What do you think is the scope of this profession in India?
Managing a blogger is surely a career option one can consider. Being in the vicinity of a blogger and understanding the way the work is done is great for those who are inclined to fashion or interested in pursuing a career in the field. Even the kind of exposure you get is great to have in the long run. You end up learning a lot. Everything I have learnt is through experience, so it is definitely something worth taking up. I feel any job, in which you get to learn and grow is a good opportunity.
Do you recommend being a blogger’s manager as a full-time career option?
Yes. If you’re looking at a career in marketing, management and PR, it is an option.
Given you are a qualified architect, do you also pursue that as an alternative career choice?
Both Santoshi and I are qualified architects, and we truly enjoyed studying architecture. Back in college, not once did we feel that we shouldn’t complete graduation. Tomorrow if I decide to switch fields, I have architecture as a backup. Yes, I’ll be less experienced than my friends… but you’ve got to give up something to gain something. Architecture is something we will never really give up on. Design school has given us a lot of perspectives… we learnt a lot about composition. Also, in any creative field, design is connected. When we’re styling outfits or even working on our blog, it helps that we studied design.
The industry is huge now with upcoming talent kick-starting a blog every other second. How do you manage to maintain the top position in the Indian blogging sphere?
When it comes to content management, we try to stay true to our style. Since Santoshi blogs about her personal style, we never take up something that doesn’t go with her personality or something that doesn’t seem genuine. We try to stay consistent and that is what’s worked for us. We also try to come up with new things. For instance, she started with fashion and then went on to beauty and now travel is a major part of the blog. Santoshi loves travelling and people love to view the content she puts up while she’s travelling. She tries to bring a range when it comes to her content creation, and that connects well with her followers. Give importance to the context. You can focus on that and try to improve.
Are there any pressures of being a blogger’s manager? If so, how do you cope up with it?
There are times when deadlines and schedules can get hectic. But that’s with every job and not really specific to blogging. Social media doesn’t stop at all, so even when you’re on a holiday, you’re not really on a holiday. You’ve always got to be on the go but it never really gets to me because I genuinely enjoy it, so I never feel tired of the work. I don’t think the pressure has got to me yet, but even if it does, it gets to both of us and we just help each other out. There are times when I make mistakes but having my best friend as my boss helps. It comes with its cons as I never want to make any mistakes that will affect her in any way. But I’m happy she’s always there to back me up at any point. Everything is discussed and mutually decided.
Tell us what are the perks of your profession?
You get to travel. You also get to attend many events and then I get to raid her wardrobe. I can steal the goodies that she gets (smiles). On a serious note, the exposure is tremendous and managing brands is a learning experience.
What is the one thing about your job that no one expects?
The people who work in marketing and PR will obviously know what goes on behind the scenes. But for someone who is a follower or just a viewer, they don’t really know the details. It looks all glamorous but there is a lot of effort that goes behind this. From taking care of legal matters like sending a proposal draft or conceptual draft, scheduling shoots or getting things approved… it’s not all rosy. Accounting and managing collaborations is also a huge part of being a blogger’s manager.
We know that Santoshi’s style is a mix of edgy and sporty. What’s your personal style like?
I think my personal style is relaxed. I’m not the dressy person and even for parties, I’ll usually dress down and wear something casual. I also love ethnic. I like wearing linens and cotton. At most times a white tee and a blue denim is my go-to outfit… and so is Santoshi’s, which is why you will see us twinning on many days.
As a viewer, we only get to see the glamourous side of the blogger. What is Santoshi like IRL?
The best part about her is that she’s very transparent. She’s full of energy. She’s the kind of person who would make you sick in the morning because of the excessive amount of energy she has in her. There are days when she will just wake up in the morning and start telling me to wake up as well. She’s really positive. I guess the one thing that people don’t know is that she’s not really a party person. She kills every party she attends but given a choice, she would rather go to a house party than a club.
How Riya Raut Became The Business Manager Of Her BFF & Influencer Santoshi Shetty