Category Archives: Business & Economy

Meet the Men Behind the Red Banarasi Saree Anushka Sharma Wore

Varanasi (earlier Benares), UTTAR PRADESH :

Here’s a look at the craftsmen who worked on the gorgeous Banarasi saree that Anushka Sharma wore for her wedding reception in Delhi on 21 December. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey (L), Yogen Shah (R))
Here’s a look at the craftsmen who worked on the gorgeous Banarasi saree that Anushka Sharma wore for her wedding reception in Delhi on 21 December. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey (L), Yogen Shah (R))

Muazzam Ansari of Benares was among several thousands who were glued to the television screen for news of the glitzy Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma wedding. But unlike several others, Ansari was watching the ‘Indian wedding of the decade’ closely for a very special reason – the gorgeous Banarasi red saree that Anushka wore for her reception in Delhi.

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Ansari was among a team of three craftsmen who toiled day and night for two months to create the exquisite saree. And the saree maker says having the world fawn over it was a moment of great pride.

Muazzam Ansari, the man behind the red Banarasi saree that Anushka Sharma wore for her wedding reception in New Delhi. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)
Muazzam Ansari, the man behind the red Banarasi saree that Anushka Sharma wore for her wedding reception in New Delhi.
(Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)

As the Virat-Anushka reception photos went viral, Ansari was quick to post photos of the saree on his Facebook page – a move that would quickly bag him the nickname, ‘Anushka Sharma’s Saree Man’.

Anushka’s saree called for extensive planning. After the designers decided on a Banarasi saree came the tough part – selecting a craftsman from the thousands of skilled workers in this trade in Benaras.

Maqbool Hassan Gets the Job

Craftsman of Anushka’s Banarasi saree, Maqbool Hassan. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)
Craftsman of Anushka’s Banarasi saree, Maqbool Hassan.
(Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)

The important task was given to Maqbool Hassan from Peeli Kothi in Benaras, who has been in the business since 1966. Hassan, whose family has been engaged in the business for over two centuries, is also credited with having created a saree for Aishwarya Rai and a sherwani for Abhishek Bachchan.

Maqbool Hassan of Peeli Kothi in Benaras has been in the business since 1966. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)
Maqbool Hassan of Peeli Kothi in Benaras has been in the business since 1966.
(Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)

After the Cottage Emporium in Delhi reached out to Maqbool Hassan with the order to create the sari, he set about creating a team of three of his most skilled craftsmen. Among his top three were Muazzam Ansari, whose work is already popular in Benaras, despite the fact that he only joined the industry five years ago. What’s more, fans of Ansari’s work reportedly compare his work with craftsmen with over 20 years of experience.

Months of Secret Planning & Weaving

From planning to making the saree it took almost six months. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)
From planning to making the saree it took almost six months.
(Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)

As soon as the dates for Virat and Anushka’s wedding were decided, the designers zeroed in on the Banarasi saree for their Delhi reception.

Then began the hunt for the saree design. After much debate and decision, the creators decided on a bright red colour with traditional golden work. The entire process of selecting a colour, finalising a design, and finishing the design took six months. All of it was done in absolute secrecy.

It took total of 60 days for Anushka’s saree to be made. (Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)
It took total of 60 days for Anushka’s saree to be made.
(Photo Courtesy: Vikrant Dubey)

Once the design, colour, and fabric was finalised, it was time for the actual weaving. Banarasi sarees are made on handlooms – each thread and the colour for every bit of the design is put in place by hand.

The saree called for three weavers to work day and night for 45 days. It took another 15 days to add the finishing touches, taking it to a total of 60 days.

Painstaking Effort

Anushka Sharma’s saree took 60 days to make. (Photo Courtesy: Instagram)
Anushka Sharma’s saree took 60 days to make.
(Photo Courtesy: Instagram)

A mixture of silk and chiffon was used to make the saree in order to create an outfit that was both soft and light, despite all the embroidery and the seemingly-heavy work on it. The craftsmen also ensured that the saree did not have a glittery shine, even with real gold being used for the zari – with each motiff being worked on separately.

The three craftsmen tasked with making the saree had to work simultaneously on the weaving, and the absence of even a single craftsman made weaving impossible. With all the work that has gone into the saree, it is small wonder why Banarasi sarees are known for their timeless allure.

(This article was first published on QuintHindi.)

source: http://www.thequint.com / The Quint / Home> Entertainment / by Vikrant Dubey / December 27th, 2017

Meet Naeem Khan, Michelle Obama’s Fashion Designer

UTTAR PRADESH / Mumbai, MAHARASHTRA  / New York, USA :

Designer for power women had his life changed when outgoing First Lady wore his gown for a state dinner in 2009.

