Chandni Modha left a senior managerial role at the international PR agency Starworks to start her global brand development agency, CJM Publicity, at the age of 32. Four years and countless celebrity partnerships later, she is the head of a functional family of five who work round-the-clock to deliver some effective brand recognition strategies to Hollywood hotshots. From rubbing shoulders with Beyoncé, Matthew McConaughey and Kylie Minogue, to planning looks for the Cannes Film Festival for ten long years, this boss lady’s glorious repertoire of A-list clientele speaks for itself. Her feat doesn’t stop at this. You’d be surprised at the level of energy and positivity she brings to the floor. You might know her love for fashion or that she is a witty Brit, but her undeniable charm and drive to excel is what bowled us over.
ELLE: You’ve been in the fashion and entertainment industry for over 15 years now. Where did your journey begin?
Chandi Modha: It began during my time at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. Dolce & Gabbana approached me to intern at its London Celebrity PR Office.
ELLE: Your biggest career milestone?
CM: When veteran actor Helen Mirren wrote me a reference letter. I felt a big sense of accomplishment. Mirren is the reigning lady of cinema—she also played Queen Elizabeth, and I felt as though Her Majesty had given me her approval.
ELLE: The best advice you’ve received?
CM: That the worst thing you can do for yourself is become complacent. Don’t wait for things to happen. If you want something bad enough, you have to make it happen. And if you find that sounds too difficult, it probably means you don’t want it enough.
Modha with actor Vin Diesel
ELLE: Tell us about your association with Shiffon.
CM: I was one of the first mentors to Shilpa Yarlagadda on her fine jewellery label Shiffon. She contacted me two years ago when it was just an idea. Since then, the brand has developed into a network of powerful women who support each other.
ELLE: What’s next?
CM: A project on the sustainability aspect of fashion and jewellery brands. Also setting up a sister agency, that represents diverse talent and placing them with global brands and events. Eventually I’ll set up my own charity.
Photograph: Dani Carroll (Modha); Hair: bgX and Salon House, UK; Make-up: Jo Artistry & Spa and Smashbox; Location: Boca Cha Cha, UK