Nov 8, 2012 People & Parties
Aneesa Dhody Mehta’s parents are well-known among Mumbai’s elite and fashionable. Her mother the very elegant Rita Dhody is considered as Mumbai’s original fashion doyenne and father Raja Dhody one of India’s most stylish businessmen. Aneesa, their elder daughter has maintained a low profile and this was one of the first happening parties where we met Rita Dhody and her two daughters Aneesa and Nadine. The occasion was the launch of Aneesa’s new business venture, the portal TheGlobalLocal and the venue was the chic NCPA cafe.
Aneesa Dhody shows Emmanuel Balayer the portal www.thegloballocal.in- ‘An insiders guide to luxury & lifestyle in Mumbai.’
From left to right, Aneesa Dhody, Rita Dhody, Haseena Jethmalani and Nadine Dhody
In 2000, the same year when we launched WeddingSutra.com, some of the most high profile fashionistas and society people launched a portal- so obviously the launches were high profile. And then the launch parties for dotcoms stopped. Thegloballocal launch party reminded us of those days, when many young, enterprising & stylish launched a dotcom
Aneesa began her career in Luxury Brand Management with the Murjani group and since then she has worked on projects with several lifestyle, luxury and beauty brands. TheGlobalLocal, according to Aneesa has been designed to offer the discerning advice and information on the best the city has to offer. A lot of inspiration for TheGlobalLocal, is from Aneesa’s own experiences of guiding friends and acquaintances. The primary target audience is the ‘global minded Indian’ (and expats) for whom the site provides tips and information on luxury and lifestyle products and experiences in Mumbai. We asked Aneesa what’s the question she is asked most often by those visiting Mumbai. “Dining & food”, she answers adding: “not everyone is interested in shopping or clubbing, but everyone wants to know the hot spots for food & drinks.” The other most frequent query, be it those who live in Mumbai or outside is about unique, bespoke gifting ideas. “There’s a big challenge there– to look for what they feel is special and not standard”.
As an added service, Aneesa has drawn on her luxury event planning experience to offer an exciting range of customised event services. The Global Local can arrange for events like Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, Fine Dining@ home, Baby Showers, Anniversaries, Weddings, and Proposals. “No request for a bespoke solution would be too small or too large, be it a pre–wedding bash or organising a sunset cruise to celebrate a special anniversary”, says Aneesa. “There are some special occasions in one’s life where people just want that little bit more. We are there to lend a helping hand, and offer a customised solution focused around the individual’s needs and preferences”.
Guest Celebrity Blogger- Sujata Assomull. ‘The wedding market is a primary driver of fashion and trends.’
Sujata Assomull has a 360 degree perspective of the Indian fashion industry, which she has been part of for nearly 15 years in a range of capacities. Till recently, she was the Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazar India, before which she has been features, fashion and lifestyle editor with leading fashion magazines including Elle and Verve. She was also the Communications Director of the Murjani Group, handling corporate brand building on Gucci, Jimmy Choo, La Perla, CK Jeans and French Connection among others.
Having your own personality and holding on to it is very important—whether you are a person or a business venture. Wedding Sutra has imbibed this philosophy in its fabric and showcases the perfect blend- high street fashion and affordability, spectacular celebrity weddings and real weddings.
WeddingSutra started out by getting the best experts in the industry to share tips and advice with brides; later on, they kept improving their content by adding features on a range of subjects- fashion and beauty, décor and wedding planning, relationships, travel and people. Their interviews with real brides & couples on how they went about planning their wedding and styling themselves help readers with loads of ideas and open up many new possibilities.
The Internet has revolutionized the way you shop. Today, luxury brands like Burberry have been using technology and internet very cleverly. Right from the latest updates to what you’ll get in the store—everything is governed by technology, making the whole experience very interactive and interesting. Books are being made available only on Kindle, ventures that are completely online are picking up in a big way. But WeddingSutra thought about all this twelve years ago. The wedding market is huge in India and is a primary driver of fashion and trends and they highlighted the need for providing specialized wedding content for the brides-to-be.
The founders are doing a great job of putting together informative and interesting ideas so accolades and wishes for many more years of celebratory content.
Ace Jewellery Designer Poonam Soni blogs about what makes WeddingSutra special and unique.
Quality and exclusivity is what our brand shares in common with WeddingSutra.com . When I first met Madhulika Mathur and Parthip Thyagarajan, the founders of WeddingSutra, twelve years ago, just before they launched, they came across as very endearing and enterprising with the seething desire to turn their dreams into reality. And that’s what they have been doing very successfully over the last twelve years.
