Spanning across fashion and hospitality to finance and tech, Farzana Baduel lists eight Mayfair and Marylebone-based Indian-origin businesswomen who inspire and fuel her own drive for success

Aarti Grover

A second-generation entrepreneur, Aarti is pioneering and leading the IT movement in India as the managing director and owner of CMS Computers. CMS is a leading IT/IoT Systems Integrator, with its main businesses spanning eGovernance Services, Smart Cities, Energy Management and Digital Transformation.

Aarti is the chief architect of CMS’s purpose of Simplifying Life – a commitment to sustained growth with focus on environment, public safety and transparent governance. As the world becomes increasingly digital during the pandemic, so too is the need for dynamic and interactive technologies. Through her leadership of CMS, Aarti is changing the analog into the digital through transformative work around digital governance, Smart Cities and Smart Grids.

At the same time, she is ever mindful of the gap between the “real” world and the IT world, of honouring the past and including all voices while giving cities a new look that points towards the future.

 

 

Further combining her experience in technology with her zeal for serving humanity, she is committed to uplifting the underprivileged girl child through sponsorships, scholarships and social intervention at orphanages like the St. Catherine Home, the Seal Ashram and the Vatsala Trust. She also provides yearly financial support to underprivileged cancer patients through the Asian Institute of Oncology.

A second-generation entrepreneur, Aarti is pioneering and leading the IT movement in India as the managing director and owner of CMS Computers. CMS is a leading IT/IoT Systems Integrator, with its main businesses spanning eGovernance Services, Smart Cities, Energy Management and Digital Transformation.

Aarti is the chief architect of CMS’s purpose of Simplifying Life – a commitment to sustained growth with focus on environment, public safety and transparent governance. As the world becomes increasingly digital during the pandemic, so too is the need for dynamic and interactive technologies. Through her leadership of CMS, Aarti is changing the analog into the digital through transformative work around digital governance, Smart Cities and Smart Grids.

At the same time, she is ever mindful of the gap between the “real” world and the IT world, of honouring the past and including all voices while giving cities a new look that points towards the future.

Further combining her experience in technology with her zeal for serving humanity, she is committed to uplifting the underprivileged girl child through sponsorships, scholarships and social intervention at orphanages like the St. Catherine Home, the Seal Ashram and the Vatsala Trust. She also provides yearly financial support to underprivileged cancer patients through the Asian Institute of Oncology.

 

Priyanka Gill

Digital media entrepreneur extraordinaire Priyanka Gill founded POPxo in 2014 with the vision of creating a digital community for women powered by relatable and engaging content. Today, with 88 million active users across platforms, POPxo has become ubiquitous in the digital lives of women in India.

Recognising the significance of influencer marketing, she launched Plixxo, a platform that connects brands and digital media influencers, in 2017. Today, it is India’s most engaged influencer marketing platform with 200,000+ influencers onboarded.

In August 2020, POPxo-Plixxo merged with MyGlamm. Backed by Amazon, Bessemer Venture Partners and Wipro Consumer,  MyGlamm is India’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer beauty brand. In September 2021, Priyanka was elevated to the position of co-founder of Good Glamm Group, a digital-first house of beauty and personal care brands. 

She has been recognised as an entrepreneur through some prestigious awards; the 100 Technology Leaders, Impact (2020), BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 Award (2019), CNBC Young Turks Conclave – Young Business Women Awards (2018), ET Now Leaders of Tomorrow – Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (2018), FICCI Flo – Power To Empower Award (2015).

 

A mother to two energetic kids, she often goes to the Arts Club when she seeks a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of media, or to simply think and be creative.  

Ravinder Bhogal

Restaurateur and journalist Ravinder Bhogal’s food draws upon her mixed heritage and the UK’s diverse immigrant culture. Inspired by the vibrant cultural richness of Marylebone, she opened her debut restaurant, Jikoni, in Blandford Street in 2015. 

