Priyanka Chopra – Bridging the Culture Gap

This week, I decided to write an article on a popular model turned Bollywood actress who is on a path to become a successful Hollywood actress. Now, you might think, how is that even relevant to BizLatte, you are not alone. However, I promise to make my case by the end of this article because there is a lot to learn from her career success story.

For those of you who are not aware of the Bollywood industry and its stars, here’s a quick introduction. Bollywood is a label assigned to Indian (Hindi to be more specific) cinema. It is one of the largest film industries in India representing about 43% of market share (Wikipedia). In other words, a successful Bollywood actress is a big deal and Priyanka had made her mark in that industry. Here’s an IMDB link about Priyanka’s work and resume.

Now, the question is why I chose to talk about Priyanka Chopra’s professional career and how is it relevant to us.  It’s simple; she decided to make some career choices that are relevant to all professions. Here are some of her approaches

  • Did not settle
  • Tried something different
  • Took risks
  • Maximized the momentum

Fashion photo from IMDB.com

As a person of Indian origin, I consider myself moderately interested in Bollywood happenings. I witnessed Priyanka Chopra (PC)’s career flourish over time and my first PC movie was Fashion. I was an instant fan. Over time, I did watch a few of her movies and realized she reached a point in her career when she is competing with new and upcoming Bollywood actresses. Most actresses settle down at this point, they either get married, start a family or venture onto other businesses. In other words, they no longer command the silver screen.

Quantico Photo from IMDB

Quantico Photo from IMDB

Priyanka was different. She was laser-focused in her career. She did not settle and had her sights in the US market for a while. She was adamant about not taking stereotypic roles offered to people of Indian origin. She waited for the right opportunity and she was cast in Quantico. The rest is history. The show was popular and she was immediately flooded with offers from movies through show appearances and magazine cover shoots and more. She was on the cover of Time magazine and an emoji is dedicated to her.  She has several projects in Bollywood too. She travels across continents to shoot her movies and shows. She is working hard and is not ready to settle.

Photo from http://www.pinkvilla.com

Photo from http://www.pinkvilla.com

Why is her success so important on both sides of the Atlantic? It is important to the United States since it’s a perfect way to celebrate diversity, especially given the current political climate. In India, she is a great role model for young girls who dream to be successful in a career of choice. Her story is also an opportunity for Indian parents to see first-hand that, if they let their daughters take calculated risks, with hard work and perseverance, they will be successful.

What are the takeaways from her success?

  • Step outside your comfort zone and try something different
  • Don’t be afraid to cross the Atlantic Ocean (either side) to succeed in your career
  • Do not get comfortable and don’t settle

I think I made my case on whether a Bollywood mention was relevant to this article!

Rinki Mukherjee


Rinki Mukherjee

I am a marketing professional with more than 10 years’ experience. I currently work as a Design QC Specialist contractor with Chevron Creative Studio. I have worked in industries such as non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods.

I recently earned my MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis. Prior to that, I earned an Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.

I was born and raised in India but now consider Houston my home. I am Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter.

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