Headline: Baljeet Johal builds a brand

Subhed: TV anchor and model very much in demand

Photo: Baljeet Johal . . . back from a US tour

Amritsar: Spending over a decade in an industry that runs on fame, star value and visibility, Baljeet Johal, one of the few anchors and models in the Punjabi entertainment industry, says she believes in exclusivity. By that she means building a brand for herself doing her kind of assignment.

“I have always done shows that had a healthy fan-star connection, where common people get their 15 minutes of fame. That’s worked out fine so far,” says the Amritsar-based emcee.

Back from a two month tour of the US with a team of Punjabi artistes, including singer Ammy Virk, Baljeet says being one of the few female anchors can be demanding.

“The Punjabi entertainment industry has seen the rise of many singers, actors and comedy artistes, but very few emcees. So, I am happy to be packed with assignments, but it means long working hours and staying away from home,” says Baljeet.

As for her US tour, she enjoyed every moment of being in the spotlight, she said.

“It was supposed to be a 10 to 15 day tour, but was extended due to the popularity of Punjabi artistes among the NRI population. So, we toured 18 cities across the US, where I performed live on stage before every song and dance event.

“Visiting the US for the first time was exciting. It was a pleasure to meet all Punjabis, who have maintained the heritage of our culture.”

From receiving bouquets from fans to getting selfies with them, Baljeet enjoyed her time with her admirers.

While sharing her experience, Baljeet said, “The best moments were when older people used to come and appreciate my performance and my show ‘Pindan vicho pind’. The small moments like driving cargo trucks in California to meeting a female bodyguard dressed in Punjabi traditional suit was amazing.”

Her passion for poetry has been a huge advantage on the stage.

Baljeet says with TV actors now taking over anchoring, the industry runs solely on star-value.

“It is very important as that’s what keeps the fan following and shows like these running. It’s star value that enables them to manage an event and not just another chance encounter,” says Baljeet, who is also the project manager for Surya Kiran Centre under Sun Foundation, which aides a network of schools and educational institutions.

Her new show, ‘Shakti’ is about women empowerment and about donning different hats as a woman.

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