You might know her best as Kelly Kapoor in The Office — it was Mindy Kaling’s first big break as an actor, but she also wrote more episodes than anyone else in the show’s history and produced 129 of them. Or you’ve watched her in The Mindy Project, the show she produced after leaving The Office, where she starred as an Ob/Gyn doctor named Mindy Lahiri who navigates work, love and life in New York City with an envious wardrobe for six seasons.
Or maybe, Mindy Kaling’s name makes you think of the big screen, thanks to her acting credits in A Wrinkle in Time, Ocean’s 8 or Late Night (she produced that one, too). Or you read one of her memoirs – Why Not Me? spent 16 weeks on The New York Times best sellers list. Or you watched one of the TV shows brought to you by her production company, Kaling International, which is behind the critically acclaimed hits The Sex Lives of College Girls and Never Have I Ever. We get it — she’s an accomplished lady — and it’s about time she’s been recognized for it by a media institution as big as TIME.
Mindy Kaling Recognized by Time’s 100 Influential Companies List
On March 30th, the actress, comedian, screenwriter, producer, director and author, was recognized by TIME on their list of 100 most influential companies for Kaling International, which she founded in 2012. Mindy Kaling told TIME, “I think the reason I decided to start my own production company was the reason I write my own parts: I just like the worlds that I create and I want to see more of them out in the world. A lot of times that means seeing underrepresented groups and getting to hear their stories.”
And people are responding to Mindy Kaling’s work. TIME reports that in 2020 when the first season was released, Never Have I Ever was streamed by 40 million households, while The Sex Lives of College Girls is one of the most successful HBO Max shows to date.
Kaling announced the honor on Instagram: “Having @kalinginternational recognized by @time as a leader in business is frankly, unreal.” She writes that she initially created Kaling International to oversee all the projects she was writing and producing, but in the last few years it has become so much more: “Besides my two kids, it is the love of my life. The moment I created my company, and my career became about making content that showcased stories of the underestimated and under-represented, my entire life changed in the best ways. We are able to find unique perspectives we love, that make us cry and laugh, and give them a platform that has reached millions.”
Business Leaders like Kaling Are Shaping the Future
The TIME100 Most Influential Companies is an annual list that highlights the businesses and leaders like Mindy Kaling that are shaping the future and have made an “extraordinary” impact around the world.
To put the list together, TIME asked their network of editors, correspondents and industry experts for the names of business leaders from multiple sectors including health care, entertainment and technology. They evaluated the list based on relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success. In Mindy Kaling’s case: check, check, check, check, check and check.
Kaling concluded her Instagram post with this touching message: “I hope there are people out there — young women of color in particular — who see this cover, get inspired, and ask themselves “Why not me?”.