Monsiha Advani

Founder, Emmay

At 21 years of age, Monisha Advani was on the cover of Savvy magazine. This was 1992, a world with different challenges. Her foresight made her remark “Our country’s biggest liability, its people, will rise to become its biggest strength. At the time, Advani spearheaded her first entrepreneurial venture, an academic consultancy focused on peer to peer counselling in order to activate higher learning among dormant student classes.

In 1996, she went on to pivot this business into a successful HR consultancy, EmmayHR. In 2005, the company was acquired by Randstad Holding nv, the world’s second largest HR services company, as their first Asian acquisition. Advani had a vantage seat to lead the company’s growth in the subcontinent and in strategic business areas internationally. At the time that her golden hand cuffs came off, Randstad India had a top line of over Rs. 780 crores.

After returning to entrepreneurship in 2009, Advani served on the board of iVolunteer, an ICICI ventures social enterprise. She also explored early stage investments in a number of businesses through My First Cheque, and remains an active investor/ board member on companies such as Ping Digital, India Food Network, Decision Fuel and Jombay.

In 2011, Advani teamed up with her former business partner Madhu Bhojwani and her brother Nikkhil Advani to form Emmay Entertainment. The production house has grown rapidly to deliver iconic hit films such as DDAY, Airlift, Satyameva Jayate, Baazaar, Batla House, Marjaavaan and Satyameva Jayate 2.

The company also has the distinction of bringing to national TV India’s first Indo-Israeli adaptation POW Bandhi Yudh Ke. Emmay’s digital foray includes films like Indoo Ki Jawani, Sardar Ka Grandson and shows like Hasmukh (Netflix), The Empire (DisneyPlus) and the much-acclaimed Mumbai Diaries 26/11 (Amazon Prime). The company remains privately held and was ranked in the top 10 production houses in 2019 and 2020.

Most recently she has been awarded Outlook Business Woman Entrepreneur 2017 and the Inspiring Women Entrepreneur of the year 2020 by Business World. Born and brought up in Mumbai, she continues to call the city her home.