NaeemKhan01MPOs16jan2018

When he was an adolescent growing up in Mumbai, fashion designer Naeem Khan had just one dream.

“When I was 14 years old, I said to my then-girlfriend in India that one day I am going to design for the First Lady of America,” says Khan, who remembers being enchanted by images of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the now defunct Life Magazine.

Almost four decades later, the designer, now 57, has fulfilled his dream many times over. As one of Michelle Obama’s favourite couturiers, he has dressed her for various state dinners, as well as for more casual occasions, such as during a visit to Brazil.

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“[Michelle] likes elegant glamour and loves her arms, so you have to make sure you enhance that.”

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Since he launched his eponymous label in 2003, his uniquely glamorous aesthetic featuring figure-flattering silhouettes and lavish textiles have made him a firm red carpet favourite of some of the world’s most famous women, ranging from celebrities such as singer Beyoncé and actress Penelope Cruz to prominent public figures including Queen Noor of Jordan and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

In Singapore to present his Spring/Summer 2017 collection at Singapore Fashion Week, Khan says without hesitation that the moment Michelle Obama stepped out in his strapless, embroidered gown to host their first State Dinner for India in 2009, he knew his life had changed. He was propelled to global fame in that singular moment.

Khan was hosted at the U.S. Embassy by HE Kirk Wagar during his trip – here are the photos.

Mr Naaem Khan, Ms Crystal Meredith Wagar, HE Kirk W.B. Wagar (U.S.A)
Mr Naaem Khan, Ms Crystal Meredith Wagar, HE Kirk W.B. Wagar (U.S.A)

“I have always believed that if you are true to your dream and consistent in pursuing it, it will happen,” he says.

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He grew up with a lifelong interest in fashion and honed his sartorial instincts by “osmosis”, thanks to his grandfather and father who both designed luxurious textiles and clothing for Indian royal families. At the age of 20, he moved to New York City to do an apprenticeship with legendary designer Roy Halston Frowick of the label Halston where he rubbed shoulders with Halston’s social circle, which included luminaries like the artist Andy Warhol, actress-singer Liza Minnelli and dancer Martha Graham.

His time with his guru Halston – who coincidentally shot to fame when he designed Jackie Kennedy’s pink pillbox hat which she wore to her husband’s presidential inauguration – laid the foundations for his own label.

He says: “My style is to use textures and luxurious fabrics in a form which is classic, yet relevant to the times. It works perfectly for powerful women because the garments send a very strong message – I am powerful, confident and fashionable. Look at me.”

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The business of fashion is of course notoriously challenging, but Khan says he grew his to its current size by sticking to a simple principle. Besides his ready-to-wear business, he also launched Naeem Khan Bridal in 2013, and both lines are sold at over 100 retail outlets around the world.

“I don’t have investors and I’ve grown my business organically by watching the bottom line to make sure we are making money. It is not about having the largest business which is running at a loss,” he says. “Instead, my business philosophy is about having a good life, being profitable and enjoying what I do.”

One of his greatest rewards is having the privilege to develop relationships with movers and shakers of society, like the outgoing First Lady. “She gives full liberty to design for her. We have her form and we’ve create mannequins to drape on so it’s become a simpler process,” he says. “She likes elegant glamour and loves her arms, so you have to make sure you enhance that.”

Certainly, a designer couldn’t ask for a better muse. He adds: “She’s tall and has a great body for clothing so she is the perfect person to design for as she knows how to carry it off.

“She has said to me how much she loves my work. I love that she is so open with her compliments and has such respect for my art, which makes me want to do more for her.”

source: http://www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg / The Peak, SPH Magazines  / Home> Fashion & Watches / by Karen Tee / November 02nd, 2016

Nazeer Ahamed Mohamed Zackiriah

BRUNEI DARUSLALAM  :

NazeerMPOs16jan2018

Brunei :

Mr. Nazeer Zackiriah, Permanent Resident of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, is an Indian-origin entrepreneur who has strengthened the links between India, Brunei and the Indian community of Brunei.

He has actively supported Government of India initiatives and events and has ensured meaningful interactions with local and Indian entrepreneurs for visiting Indian delegations.

He has heightened respect for the Indian community in Brunei by his active charitable endeavours, both in his individual capacity and as President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce of Brunei.

By virtue of the recognition that he has obtained from His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei for these charitable and community-building efforts, he has been instrumental in raising the prestige and profile of the Indian community in Brunei.

