India’s advertising industry is witnessing an unprecedented boom. The number of small and large companies vying to get a market share has increased exponentially over the last decade.
While Multinational Companies (MNCs) and regional players battle it out for supremacy on store shelves, advertising firms, modelling agencies and models are enjoying a field day.
The trend will continue as manufacturers and service providers take recourse to every known media to popularize their brands.
What are Modelling Agencies?
The modelling agencies is a company that presents fashion models to work for the fashion industry, film industry, modelling industry.
Modelling agencies help to make people from ordinary to extraordinary. Not only modelling agencies make extraordinary people but also finds a good opportunity for talented people.
Becoming a Model
Making to the catwalk in India is no cakewalk by any yardstick.
Nowadays, almost anyone can become a model in India, regardless of age, ethnicity, physical attributes and gender.
This is evident from the barrage of print and electronic media advertisements that a newspaper or magazine reader, TV viewers and Internet surfers have to suffer while reading news or watching videos.
Basic Modelling Skills
However, there are some basic requirements to become a model.
- Photogenic appearance.
- Some acting skills.
- Portfolio of glamorous pictures.
- Clear speech.
- Confidence to act before cameras.
- Team player.
Those who possess all of some of these skills can approach a good modelling agency in India and register for Modelling Jobs.
Successful applicants will get called for an interview and photo-shoot that may also include a video.
You may also have to undergo an audition for voice and language skills. Generally, this will be done by a modelling agency for a fee.
However, those lucky might get attracted by talent scouts who will negotiate with agencies and advertising companies directly, which allow you to circumvent these costs.
Unfortunately, the craze to become models that prevails among youngsters and middle-aged persons has also led to mushrooming of illegal businesses operating under the guise of modelling agencies.
We discuss these later in the article.
Top 10 Best Modelling Agencies in India
1. Film & Television Institute of India
Pune-based Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) is not exactly a modelling agency.
It is India’s premier institute for learning acting and other skills vital to become a model.
FTII is an autonomous body that operates under India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
FTII is acclaimed worldwide for its superior quality courses. Aspiring models can join FTII and study for the two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Acting.
FTII offers only 10 seats annually for this course. You have to be a graduate from any discipline to join FTII.
Those who complete the course successfully are highly sought after by advertising companies and cinema producers as models and actors.
FTII graduates do not require any modelling agencies to act as mediators.
2. Gladrags Career Academy
Gladrags ranks among the topmost modelling agencies of India.
The academy is part of a media group that also holds beauty pageants and publishes an eponymous fashion magazine.
“At the Gladrags Career Academy, Maureen Wadia has chiselled ordinary guys and girls from next door into superstars,” claims it's website.
And these claims are indeed true. Some very famous models trained at Gladrags include John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Aishwarya Rai, Dino Morea, Kangana Ranaut, Sonu Sood, Poonam Pandey, Candice Pinto, to name just a few.
Indeed, the list of Gladrags students who have made it to the top can be called the Who’s Who list of Bollywood.
3. Anima Creative Management
Anima Creative Management Pvt. Ltd is a talent management firm that exclusively represents Indian and foreign morels as well as photographers, stylists, hair and make-up artists for the fashion, film and advertising industry, states the company website.
“Our unique approach to managing the careers of our talent combined with a keen eye for recognizing and scouting new faces, has established a reputation for innovative thinking with a strong understanding of the marketplace for our client’s needs,” it adds.
4. Frankfinn Institute of Modeling & Acting
FIMA ranks among the most reputed training agencies for budding models and actors.
FIMA has modelling and acting centres across India. The company traces its history to 1956, when it began as a small institute to train airline cabin crew.
Today, it ranks among world leaders for providing trained flight stewards and stewardesses to the Indian and foreign airline.
Additionally, it’s modelling and acting agency has shaped the careers of thousands of aspirants wanting to enter the glamour and entertainment agency.
FIMA does not run a placement service. However, the company has produced several Bollywood movies where graduates from its training center were given the opportunity to make it to the big stage.
FIMA modeling students generally get excellent offers from various advertising companies looking at directly hiring budding talent.
5. Crizaze Modeling & Advertising Agency
Crizaze Modeling & Advertising Agency ranks among the most prominent and well-reputed agencies in this genre.
It was founded in 2010 by Vimal Hari, an engineer by qualifications, as a startup.
Crizaze is based in Chennai but maintains a presence across India and has associates abroad.
“Model scouting and development initiatives also extend into national model searches produced in concert with strategic media partners utilizing the latest in information and social technologies.
