The acting bug caught Mrinal Kulkarni when Sanjay Khan offered her a choice of roles in the historical soap called 'The Great Maratha'. She refused it immediately but got ready to hear the script. By the end of the meeting the role of Ahilya Holkar had caught such a fancy with her that she agreed to take up acting as her whole time profession. Since then never had to look back. Her career has risen even so far in her life. Soon after the serial called 'Hasratein' gave her prominent position. Her performance was very much accepted and acclaimed in the soaps titled 'Meera', 'Draupadi', 'Jhoota Sach' and also 'Sparsh'. She was never on the lookout for quantity. She always wanted quality work. At that point of time she had four serials going on in air, which is very much, a good record. She also considers herself fortunate enough to be working with some of the best directors of the lot like Ajay Sinha, Sanjay Khan, Ravi Rai, Vikas Desai and other eminent personalities like him. She has also made a significant contribution in the Marathi Film Industry by giving splendid performance in films like 'Jodidar', 'Gharabaher' and other similar movies.
Mrinal Kulkarni has always been clear from the initial stages of her career, that she wanted to do performance-oriented roles. She also claims that her family has been a great support in her career but the act of refusing any undignified work was ingrained in her from the beginning. While choosing roles also she had been very adventurous. She has worked in all kinds of subjects, historical, mythological, social and soap operas. But the role closest to her heart is that of Avantika where she plays the character of an intelligent girl and walks out on her husband when she finds out that he has been cheating on her. She claims that this soap has a social message and holds the view thatt a girl should not idolize her marriage and should live an independent life of her own if the marriage unfortunately does not work out.
Besides her acting she is also involved in editing Maitrin, which is a thought provoking magazine and has also made her accessible to many women across the country. She lives with the thought that an actor also owes something to the society. She is also involved in supporting orphanage activities. She claims that that she will quit this industry the day she loses the power to choose her work. Her fans on the other hand, hopes that she continues to delight for another score of years by means of roles that carry great weight.