The world's biggest art collectors

It’s regarded as something of a bible in the art world, especially amidst serious collectors, and so when artnet news published its ‘Index of The World’s Top 100 Art Collectors for 2016, Part One,’ its findings gave rise to much interest.

And in the first five were none other than Nita and Mukesh Ambani, who ranked three on this powerful almanac after Russian plutocrat Roman Abramovich and his partner Dasha Zhukova (described as a world-class “tastemaker” and the more active partner of Russia’s most powerful art collecting ‘It’ couple), and Paul Allen, the Seattle-based collector and co-founder of Microsoft.

Nita and Isha Ambani as published in ArtNet. Pic courtesy/Ambanis
Nita and Isha Ambani as published in ArtNet. Pic courtesy/Ambanis

As for the Ambanis, it says: ‘Nita Ambani’s Reliance Foundation sponsored …a show of Hindu paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago (it) was the biggest sponsor of the Met Breuer’s retrospective of Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi. And is ‘planning a museum of her own in India, where large, institutional venues containing the latest climate-control technologies remain scarce.’

Ministry of Crab in India?
Dharshan Munidasa is clearly the most famous chef from Sri Lanka. The half Japanese, half Sri Lankan chef grew up in Tokyo, and went on to graduate with a double degree from John’s Hopkins University in the USA before moving to Colombo, where he currently resides and runs four successful restaurants in Sri Lanka.

Kumar Sangakkara, Jacqueline Fernandez, Dharshan Munidasa, Mahela Jayawardene
Kumar Sangakkara, Jacqueline Fernandez, Dharshan Munidasa, Mahela Jayawardene

Two of these, The Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi rank year after year on San Pellegrino’s prestigious Asia’s 50 best restaurant lists. But cooking is not the soft-spoken chef’s only trait, he is also a successful businessman. He started the Japanese fine dining restaurant Nihonbashi 21 years ago. And years later, he tied up with Sri-Lankan cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and opened the successful Ministry of Crab line with them as investor partners.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Ministry of Crab is packed day and night and today features on every travel list of ‘places to visit in Sri Lanka’. If that wasn’t enough, the enterprising restaurateur opened his third restaurant, Kaema Sutra, a local cuisine and curry serving eatery, partnering with none other Jacqueline Fernandez.

And though Dharshan is tight-lipped about his Indian expansion plans, sources say he’s has been looking to enter Dubai, Hong Kong and, of course, India. “The Indian cricket team had eaten at the Ministry of Crab while they were on a tour in Colombo, and they loved the food. And Virat Kohli is very keen to get involved with a project in India,” says the source. A Ministry of Crab in India with Virat Kohli as a partner? Howzzat!

Memories are made of this
Not much has been heard of south Mumbai’s once upon a time ‘It’ couple, Vikrant and Kavita Chowgule. Vikrant was one of the pioneers in the Indian wine industry. He along with his brother had successfully set up Chateau Indage Wines.

Kavita and Vikrant Chougule
Kavita and Vikrant Chougule

His wife Kavita, given her drop-dead gorgeous looks, was known as a hostess with the mostest. They also owned the posh Colaba nightspots Prive and Tetsuma for many years. Now, we hear Chateau Indage is battling financial woes, and the couple has also filed for divorce, and moved to London.

As for Prive — the one time watering hole of SoBo’s young and restless — (whose former manager Samir Chabbria had even infamously given an interview proudly proclaiming “We check if people are wearing expensive watches before we let them in”), had been more or less forgotten.

But now word comes in that this weekend will see a new bar open in the same space, called Japani. Will it “bring the good old memories back?” Watch this space.

Yacht’s the way
It’s known as the most exclusive address in the world and sources say that Indiabull’s dashing head honcho, Sameer Gehlaut has a residence in One Hyde Park, making him one of the few Indians in the swish apartment block.

Sameer Gehlaut
Sameer Gehlaut

What’s more, Gehlaut is now said to be acquiring what’s being described as a ‘super yacht. “He’s flown his family to the shipyard abroad for its maiden launch,” says an insider. “He does things in great style.” Indeed.

Mommy knows best
She loved him, at least she loved him first. The good looking married superstar. Working together, they grew close. What might have been a passing fling for either, turned out to be much more. He loved her equally now and there had even been a time when he’d considered settling down with her. She fascinated him with her youth and vigor and soaring ambition.

Her mother was unhappy with the situation, as were her friends and advisors. He will never break up his family, they said, don’t be an idiot, you’re playing a fool’s game. She paid them no heed.

They were in love. It would all work out. Somehow. Then, time and distance came between them and he could feel her slipping away. This time it was he who was doing the waiting, the calling, and the planning… More often than not she was too busy.

Last month, they were to meet in Europe. It had been so difficult for them to match their busy schedules, their filming commitments and their over-the-top public personas. And yet, he made the effort. She cancelled at the last minute.

Some say he was heartbroken. That the shoe’s on the other foot now. That she’s discovering a whole new world out there. And liking it. Besides, there are her mother’s views to consider. And as we all know: Mommy knows best.

    Leave a Reply