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It’s A Girl Thing brings innumerable possibilities for young girls: Swaroop Banerjee

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited live entertainment and IP vertical – Zee Live – has partnered with Branded to host the global festival ‘It’s A Girl Thing’ (IAGT) for the first time in India. After successfully gaining a huge fan following in Singapore and the Philippines, Zee Live is set to introduce IAGT in India, a platform for young women to express themselves.

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It’s A Girl Thing is a platform with an objective to empower young women worldwide. It is a unique initiative to bring together young girls from across the globe to form a united community. IAGT has been an on-ground festival when earlier held in Singapore and Manila; however, keeping in mind the unprecedented pandemic, this year it has been decided to host it virtually. Leveraging the strong network leadership that Zee has, the virtual experience will allow many audiences to attend the festival from their homes. The festival will be hosting talks, panel discussions, performances, and virtual meet and greets to enable fans to engage with the influencers across various topics.

In an exclusive interaction with Adgully, Swaroop Banerjee, COO and Business Head, Zee Live, speaks with a lot of passion about this festival and how they plan to leverage this three-day festival to give more power to the young women.

‘It’s A Girl Thing’, which aims to empower young women, is a very interesting proposition. What’s the core objective of this program and where did the inspiration come to launch this festival?

‘It’s A Girl Thing’ (IAGT) is a platform with an objective to empower young women worldwide. It is a unique initiative to bring together young girls from across the globe to form a united community. IAGT has been an on-ground festival when earlier held in Singapore and Manila; however, keeping in mind the unprecedented pandemic, we decided to host it virtually. Leveraging the strong network leadership that Zee has, the virtual experience will allow many audiences to attend the festival from their homes. The festival will be hosting talks, panel discussions, performances, and virtual meet & greets to enable fans to engage with the influencers across various topics. In the past, Branded Asia has associated with Michele Obama Foundation for IAGT live and had popular influencers like Lilly Singh, Bethany Mota, Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Megan Batoon, Niomi Smart, Meredith Foster, Brooklyn and Bailey, Kiana Valenciano and many more. Some of the participants at IAGT India include popular names like Prajakta Koli, Raja Kumari, Jasleen Royal and Aranya Johar, among others. This year, the platform will debut in India through a three-day virtual festival, wherein International and Indian Influencers, celebrities and creators will participate with the likes of Barkha Singh, Dia Mirza, Dolly Singh, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Pooja Dhingra, Prajakta Koli, Raja Kumari, Rhea Kapoor and the likes, and internationally acclaimed names like Liza Koshy, Merrell Twins, Robert Swan, Wendy Ong, Wengie and many more.

IAGT brings innumerable possibilities and opportunities for young girls. Our diverse line-up of well-known Indian and International artists will open many conversations which will engage and empower young girls.

In what way will this festival help young women in terms of knowledge and education? How do you plan to encourage and explore through this platform to achieve their dreams?

The platform aims at bringing girls together to form a close-knit and strong community. The three-day-long virtual festival will have many famous International and Indian influencers conducting various talks, panel discussions, workshops and performances. This platform will touch upon multiple subjects like Fashion, Health, Education, Climate Change and Self Love, Self Esteem, encouraging girls across the globe to achieve their dreams. The festival has already seen an enormous response in Singapore and Manila, and we are very optimistic that the India edition will also create history for years to come and we will grow bigger and better with every passing year.

What is the message for the young girls that you want to deliver through this platform? How will the young girls and women benefit from attending this event?

IAGT is a community of global creators and female fans, the attempt is not to preach anything; the attempt is to first celebrate what it truly means to be a girl, talk about some amazing topics which matter to young women. Be it female friendships, body positivity, self-love, adulting, fashion, education or mental health. The idea is that a community of female creators who are extremely popular amongst this universe will discuss and talk about all these topics and how they approached it on their journey and that they want to talk about it with their female fans. It’s a three-day celebration of inspiring young women with their favourite creators.

The message we want to deliver to the young girls attending this event is to realise their aspirations and pursue their dreams. Our platform is here to address the gap, wherein women in India and worldwide have a lot of untapped potential, and we want to harness the possibility for the greater good, so they never stop dreaming. We want these girls to step out of their closet, speak their hearts out and express themselves to the fullest.

There has been a great response received in Singapore and Manila and this time this is going to be held virtually. How do you plan to make it engaging and lively for the audience to get the same feel when held face to face?

Nothing beats seeing thousands of young audiences interact with their creators live, however, that, as we all know, is not possible. We have always been about safety first, the attempt is to create a great platform for open dialogue between creators and fans online from the safety of their homes and finally in the near future host this festival live when it is safe. IAGT India will be a narrative we are weaving through the online forum; we will host it live when we can and also take it to regional cities. This festival acknowledges that this is a huge and diverse community across India and our attempt is to ensure we enable this platform to as many audiences as possible.

What is the kind of women audience that you have in mind to reach out your message? Will this be across all cities and towns and how do you plan to reach the regional markets where you need to talk a different language?

This festival aims to inspire, inform, aspire and empower a global community of young women. Our audience are young girls in the 16-24 age groups, who are ambitious and see themselves engaging in and contributing to the world through these conversations and who look up-to these influencers as role models for themselves. This year, IAGT is a virtual discourse and is accessible to girls and women from across geographies. The topics of discussions are designed keeping in mind that the relevance and prevalence are uniform across various markets.

What topics do you plan to cover that will be useful to the young women audience?

We have crafted the festival’s flow and content with much thought to address issues that young teenage girls face in their daily lives, and we are looking at empowering them through these panel discussions. The various topics that this edition of IAGT will touch upon are – Female Friendships, Financial Independence, Climate Change/ Sustainability, Women in Fitness, Mental Health, Women in Music, Beauty Standards and Fashion Trends. The event is a mix of education and entertainment and hence, we will see some amazing performances and engaging workshops.

What is your long-term vision and long-term strategy on women empowerment and how do you plan to achieve the end objectives?

We are very confident that IAGT will emerge as a game changer in the industry and will positively impact and encourage the lives of many young girls. Post this, we aim at taking the festival to many of our regional markets in order to expand our reach and empower a larger number of audiences.

How will technology enable Live Entertainment to champion such causes and bring newer formats to India?

We take our cues from genres that have successfully used technology, be it sports or the Billie Eilish global livestream concert or the numerous acts going live globally. We were one of the first in India to move the largest live entertainment properties online, where over 150 celebs, musicians, authors and creators have been a part of the Zee Live journey. With Branded as our partners on IAGT, we will attempt to showcase a seamless experience of this all girl platform.

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