An award-winning innovator in the field of South Asian crossover content and multi-national client integration, Raj Girn founded ANOKHI magazine in 2002 as the first installment of the well-known ANOKHI MEDIA multi-platform lifestyle brand. This high gloss, quarterly publication targeted the western born South Asian, and was the first and only media in North America to focus on this integrated, crossover profile as its core mandate. The editorial vision was indicative of this as Raj deliberately spearheaded cover personalities to align with this mandate, where personalities from the west were showcased as readily as those from the east, parallel to their influence to the demo. In fact, ANOKHI magazine gave Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado and Nicole Scherzinger, all their first South Asian covers.
The magazine garnered popularity, and was voted ‘Magazine Of The Year, 2005’ at the SAMA Awards in New York. Not only was it a hit with the public but also with the multinational advertising industry, going on to become the first and only North American targeted South Asian magazine to be supported by the glamour brands: L’Oreal, Lancôme, Maybelline, Aveeno, Garnier but to name a few.
Now Raj sought a larger focus through macro research and forecasting on pop culture and society, population migration, economics, education and technology, where she foresaw the expansive, global appeal of the South Asian market. As the demo grew, so did the magazine to a fully- fledged multimedia brand, comprising: a print (Canada, the US, the UK) and digital (worldwide) magazine, a weekly newsletter (mostly in the US), online interactive community (www.anokhimedia.com), 2 online video channels (Pulse TV and Daily Spotlight TV), and a dedicated social media network (Mostly in India). Circulation, subscriptions and membership grew from 5,000 in 2002 to over 580,000 in 2013, of which over 85% are South Asian, with an almost 50-50 split of residence in North America and India as targeted.
As a big picture thinker, Raj went on to extend the brand portfolio to include event hosting, for which ANOKHI has become known for its glamorous, star-studded affairs, most notably, the annual awards show (each February in Toronto), which has seen the attendance of: Priyanka Chopra, Freida Pinto, Jay Sean, Noureen DeWulf, Melinda Shankar, Hannah Simone, Anusha Dandekar, Anjulie, Falguni & Shane Peacock, Vikram Phadnis, Ashley Rebello, and Payal Singhal but to name a few.
By popular request, Raj also launched a celebrity blog, www.openchest.com, which houses an extensive portfolio of intimate celebrity conversations she has conducted in print and on video over the past decade.
Raj’s accolades include:
2013: Winner of the ICCC Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC , Toronto, ON
2013: United Way Peel International Women’s Day Gala Honorary Chair, Toronto, ON
2013: OneProsper International Advisory Board Member, Toronto, ON
2012: Featured in ‘Roshni: The Light Of South Asia’, collectible book celebrating NA’s most prominent South Asians, New York, NY
2009-10: NetIP NA’s 18th Annual Conference Marketing Chair, Toronto, ON
2008: Named as one of Toronto’s South Asians to watch out for by the National Post newspaper, Toronto, ON
2005: Named amongst Desiclub’s 50 Coolest South Asians in the World List, New York, NY
2004: Winner of the SASA Outstanding Achievement in Journalism Award, Houston, TX
Raj resides in Toronto with her 16-year-old son, Karam.