TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Panchami Ghavri Malani

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Panchami Ghavri Malani

Panchami Ghavri‘s story is rooted in Mumbai, a city that witnessed her journey from humble beginnings to becoming a renowned casting director. Her childhood was marked by the trials of early parental separation, a turning point that compelled her mother to instill the value of independence in her daughters. Raised by her resilient mother, Panchami, and her sister, Tanya, she was taught the pivotal importance of financial self-sufficiency for women.

At just 18, she embarked on her career as an assistant director for “Wake Up Sid” under the guidance of Ayan Mukherji. Her family circumstances moulded her into a determined young woman, navigating the complexities of life while carving her path in an industry renowned for its challenges.

Panchami’s odyssey took her to the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, a significant leap towards her aspirations. Returning home, she endured a year under an established casting director before embracing her independence. The initial years were trying, marked by her unwavering dedication to securing a foothold in an unforgiving industry. Juggling multiple advertising projects for sustenance, she persisted, channelling her passion and hunger into every opportunity.

Her breakthrough arrived with “Kapoor & Sons“ at Dharma Productions, a pivotal moment that propelled her into an impactful career as an independent casting director. Panchami’s focus extends beyond traditional casting norms, striving to dismantle antiquated hierarchies and usher in a new, more inclusive casting era.

The PGC legacy epitomises her vision for an industry that celebrates diversity and embraces every unique talent. Her mission transcends mere casting; it’s a call for authenticity and inclusivity in storytelling. Her collaboration with acclaimed projects like “Class,” “Murder Mubarak,” and “Gehraiyaan” encapsulates her journey of creative empowerment.

Beyond her casting endeavours, Panchami’s collaborations with international and local brands at various events showcase her diverse interests. Most recently, her venture into the gastronomy scene with “The Second House” in Goa signifies her continual pursuit of transforming passions into professional opportunities. TheGlitz has more…

Panchami Ghavri Malani
Panchami Ghavri Malani

Over to Panchami Ghavri.

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about the life-changing milestones that have moulded you into what you are today?

As a girl transitioning from a smaller set-up—a work-from-home casting director—taking the leap of faith to get a proper office space and hiring more people was definitely unnerving from the start. I had so many fears about whether I’d be able to afford it or not back in 2019. I think that’s one of the best decisions I took; it helped me have faith in myself and what I’m capable of. To overcome self-doubt, there are more incredible feelings in the world. Once I did it, there was no turning back. We’ve been in 3 offices since, and they have only grown space-wise!

The other was the confidence I got to curate ensembles after class. Our work was so appreciated, especially since all 10 of them were fresh faces. It really earned us a lot of respect. I say “we” because it’s me and my team! No woman is an island.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

Problems come in all shapes and sizes. I think the industry can be a hard place to survive. Especially in casting, timelines are extremely tight. It can be a very high-pressure job.

Over the years, I’ve become a better problem solver than I was. I used to feel a lot of stress in my early days because I wanted to prove myself and not make a single wrong move. Now I’m a lot more confident. We are often in situations where the primary cast has to be replaced two days before. Earlier, I would panic, but now me and my team just divide the work. We’re extremely quick and responsive; that’s one of our USP’s. If there’s a crisis, we try not to find solutions, even before letting the direction team know that there’s a problem or recast.

Teamwork makes the dream work - Panchami Ghavri with her team
Teamwork makes the dream work – Panchami Ghavri with her team

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

1) My personality being friendly and accessible
2) My core values
3) Treating everyone equally

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

My sister Tanya, my mom, and my husband. I also have a very strong support system in my school and college girl friends that are mostly not from the film industry; they really ground me.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different ~ Coco Chanel

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