Mr. Nazeer Ahamed has achieved notable success in the textile retail sector in Brunei.

From humble beginnings, through hard work and acumen, he has built up the largest chain of textile stores of Brunei which is now providing significant employment and promoting trade.

He has contributed towards strengthening the link between the Indian community and Bruneians by organizing the active participation of the Indian community in Bruneian national events like the National Day of Brunei and the Birthday Celebrations of His Majesty the Sultan.

source: http://www.pbdindia.gov.in / Pravasi Bharatiya Divas / Home> Profile of Awardees / 07-09 January 2017, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

Awarding PIOs in recognition of their services

BRUNEI / LIBYA  / SAUDI ARABIA  :

President Pranab Mukherjee honours Dr. Antonio Costa, Portugal Prime Minister, who received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, as Suriname Vice-President Michael Ashwin Adhin and Union Minister V.K. Singh look on, in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: G R N SOMASHEKAR;G R N SOMASHEKAR -
President Pranab Mukherjee honours Dr. Antonio Costa, Portugal Prime Minister, who received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, as Suriname Vice-President Michael Ashwin Adhin and Union Minister V.K. Singh look on, in Bengaluru on Monday. | Photo Credit: G R N SOMASHEKAR;G R N SOMASHEKAR –

Winners of Pravasi Samman Awards include Portugal Prime Minister Dr. Antonio Costa

Her son was three years old when she realised that there was no school she could send him to. British and American schools were too expensive and she didn’t want to send him to a local school.

That prompted Zeenat Jafri to start the second Indian school in Saudi ArabiaInternational Indian School — in 1982 with her husband. She was among the 30 people feted for her achievement on Monday during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, when the Pravasi Samman Awards were given away by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The 64-year-old MBA graduate from Bhopal, who was given the award for her contribution to the field of education, said she started the school from her house, gradually scaling it up   to now educate 12,000 people.

Another person of Indian origin who was recognised with the award was Ariful Islam, coordinator and nodal point in the Embassy of India in Libya.

The electrical engineer relocated from India to Libya in 1980 following a pact between the two nations. He has seen his adopted country go through the worst of times, but continues to live there alone, though his family has moved back to Aligarh. “I have spent half my life there. We have successfully rescued many Indians,” he said.

The rescuer

The most recent episode he was involved was in the rescue of three abducted Indians from the IS in a dramatic operation in 2016 from the deep Libyan deserts.

Among the organisations that were awarded were the Singapore Indian Association in the category of community service.

The event saw double the number of awardees as it was being held after an interval of two years.

Among the other prominent winners of the award were Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Luis Santos da Costa, Labour Member of the European Parliament representing the West Midlands Neena Gill, British politician Priti Patel and Mauritius Minister of Finance and Economic Development Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.

Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State, who was also among the 30 awardees, said persons of Indian origin, who were building bridges and connecting in an “increasingly divided world,” retained strong ties with India, she said.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> National / by K.C. Deepika / Bengaluru – January 10th, 2017

TN girl to receive prestigious national award

Nagercoil  (Kanyakumari District), TAMIL NADU :

Masha Nazeem
Masha Nazeem

For contribution to science

Nagercoil girl Masha Nazeem will receive the prestigious National Youth Award for her contributions to science and technology.

The annual award is instituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and is given to recognise outstanding work and achievements of youngsters and further motivate them to excel in the field on National Development and Social Service.

“I am very excited to be selected for this award,” said 24-year-old Masha, who with her father Khaja Nazeemudeen, a government employee, is all set to receive the award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 12.

Hailing from Nagercoil in Kanniyakumari district Masha is the elder of two siblings. She developed a keen interest in science from the time she was nine years old.

“It all happened because of my father, he would enroll me in every possible contest in school, one of them was a science exhibition. I didn’t even know my name was on the list,” she said. Masha, then a class five student, made a burglar alarm which impressed her teachers and won her the first prize.

From then on, there was no stopping, Masha went on to invent 14 socially useful gadgets such as a flameless seal marker, which is now used by State government officials, hi-tech train toilet system, fuel dispensers, anti sinking alarm amongst others.

Three of her innovations are in the process of getting patented. She has also won several awards and accolades including the State Youth Award 2016.

Innovation centre

To provide free hands on training to young inventors and help them turn their ideas to reality, she setup Masha Innovation Center, a research laboratory and workshop in her hometown.

