(September 30, 2021) Priyanka Chopra Jonas continues to set new benchmarks when it comes to outdoing herself. The 39-year-old multi-hyphenate is never one to rest on her laurels. From pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering to being crowned Miss World at the tender of age of 18, and then becoming a successful Bollywood actress, starring in hits in like Aitraaz, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Bluffmaster, Dostana, among others, Chopra Jonas’s journey has been nothing short of inspirational.
However, her successes in India only paved the way for a global takeover. It all started in 2010, when the actor-producer-entrepreneur first set foot in the United States. She enthralled us with the release of her English singles, namely In My City and Exotic, and then followed it up by inking her first Hollywood TV series as the lead actor in the NBC drama, Quantico – the first for an Indian, ever.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Priyanka had described what it was like to venture into the entertainment industry overseas. “When I went to America, there wasn’t any precedent. I didn’t have a road map to follow because there was no one who had done it before. I had to figure it out, walk into rooms, introduce myself, say ‘I am an Indian actor, my name is Priyanka Chopra, these are the kind of films I want to do’. I demanded playing leading ladies, instead of having parts which were the stereotype of what a Bollywood actor would usually get. Those also came to me, but I was very clear about what I wanted to do,” she said.
And just when you thought she’d accomplished it all, Chopra Jonas decided to cast her net wider. Not only did she go on to star in several Hollywood movies, she donned the producer’s hat as well. In 2020, Priyanka took to social media to announce that she had signed a two-year multimillion-dollar first-look television deal with Amazon. In a post that authenticated the announcement, the actor was honest about the fact that she had always wanted to create quality content irrespective of language and geography.
This ideology is reflected in the kind of movies she backs under her banner, Purple Pebble Pictures, which she established with her mother, Dr Madhu Chopra. Under her banner, she has gone on to produce a wide range of regional movies – from Marathi and Sikkimese to Punjabi, a few of which have garnered National Film Awards. “I want to make the kind of films as a producer, which I may not have seen being made otherwise. Regional cinema, for instance, is one such area of focus for me, and it was very important for me to give new talent the right opportunities,” Priyanka told India Today.
In addition to her triumphs as a producer, Priyanka has also established herself as a bonafide author when she released her memoir, Unfinished – an unflinching look at her journey so far. But, before we list any more accomplishments, it’s important to note that Chopra Jonas was never handed any of these opportunities. She’s had to strive tirelessly to carve her own spot in the world.
In a conversation with Vogue, Priyanka had once said, “I didn’t know anything or anyone. I was yelled at by directors, I was thrown into movies, I was thrown out of movies…I taught myself confidence. I learnt it’s what you do after failure that makes you a success.”
While the world might know her as an actor and producer, her fame hasn’t been a fluke. It has been built on a foundation of great work ethics and smart business decisions. In fact, the past year has shone the spotlight on her acumen as an astute entrepreneur, someone who has built a credible brand of her own despite the restrictions in place by the pandemic.
One of Priyanka’s high-profile investments included her bold move to partner with ‘feminist dating app’ Bumble to drive business and expansion plans in India. The formal announcement was made in 2017, although the actor and Bumble began their collaboration in 2017. In February of this year, Bumble debuted its IPO at $43, which went above 70 per cent in a few days to hit $70 on its trading debut in New York, making the app’s founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd’s one of the youngest self-made women billionaires in the world.
Beauty With Brains
It seems like serving Indian fare wasn’t the only thing on Priyanka’s mind. Earlier this year, the actor decided to enter the already-saturated beauty space with her own line of sustainable hair care products – called Anomaly. The affordable haircare line, which is vegan and cruelty-free, offers everything from liquid and dry shampoo to deep-conditioning masks and conditioners.
In the marketing collateral that followed the announcement, Priyanka Chopra Jonas confessed that it took her almost a year-and-a-half to curate the line-up. In a social media post, she added: “I saw a gap in the market for affordable, clean and sustainable hair care, especially at an affordable price point.” With this bold move in her entrepreneurial journey, the actor cemented the fact that she isn’t afraid of making strides in unchartered territories. She’s never limited her capabilities as an actor, so it’s not surprising that she has decided to not cap her ambitions as an entrepreneur.
Serving More Than Talent
In June, Priyanka decided to tease our taste-buds (albeit, virtually for us in India) by announcing the opening of her new, New York-based restaurant, Sona. She introduced the restaurants as “the very embodiment of timeless India and the flavours I grew up with.” The restaurant serves a heady mix of Indian fusion food with a global flair. PeeCee, as she is fondly called in India, also decided to take us on a virtual tour of the restaurant and made us salivate while she gobbled a few pani puris at a tasting. Opening a restaurant in a pandemic could be deemed a rookie mistake if one was to ask stalwarts in the food and beverage industry (considering the beating almost all restaurants and bars have taken in the past year), but it seems her clout will ensure Sona doesn’t only stay afloat but thrives.
In the latter half of this year, Priyanka Chopra Jonas was signed on as part of the VS Collective by lingerie behemoth, Victoria’s Secret. The move was part of the brand’s efforts to make itself more inclusive, while also building connections with a new generation of shoppers who do not subscribe to the narrow standards of beauty once espoused by it. While not much is known about the paycheck Victoria’s Secret might have cut for Priyanka, it’s clear that her clout and influence may help the brand overcome the credibility gap it has struggled to close, over the years.
Did You Know?
Priyanka Chopra Jones’s investments are not limited to the lifestyle sector. In 2018, the actor and producer came on board as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Holberton School for Software Engineering, a computer science school established in Silicon Valley. Chopra Jonas invested in the school to give women, who aspire to become software engineers, a chance to follow their dreams.