India’s Most Loved Food & Travel Journalist
Do you know what they say about curly hair girls? That they are smart, outgoing, and warm-hearted! ‘Curly’ Kamiya Jani Verma is no different. Zestful yet sharp, she worked as a Business Journalist and Television Anchor with ET NOW, Bloomberg TV and CNBC TV18 before leaving to start something of her own in the travel space.
“Most people didn’t consider traveling as a serious profession. I wanted to create content as I travelled and build something meaningful. People saw me taking pictures and videos which looked kind of frivolous, but took my 100%. When the videos started to go viral is when I realized the power and potential of creation.”
This was the beginning of what we today know as India’s foremost food and travel multimedia platform – Curly Tales. Kamiya started Curly Tales in January 2017 as a personal blog where she would document her travel journeys. 40 countries and 153 cities later, it is India’s number 1 food and travel discovery zone with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Dubai, and a social media community size of 10mn+. Kamiya’s online conversations with famous personalities such as Virat Kohli, Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Kajol, Ajay Devgn and many more have made her show – Sunday Brunch, the internet’s most popular programme.
Unlike most people who dream but don’t act, Kamiya gave up her full time media job and dared to live the life she wanted. Yet, her journey wasn’t one without challenges. Not being able to monetize for the initial one year and still marching ahead took a lot, but the validation she received in the social media space boosted the journey. Another challenge was building a team. No matter how hard you try, you can’t achieve everything alone. It was thus important to get the right talent who would work towards the same goals.
‘A strategic approach to content’ is what helped Kamiya achieve all her targets. She looks at her product – Curly Tales – as a factory that is creating content and has a set system wherein every day of the week, it puts out content in a crisp ‘consistency’. On the other hand, she also feels that they have not been able to scale at the pace they should have. “A lot of business decisions are still dependent on me, a lot of content approval is still stuck at me. And what I think is that at an earlier stage itself, we should have set the process in a manner where the business is not dependent on me.”
Undeniably successful, there are still times when Kamiya finds it hard to balance home and work. She realises that the only way to do so is to have a set routine and prioritize what is important. “Starting the day early is my biggest learning. Waking up early helps me chalk out the day. I also take out time to exercise and spend quality time with my daughter. I make it a point to spend at least one hour a day with her without any interruption of phones involved. We call this time ‘our talk time’. One thing that I have sacrificed is my social life. I have lost touch with most of my friends and that’s a big price to pay. I miss them and try to catch up when time permits.”
As a mother, wife and daughter-in-law, Kamiya does not see things as barriers, but instead, little adjustments. Explaining why more than equality of men and women at work, we need equality of men and women at home, she says, “Men are rarely shamed for their absence but if a woman is absent at an important family or social engagement, she is made to feel extremely guilty about it.” Her solution for this – be organized, systematic, and have processes in place that help sort out things instead of going with the flow. This will also help your manager see that you have the bandwidth and talent management skills to take more opportunities on hand.
Such unwavering focus has seen Kamiya receive various national and international honours, some of which are:
- Screenxx 2021 | Travel Show – I love my India
- Screenxx 2021 | Content Weekender Show – Sunday Brunch
- Social Samosa | Social Media Superwoman – Kamiya Jani
- Satte Awards
- IFBA | Youtube Traveller of the year – Kamiya Jani
- IFBA | Insta Star – Kamiya Jani
- Expendables Awards 2023 | Best travel and food influencer – Kamiya Jani (Curly Tales)
Reflecting on her passion for travel, Kamiya says, “My passion is to make International travel extremely simple and easy for Indians who are often apprehensive or intimidated by the whole procedure. For me, traveling is not just about seeing and experiencing places but also documenting those experiences and sharing it with my community of travel and food enthusiasts, who can come back and learn from it.”