When you are a medium-sized brand trying to expand, the only way to do it cost-effectively is through the internet. WeddingSutra was amongst the first lifestyle brands to realize the power of the internet and use it to the maximum potential. For me, Wedding Sutra is a very personalized concept that gives you an excellent view into the world of weddings—across communities, lifestyle-groups and cities. Of course, they realised right in the beginning, that a huge number of internet users, across ages, are only too eager to see Celebrity Wedding pictures. Little wonder, their sections ‘Celebrity Brides’ and ‘Celebrity Weddings’ get the highest traffic. And then many to-be-brides are keen to know what other brides wore, which is why the Real Weddings section is equally popular.
Weddings are one occasion that brings families together. And with Wedding Sutra, even the boundaries do not exist. They bring together people from different walks of life who are excited to read and know more about the special celebration—Weddings. This mass appeal combined with their exclusive photographs is what makes WeddingSutra unique and special.
My message to Madhulika Mathur and Parthip Thyagarajan- keep dreaming and keep realizing your dreams.
Dr. Blossom Kochhar, the internationally well-known Beauty and Aromatherapy Specialist, was WeddingSutra’s Beauty Expert when we just launched. She blogs about her experience with India’s first wedding portal.
When I was first approached to write for WeddingSutra, I had little idea what it actually was, since I didn’t access the internet then. My office staff showed me the website and helped me surf through it, I didn’t spend too much time on it, because surfing was an all-new experience; but I found the concept quite innovative so I agreed to come on board as the Beauty Expert.
It was a wonderful experience to write/ answer for WeddingSutra because I got to read about the skin concerns/ queries of to-be-brides from all over India, and abroad. While many magazines had a Beauty Q and A column, very few websites offered such a facility– in fact, even India’s top beauty brands did not have their own website. So WeddingSutra users would write in with so many queries– skin and hair related problems, grooming, make-up and styling. And quite often when I traveled outside Delhi a young woman would come up to me and say: “I enjoy reading your column on WeddingSutra.”
A few months after WeddingSutra was launched, many other women and beauty portals got launched, I wrote for a few of them– but to the best of my knowledge, only WeddingSutra survived. I don’t have too much knowledge on internet-based businesses, but perhaps, one of the reasons why WeddingSutra continued to grow in popularity is because of their level of interactivity with readers. The content was crisp, the pages very well designed and visitors were encouraged to ask questions.
A lot has changed since then– WeddingSutra has continued to grow and evolve– all beauty brands have an active presence online, and I am very internet-savvy, a big change from the earlier years, when my secretary would give me a printout of the emails from WeddingSutra.com.
When you spend twelve years in an industry that’s probably as old, there is no dearth of fun and excitement, tensions and challenges. Each day at WeddingSutra has been a phenomenal learning experience. As we celebrate another milestone, over the course of this week and next, some of the most respected names from the world of beauty, fashion and media, will share their memories and experiences of working with us.
Chasing their Entrepreneurial Dreams: Parthip Thyagarajan and Madhulika Mathur
We are kicking off the celebrations by sharing our valuable experiences and some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. What makes us tick, how did we survive the downturn, and why is chasing your entrepreneurial dreams still so underrated.
Enjoy what you are doing
Don’t go after a business idea because it will pay your bills. Being an entrepreneur is a huge amount of hard work, you will be spending a good part of your day with it, so you had better enjoy it immensely.
Follow your heart
Surround yourself with good mentors, listen to their advice, hear what your customers are saying but follow your heart. Pretty much in line with what the world’s most successful entrepreneur, Steve Jobs, said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
When you launch your business in times of economic crisis, running it cost-effectively gets entrenched in your DNA. And this principle has guided us through all the ups and downs of internet and media industry over the last decade.
Building the Market
You can’t wait for the market to mature. In the first few years, we were not only marketing WeddingSutra or weddings we were also selling the concept of advertising online. The advertising agencies and media buyers knew how to evaluate other mediums. As much as they love your business and storyboards, bottom line was Internet was new and scary. We had to sell internet as an advertising medium to them.
Pick your Business Partner well
It’s worked incredibly well for us, but mostly because we bring very different skills to the table. It is not that we don’t butt heads but mostly it’s a complete respect for each other’s ability. In the early days, when everyone’s doing everything, there are likely to be more disagreements. But if you can get through that with trust that you are in business with a very smart person, very soon the roles will get more defined. So pick your business partner carefully. Someone, who shares your values, vision, passion; has financial stability; and brings completely different skills to the table.
Feb 5, 2012 People & Parties
The at-home wedding was a quiet and formal affair. Well-known industrialist and noted environmentalist Cyrus Guzder (Chairman of AFL Limited) and his wife Manek invited their friends for an intimate weekend soiree to celebrate daughter Ayesha’s marriage to Nitya Nathwani, a US-based doctor. All the functions were held at Dubash House, which is Manek Guzder’s maternal home. Located in the tony Nepean Sea Road, the magnificent structure has the most awe-inspiring interiors and is considered to be one of Mumbai’s most beautiful residential bunglows.
