Monday, August 28, 2017

ICEX World's first diamond derivatives exchange

ICEX ( Indian Commodity Exchange ) commences operations with the launch of diamond futures contracts.  ICEX will provide fair price discovery and price hedging platform for the diamond industry. Nationwide trade participation shall lead to efficient price discovery based on demand and supply fundamentals. 

ICEX is powered by technology from MillenniumIT ( MIT ) , part of the London Stock Exchange group. 

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIAMOND GRADING & RESEARCH (IIDGR), part of DE BEERS Group , to certify diamonds for the exchange delivery .

MALCA-AMIT, a Global vaulting agency for diamonds shall handle vaulting and logistics.

 Adding a new leaf to the history of India’s commodity markets, Indian Commodity Exchange Limited (ICEX), a screen-based online derivatives exchange for commodities, went live today. ICEX commenced operations with the launch of Diamond Futures, which will be the world’s first derivatives contracts in diamonds.

The exchange was formally inaugurated at a function held in Mumbai today. The event was graced by several prominent dignitaries from the diamond industry and the exchange industry ecosystem, including Mr. Praveen Shankar Pandya, Chairman, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, who served as the chief guest. Also present were, Mr. V N Kaul, Ex-Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Independent Director of Reliance Capital, which is one of the prominent shareholders of ICEX, and Mr. Anoop Mehta, President, Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB).

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pandya said, “I congratulate ICEX for the launch. I am sure the new exchange will be able to make a meaningful contribution towards further development of India’s commodity markets.”
Mr. Ashok Sinha, Chairman, ICEX added, “The vision behind ICEX has been to establish a world-class platform that offers de-risking avenues against the price vagaries in not only the Indian manufacturing sector but also in the agricultural sector. We want to see that the benefit of One India-One Price helps even small farmers.”

Highlighting the importance of the exchange, Mr. V N Kaul said, “Launch of ICEX will give a further fillip to Indian trade and commerce and help in harnessing the true potential of the Indian commodity derivatives market.”

Mr. Sanjit Prasad, MD & CEO of ICEX, said: “ICEX shall offer a fair, transparent and nationwide market, bringing in large market participation into diamond trade. It shall result in efficient price discovery and provide an effective hedging platform for all stakeholders of the diamond industry. ICEX brings together the best technology in terms of trading platform from MIT, renowned vaulting services offered by MALCA-AMIT and credible grading certification by IIDGR. This will fulfill the objectives and standards as set up by the Regulator and the Government of India.”

The diamond contracts launched by ICEX initially is in size of 1 carat with compulsory delivery. This will create an entirely new market for the diamond industry players where the sellers can deliver their certified quality diamonds to different set of buyers from across the country.
The launch of Diamond Futures trading on ICEX will lead to efficient price discovery based on demand and supply fundamentals and a nationwide market participation. Till date, 100+ members and around 4,000 clients have registered with the exchange.

MillenniumIT (MIT) : MillenniumIT is a leading innovative trading technology business. MillenniumIT's software platforms are fully fault tolerant where immediately available replica processes ensure uninterrupted trading even in the face of software or hardware outages. MillenniumIT’s systems are used by exchange businesses around the world including London Stock Exchange, the London Metal Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Oslo Børs, Turquoise, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a series of emerging market exchanges.

Malca-Amit provides the highest standard of secure logistical solutions for the diamond and jewellery industries worldwide, and those dealing with valuable assets. Malca-Amit’s highly-secured, strategically located storage facilities are recognized as market leaders. Numerous facilities are located in free trade zones and others are strategically positioned around the globe- Bangkok, Hong Kong, London, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Toronto and Zurich.

International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) : Established in 2008, The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) is a DeBeers Group of Companies, the organisation most closely associated with the mystique and science of diamonds. IIDGR has laboratories in three global locations, Antwerp, Surat and Maidenhead. Each location provides first class services in diamond grading and testing. With over 125 years of expertise, the experts use comprehensive analysis using a variety of different in-house and proprietary equipment to ensure that every diamond assessed is naturally occurring and untreated.

 Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) Limited is a SEBI regulated Commodities Derivatives Exchange.
Reliance Capital, a part of Anil Ambani led Reliance Group, is a prominent shareholder in ICEX, along with wider and more diverse set of shareholders.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Malhar conclave 2017 at St. Xaviers Mumbai

Malhar ... just the sound of this lyrical word transports us into the heavenly bliss of nature's green bounty. Malhar is all about Rains , the serene scenery , rapturous nature and creative splendor.
Legendary classical raga Malhar is so powerful that when sung passionately , it can induce rainfall. Well this rainfall may be metaphorical of the state of mind brought about by the recital of raga .
No wonder then that St. Xavier's college named their annual cultural extravaganza as ' Malhar'.

Malhar is hosted annually by the students of St. Xavier's college , Mumbai with numerous activities full of Fun , Talent and Creativity galore. The mascot for Malhar is a frog, aptly named as Puddles.


Malhar began in 1979. Malhar includes various cultural contests in Literary performing arts and fine arts categories along with many workshops on different themes .
Malhar is totally conceptualized and managed by 1200 student-volunteers and student organizing committee of 130 students.  

Malhar - Conclave was a spectacular success with enriching talks, panel discussions and exciting performances. ''Life is about technology''

Ashishkumar Chauhan took us back to the past, from where it all started. The evolution of technology. He spoke about artificial Intelligence. 

