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High paying Non MBA jobs in the glamour world

Today’s guest writer is Tinu Menachery, a model (yup, that’s her photo) and a content writer. She’s comes from a world that most readers of the MBA Crystal Ball blog (chasing typical MBA jobs and careers like consulting and investment banking) will probably never experience. And that’s exactly the reason why we requested Tinu to try and get at least a few folks interested in a career in the glamour world.

These ‘jobs’ (almost sounds demeaning to use that word in this industry) can earn you big bucks (monthly salaries are so passé). Plus life indeed can be one big party, rather than something you’d save for alternate weekends when your boss doesn’t overload you with official work.

Tinu started her modeling career with Gladrags in 2008 (‘reached the top 15 without falling off the stage‘ she adds) and was 2nd runner up of Navy Queen (2009). She has worked for top brands (Levis, Pepe, Ginger, Lifestyle) and walked the ramp for top designers (Wendell Rodricks, Troy Costa, Sanjana Jon…) with models like Alesia Raut, Noyonika Chatterjeee, Zulfi Syed and Kangana Ranaut. Recently you might’ve seen her in the Kingfisher calendar hunt (2010).

High paying Non MBA jobs in the glamour world

Tinu Menachery - Indian ModelBeta, degree ke baad kya plan hai?” … is well, a common question in most Indian Households, and pat comes the reply of the ‘intelligent guy/girl‘ – MBA (if this was a movie, there would definitely have been a background score).

Don’t get me wrong here, am not opposed to anyone who wants to pursue a higher education, an MBA for starters. It’s just that most of the universities churn out zillions of MBAs, where do they all go??? Does everyone get ‘suitably placed‘; if that was the case we would not have most of the ‘new writer on the block’ syndrome, MBA se pet nahi bhara, chalo lets write something about it.

So what prompted me to write this post, actually hua aise… To cut the long story short, I bumped into Sameer Kamat (the guy behind – ‘Beyond The MBA Hype‘, yes the same), got talking and this materialized.
We still believe in clichéd vocations and there are only a handful of them who venture out, and make their passions as their sources of Income, don’t believe me ?? I’ll give you an enviable list of vocations :

Photography: I’m not talking about “smile pleezzz sir”, or “madamji ek photo” photographers . Am talking about Fashion Photographers, Wedding photographers, Wildlife photographers, Print-ad photographers, you name it, they have it.. Lets dissect this little list here again :

Fashion Photographers: Advantages, apart from making loads of money, free entry in parties, booze, hot models, convenient working hours etc. Quite an awesome advantage huh?? Well, their passion gets them the moolah, they only have to be well versed with the changing needs of the industry, which isn’t difficult owing to the amount of exposure one gets in the field. They can charge anything from 30,000 rupees for a basic portfolio to 2-3 lakhs for a portfolio, and when they are associated with a magazine or designer label, no telling how much money flows in.

Wedding Photographers: The best part of this profession is that one gets to travel, eat, meet new people, on someone else’s cost, yes you don’t have to shell out a penny, travel arranged, accommodation arranged, you just have to click awesome pictures, for which you are handsomely paid. I can already see some people dusting off their cameras.

Wildlife Photographers: Do you like travelling to exotic locales?? Do you want to be featured on magazine covers? Do you want to win accolades for your work .. am not talking about wearing some evil eye bracelet here, now, am talking about Wildlife Photographers, at times their vocation has its own demerits, but when you talk about the rest, the so called demerit has no option but to go and occupy some place in the back row.

Print-Ad Photographers – See the hoarding of the latest Raga watch with Katrina, or Tissot watch with SRK in it, or a model endorsing some product, yes?? So here is the guy who clicks them and takes them a step higher in their profession. A photographer who is starting of, depending on the project can easily make somewhere around 15,000-20,000 rupees, yes!! No jokes, here, so we need not be telling you as to how much the best in the industry would be charging now.

Modeling Industry: Smirking already are we??? I’m just not talking about skimpily clad models or only Kingfisher calendar models, but hell yea, they sell don’t they ?? Exactly, now I did want to categorize them as Ramp, print, Ads, serial and even FILMS.. Hell yes.. Models are so flexible, one day on the ramp the next sharing an ad space, and later maybe you’d see them in a movie. For starters if you do go through correct channels, you could earn anything from 10,000 rupees and the amount keeps on becoming better, and here the industry is not limited, it’s a wide ocean, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore Cochin, Chennai, yes, spread all across.

Hair and make-up artists: Now the reason as to why Katrina or a Kareena looks like a Goddess is not purely because of their genetics but, also cause of the magic weaved by their hair stylists and make-up artists.
Both of them are highly respected and paid in the industry because a mode/actor aint nothing without them. They charge anything between 10,000-15,000 rupees on a daily basis, and no am not exaggerating here, and is there work every day??? Not almost, no matter how big a hair and make-up artist they are.

