Shoneeka: Dynamic, Impetuous & Enthusiastic Leader With Engaging Storytelling Skills


Shoneeka: Dynamic, Impetuous & Enthusiastic Leader With Engaging Storytelling Skills

Shoneeka: Dynamic, Impetuous & Enthusiastic Leader With Engaging Storytelling Skills


 With so much development in the start-up ecosystem, women are now finally living their entrepreneurial dream. These super women not only work hard to flourish in their ventures but also inspire other ladies with their enriching journey which comprises of both success and struggle stories. Zikr started as a vlog with the intention of celebrating the different emotions that Shoneeka experienced during her life. She believes, ‘When we accept each emotion (be it good, bad or ugly) in us gracefully, we live a complete life’. Eventually, Shoneeka decided to create Zikr Productions to cater to a larger audience with interesting narratives about life. In her 16 years of advertising stint, she created campaigns for brands like Samsung, Nestle, Hindustan Times, Zee TV, Fever 104FM, Nokia, Maruti, Kurkure, Hero, VLCC and many more. And with Zikr Productions, she set out to tell stories which people resonate with universally. Women Entrepreneur Magazine recognized her talent and we recently engaged in a one-on-one interaction with Shoneeka, here’s a snippet.

Take us through your early educational journey and prior industry experience that you bring to the table.

In school, I was neither a front bencher, nor a back-bencher, I used to be on the bench that was in the middle,

 and which was often empty because I was punished along with my besties for being ‘over-talkative’. That’s where I think I discovered my love for telling stories. I was always very active in dramatics & in hosting school and college festivals. I was an RJ when there was just one FM, AIR FM. At 20, I used to get fan mails saying, ‘you are like a morning cup of coffee’, and I took that seriously and joined advertising as a writer. ‘I never discriminate when it comes to narrating a story. Be it a suit or a sadhu, for me all are my audience.’

What motivated you to establish Zikr Productions? Tell us more about the underlying idea behind the venture and some of its areas of specialization.

I moved to Kathmandu just like that one day. In some kind of search, may be. Nepal is a beautiful country and it filled the empty spaces of my life with art, culture n travel. I danced my lungs out, served at a Vipassana camp with a German & Venezuelan buddy, trekked for days in the Annapurna Region with girls from 4 different nationalities. While I was exploring myself in new ways, I was called to pitch to Unilever as a writer/director. Despite not knowing Nepali, I penned a love story, shot it and the web series became a success. The process was gratifying and that obviously made me want more of it. So, I set up my own Production House and started working on short films both in Nepal & India.

Throw light on some of the most interesting projects that you have worked on as a creative professional?

I loved writing & directing a web-series for Close up called ‘Love Close Up’. We had to finish five webisodes in 10 days, we worked double shifts. It was challenging since I was not only shooting in a new country but also shooting instructions in an alien language. It was all weird and funny. Another fascinating project for me was 'No Thank You’. We had a chicken feed budget and it was an 'inside car' shoot. We did a prep-shoot to freeze frames, prepare actors and to understand how to tactfully hide two people inside a small car. It was a great learning on how to create beautiful work without fancy budgets. Then there were some really interesting projects for TVS.

" I enjoy every step of filmmaking-including scripting, storyboarding, referencing, casting, acting workshops, location hunting, shooting, editing, music - i love both pre & post production work"

What is your creative process while preparing for a new project?

I dig into the insights. In fact, I get into every detail of the filmmaking process- scripting, referencing, storyboarding, casting, acting workshops, shooting, editing, music- from pre-production to locking the cut, I love it all.

What are the challenges you faced as a creative professional in the Indian media and entertainment industry?

The biggest challenge we are facing is, that there’s content everywhere. There are more eyeballs for poor content than good content. It is a lie that good content goes viral on its own. For it to be seen, one has to boost it with ads. And companies with heavy marketing

budgets win the game. Every ‘like’ is bought and every ‘view’ is paid for. And if you don’t have views, likes or shares you won’t have credibility.

Enumerate some of the most significant milestones you have achieved throughout your professional journey.

When I look in retrospect, each agency that I worked with, built me for what I’m doing now. My love for brands was nourished by FCB, while my desire to write was fostered by Enterprise Nexus. In Ogilvy, I learnt how to stand up for my ideas. Lowe taught me how to win pitches. At DDB Mudra, I learnt how to lead a huge team in two cities simultaneously and how to co-direct films. JWT was all about honing my skill. Cheil taught me how to focus on one brand. And now with Zikr everything is coming together perfectly. As if it was meant to be.

What has been your success mantra?

‘Jo bhi pyar se mila, hum usee ke holiye’.

Shoneeka, Founder, Zikr Productions

 Shoneeka has more than 16 years of experience in Brand Building, Content generation, TVCs, Short films, Copywriting, Ideation to Execution.


Educational Qualification :

Film Production (Diploma)

Advertising & Marketing (Diploma)

BA English (hons)

Awards of Recognitions won so far

AAAI (2006), AAAI (2014), MIRCHI KAAN (2009), Digital Digi X(2017)

A business leader you admire :

Louise Hay, an American author and a metaphysical teacher who inspired and healed many through her writing. I love her life work.