Learning the ropes of celebrity management with Huma Qureshi  (Source: BloombergQuint)

Who Wants To Be A Celebrity Manager?

Not too long ago, Chaitali Panchamatia used to manage six celebrities at Kwan, one of the India’s top talent management firms. But she chose to give that up to manage actor Huma Qureshi.

“As an actor, your personal and public life, everything is together,” Qureshi told BloombergQuint. “So, you always need a person you can trust, who has got your back. You always need to have your eyes and ears open, and in that sense, Chaitali is my eyes and ears.”

Celebrities lead hectic lives and rely on the likes of Panchamatia to manage every aspect of their lives— schedules, media interactions, events and most importantly endorsement deals.

The job entails a lot of hard work, traveling, thinking on your feet and unearthly work hours, said Panchamatia. “There are no work hours because you can be called at any time by your celebrity or bosses at an agency,” she added. “The only relief is that you won’t have brands or agencies usually calling you late night because they’re done with the work themselves!”

And it’s not just Bollywood. Take Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, for example. He is among the world’s highest-paid athletes, according to a recent Forbes’ compilation. Kohli, the only sportsperson from India on the list that’s topped by American boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, is ranked 83rd with $24 million. But most of his earnings, the report said, come off the pitch where he’s partnered with top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley.

Kohli’s manager, Bunty Sajdeh of Cornerstone, was not available for a comment.

Athletes Today
Abhishek Sharma, co-founder of Athletes Today. The firm manages the Indian football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

While it’s no surprise that the only Indian on the list of top-earning athletes is a cricketer, brand managers are tapping other sportspersons as well.

“Some who are pragmatic actually understand the type of influence a non-cricket sports star can have on people via their product and understand the importance of associating with these sportsmen,” said Abhishek Sharma, co-founder of Athletes Today, the firm that represents Indian football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. “The market is growing and improving, as the Indian youth are now more focused on watching and participating in other sports but cricket.”