“I take great pride in the fact that my father came to Mumbai with just a dream and then built this production house single-handedly,” says Deepshikha Deshmukh, director of Bollywood production house, Pooja Entertainment.
One of the youngest female producers in Bollywood, Deepshikha Deshmukh gave the Hindi film industry one of its recent hits, Coolie No.1 starring Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan. Daughter of renowned Indian film producer Vashu Bhagnani and Puja Bhagnani, Deepshika has been the silent force leading Pooja Entertainment in its new avatar, which has given Bollywood multiple box-office hits and backs an impressive slate of biggies.
The brainchild of Vashu Bahgnani, Pooja Entertainment “runs in the DNA” of Deepshika. Like any other woman trying to find her steppings in the big world of Bollywood, Deepshikha had to struggle through a host of ups and downs, to ultimately turn her production house into a dream-come-true.
“I started as my father’s assistant and would often be running errands on sets. I was never made to feel privileged just because I was his daughter,” Deepshikha told News18 in an interview.
The release of the 2016 Indian drama Sarbjit starring Randeep Hooda, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, Richa Chadda was the stepping stone for Deepshika, which catapulted her bloom. She made her debut with the film that was later screened at the Cannes Film Festival. “It has been a rewarding and fun journey since then,” recalls Deepshikha.
Sarbjit was tantamount to one of the most emotional moments of Deepshikha’s life. At the time of the release, Deepshikha became a mother for the second time with a son, Vansh. The brother-sister bond depicted in the movie sort of came to life with Deepshika giving birth to a new sibling bond inside her own world.
However, Deepshikha seems to have cracked the code of “balancing” demanding work life and the roles and responsibilities of a mother.
“You cannot, I have realized, go chasing after balance alone. You can however become a lot more organized and start delegating so that you can meet your deadlines before time and get home fast to spend time with your family,” says Deepshikha, for whom being a mother “gives perspective”.
Amid a hectic schedule, Deepshikha ensures that she is the first person her kids see when they get up in the morning and when they go off to sleep.
“As a mother, I want to make sure that there is no gap in their day where they feel alone or uncared for. My husband and I work harder and faster to be able to spend more time with them as they are still very young,” said Deepshikha.
In fact, out of her immense affection towards her children, Deepshikha soon launched a brand of organic skincare brand, Love Organically, after closely observing the skin troubles faced by her younger son.
“Love Organically was born purely because my son Vansh had skin allergies, and I started to look for remedies that would soothe him,” said Deepshikha adding, “Ayurvedic beauty secrets and time-tested remedies based on the wisdom of the women in my family, including my two grandmothers, my mother-in-law, my mother, and several experts helped me ideate these products.”
Besides managing her entrepreneurship at a time when the world saw one of its biggest crisis with coronavirus lockdown forcing us inside our houses, Deepshikha managed to begin and end the entire shoot of ‘Bell Bottom’, an upcoming spy thriller starring Akshay Kumar and Vaani Kapoor, which she views as one of the “remarkable moments” of her life.
“We did it with the support of our wonderful team who worked round the clock to ensure the safety of all our crew members,” said Deepshikha.
Having to put that extra hour of work to take Pooja entertainment to its new heights every day, Deepshika brushed against the abysmal gender-gap that allegedly rules Bollywood. However, believing in the positive side of “changing times”, Deepshikha said, “There are leading ladies today who demand and get what they want and powerful women producers are emerging who set their own rules.”
Before signing off, Deepshika leaves a message on Women’s Day: “The best amongst us have failed and then risen again several times before succeeding. So, go ahead and chase the impossible and make it possible.”