A distinctive professionalism and integrity, which imbues all aspects of client relations have allowed Crizaze to remain a pioneer in the dynamic and ever-changing fashion and beauty industries for over six years,” says the company website.
6. Indossatore International Modeling Agency
Indossatore calls itself an online modelling agency that serves clients across India and the Middle East. This company is based in Kerala and has offices in the UAE.
Indossatore claims to specialize in female and male models as well as children required for print and video ads. Additionally, the company conducts events.
It offers services including portfolio management to aspiring models.
7. Talent Next
Talent Next describes the company as an online talent management company that helps budding models to be found by advertising companies and talent scouts.
Aspiring models can simply sign-up with their Facebook, LinkedIn or Google accounts including Gmail and fill in the required details, including a working mobile number.
They can activate the account using the One Time Password sent to their mobiles and upload a personal profile and portfolio.
8. Inega Models Management
Inega Models Management was established in 1990. The company actively participates in the production of fashion shows across India and as well as foreign countries.
“ Inega has consolidated its position from being the first company to formally represent international models in India, to the largest agency in management businesses.
The roster of persons represented by Inega includes actors, stylist, hair and makeup artist, director of photography, local and international models. The company has also produced a wide range of advertising work for television and still,” states its website.
9. Runway Agency Talent and Model Management
This agency is part of Mumbai-based Runway Media Pvt. Ltd.
It offers models a wide array of services including portfolio management and finding the right advertising agencies for launching or furthering their careers.
Aspiring models can enroll online to embark on modelling career by submitting an online form complete with various kinds of pictures required by the agency for its clients.
10. Strawberrifox Model Management
In 2017, Strawberrifox Model Management made world headlines when Ukraine’s 23-year old wheelchair bound female model was signed up by the agency.
Strawberrifox provides a wide array of services for models, budding and professional- including photo, web and video shoots.
The company is also into producing movies.
Additionally, Strawberrifox has a wide portfolio of international models that are required by companies in India and abroad for their commercials.
History of Modeling in India
The history of modelling in India is fairly modern. Indian society, rife with tradition, culture and their inherent inhibitions, placed severe restrictions upon women and men from displaying themselves in movies and advertisements.
Top movie stars of yesteryears had to face possibilities of being ostracized by the society for their profession. The same held true for modelling for advertisements.
No specific records exist about who was India’s first model to feature in an advertisement.
However, empirical research indicates, the first Indian female model was Dr. Leela Chitnis (born September 9, 1912), who featured on a print advertisement for Lux Toilet Soap in 1941.
Indeed, her endorsement of Lux, a brand owned by Lever Brothers, predecessor to Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
The popular actress was hired by advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson. The commercial propelled Dr. Chitnis, a qualified physician and actress into instant, nationwide fame in the Indian subcontinent.
Since, there has been no looking back for females and males wanting to make career in modeling.
History was again made in 1966 when Goa-born female model Rita Faria Powell was crowned Miss World.
Also a physician by profession, Dr. Rita Faria Powell is the first Asian woman and model to have won this coveted accolade.
Anjali Lama made history in 2017 by becoming the first transgender model to make it to the catwalk at the Lakme Fashion Week held in Mumbai.
Words of Caution
Before you enroll or register with a modelling agency, it is advisable to do some research about its credentials. Hundreds of unscrupulous individuals and groups have opened bogus agencies with fancy names and fake credentials.
They charge tens of thousands of Rupees from aspiring models, take glam pictures and fade into the limbo.
Yet others claim to be modelling agencies but are escort services.
They take pictures of attractive females and males and post them online to lure customers seeking sexual pleasures.
You may inadvertently find your picture posted on one such website, unless you are very cautious. Thirdly, some agencies are outright escort services.
Operating under the guise of modelling agencies, they send unsuspecting young women and men to clients wanting temporary carnal relations.
There are instances where such women and men were raped or ended up being tested HIV positive.
Escort agencies are banned under Indian law and are run by criminal gangs.
You can land in serious trouble with the law while suffering physical and mental trauma while trying to pursue a largely innocuous, healthy and lucrative career of modeling.
Modelling in India has come a long way since 1941. Today, modelling agencies business in India is a multi-billion Rupee industry.
Female, male and child models are compensated very lucratively for playing roles in commercials. Modelling Agencies that promote them also get a good share of profits.
Additionally, India’s laws regarding child labor are strictly enforced by the country’s legitimate advertising industry.
Meaning, children can work as models only in specific conditions. As companies in India continue to boom, the demand for models will increase exponentially.