Today we would celebrate an achiever. Today we would celebrate womanhood. Today we will crown our first SHEIKHLAND DIVA OF THE MONTH! Are you excited Sheikhlanders? I totally am and if you are too, then stay tuned as we unveil the first Sheikhland-Diva only at Chandni@Sheikhland and let the drum rolls as I announce that our very first Sheikhland Diva of the month is –
An elegant face, a warm smile, a go-getter attitude and determined eyes – when I first met Manisha Kumar Chhabra at the launch of Aara Fashion House, I was spellbound by her humility. The founder and the CEO of Wow Marketing, Manisha is an achiever, a home-maker and an inspiration for women in the Sheikhland and beyond, who make it seem possible to dream on and to achieve those dreams. It’s my honour to present to you all our first ever Shiekhland Diva of the month – Manisha Kumar Chhabra!
Here is my interview with this woman-achiever who is the lady behind one of the most prestigious fashion events in the Sheikhland – Numaish. So, are you ready to be inspired ladies?
C – Chandni M – Manisha
C – How did Sheikhland happen to you? Do you like living here?
M – It’s been 20 years for me in Dubai and I love this place for the infrastructure and the lifestyle it offers.
C – Behind every successful diva is a loving family. Please tell us about yours.
M – My family is my most precious possession and my biggest support. My husband is a banker and my 22 years old daughter Tanya is the apple of my eye. I am fortunate that my parents are also here in Dubai. I have a younger sister who lives in the US.
C – How did you land up in a marketing career?
M – I passed out as a Marketing Major from college. I have been fortunate to have worked for all aspects of marketing from events to exhibitions to road shows to online marketing to conferences to crisis management and all that exposure and experience has culminated into Wow Marketing.
C – In your college days, did you have the vision that one day you would be the CEO of Wow Marketing and the woman behind a successful event as Numaish?
M – No, I did not have this vision in the college days but what influenced me a lot was what my Uncle once told me – ‘ Don’t go with the crowd’. That somehow stayed with my mind and I always knew that whatever I would do would be unique and I would do it with all my heart.
C – What inspired you to create something like ‘Numaish’?
M – I always find it fascinating what magic can be created out of a simple garment. I wonder how the fashion designers can imagine, create and put together it all so beautifully. This magic that they create inspired me to put a variety of fashion all under one roof and that’s how Numaish was born. It is a collage of designs from very talented designers from India and Pakistan.
C – What are the challenges in organising a big event like that and how do you overcome those?
M – (Smiles) The biggest challenges are on the day of the event when one has to fulfil the expectations of the exhibitors and also keep the partners happy. It is tough but it is doable. What makes it easy is a great family support.
C – So, what is the latest edition for Numaish bringing in for us?
M – My ambitions through Numaish have been to bring aspirational clothes by famous designers to people at affordable prices and it makes me proud when they say that they are wearing ‘Numaish’. Also Numaish gives the new designers an opportunity to share the same platform with established designers. And following the same tradition, the latest edition is bringing in an interesting blend of 60 designers including Masaba Gupta, Rimi Nayak, Nitya Arora, Anushri Reddy, Shristi Latha Puttana and many more.
C – What according to you makes an event a great event?
M – It’s all about having the correct product mix, I believe. For me, presentation is really important and there should be a story, a concept behind it like through Numaish, we celebrate the heritage and pay tribute to the traditional weavers.
C – Who is your favourite fashion designer?
M – Ritu Kumar (smiles) I cherish my memories of meeting her.
C – Who according to you are the most stylish Bollywood actress?
M – Kareena Kapoor Khan, I believe is very stylish. Infact I am a fan of both the Kapoor sisters – Karisma nad Kareena.
C – I am new in Dubai and I have realised that there is a very strong women-community here. Your thoughts on that.
M – Yes, Dubai is great in offering women a platform to connect with each other on all levels – fun level, intellectual level through meet ups, book clubs and events. It’s great because it helps in creating a support system for those who are living in a nuclear family here, in sharing of ideas and in building up an active community.
C- What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt as Manisha – the home maker and as Manisha – the CEO of Wow Marketing?
M – I have learnt that neither under-estimate nor over-estimate anyone. One should always have a neutral approach in life, it really helps. I have learnt it is important to be innovative, to challenge yourself to create something new.
C – Who is your icon in life?
M – My father, Mr. Kumar is my icon in life. Whenever I am in a tough situation, I stop for a while and think what would my father have done in this situation and then proceed accordingly. I always thank him for my success.
C – What are your favourite places in Sheikhland that you like to go again and again?
M – It’s Board Walk at Golf and Creek club in Deira.
C – What will be your message for the readers of Chandni@Sheikhland.
M – Hard work always pays off. Passion and commitment towards your work is never a waste and honesty is an icing on the cake. (smiles)
And with that my memorable rendezvous with Manisha came to an end. But she filled my heart with a never-ending spirit for working hard, for standing unique in a crowd, for loving family with all heart and also love my own dreams to bring out a diva which I learnt is hidden inside all of us.
Thanks Manisha for the wonderful interview. We are looking forward to Numaish.
And all you lovely people out there, do drop in a line if you liked this feature and if this inspired you like it did to me. I always love hearing from you.
Until we speak next,