Toronto, ON (Tuesday November 22nd, 2022)
ANOKHI LIFE, North America’s longest running multimedia, multi-platform brand about South Asian pop culture, lifestyle, and entertainment, is celebrating a milestone anniversary, having turned 20 years old on November 19th, 2022. The ANOKHI brand has gone through various iterations throughout the two decades – from ANOKHI VIBE, to ANOKHI MAGAZINE to ANOKHI MEDIA and now to ANOKHI LIFE, bringing forth a next level multimedia enterprise to serve the global South Asian community.
“ANOKHI was born out of my search of self-reflection and self-analysis. Where I was so uncomfortable with my status quo, that I had no choice but to re-define my existence“, says founder & CEO, Raj Girn. “There were many like me — the misfits caught in the dichotomy of two cultures — who were also searching to cultivate and anchor a uniquely blended identity that hadn’t existed before.”
The brand was given the name “ANOKHI” (which in Hindi, means ‘unique’ or ‘different.’), to cultivate and anchor a uniquely blended identity that hadn’t existed before – to showcase and represent the Western lived South Asian culture.
- Make the South Asian culture relevant outside of the four walls of our community’s fortress.
- Make the South Asian identity relatable to Western sensibilities.
- Make it cool to be South Asian, so that the community is not tokenized or seen as obligatory investments, but an integral identity in the ecosystem of mainstream society.
The Macro Mission:
To empower the South Asian Community in the West.
The Micro Mission:
To be authentically identifiable to that end.
To mark the 20th anniversary celebration, ANOKHI and Raj Girn have launched a 3-part video series, sharing them with those who have been along different parts of the journey with the brand, as well as those who are new to the world of ANOKHI.
In Part 1 of the campaign below, the ANOKHI brand shares a sneak peek into the past 20 years of its dedicated service to the South Asian community in the West. And the part it has played in creating, cultivating, showcasing, and celebrating its dynamic coming of age journey . . .
A Brief History Of ANOKHI:
‘Anokhi VIBE’ launched its very first edition in 2002, to become the first South Asian-fusion-lifestyle print quarterly glossy in the West, available on mainstream newsstands in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In 2006, the magazine lost its urban “vibe” & became ‘ANOKHI Magazine’ & website. The chic and bougie re-design, along with an editorial focus on pop culture, lifestyle, and entertainment, grew the readership to over 65,000 and attracted a slew of mainstream, multinational advertisers, like the L’Oréal Paris Group, the P&G Brands, the Diageo premium portfolio and many more. By 2015, the magazine transitioned to a monthly “online only” edition to meet the changing demands of consumer habits in the media world, eventually turning into a robust online blog to reach a larger audience and a global distribution network.
NEWSLETTER & SOCIAL MEDIA:
ANOKHI’s Weekly Newsletter launched in 2003, and now services 100,000+ e-members across North America). The brand made it’s social media entry in 2009 – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, (and Instagram thereafter), with a combined community (along with Raj Girn’s own social presence) reach that is now in excess of 1 million members worldwide.
THE ANOKHI LIST & COFFEE TABLE BOOKS:
The Annual ‘Sexy & Successful List’ launched in 2003, celebrating prominent South Asian success stories from around the world, across mainstream media, glamour, entertainment, lifestyle, and business. By 2014, it was renamed ‘The ANOKHI List’ – a name change warranted to accommodate more ‘conservative’ personalities to be included in addition to the ‘out-of-the-box’ ones.
In 2015, ‘The ANOKHI List’ was re-imagined into 3 consecutive years of a large format, print and online coffee table book, followed by the launch of www.theanokhilist.com website in 2018, to reach a wider global audience.
The “ANOKHI AWARDS” began in 2007, becoming an annual calendar highlight, comprising of a multi-sponsored red carpet media reception, celebrity awards & entertainment show, designer fashion runway show, and a multi-deejay after-party.
In 2013, 10th anniversary of the brand was marked with ‘The ANOKHI Prestige List & Awards’, a landmark magazine and event campaign that spotlight global South Asian game changers — the OGs who broke the glass ceiling in mainstream society.
The 15th milestone anniversary hosted a double event for the first time: ‘THE ANOKHI Power Summit & The ANOKHI Power Ball’, with the event hashtag trending on Twitter Canada the day it was held.
In 2010, the ‘ANOKHI Women’s Club’ Event Series was launched: an in-person, interactive, boutique seminar series, with the goal of bringing together South Asian women to learn, discuss, support, and network. 2017 marked the next iteration, ‘The ANOKHI Prestige Experience’, a day-long themed seminar series of panel discussions, fireside chats, performances, sponsor activations, and networking opportunities. The goal was to educate, inspire, and support South Asians in various industries.
2010 – 2013 marked the launch of 3 Youtube channels:
- The ‘ANOKHI PULSE TV‘ YouTube Channel – a short-form, video entertainment show to provide awareness for the South Asian arts & entertainment industry.