Fashion Choreographers: Oh yes, you see the models walk exactly to a particular spot, turn at a particular angle, walk only when the music is at a particular beat?? Yes, all thanks to the Choreographers imagine the chaos otherwise, with all of them walking in whenever they want. Even a normal Choreographer makes around 20,000-25,000 rupees, for one show, yes, that’s just for one show am talking about.

Coordinators: Pictures a scene here – A pot bellied almost balding producer goes to a guy and says I want a tall, fair, slightly on a medium built scale for my movie, and lo behold the other guy opens his Treasure chest and shows the pictures of the specified nature – that’s a model coordinator for you. What does he get?? 20-30% commission of whatever the model makes all that for being a mediator.

Let’s move a little further away from the Glamour industry and look at another Vocation now,

DJ /Producer: If I did get you thinking about the resident DJs in the clubs you go, oh yes, they make the moolah by making you dance, aren’t they like Masters in the pub, and we their puppets, I feel that at times, we gyrate, groove to the music that they play. Now, why is it a lucrative offer??? Every occasion now needs a DJ – Shaadi, Bittu ka first birthday party, Shalini aunty ke bete ka reception, Nina ki mehendi function, school ki annual function, yes, even such normal occasion need DJ’s. And the bigger one’s like Unveiling Nokia’s new set, who did it?? DEADMAU5, yes. DJ/Producer. You get to travel a lot, girls go crazy for you, booze is on the house. Instant fame and recognition.

Honestly when I say this I mean it – Gone are the days of clichéd vocations, where it was important to be a Doctor or an engineer to have a sound future. Now it’s about having a safe future and an awesome life to go with it.

Tinu plans to open her own restaurant for which she might come back to this blog to read how to create a business plan. She’s worked with a few NGOs and came back disillusioned from the experience. She wants to start her own NGO (‘in child education and skill training’ she specifies) at some point in time. Apart from her modeling assignments, Tinu is auditioning for Tamil movies. So watch out for her.

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

12 thoughts on “High paying Non MBA jobs in the glamour world”

  1. Hi Tinu,
    Congratulations on your success! Nothing can be as gratifying as to dream big and make it happen!
    I loved reading your article and it infuses a breeze of fresh air amidst some boring and typical MBA-related write-ups 🙂

    As a representative of the average Indian middle-class family born and raised in India in the 80s and 90s, below are my 2 cents:

    While traditionally, the dominant middle-class in India has steered away from showbiz, the trend is definitely changing. One of my own cousins works in the entertainment industry and yet another in event management. Not biggies but very happy with their choices and doing decent financially as well.
    But by and large, the roads into this industry are not yet structured like that of an MBA or other traditional degree/ certification programs (or at least not as well branded/ marketed as the traditional ones are).
    Also, I believe making it big in showbiz is way harder than in business and talent alone gets you nothing simply because a lot depends on PR and networking skills. In that context I strongly feel there should be formal education on the importance of “networking” right from middle school. I believe it is useful in almost every career/ profession. By the time most learn the rules of the game, quite a few interesting career choices have already passed by….


    • Hey Preeti

      Thank you for going through the post and for your feedback as well ..and i have to say this, i was a little apprehensive about having a post here . for the same reasons that you mentioned (Typical Mba stuff) 😛 ..:)

      Like you have aptly said, nothing can be gratifying as making your dreams come true ..

      True that, about most of our families in India, who believe in pursuing vocations that provide for a ‘stable’ income. However , these days a lot has changed, and people are venturing in many (previously ignored) vocations.

      Yes, and honestly , Showbiz, is really Tough and at times emotionally draining as well, but if you make it, nothing like it 🙂

      I so wish Networking, Pr skills can be incorporated as well (am totally bad at that), it definitely helps an individual in the long run, rather than having a syllabus that simply doesn’t educate you.

  2. >> “…some boring and typical MBA-related write-ups…” – Preeti


    >> “…i was a little apprehensive about having a post here . for the same reasons that you mentioned (Typical Mba stuff) 😛 ..:) …” – Tinu

    Ouch X 2 !!!

    Does somebody have copy of the bestseller ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ ?

    • Of all the ‘Good ‘ things that we have mentioned (ehem) , you pick these… tch tch .. no wonder “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” was a best seller 😀 …

      • Dear Tinu,
        I couldn’t start reading the article as i was lost in that picture of yours!!, You are one beautiful model, and well talented as such, which is apparent by your writing skills. Am glad i bumped into this article.
        Yes it amazing, at the number of opportunities that you have mentioned , but how many of them get a chance at being successful?? It doesn’t treat everyone on a similar platform now does it??
        A ‘boring’ 9-5 job , definitely gives you a stability that the Glamour industry ceases to offer, it does but to a select few.
        Well, its a risk worth taking for few?? but how many of them take that risk???

