Mala launched her professional career in 1986. Her work has appeared in India in many newspapers and periodicals such as Swagat, Desh, Discover India, Frontline, Insight Guide, Indian Express, Inner Eye, Namaste, Sananda, Signature, Sportstar, Times of India etc., and also in London in the BBC Bulletin, The Cricketer and the India Weekly Journal; in ‘Close Up’ sports magazine in Australia and in tourist guide titled ‘Indien’ in Germany, and also in several books and book covers in India and abroad. She has jointly authored a book on Kolkata’s religious heritage titled ‘ Where Gods Reside’ with Ms Jael Silliman which contains more than 100 photographs taken by her.
She taught Photography at The School, KFI, Chennai, during 1986/1989. In 1993 she graduated in Applied Art and Design Studies at the London Guildhall University. In London, she was awarded the Art Prize by the Owen Rowley Art Foundation in 1993 and was also among the prize winners in ‘Our Big City’ competition organized jointly by the Evening Standard Newspaper Group and Carlton TV in London in October 1993. In 1994 she was nominated for the Leopold Godowsky Jr. colour photography Awards of the Photographic Resource Centre, Boston. In January 2007, The Academy of Visual Media, New Delhi, awarded Mala their “Achievement Award” for outstanding contribution to Photography. She received an award at the Second China International Digital Photography Exhibition in 2011.
In 2002 BLINK, a publication by the Phaidon Press, London, featured her among 100 contemporary Photographers of the world. Mala has conducted Workshops on Colour Photography at Dhaka and Sylhet in 2003 at the invitation of Drik, Bangladesh. In 2006 she visited China at the invitation of the Peoples’ Republic of China to participate in a photo event titled “Xinjiang in the eyes of Chinese and Foreign photographers”, and again in 2011 in Lishui to participate in Seminars and exhibitions organized by the China International Photographic Gallery Alliance, of which she is a member.
Apart from several Group Shows in London during 1991/1993, Mala took part in “Women ’96”, an Art Front Group show at the Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai and in Group exhibitions at the Nehru Centre Art Gallery Mumbai1997, Y.B. Chavan Art Gallery Mumbai 1998, Academy of Fine Arts Calcutta 2001, Guildhall University London 2001,Cancer Foundation exhibition at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata 2005, ‘Kolkata Festival’ of Times of India at Town Hall Kolkata 2006, AVM Photography Award 2006 at the AIFACS, New Delhi and in exhibitions organized bythe Chinese Embassy in 2007 at the Birla Academy Art Gallery, Kolkata, & Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, in “The Four Seasons in Xinjiang Photo Exhibition” organised by The Chinese Photographic Association in Beijing in March 2007, Birla Academy Art Gallery in April 2009, ‘Urban India through the lens” at Habitat Centre in Sept 2009, International Artists Exhibition, Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010, the 44th Annual Exhibition at Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata in January 2011, International exhibition titled “One Nest” at Birla Academy of Art and Culture in October2011 which she also organized and curated, Photography Museum of China at Lishui in November 2011, Piramal Gallery, NCPA, Mumbai and Boichitra Gallery, Kolkata, in January 2012, Kala Ghoda Art Festival at Mumbai in February 2012 and Masters of Indian Photography Exhibition at NCPA, Mumbai, Kolkata Photo Festival at ICCR, Kolkata and at Lishui Photography Museum, Lishui, China in 2013, at Soi Mela-Boi Mela at ICCR Kolkata, November 2013, at Maya Art Space, Kolkata 2013, at the IPMGA international photo festival at ICCR Kolkata 2014, at Wonderwall Gallery, Lado Sarai, New Delhi in October 2015; in October 2016 at the Festival of Arts organized by the India International Centre, New Delhi in October 2016 and at the India Art Fair, New Delhi, in December 2016; as a selected exhibitor at Lens Mens International Fotofestival, Overpelt, Belgium in August 2017, at “50-50 Photography” show at Birla Art Gallery, Kolkata in October 2017, at the Lishui International Photography Art Festival, China, in November 2017, and at the India Art Fair, Delhi, in December 2017; at the Hindustan Times Imagine Fest in March 2018 at the Nehru Gardens, New Delhi.