- The ‘ANOKHI SPOTLIGHT TV’ YouTube Channel – a short-form, video lifestyle show to provide awareness for the South Asian lifestyle industry.
- The ‘RAJ GIRN‘ YouTube channel – long-form, celebrity-centric, video chat show, featuring South Asian and mainstream celebrities.
In 2019 ‘The ANOKHI UNCENSORED Show’ premiered in partnership with Rukus Avenue Radio (currently with an 8 million unique listeners per month audience, airing on Dash Radio), as a weekly hot button topics show, also featuring celebrities from Bollywood to Hollywood, making it a station favourite with audiences.
THE WORLD OF FASHION:
ANOKHI launched Fusia Boutique in partnership with designer Alia Khan and The Bay flagship store in Toronto in 2007. For the first time in its history, the Toronto flagship location of The Bay, an iconic 300+ year old Canadian department store, had invited a South Asian company to curate a South Asian fusion storefront on their designer floor.
CHARITY & SUPPORT INITIATIVES:
Over the many years, through its events and blog communities, ANOKHI has supported various charities including Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Diabetes Association, Aga Khan Foundation, Free Them and many more.
ANOKHI’s SUPPORT DURING COVID:
- During the lockdown years, ANOKHI supported the South Asian community worldwide by mandating 20% of profits to be donated to support charity initiatives, and launching ANOKHI’s ‘Community Spotlight’ series in 2020 at the magazine blog. The goal here was to create awareness-centric articles to support small-sized South Asian businesses worldwide. This series has since become a regular feature on the magazine blog.
- ‘The ANOKHI HEROES List‘ was launched in 2021 to support South Asian businesses around the world, who were struggling to stay alive. This was a first for the annual list to dedicate its focus beyond celebrities and well-known personalities, which is what it traditionally showcased.
- With ‘The ANOKHI ADVOCATES List’, the brand continued to focus on community service with the annual list, by showcasing people who advocated initiatives to create awareness for South Asian narratives.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES:
International recognition of ANOKHI (and founder Raj Girn, related to her work through the brand) has included:
- 2021: ANOKHI & Raj Girn – Winner Of The ‘“Women In Business” Social Changemaker Of The Year’ Stevie® Award
- 2021: Winner Of The ‘Media Innovators’ Award For Media Blog Of The Year by Corporate Vision Future Of Better Business, Burton-On-Trent, Staffordshire, England
- 2016: Raj Girn – Winner Of ‘The 14th International Women’s Day Achiever’ Award by PCHS, Toronto, Canada
- 2015: Raj Girn – Winner Of ‘The Inspirational Achiever’ Award by Roshni Media
- 2013: Raj Girn – Winner Of The ‘ICCC Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year’ Award
- 2012: Raj Girn – Featured In The ‘Roshni: The Light Of South Asia’ Coffee Table Book
- 2005: Voted ‘South Asian Lifestyle Magazine Of The Year’ by SASA
- 2004: Winner Of The ‘SASA Outstanding Achievement In Journalism’ Award
The longevity of the ANOKHI brand is a testament to the fact that the South Asian community is viscerally identifiable in the West & is undeniably here to stay.
Below, in Part 2 of the 20th anniversary video campaign, founder Raj Girn answers the 20 most asked questions of the past 20 years about the ANOKHI brand . . .
“It’s been a journey of epic proportions for the South Asian community these past 20 years hasn’t it?” says Raj Girn. “I feel so blessed to have been able to helm the ANOKHI brand these past 20 defining years with a dream team of employees, sub-contractors, partners, and clients, who have all been consistent and eloquent in their service to our dynamic community here in the West.”
|Stay tuned for Part 3 of the video series, coming Saturday November 26th, 2022, where the brand will reveal plans on how we will be celebrating ANOKHI’s 20th anniversary.|
|For interview enquiries with the founder Raj Girn, please contact: [email protected]|
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About ANOKHI LIFE ANOKHI LIFE (previously ANOKHI MEDIA) was founded in 2002 by its award-winning President and CEO Raj Girn, who had the vision of creating a one-stop multimedia resource to communicate and engage intimately with the global South Asian community to which she belongs, as well as provide a platform for relevant and penetrative connectivity between the community and the commercial world at large. With this as the central focus and mission statement, Raj and her team set forth to create a brand that would forge this vision into the mindshare of the community and market share of the client.
ANOKHI LIFE’s portfolio includes a robust online community with an online magazine blog, 2 video channels, a radio show, an annual awards show, a boutique event series, a weekly newsletter, and a global social media network. They have also garnered an extensive, long-term, multi-national client base due to their innovative strategies and pioneering initiatives. The brand has become North America’s premier “go to” information resource for all aspects associated with South Asian pop culture, lifestyle and entertainment, for the consumer, the media and the commercial sector.
www.AnokhiLife.com | www.Anokhi20.com | Newsletter