  3. Hi Karan,
    You know when you started of i was like “yay”, and then sigh 😛 , anyways thank you for your generous compliments 🙂 …
    In the instance of models – like i mentioned earlier, the options is varied and unlimited, Print , serials, ads, ramp, catalogues, calenders, the options are endless here , and its like an ocean, you can always take your pick 😉
    With Photography again, yes , YES, there are only a few we can count on our finger tips who are apparently ‘Famous’ , however, even the normal guys are doing really well for themselves. They may not be in the ‘main league’, however even celebs get their shoots with them.
    And i was drawn to the “boring 9-5′ giving stability bit!!, what happened during Recession to the good old 9-5 job?? I’m not saying its not worth it.. it is, it definitely is for people who love that routine.
    And as to how many take that ‘risk’??? every day around 50,000 aspirants come to Mumbai in search of “fame’ .. How many land an opportunity ?? I’d Say those who believe in taking risks, and love to fight irrespective of a bruised soul 🙂

  4. Hi Tinu,
    Well first of all your article does give a lot of positive vibes and excitement for those who aspire to do something different , something unconventional or something which comes from within ! I too would like to second that as it truly served the purpose of what is called useful writing 🙂
    However, i would also like to bring my opinion to the above article. Indian society has always been majorly service oriented.I remember my dad,his dad and may be his dad too always aspired to get a good SERVICE.I suppose much hasn’t changed now also.(Many of us still want a regular source of income at the end month :P. 🙂 This is very much unlike from that of western society. Though the trend is fast changing but still it has not changed and it will take time. I would in fact say, we are in the middle of the change.
    So why not take the middle path when in middle of something !! Work hard for both -your career and for your passion. Eg: I always aspired to become a model but being from an avg Indian family cant afford to take a risk of making it my career. So here i am with my strategy for myself: Work for getting into a good MBA college which will give a decent job to support ones family and alongside keep working on my passion and try looking for some opportunities after the “boring 9-5 job” (Quoting from above-:))

  5. Dear Umang ,

    To start off, Thank you so much for reading the post and for those generous comments .

    Like you so well mentioned about the “service mentality” we have been following the same from the 70′s or way before that, there were cliched occupation that were meant to ensure you have astable income, in my words ‘Risk Free’ options, not that am against it , i was bought up with the same ‘stable income’ . However , its time we did move on to a different scale altogether, isnt it?

    You definitely want a secure future , which is good, and you want to pursue modelling as well, which is totally awesome as well. but again, you will end up having to choose between the two one day…

    To quote my favourite actor SRK ” Main zindagi bhar yeh nahi kehna chahta ki kaash maine koshish ki hoti, to baat kuch kuch aur hota” .. (yes am a filmi person ) … lol.

    Before i conclude, loved the idea of taking the middle path though ..All the best with your Mba as well as your modelling .

  6. Hello tinu,
    I went through ur blog n was facinated by the senario u showed up of the glamour industry…thanku for explaining the vast scope of this industry.after reading ur artcle i am dtermined now to leave my 9-6 job n run after my passion…photography n modelling…..i m feeling some new vibes of energy within me..thanku tinu.can u guide more for a fresher..?
    Thanx a lot

  7. Its a nice article , hii. Tina as I hv cmpltd my graduation last year very much confused about doing my mca and moreover as I am looking on forward for the best opportunity guide me that how shoild I start up wd a career in this field.

    pls rply to me..

  8. Hi Tinu Menachery I completely agree with the above post as being a Makeup Artist and Hair Stylish I know that all celebrity who look like wow does’nt always look like wow. Its all magic of Makeup and Hair. As being in industry since 5 years I know the importance of correct Makeup and Hair style which Matter a lot. After Makeup now there is a photography butb before that its all your poses and acting skills are also there. In glamour world there is an efforts of lots of people not only one person hand for the success.

    I just want to know if i would like to be a part of this world is there is any chance because i want to work m ore and more in makeup industry.

    Thanks & Regards
    Nahid Kaleem

  9. Hi
    Nice one … Been in film industry since a long time , earlier people didnt know, what options industry have for new job opportunities,,, abhi tak industry ko aisa image main ristrict kiya huahai ki abhi tak family apnebachcho ka yaha bhejne main darti hai,,,, its nice such blogs come up ,, newbies gets confidence that they can do good with there lives,, regards


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