Meeting of Minds
With the Max Group founder Analjit Singh's private venture, Piveta Estates, having bought a 51 per cent stake in Ritu Dalmia's company, Riga Foods, modern Indian food has got another platform abroad. Dalmia made Italian food fashionable in India, and her Indian restaurant in Milan, Cittamani, with its concept and reimagined regional recipes, too, is a big hit within six months of its launch. Cittamani now plans to open restaurants across Europe. Up next is an Italian restaurant, Stella, in the UK at the boutique hotel Linthwaite House in the Lake District. The hotel, Singh's first hospitality acquisition in the UK, had been shut for renovation since 2016. It is set to reopen this month as a premier property under Singh's hospitality brand Leeu Collection which has boutique hotels in South Africa, the UK and Italy. All these could be potential venues for Dalmia's restaurants.
Roles has always been at the forefront of celebrating arts and sciences. Apart from its ongoing Rolex Mentor and Protege initiative and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, it is now celebrating the art of storytelling by supporting the works of four of the world's best directors - James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Alejandro Inarritu and Kathryn Bigelow, whose films have collectively won 57 Academy Awards. No one was ever remembered for playing it safe Cameron said in a film celebrating their work, and indeed risk taking is a big part of these filmmakers' work. Rolex supports the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its endeavours, both in its recognition of achievement and in preserving the history of film.
The Royal Touch
Following the success of Raja Ravi Varma's untitled painting of Damayanti - that sold last March for a remarkable $1.7 million - Sotheby's set another benchmark for the artist from the Travancore royal family during its Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art sale last month. Varma's untitled (Tillottama), a celestial nymph from Hindu mythology who embodies the nearly perfect being, fetched $795,000 following several minutes of bidding between three bidders. Varma's works - cherished for his ability to intertwine Western academic realism and Indian subject matter - are seldom offered at international auctions. This archetypal work exuded universal appeal.
Indian Hotels Company has just opened a Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans, which promises paradise across 72 villas in 46 acres of forest and mangroves on the crescent shaped Radhanagar Beach. According to Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO, Indian Hotels Company, Andamans is slated to be one of the top places to travel in 2018. The resort offers a sustainable model of tourism. Not a single tree has been felled during the construction of the villas modelled around the indigenous Jarawa tribe's pitch-roof stilted huts. The lobby built on stilts will greet guests to spectacular beach views and a 50-metre infinity swimming pool. Taj has also set up an on-site bottling plant eliminating the use of plastic bottles, a waste disposal system to convert wet waste to gas and compost, and a sanitation treatment plant to limit its carbon footprint.
Ture wealth is about giving back to society, and few people do it better than Gucci. On the occasion of World Water Day, Gucci and Chime for Change announced a new partnership with Beyonce's philanthropic arm BeyGOOD and UNICEF USA to bring clean, safe water to the children of Burundi. Beyonce launched the multi-year BeyGood4Burundi initiative with UNICEF USA in 2017 to support programmes to improve water, sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the hardest-to-reach areas of the landlocked East African nation. The first 35 wells have now been completed, and Gucci's $1 million commitment to the project as a founding partner will help build 80 additional wells. The programme touches upon the three pillars of Gucci's Chime for Change campaign - education, health and justice - to create positive change for girls and women around the world. And you thought it was only about haute couture?