Komal Kiran is a Grooming Expert and Pageant Coach from Mumbai, Maharashtra. She has won the coveted titles of Ms. India and Ms. Beautiful Earth during her tenure as a model and actor. She also has her academy, “Komal Kiran Academy“, where she trains young girls and kids for pageants, grooming, and image management.
Komal Kiran is also the Cheif Trustee and Founder of the NGO, Elysium Smiles, which works towards Girl Child Education. She has also acted in various Hindi In her conversation with Icy Tales, she spoke about her journey, her insights on image management, and some tips on grooming.
Q) What is it like to be a pageant coach?
Komal Kiran: Being a pageant coach feels very overwhelming because I should pat my back that I came to the other side. I was a trainee and contestant earlier, but now I am the one training the young girls. There’s also a sense of responsibility because I know that I’m the torchbearer to many girls and young kids also.
Many beauty pageants have also taken me as the official coach so my knowledge needs to be up to the mark. When I started as a pageant participant, I got trained in three academies. Then I got some in-house experience in the field in two beauty pageants. Then I went ahead and did my image consulting.
Recently, I completed my fashion styling from the London School of Trends, and to date, I keep pursuing so many certificate courses. I keep reading articles and following so many people where I know that from them, I can gain something. So it’s a mix of both things; one way I feel good, and the other way I know that I have to be true to my image.
Q) Tell us something about your venture, Komal Kiran Academy
Komal Kiran: I have been training girls since the day I came out of my pageants. I got invitations to train other girls as well, through my academy. It has been six years since I have been training but formally I started this academy four years back because I felt there was a void of proper learning institutes, which taught trainees in a customized way.
Not everyone has got same needs. If someone comes to me for a makeover, not everyone wants to learn advanced makeup. Not everyone needs to learn communication skills. Firstly, I do an analysis session with my trainees and then I decide how we move ahead on it.
One major part of our society that is missing, is etiquette training. Western countries value these things how you say it, body language, how you dine, how you shake hands, how you are presentable, etc. These things matter as it helps you stand apart in the crowd. If two women are entering a hall together, both don’t grab all the attention because a woman who is impeccably dressed, got good communication skills, confident body language will catch more eyes.
When we talk about makeup, women feel very confused. Sometimes they feel that it will spoil the skin. Well, it’s not so; if you use good makeup, I feel over time you feel your skin gets better. The makeup which doesn’t suit people is the one which they get done by beauty parlors who go overdue. Once a woman learns to do her makeup, she knows what product suits her.
One more thing that I realized is that when anyone is trained for beauty patients, two very important areas are usually missed out. One is the introduction round which is also the elimination round. This is the very first round and the only time a trainee can impress the jury members.
The second important thing is the Q&A round. So usually, academics are focusing on the ramp walk and posing. That is also equally important but for Q&A there is a very big testimony of why Sushmita won over Aishwarya or I should say she got it one level higher because the difference was Q&A. So in my academy, I focus more on these things.
Q) How important do you think the image is in today’s world and what role do grooming experts play?
Komal Kiran: There’s a very famous saying by Shawn Ashmore which says that “Style is a reflection of your personality and your attitude”. If you can work on your personality, you are eventually also working on your confidence, communication skills, body language, makeup, and dressing, automatically you get that attitude because you feel confident and then you are bound to be stylish.
It is important to look stylish because we are living in times where it is like a second skin, it’s undeniable. You need to always remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it your best. That is a typical example of why I call it gift wrapping. I always tell everyone that the gift is important but the wrapping is also equally important.
Q) What is something that you learn in the process of training young girls and kids?
Komal Kiran: I often notice the struggles of many of my trainees because most of them have achieved crowns no matter how hard things have been. It gives me that reiteration that nothing is impossible. I have seen women of various weights, and ages grab crowns because they work on them. If you want something badly, it should come from within.
I have seen that fire in so many women and it makes me so happy. One of my trainees was 80 years old and she walked the ramp and looked so lovely. For the finale, she pampered herself by bringing new jewellery, and a beautifully draped saree. Women should not restrict themselves because nothing is impossible for them.
Also, manifestations are really important. I always tell my trainees to manifest positive dreams because back then, when I used to work in TV Shows, so many times I felt that if I’m harvesting some dream, the whole universe conspires in helping me to get that and it works.
Q) What is something that you admire the most in your profession?
Komal Kiran: It sounds like I am being boastful but I am empowering women and I am proud about it. Madeleine Albright once said that there is a special place reserved in hell for women who don’t help other women. That somehow resonated with my thought process because I have always believed in helping women.
The best part about my profession is that God has given me that chance where I can help and impact so many women and I like that. Even when I am invited for sessions, I always give tips to girls and even a small bit of it can bring a change in their lives, it gives me so much happiness.
Q) What are your plans in this industry and how do you plan on achieving them?
Komal Kiran: I am working on the same premise on which my academy was set up. Also, there is a big gap in schools because every school teaches you English and Maths but no school teaches image building to kids. It is very vital in the current times and it is going to be so important in the future.
Schools should make it a part of their curriculum and at least the basics of everything should be taught. Most of the kids nowadays go to foreign countries for studies and jobs and it is not nice to see that they don’t have basic manners. We all believe that if a child’s language command is good, he or she is very good with communication. But there are so many aspects of non-verbal communication that hold equal value.
I am in talks with a few schools and colleges where I am planning to make this a subject into their curriculum, maybe once a week or probably like a workshop or extra class. It is crucial because I don’t like it when I go and someone presents me with her visiting card in an improper way. This is the plan that I am currently working on.
Komal Kiran aims to help more women across the country in the field of beauty pageants, self-grooming, and image management. She aspires to uphold her name in the world of pageants and grooming. She provides one of the best grooming in India, at the best level which enhances the talent of every model and helps launch them to that level where they become successful in the fashion or acting world.
Check out the complete conversation with Komal Kiran on our YouTube Channel.[amazon_auto_links id="280559"]