INTERVIEW: Why Bollywood celeb Malaika Arora doesn’t want to be just a ‘face’ for her startup investments

INTERVIEW: Why Bollywood celeb Malaika Arora doesn’t want to be just a ‘face’ for her startup investments
Malaika Arora
  • Malaika Arora recently joined Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez to invest in Indian yoga startup Sarva.
  • Arora is also an investor and Style Editor for retail startup The Label Life.
  • Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Hrithik Roshan among others have been investing, collaborating with Indian startups.
Indian startups always had glitz, but now they have glamour too. Bollywood celebrities are lining up to invest in new-age companies. Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Hrithik Roshan are some of the many popular investors that startups have attracted.

But Malaika Arora has been a part of this club since 2012. This fashionista has been involved with online premium retail startup – The Label Life, which offers high-end clothing, accessories and home decor and also features works of designers like Payal Singhal, Nikhil Thampi, Narendra Kumar, Malini Ramani, among others.

Arora made news again earlier in May when she joined global stars like Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez to invest in an Indian yoga fitness chain startup, Sarva.

Investing in passion

In an interview with Business Insider, Arora talks about how her investments are linked to things she’s passionate about, and she’s not just ‘another’ investor.

Arora was introduced to the startup world in 2012 after she identified it as an opportunity early on.


“For me, or for anybody, opportunities are presented to you in life. And, some of them you have to grab with both hands. The kind of business that I am in, it allows me to pursue a whole host of other opportunities as well,” said Arora, referring to her main career as an actor.

Arora however admits that when she started her journey with The Label Life, she didn’t have too much knowledge or information on the online industry.

“I had no clue about the online space. I liked what was presented to me. Also somewhere you’ve got to follow your gut, assess the potential of the business and go ahead,” said the Bollywood star.

Today, The Label Life also has offline retail stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh among others.

‘Reflection of me’

Her latest investment has been in Indian yoga startup Sarva, a chain of yoga and fitness studios, which also boasts of pop singer and actor Jennifer Lopez and fiance and baseball legend Alex Rodriguez as co-investors.

Sarva, which is building a burgeoning digital community, is currently present in over 91 studios clustering in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with other Indian cities. It also recently partnered with OYO Hotel & Homes to set up wellness studios in select properties.

Arora’s association with Sarva founder Sarvesh Shashi began with the establishment of the Diva Yoga centres in 2018. “It made me so interested in what Sarva has to offer because it was about something that I already feel connected with, believe in, that is a reflection of me,” she said.

Sarva’s move to help yoga and fitness reach out to many more people by introducing digital classes, was another factor that convinced Arora of the partnership.

“With Diva Yoga what we are doing is absolute tangible studios. In the digital space, we can connect you with yoga and guided meditation from the comfort of your home at very affordable prices. It seemed like the perfect marriage,” said Arora.

Arora has been one of India’s biggest fitness icons, and endorses multiple brands that revolve around health and wellness. But when it comes to her investments, Arora believes it’s an opportunity where she can be more than just a face.

“I get a chance to endorse a dime and dozen other things in my life and I do that purely as a face. This goes way beyond just an endorsement,” she said.

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