Within seven months of its opening, Jikoni was ranked 56th by the UK National Restaurant Awards and bagged a coveted place in the Michelin Guide. She has authored the award-winning book, Cook in Boots. Her latest book, Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen, has been shortlisted for several awards.

Embracing the importance of sustainable and environmentally conscious eating, she launched a four-month vegan pop-up in 2017 at the W Hotel, which was voted The Best Vegan restaurant in the country by Harper’s Bazaar within a few weeks of opening. In June 2020, she launched a sustainable vegetarian home-delivery brand Comfort and Joy, a sister brand to Jikoni last year. 

he has presented a special two-part documentary, The Great British Curry Trail and was on prime-time Indian television with her own 22-part series, Ravinder’s Kitchen. She has twice been named as one of London’s leading influencers of progress and diversity in the Evening Standard Progress 1000.

For Ravinder, Marylebone is more than just the cornerstone of her culinary journey: it is a celebration of her life. It’s where she fell in love and got married, where she relaxes and refuels.

Sujata Keshavan 

An award-winning designer, Sujata is redefining how traditional heritage crafts are viewed in luxury fashion. A student of the legendary Paul Rand, she co-founded her initial company, Ray+Keshavan, arguably the first world-class branding and design firm in India, in 1989. 

During her 25 year-long tenure as the creative director, she became convinced that the unique craftsmanship of her home was underserved by the fashion industry. Thus, in 2016, she founded Varana, a fashion house that presents the exceptional techniques and textile savoir-faire of India in urbane, sophisticated clothes that showcase artisanal excellence. 

Varana opened its flagship store on Dover Street in 2017, with the townhouse space also operating as the brand’s head office.

By sourcing materials and producing its collections sustainably, the company is pioneering a modern relationship with these ancient crafts.

Sujata has won international acclaim for her achievements. In 2006, India Today named her one of India’s 30 most powerful women in business and in 2007, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry named her the Outstanding Woman Professional of the Year. She was a member of the design jury at the Cannes Design Lions International Festival in 2009 as well as D&AD, London, in 2014, and was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on design and innovation.

Dipika Khaitan

FinTech entrepreneur Dipika Khaitan’s journey started in 1999 when she moved to the UK with her husband to help him develop his career. She started to dabble in fashion and jewellery and launched a UK-wide retail brand.

She then helped Akshaya Patra Foundation, an Indian charity, establish a base in the UK to support the British community in providing nearly two million children in India with healthy school lunches. Having developed a penchant for building impactful projects from the ground up, in 2019, she saw the opportunity to create an investing product for people who, like her, lacked time, confidence or knowledge of FinTech. Gather is a social investment platform on the cusp of its launch. It simplifies investing in things that people are passionate about, such as climate change or veganism, with the expertise of BlackRock.

A resident of Mayfair, she loves the cosy feel to the area that is otherwise situated in the centre of a sprawling metropolis.

Rupal Kantaria

 

A partner at global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, Rupal engages a diverse community of private, public and third-sector influencers to ideate and test solutions to global challenges. As a passionate and vocal advocate for social change, she co-leads the consultancy’s UK Social Impact team.

Her commitment to equality does not stop at the doors of her Baker Street office. She serves as a strategic advisor at the 30% Club, a global campaign led for increasing gender diversity at senior management level. She also serves on the City of London Social Mobility taskforce.

 

Not afraid of shaking up things, she leads the CEO and Board Leadership Reimagined Community. She has also co-founded two social mission movements: Mission INCLUDE, which promotes an inclusive culture at corporates, and GenGive, which ignites the social conscience in families. 

Equally inspiring are her empathy and openness to sharing her experiences. Having lost her middle son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), she is a staunch supporter of child bereavement charities. She serves as a Trustee for the Lullaby Trust, which raises awareness of SIDS and promotes infant health. 

When she is not pioneering groundbreaking solutions or driving social change, she can be found at a meditation centre in Chiltern Street or indulging in a bit of retail therapy at the shops on high street. Marylebone her ‘spiritual home’ as all areas of her life centre around here.