Art of Versatility

Back from her recent break as the South Asia Ambassador for Youth for Human Rights at New York, Sheena took time to speak to us about her journey as presenter and more.


It is often said that versatility is an art few can master. The case of well known presenter Sheena Chohan is different. From winning the coveted title of Miss Kolkata to acting in films and hosting events, Sheena’s career is a glaring example of versatility in action.

Back from her recent break as the South Asia Ambassador for Youth for Human Rights at New York, Sheena took time to speak to us about her journey as presenter and more.


What has your journey as an emcee been like?

I’ve been fortunate because I won Miss Kolkatta when in school and then a title under Miss Universe India, where I was groomed by Sushmita Sen and had my acting career launched in a film with South mega star Mammootty, I never had to struggle with events and was thrown into major events with international dignitaries from a young age.

How do you think this profession has aided your career?

I got my biggest film because of an event! I was hosting a cricket TV show which had 20 million viewers a day and I had a director, Mustafa Farooki, on my show as a guest and afterward the event he offered me led to the lead role in that film, for which I was nominated as Best Actress at the Dubai and Shanghai Film Festivals. You can watch Ant Story on Netflix!

You have been credited with many firsts in the ‘Live Experience’ space, tell us about that.

Last month I was the first Indian to have received the Hero Award at the United Nations New York. Also being the first Indian Presenter, speaking at the United Nations to leading Ambassadors of the world, representing India was a privilege!

What do you think are the drawbacks of being in this profession?

I think the bad reputation some hosts have , make it hard – I pride myself on staying in touch with event organisers and not having an arrogant attitude. Yes, I do have to carry my confidence and do my best to look my best, but also hosts need to ensure that we behave the best! Respect is the word .We all need to respect each other.

Tell us about the experiential side of being an Emcee?

I love interacting, engagements and uplifting my audiences. Being lively and spontaneous is the key! Live is the essence.

You’ve worked with multiple brands: how has the collaboration worked for you?

I work to get as much information from a brand as I can because the more I know about their audience the more I can connect with them. I was given the Best Audience Connectivity crown in Miss Universe India by an audience of millions, and the way I achieved that and any strong level of audience connectivity, is by really making sure that I know who it is that I am interacting with. The better I know the brand and people in the room, the more I can connect and interact with them.

What are the other activities that you are involved in apart from being in this profession?

I’m the South Asia Ambassador for Youth for Human Rights, the largest human rights education program in the world. Just last month I went to New York to give a speech to international dignitaries at the United Nations. I talked in that same building where everyone from Nelson Mandela to Priyanka Chopra before me has stood, and called for mandatory human rights education in all schools.

What is the scope of making a career in a profession like this one in the events industry?

The scope is anywhere from complete failure to head of a corporation! And don’t get me wrong – it is easy to totally fail in this job. The main place I see young anchors fail is in arrogance, not staying in touch with the client and not being willing to really listen to what the client wants. But the people who succeed, be it as hosts, managers or company owners – the scope there is limitless – who else can say they sprinkled the Prime Minister with roses from a helicopter or flew Beyonce in for one night to entertain the King Khans, apart from the top event people of the country.

What made you decide to take up emceeing as a full time career?

Well, it’s not my full-time career – that is acting. I love to do both because it keeps me in touch with people – I love to walk into a room where people are bored and get to interact with them so that when I leave they are all enthusiastic. That direct interaction with an audience is something I used to get when I did theatre in Delhi, but as a film actress you miss it, which is why I love hosting events.

If you could, what would be your advice to yourself as a newcomer in the industry?

I would say before launching into action, first really find out what is needed and wanted. Don’t assume anything! Really listen to your client and get as much details as possible – the client knows their audience and knows the effect they want to cause – listen to the event manager , client and owner and give them exactly what they want – that’s the best advice.

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