Billion Dollar Babies: Top 20 Heiresses

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia, daughter of Indian-born, London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, tops a list of heiresses compiled by Forbes of women under 40 ranked according to their father’s or mother’s most recent net worth. Vanisha is active in her father’s industrial empire, holding a seat on Mittal Steel’s board. Dad, whose net worth is estimated at $51 billion, threw his daughter what is believed to be the most expensive wedding in history, a $60 million, week-long extravaganza in 2005 for some 1,000 guests in Paris, including a performance by pop star Kylie Minogue.

Josie Ho Chiu Yi is another heiress on the list. Daughter of one of Hong Kong’s richest men Stanley Ho ($7 billion), she is known to fans of her indie rock music as Josie Ho. Two of the top heiresses, Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($11.5 billion), and Paige Johnson, daughter of Black Entertainment Television founders Robert and Sheila Johnson ($1 billion) will be competing against each other for a spot on the Olympic equestrian team.

Read “The 20 Most Intriguing Billionaire Heiresses” and view the slideshow for more details about the heiresses.

Comments Off on Billion Dollar Babies: Top 20 Heiresses         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   November 30, 2007

Vendors Warm Up to Hybrid Wedding Scene

The business of tying the knot.

How do you keep a ballroom’s fire sprinkler system from disrupting a wedding when the ceremony features a sacred fire (and the electric havan is presumably not an option)? Foxchase Manor manager Antonio Cecchi, whose staff assists with an average of 80 South Asian weddings a year, has perfected a technique. “The key is to keep the fire in a portable container, and then when you’re done, you carry it outside and close all the doors before blowing it out.”

The Washington Post’s “Two Cultures, Slowly Uniting In Matrimony” explores how, like Cecchi, photographers, dress designers and horse handlers have responded to the “rise of a hybrid wedding scene.” The story suggests that attempts to accommodate go in both directions, and have mixed results. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Vendors Warm Up to Hybrid Wedding Scene         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 20, 2007

Cultural Connect’s Sumaya Kazi on CNN

Sumaya Kazi and Nicole Lapin
Lapin and Kazi on Larry King’s set. (Courtesy CNN PR, Sumaya Kazi)

Young People Who Rock, CNN’s weekly interview series hosted by Nicole Lapin and focused on people under 30 recently interviewed Sumaya Kazi of The Cultural Connect, a media publishing company with a series of online magazines spotlighting young minority professionals. Watch the CNN Live Video interview.

Kazi took a few questions from Lapin, and if we didn’t hear it from Kazi herself—“Don’t laugh! it’s my first ever on-camera interview!”—we wouldn’t have guessed that this appearance marks her TV debut. Lapin, on the other hand, struck me as a tiny bit awkward, dropping the “Asian” from “Southeast Asian” (or perhaps she meant “South/East Asian”), resulting in the phrases “Southeast Trinity” and “Southeast background,” the latter referring to Kazi’s background. Maybe words like South Asian or South Asian American don’t exactly roll off the tongues of every news anchor. Or perhaps Lapin was nervous about interviewing someone who has been running with the new CNN show’s basic premise for two years now over at The Cultural Connect!

Previously: “Business Week Names Kazi to Top 25 Under 25”

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 17, 2007

Kapadia’s Designs Sparkle

Award-winning cuff (

The International Jewelry Design Guild has decided she is an enormously promising, “up and coming designer.”

But don’t let the “up and coming” bit fool you.

Chhaya Kapadia has already arrived.

Her pieces have recently been featured in W and Elle magazines—and her original design (the 22kt gold filigree and rosewood cuffs pictured here) stole the show at the Town and Country Design Awards in Las Vegas, taking home the T & C Gold Award.

Now in her early 50s, Kapadia is something of a late bloomer.

She studied colored stones at the Gemological Institute of America and spent time in the trenches (make that the mines) of Brazil, immersing herself in the world of gemstones. But before all that she spent years in corporate America, serving as a vice president at Citibank, a director at NASDAQ and even the executive director at Kaiser Permanente.

Three years ago she left the corner office behind to follow her bliss. The result? Her New York-based company Maya Jewels.

Town and Country calls Kapadia’s designs “innovative,” saying they demonstrate wonderful “use of materials such as wood, enamel and color stones formed into a truly unique collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cuffs and rings.”

Check out her full collection here.

The Jet-Set Jewels of Robindira Unsworth
Sikara Jewels founder Mousumi Shaw
From Rajasthan to the Red Carpet

Comments Off on Kapadia’s Designs Sparkle         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 10, 2007

Aneela Locks It Up

Aneela Rajusth and her Lock 'n Bake pan.
Aneela Rajusth with her invention (Daily Herald).

Oprah is searching for The Next Big Idea—and guess what? Aneela Rajusth of Schaumburg, Illinois, is the one who wowed the daytime queen and her judges on today’s show.

In 2004, Rajusth was tired of slaving in the kitchen to make a lasagna or cake, only to have problems prying it out of the pan when it was done. So she invented the “Lock ‘n Bake” baking pan, which has sides that fold down for easy removal—and cooks everywhere have taken notice.

