Malini Gowrishankar: From IT to Voice-overs to Travel Entrepreneurship and back to IT

I chose the name ‘Uncommon Transitions’ in the plural to showcase the plurality of transitions across a group of people, not a single person. And the trend so far has been exactly that: each person has had one major transition. But my guest in this episode breaks that trend, and how! Over a career spanning sixteen years, Malini Gowrishankar has been through multiple transitions spanning very different fields. She started in IT, then became a Voice-Over artist, dabbled in between as a Radio Jockey, founded a travel company for women travellers in India, and now she’s back in IT part-time in a very different role to the one she began her career in. 

I love this conversation for the way it brings out Malini’s curiosity to see what’s on the other side, her drive to embrace heterogeneity, her desire for social impact, and her business acumen which she’s developed not through some fancy MBA program but by building businesses and their brands from scratch. I learned so much from this insightful conversation, and I hope you do too.

This podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcast players.

More on Malini’s vocations and public appearances

Voice-over Website: Voice of Malini

Travel website: F5 Escapes

TEDx Talk: Pushing Margins

The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

When I was looking at your profile, it struck me that when I compare your profile to the others whom I have interviewed on this podcast, the kind of transitions and the number of transitions you’ve been through is very different. To use your own words on your website, you say your “career graph is quite strange. My experience spans multiple industries – 7 years in IT industry, over a decade in voice-overs and 7 years in travel.”  We’ll spend some time on all those as we go through your career arc, but I want to start with the voice-over part — one, because you are in the voice-over industry right now and secondly, it is probably something not many people know too much about. So what does a voice-over artist do, and how does a day in the life of a voice-over artist look like?

Honestly speaking I never even thought that one day I would actually be asked to speak about this journey of uncommon transitions. So, thank you for starting this podcast, and I feel validated in a way that all these jumps have indeed been very fruitful and it looks interesting and potentially helpful to other people with their career journeys.

Coming to the voice-over industry, I did not know that there is an industry called voice-overs. I had a lot of exposure to media as a teenager but that was where it stopped. I was happily in the IT industry but sometime in 2006, someone told me that you have a good voice and you should probably try voice-overs. This was at a studio where I went to record my singing voice so they said there is an opportunity why don’t you do it? So I asked what is voiceover and what do I do? And they told me what they currently have is a project which involves lending a voice to the character of Parvati which was a series of Ganesha stories. This was an animated CD ROMs project, and I said yes and that is how the first voiceover happened.

Over the years, I realized that this industry is not just limited to animated CD ROMs, this industry that encompasses multiple applications which include audio books, radio jingles, television commercials, telephone IVRs and many more. So that is how I got into the voice-over industry and that is exactly what voice-over means. You lend your voice to all these different applications.

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