Archana’s extra innings 

IPL anchor to e-preneur — Archana Vijaya is loving the switch

By Ratnalekha Mazumdar
  • Published 31.05.16
Always keep it simple and sexy — Archana Vijaya’s style mantra for t2 readers. Picture: Pabitra Das

What was different about IPL 9? We missed Archana Vijaya anchoring Extraaa Innings on Sony. But the Ballygunge girl has been busy in IPL season giving shape to her “dream” of becoming an entrepreneur, with her online venture Label Kiss. “Everybody is saying that I am glowing. I guess, it’s my brain! Millions of neurons are going on. It’s almost like I have found new vigour for life,” chirped Archana during her recent city trip. A t2 chat... 

People missed you in IPL 9…
You know, everybody is saying the same thing. I never realised how popular I am until I didn’t do the IPL this year. It’s nice ya! I missed it too.

What did you miss the most? 
I missed talking to people through the camera lens. I missed presenting it (Extraaa Innings). Hopefully, I will be back next year. 

But the IPL must be very hectic too…
Yes, but I love to work under pressure. I like to travel. I like the adrenaline rush that comes while presenting live. It’s exciting to be in the middle and in the thick of things. You can’t replace that with anything. I can’t sit at home and watch a match on TV when I know what it feels like to be right there and in the middle of things. 

Beauty with brains 

Twitter bio: Workaholic| Wife | Wanderlust-er, occasionally that woman on TV, and Founder and MD -  

Birthday: November 17

Home town: Calcutta

School: Loreto House 

College: The Bhawanipur Education Society College

Based in: Delhi

Work on TV: Extraaa Innings, Life Mein Ek Baar 2, Khatron Ke Khiladi 6


Then why did you give the action a miss this time? 
The truth is we couldn’t reach a mutual agreement. It didn’t work out for Sony for multiple reasons. But I am sure, given the fact that people have missed both Shibani (Dandekar) and me... we will be back! Hopefully, the constraints that they (the channel) underwent won’t happen next time. 

How did your friends Samir Kochhar and Gaurav Kapur react to this?
They missed us tremendously. Gaurav kept writing to me on Twitter. We were a good team. We were a great side together. When one of the cogs of machinery goes off, and in this case there were two (Archana and Shibani), obviously the others find it difficult to operate smoothly.  

Now that you have turned entrepreneur, what do you enjoy more? 
Luckily, I do both! I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to do something in the digital domain because that’s the way forward. I was managing myself for so many years. Finally, I am managing a full-fledged business. It’s extremely hard and challenging but at the same time, I have learnt so much about technology. It’s amazing to see how your vision comes together and that’s what happened with Label Kiss. It’s got a great response. I am giving back to people. I always wanted to start something that has to do with the lifestyle space and grooming. 

What is Label Kiss all about?
With Label Kiss, I wanted to make things affordable. I think accessories play an important role. It can actually make or break an outfit. As far as fashion is concerned, people want to go fuss-free. People want to wear clothes which they can wear during the day, and somehow can accessorise at night. What we are doing is to tell people how to wear accessories right because sometimes one ends up looking like a Christmas tree. We have bags, sunglasses and jewellery for men and women. Cufflinks and ties are also there. I have an exclusive range of Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna pocket squares, which are at Rs 2,500. We are getting fashion designer Pia Pauro to do an exclusive range of bikini and beach bags for us. The label is only three months old. We also have an in-house brand, which I curate. There will be a lot of collaborations. 

Who’s a Label Kiss girl?
An everyday girl who wants to go out there, shine and make a statement with her accessories. It can be any young girl with a basic pocket money of Rs 2,000. Our products start from Rs 500 and go up to Rs 6,000. 

Doesn’t this business come with a lot of challenges?
For the first time in my life, I am working harder than I have ever worked and my remuneration is not even close to what I have got in my life. So, that in itself is a massive teaching for me. It goes on to show that success doesn’t come easy. Everything that I have achieved in the last 13 years is like I am back where I had started. It’s amazing to see something that you have envisioned come to life. When people place an order that’s worth Rs 5,000, you don’t know how excited I am! I moved to Delhi, I got married and I wanted to do something more. Thankfully, I did it.

How’s your husband Dheeraj (Puri, a Delhi businessman) supporting you? 
He’s extremely supportive. We are a team! He helps me a lot in my work. It feels good that somebody’s got your back.