According to guests, all the functions were managed by family members and the décor was contemporary and elegant. The men were dressed in formal suits and tuxedos while many women were adorned in gorgeous garas; of course delectable Parsi fare was served, and the bride glowed in exquisite no-bling attire and heirloom platinum jewellery.
After a simple wedding and intimate reception, Neelam Kothari and Samir Soni hosted a post-wedding party. Neelam glowed in a green velvet lehenga that was quite a departure from her white-and-red wedding day look. Neelam’s many actress and designer friends turned up– all in glittering lehengas, sarees and Indo-westerns.
Rani Mukerjee, Aishwarya Rai
Karisma Kapoor, Sophie Choudry, Mandira Bedi
Juhi Chawla, Amrita Arora
Neelam Kothari and Seema Khan
Nandita Mahtani, Haseena Jethmalani
Shilpa Shetty, Surily Goel, Sonali Bendre
Bhavana and Chunky Pandey, Seema and Sohail Khan
Queenie Dhody and Fahad Taraporevala, Laila Khan and Farhan Furniturewala
Shaina NC, Anil Thadani, Raveena Tandon
Designers Shane & Falguni Peacock, Malini Agarwalla of ‘Malaga’ and Shaheen Abbas presented a sneak peak of their bridal creations at the bridal showcase hosted by Divya Gurwara at Olive, Mumbai. While Pratima Bhatia and Nisha Jamwval accessorised their look with bags and jewellery from Malaga’s new bridal accessories line, Shane & Falguni dressed models Sanea Shaikh and Shamita Singha in their bridal finery. Suchitra Pillai, Manasi Scott, Namrata Shroff made a statement in stunning silver jewellery from Shaheen Abbas.
The ladies spotted at the event were Ekta Raheja, Poonam Mahajan, Nayantara Thacker, Poonam & Kriti Soni, Alisha Chauhan, Shonali Shroff, Mamta Anand, Mansi Joshi, Delna & Simone Poonawala, Kavita Chougule, Shibani Suri, Kunika Singh amongst many others.
Bridal Asia will take place from 11th- 13th September at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi.
Tags: Alisha Chauhan, Bridal Asia, Delna, Divya Gurwara, Ekta Raheja, Kavita Chougule, Kriti Soni, Kunika Singh, Malaga, Malini Agarwalla, Mamta Anand, Mansi Joshi, Nayantara Thacker, Nisha Jamwval, Poonam Mahajan, Poonam Soni, Pratima Bhatia, Sanea Shaikh, Shaheen Abbas, Shamita Singha, Shane Falguni Peacock, Shibani Suri, Shonali Shroff, Silver Jewellery, Simone Poonawala
Amrita Thakur and Gaurav Khanijo got married at The Leela, Gurgaon in June this year. Amrita was Gaurav’s junior at the Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi where they both studied fashion designing. They reconnected a few years later, when Amrita was working at The Ensemble in Mumbai. Post marriage, Amrita has shifted from Mumbai to Gaurav’s home town Delhi and the newly-wed couple are launching a fashion label for Indian and Western evening wear. Amrita’s sister Divya Thakur, runs Design Temple, one of the most successful graphic design studios in India.
Since Amrita worked with The Ensemble shopping for wedding wear was easy yet difficult. She explains: “I was aware of which designer designs great stuff, but I also knew what costs how much; I didn’t want to over-pay and I had a hard time saying no to what I felt were gorgeous yet over-priced garments.” Because she had a clear idea about what she wanted she didn’t get too influenced by multiple fashion opinions: “One of the comments I hate hearing is—’but everyone is wearing this’. I was very clear that I didn’t want to wear what everyone wore. I also did my own make-up for all the functions, and only hired a hairstylist to help with hairstyling.”
Amrita wore a chic Anamika Khanna saree with a sleeveless blouse for the engagement and a mustard/ pink saree by the same designer for the sagan function. A self-designed green long kurta for the sangeet, a velvet lehenga by Sabysachi for the pheras, a Manish Malhotra lehenga for the reception and a Karen Millen cocktail dress for an evening party. Most of Gaurav’s wedding wear was designed by himself and his friend Divyam Mehta. For the reception he wore a E Zegna suit. What caught everyone’s attention was the dapper Nehru Jacket with pleated Dhoti pants that he wore for the evening party.
Engagement and Sagan
Wedding and Pheras
Cocktail party in the evening
While the stuff they design may or may not creates waves, what they themselves wear gets a lot of attention– in print, magazines and social media, and always for the wrong reasons! Our question– Who do you think is the worst dressed fashion designer?