“There are many students who are creative and have ideas but get stuck in only learning theory taught in schools. While theory is important, they must also be encouraged to have practical experience. This is my aim and I hope more students benefit from it,” she said.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 12th, 2018

Engineering students in Bengaluru launch 3 race cars

Bengaluru, KARNATAKA :

AshwaRacingMPOs16jan2018

On the combustion, hybrid and electric platforms

Ashwa Racing, a brand under Ashwa Mobility of RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, on Saturday launched three new race cars on the combustion (AMF RZX8- CO), hybrid (AMF X8-HY) and electric (AMF-RZX8 -ELE) platforms for the 2018 race season.

Undergraduate students, who conceived, designed and build formula race cars, would be competing in national and global events in the coming months.

The combustion vehicle (210 kg without driver) development is headed by team captain Sweekruth Shetty, project manager Rakesh H.N, chief engineer Prateek Bhustali. The racing hybrid vehicle (300 kg) development is headed by team captain Asfan Khan, project manager Suhas B.U., chief engineer Uday Naik and chief communication officer Tarun Kasa.

The electric vehicle (200kg) development is headed by team captain Pranave Nanda, project manager Rahul S.D., chief engineer Gautam Singh and chief communication officer Srivatsa Deshpande.

The combustion and electric divisions of Ashwa Racing would be competing in Formula Bharat, which will be held in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu from January 24 to 28, 2018.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / January 15th, 2018

Mandi and the Arabian connection

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

A must-try: Foodies having a Mandi, a combination of large chunks of mutton and rice garnished with dry fruits, at Mataram Al Arabi at Errakunta on Saturday.
A must-try: Foodies having a Mandi, a combination of large chunks of mutton and rice garnished with dry fruits, at Mataram Al Arabi at Errakunta on Saturday.

Restaurateurs in Barkas and Yerrakunta suburbs arrived here from Hadhramaut in Yemen over two centuries ago

A 20-minute drive south of Charminar is all it takes to wonder whether one has teleported oneself to a west Asian country. For, once in Barkas and Yerrakunta suburbs, one is greeted by exotic signage in Arabic on restaurants like Mataam al Arabi, Al Saud Bait al Mandi and Al Khaleej serving the Arabian delicacy Mandi. And the business is booming.

The connection is clear. The two neighbourhoods are home to those who arrived here from Hadhramaut in Yemen over two centuries ago. Several of these restaurateurs continue to bear Arabian tribal affiliations. While one eatery is owned by those from the Bin Ziyad tribe, another belongs to the Nahdis. There are dozens of tribes as are the restaurants run by them.

Abdul Raheem Yamani, proprietor of Real Arabian Dhaba, pegs the number of Mandi restaurants along the six-km stretch that connects Barkas to Shaheen Nagar along the Srisailam highway at approximately 35. “This is the reason why the highway has a new moniker – Mandi Road,” he says.

The restaurateurs say that the spurt in the number of Mandi restaurants began in 2011 when the Arab community realised that it was a profitable business. Restaurants started mushrooming not just along the margins of the main thoroughfares, but in the by-lanes of Barkas.

With diners converging from across the city, observers say that while traditional Hyderabadi biryani continues to be famous, Mandi is giving it a run for money.

One of the first Mandi restaurants in the area is Mataam al Arabi. Its proprietor Abdullah Bashaadi says the dish is a combination of large chunks of mutton and rice garnished with dry fruits.

The 38 year old recounts that he began the business in 2010 soon after returning from the Haj. “We were served Mandi during the pilgrimage. All ate from the same large thaala sitting on the floor. That is when I struck upon the idea to start a Mandi restaurant,” Mr. Bashaadi says.

The traditional Arabian method of dining—sitting on the floor and eating from the same large dish—has been retained in all the Mandi restaurants.

Like most who trace their ancestry to the Arabian Peninsula, Mr. Bashaadi’s great grandfather Ahmad bin Awad Bashaadi arrived in the city from Hadhramut, Yemen. In fact, noted scholar Omar Khalidi writes in Muslims in the Deccan: A Historical Survey that Hadramis were a part of Afwaj-e-Beqaidah(Irregular Army) of Asaf Jahs. Their numbers swelled so much so that the Diwan, Salar Jung, constituted a separate court, the Qazaat-e-Uroob, for them. Further, two Hadramis served as Commissioners of Police of Hyderabad State.

Taha Quadri, a professional caterer specialising in Arabian cuisine, explains the Mandi variants. The rule of thumb is three parts of mutton to one part of rice. The rice is cooked in the same water that is used to boil the meat. “Mutton can be replaced with fish, chicken and even quail,” he says.

But while diners converge at the Old City from all across Hyderabad, the dish is a hit with the IT crowd of Hitec City. The uptown area of Jubilee Hills has one.

