Power wedding

Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 09:20 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

Forget the Reddy wedding and its OTT ostentatiousness

Mukesh Ambani, Saurabh Patel and Anil Ambani
Mukesh Ambani, Saurabh Patel and Anil Ambani

Forget the Reddy wedding and its OTT ostentatiousness. The wedding that really matters in the power, wealth and importance stakes according to sources, is that of the daughter of much in the news four-time BJP MLA from Gujarat, who was the minister of Energy & Petrochemicals for 14 years, Saurabh Patel.

His daughter’s wedding is taking place in Gujarat. Patel, who is married to the daughter of Ramnikbhai Ambani, Dhirubhai Ambani’s elder brother, is a force to reckon with despite his falling out with Amit Shah. “Every top industrialist especially those with connections to Gujarat, made it a point to attend, from both the Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil, to the Meswanis, Nikhil and Hital, to Gautam Adani,” says the source.

Incidentally, the contrasting style of both Ambani brothers was noted: “Mukesh was continuously surrounded by his inner coterie of 8/10 people, while Anil walked around alone, making friends and influencing people according to sources.

CEOs who tweet
So who are the ‘Most influential Indian CEOs on Twitter’? According to Lloyd Mathias, Marketing director, HP Asia Pacific they stand as: Anand Mahindra (54%), Harsh Goenka (22%,) Nandan Nilekani (17%) and Uday Kotak (7%.)

Harsh Goenka, Nandan Nilekani and Anand Mahindra
Harsh Goenka, Nandan Nilekani and Anand Mahindra

Mahindra, who has the most followers in this formidable group at 3.8M, shares his views on big business and political developments in India spliced with references to his own group and its products. Goenka, who has been seen to become increasingly active on the micro blogging site, provides witty and satirical takes on news and public affairs. Nilekani usually tweets interesting news articles and also re-tweets most things to do with the aadhaar initiative.

And lastly, Kotak, who has just fewer than 400K followers, is the least active and his bon mots are restricted to his take on developments in the economy or his market predictions. But given the combustible nature of the medium and the traditional risk adverse nature of businessmen that these finance leaders have embraced the brave new world of Twitter in itself is a big deal!

Office entertainment in style
This weekend will witness consumer goods tycoon Harsh Mariwala host a party at his office at BKC. Speculation is rife that it may be to announce the induction of his son Rishab into the traditional business.

Harsh Mariwala and Uday Kotak
Harsh Mariwala and Uday Kotak

As will be recalled the young lad backed by his corporate governance conscious father had eschewed the vast family enterprise to strike out on his own, a move that was often cited as an example of meritocracy vs entitlement.

Incidentally, the trend of chairmen hosting parties at their well-appointed sumptuous offices is catching on. Leading banker Uday Kotak, also in BKC, and Ambit’s Ashok Wadhwa in Lower Parel, have been championing the drift away from same old boring five-star extravaganzas for more private, personalized soirees for friends and colleagues at their office headquarters for years.

“It’s one way of showing off the estate,” says our Oolong Tea Serving Hostess Friend.  “After all, when you’ve got it, why not flaunt it?”

Going, going, gone
Pundole’s new auction space was rife with expectancy last Thursday as the leading lights of the art community like Collector from Japan Masanori Fukuoka, art patron Jeroo Mango, art historian Dr.

Dadiba Pundole, Geetha Mehra and Dr Saryu Doshi
Dadiba Pundole, Geetha Mehra and Dr Saryu Doshi

Saryu Doshi and dealers like Geetha Mehra and Shalini Sawhney waited for the auction to begin. The highlight of the evening was the Raja Ravi Varma painting of Radha in the Moonlight, estimated at Rs 8-12 crore and speculations were aplenty, on what price the gavel would come down at.

The excitement is said to have ratcheted up quite headily when a spirited two-way tussle ensued between two competing telephonic bidders making bids through the husband and wife team of Dadiba and Khorshed Pundole on adjoining telephones! Finally one bidder had to gracefully bow out, allowing the hammer to come down at an impressive Rs 20 crore, a world record price for the artist.

Other highlights of the sale included the beautiful, Ara nude that sold at R90 lakh, almost doubling its pre sale upper estimate of Rs 30-50 lakh, All this a few days after the surgical strike of denomination. Obviously the art market is not run on cash!

Bariatric Janta Party?
What is it about bariatric surgery and the BJP? The ruling party’s leading lights have embraced the practice with a hitherto never seen zeal.

Both the leaders before and now (insets) (L) Nitin Gadkari and (R) Arun Jaitley
Both the leaders before and now (insets) (L) Nitin Gadkari and (R) Arun Jaitley

Not only has Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari been cut down to size thanks to some timely medical intervention, but also Finance Minister Arun Jaitley looks 20 years younger and almost cherubic in his pink bandhis that exactly match the colour of his cheeks (all that walking at Lodi Gardens helps too).

Two others who have benefitted in their battle against the bulge are the aforementioned Gujarat MLA Saurabh Patel and Minister for School Education, Higher and technical education, Sports and Youth welfare Vinod Tawde. “Put it down to PM Modi’s insistence on fit and healthy looking colleagues” observes a political wag. “None of them could afford to look flabby and out of shape.” Or could it just be that the demonetisation broom had swept in another way?

Dismal show
Oh dear. Word comes in that the turnout of heavy weight industrialists at the recent lunch hosted by a visiting Chief Minister of an important state was abysmal. Held at a swank five-star sources say out of the 70 or so attendees expected there were no more than two dozen.

“That too only the light weights and no-accounters whatsoever,” said a source. “Only a few years ago invitations to such events by the same state were oversubscribed and every top industrialist would be jostling to be get in!” Are things going pear shaped already?

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