As the winner of the contest, Rajusth, 30, will get to sell her product live on the home shopping network QVC later this year. Her invention was one of 7,000 entries to Oprah’s contest. She may have had an unfair advantage, however: TIME selected her product as one of the coolest inventions of 2004, and Hammacher Schlemmer awarded it first place in its 2004 Search for Invention competition.

Comments Off on Aneela Locks It Up         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 3, 2007
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Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge

Women 2.0 invites the public to join the finalists of their Napkin Business Challenge as they pitch their best business ideas to a judging panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, executives, and venture capitalists. Audience-member votes will factor into the decision-making of which teams will walk away with the two top prizes of $1000 each, a pitch coaching session from Guidewire Group, and 30 minute meetings with Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson or Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital.

women 2.0

Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2007, starting at 6pm
Location: CNET, 235 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA (Directions)
Cost: $20 general admission, free for bloggers (Register here)

Founded last year by Shivani Sopory, Wen-Wen Lam, Shaherose Charania and Angie Chang, Women 2.0 promotes the collaboration and growth of women in entrepreneurship, technology and business in the Silicon Valley. The group “understands that half the battle in business lies in networking and since we’re not eligible for the old boys clubs, Women 2.0 events are the new way for emerging young women leaders to grow their networks.” Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 21, 2007

Flower Show Still Fresh

Store entrance, San Francisco (Photo: Brightroom)

You might remember me finding out last week about this year’s flower show at Macy’s in San Francisco. Well, it’s not over yet! There’s still time, through Saturday, April 14, actually, to see the floral displays in store or attend one of the upcoming events, including the cooking demos with chefs from Junnoon and Le Meridien, and a final chance to have Lancôme-sponsored Henna Lounge artists adorn you with intricate designs. Hurry up if you want complimentary henna on your hands, though. Judging by the long line formed well before the event’s starting time last Friday, this may be one of the show’s most popular events. (Event details.)

Puja Sabharwal, who works in media relations at Macy’s, offers a tip on what not to miss if you make it out to “Imagine India:” “The tabletop settings on the 6th floor are phenomenal. Each setting is inspired by different elements of nature in India. The Macy’s visual team has done a tremendous job of capturing India in every possible way.”

Check back on Monday for more from Sabharwal in the second part of our April issue.

Comments Off on Flower Show Still Fresh         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 12, 2007

Games2Win Gets $5 Million Funding

Scene from Raju Meter 2 (

In its first round of venture capital financing, Mumbai-based online game developer Games2Win has raised about $5 million, led by Clearstone Venture Partners and SVB Financial Group ( Creative director Cyrus Oshidar joined the company late last year, after working for MTV India and Nickelodeon for a decade (Economic Times).

Games2Win offers India’s largest library of casual, downloadable and massively multiplayer online games in categories such as “Desi,” “Cricket” and “Bollywood.” New games include “Socialites and Dacoits,” in which dacoits annoyed by socialites who hog the news headlines (“Baldie Spears,” “Pee Doodie”) blast the socialites out of cannons into piles of dung, and “Raju Meter 2” featuring “everyone’s favorite rickshaw driver” battling traffic and time woes.

Comments Off on Games2Win Gets $5 Million Funding         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 4, 2007

“Imagine India,” Macy’s 61st Annual Flower Show

flower show

I used to think the coolest thing about Macy’s in San Francisco’s Union Square was its nearly hidden subterranean post office. That’s where I dropped off a package today and noticed something that might be even cooler—Macy’s 61st Annual Flower Show, “Imagine India.”

The store was transformed, from the miniature chocolate elephants on display downstairs, to the huge Ganesh on the store’s façade, which I noticed on Friday night when it was dramatically lit, with the wall of windows customized to look like part of a shrine. For the next two weeks, until April 14, the store will “showcase the art, architecture and history of Indian culture amid lush greens and thousands of blooms.”

I will go back again, and probably not just for stamps. In-store scheduled events include a Dosa cooking demo, the Lancôme Henna Lounge and DJ Rekha live. Shoppers will have the chance to purchase authentic Indian textiles, jewelry, furniture and antiques from specialty shops, and to buy plants from the show at the end. Unscheduled events include dressing up in authentic textiles, pretending to be part of the display and then jumping out to startle wide-eyed shoppers.

Additional event information
Local ABC news talk show interview with DJ Rekha and Macy’s (anchors seem to be fascinated by the DJ’s career choice.)

Update: Photos of “Imagine India” from Darcy Vasudev.

2 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 2, 2007

Luxury Goods Hit India in Full Force

Tommy Hilfiger in India
Tommy Hilfiger store in Mumbai. (WSJ/Eric Bellman)

Designer emporiums such as Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo and Gucci are coming to India, reports a front-page story in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Mohan Murjani made a fortune in the U.S. when he created Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and backed designer Tommy Hilfiger. Then he lost it. Today, he’s re-building his empire in the high-end retailing boom sweeping the country he left 50 years ago: India.

Read the full story after the jump ( subscribers can find it here). And don’t miss Behind the Seams, our current feature on Mohan Murjani’s daughter, Malini, who has launched a style empire all her own.

Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   March 27, 2007