“There was a great demand for the dish in this part of the city which is why we started the restaurant around nine months ago. A majority of our customers are those working in Hitec City,” says Syed Waaris Ali, proprietor of Mandi @ 36.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Syed Mohammed  / Hyderabad – January 13th, 2018

Biographies of Kamil and Talat Hasan

Lucknow , UTTAR PRADESH / Saratoga, California , USA :

Kamil and Talat Hasan have two daughters and live in Saratoga, California. They have recently purchased land in Santa Cruz county and intend to establish a home there as well. They are actively involved in charity and educational activities through the Hasan Family Foundation.

Kamil Hasan

Kamil Hasan is a general partner in the San Jose-based venture company, Hitek Venture Partners. He received his B.S. in engineering from Aligarh Muslim University, India, in 1967, an M.S. degree in engineering from M.I.T, in 1969, and a Ph.D. degree in engineering from UC, Berkeley in 1973. After receiving his Ph.D., he taught at the Indian Institute of Technology, Dehli, as an assistant professor of engineering and later at Stanford University as an associate professor of engineering.

For more than 25 years, Hasan has worked in the software industry. He founded Hitek Venture Partners in 1995, to invest in early-stage companies in the internet, e-commerce, telecommunications, and enterprise software areas. He has a portfolio of 35 companies and serves on the board of five of these companies.

Kamil’s articles have appeared in more than 50 technical and trade journals, and he is a recipient of a John F. Lincoln Foundation award for outstanding achievement in engineering design.

Talat Hasan

Talat Hasan is chairman and CEO of Sensys Instruments, a company she founded in 1996 to market products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. She holds an M.A. in physics from Oxford University and a B.Sc. in physics from Aligarh Muslim University, India.

Prior to founding Sensys, she was vice president of corporate business development at Tencor Instruments (now KLA/Tencor), and, in 1983, was cofounder of Prometrix Corporation, serving as a board member and senior vice president of strategic planning when the company merged with Tencor.

Previously, she worked as a scientist, conducting research in semiconductor characterization and process control and working for almost five years at Signetics Corporation/Philips Research Labs in Sunnyvale.

She currently serves on the board of directors of Microbar and the board of trustees of Castilleja School (a private school for girls) and of IBPW (Indian Business and Professional Women), and is a charter member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). She is also active, with her husband, as an Angel Investor for start-up companies and a mentor to several budding entrepreneurs. Also with her husband, she is in the process of establishing the Nurul Hasan Educational Foundation (named after her late father, Professor Nurul Hasan, who was Minister of Education in the cabinet of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was a governor of the State of West Bengal, India).

source: http://www.1.ucsc.edu / UC Santa Cruz Current Online / by Barbara McKenna / October 16th, 2000

Taj brings back Farhat Jamal, this time as senior VP

Mumbai, MAHARASHTRA :

In his new role, Jamal will be responsible for the hotel's operations in Western India
In his new role, Jamal will be responsible for the hotel’s operations in Western India

 

Mumbai :

Seasoned hotelier Farhat Jamal returns to the Taj chain after eight years and this time, as its senior vice-president (operations).

In his new role, Jamal will be responsible for the hotel’s operations in Western India and Africa. Jamal had left Taj in November 2007 after being with the Tata Group-owned chain for nearly three decades.

Between November 2007 and until now, Jamal was with Lalit Hotels as its chief operating officer and Shangri-La Hotels as head of India operations.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Mumbai / by Reeba Zachariah / TNN / July 21st, 2015

Hyderabad: Meet the GES sibling delegates, Mansoor, Umamah and Haider

Hyderabad, TELANGANA / USA :

SiblingsUSAmpos16dec2017

Hyderabad:

The young entrepreneurs Mansoor Syed, Umamah Syeda and Haider Syed, who were part of US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), are born and brought up in US have deep-rooted connections with Hyderabad. The most interesting part is that they are siblings. Before their selection as the delegation to GES the American government didn’t know that they are siblings. They were selected individually.

Their grandfather, Syed Moosa Quadri was a contractor and had played role in construction of Salar Jung Bridge close to Salar Jung Museum.

Talking about Hyderabad, the trio said that the city has changed a lot. They found that the youth are getting educated and are hopeful that they will get opportunities too.

The entrepreneur siblings said Hyderabad has a very rich culture and everybody during the GES was impressed by it.

Talking about Islamophobia in US, the young entrepreneurs said media is exaggerating the situation; the situation is not as bad as shown by the media; however they said there are struggles everywhere.

source: http://www.siasat.com / The Siasat Daily / Home> Hyderabad> News> Top Stories /  December 15th, 2017