One of the most awaited talks of Malhar Conclave 2017 was delivered by the respected Piyush Goyal. He dwelled on a topic of global importance- climate change and where it is leading the world to. Talking about India's major steps towards energy efficiency, he also stressed on what we, as citizens can do to contribute to this. Amongst other things, he also spoke about Malhar calling it an 'institution to be proud of'. He made a call to the youth of today urging them to be the masters of their destiny and be the harbingers of change in the journey to building a new India.

Viren Rasquinha - Ex hockey player and Current CEO of OGQ, Viren Rasquinha represented and captained the Indian hockey team that came 7th in the 2004 olympics. Working with previous winners such as PV Sindhu and Mary Kom in the past, every medal they won brought him a great sense of joy driving him to work harder. Out of all the experience shared the one that stuck was the great pleasure that one recieved from proving people wrong.

The panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Technology, focused primarily on the acceptibility and incorporation of AI in the future. Present at the discussion were Avinash Kumar, Professor at JNU; Nabomita Mazumdar, Specialist in HR and Technology; Upamanyu Ghose, Member of Project Manas; Ankit Mehta, an aerospace engineer; and Siddharth Mehta, Managing partner of Mehta and Padamsey Law firm, who was the moderator of discussion. The topics that were raised included: the economic and social efficiency of AI, the moral dilemmas associated with it, the repercussions of the increasing growth of technology, and what does it mean for Indians in the future. The discussion ended with the panel answering the questions posed by the audience.

“Art is to promote freedom of expression"
One of the most awaited panel in Malhar 2017, delivered by Makarand Deshpande, Homi Adjania, Shabana Azmi and Mae Mariyam Thomas focused on the difference between cinema and theatre. A beautiful thought quoted by Makarand Deshpande which everyone should take home "I see drama and cinema as live and dramatic as my breath." The panel highlighted the difference between actors in cinema and actors in theatre and how each project a different charisma and style.  Shabana Azmi gave talked about how 'Stardom takes you and moves you away from reality'.

The performance sessions were essentially invigorating with the artists- namely, Symphony Orchestra of India, Siddharth Basrur, Uday Benegal and Divine- giving inspiring speeches and short performances to highlight their talks. 

Ganpati Celebrations at Arpita Khan's Home

Arpita Khan's Ganpati Celebrations are all about the flowers

Ganpati , the God of Wisdom is the most popular and famous god all over India in general and Maharashtra in particular. 

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Fan' actress Waluscha D'Souza has aced her fashion game in the past few years and has been looking incredible with all of her fashion outings.

For the ongoing Ganpati festivities, she was clicked posing with the Ganesh idol at Salman Khan's sister Arpita Khan's house, against a stunning white rose and red rose over chandeliers decor that made her the image the most beautiful celebrity spotting for the festival so far.

She was seen wearing a blush pink cold shoulder Anj Kreations floor length dress. It had an ethnic modest vibe to it yet looked very stylish. A touch of modernity to a traditional look is what one would adore with this avatar of hers. Furthermore, the work on the outfit is an intricate hand detailing with thread and mirror play. She completed her look with chandbalis and kept her hair open adding curls with a portion swept to one side of her shoulder.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Take Charge with Godrej Security Solutions #IAmSecure

 Mehernosh Pithawalla, Global Head - Marketing, Sales & Innovation, Godrej Security Solutions Division, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd; Lata Dattatray Sutar, DIG; Sandhya Shetty, model, actor, TV presenter and karate champion; Sunil Mehta, Senior Vice President & Area Systems Director - Central Asia, JWT; Harshada Patil, legal expert on cases pertaining to sexual harassment; Sachin Patil, Senior IPS officer.

Lakshmibai, the Jhansi ki Rani, who valiantly fought the mighty British empire for the sovereignty of her Jhansi  is just the historical figure in modern India. Now a days, we dress up our daughters like Rani Lakshmibai and feel blessed when they win the fancy dress contest. Naturally , majority of our newspapers' headlines scream of rapes , abuses, theft, domestic violence cases for women Generally , we send our sons to Judo , Karate classes and our daughters to Bharatnatyam , Kathak classes. Nothing wrong in learning performing arts like singing , dancing but it's high time , the girls, ladies must learn martial arts for self defense. 
On the background of rising crime against women , Godrej Security Solutions ,  India’s leading security solutions provider, urged women to take charge of their security. Godrej kick started a multi-city consumer awareness programme and campaign #IAmSecure, where over 150 women in Mumbai took the ‘Pledge of Security’. The first leg of #IAmSecure  was held in Mumbai at Godrej One,  to create awareness among women to be more proactive and take charge of their own security, educate them about the various solutions and also educate them about the importance of learning self-defense for leading a safer and secure life. The event witnessed participation of over 150 women from different walks of life pledging to take charge of their security.

Famous Indian Stand-up Comedian Atul Khatri took a humourous dig at the security preparedness among citizens in India. This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Safety and security for women is a fundamental right’, which was moderated by Sunil Mehta, Senior Vice President & Area Systems Director - Central Asia, JWT. The panelist included: Mehernosh Pithawalla, Global Head - Marketing, Sales & Innovation, Godrej Security Solutions Division, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd; Sandhya Shetty, model, actor, TV presenter and karate champion; Harshada Patil, legal expert on cases pertaining to sexual harassment, senior representatives from the police force.

National Crime Records Bureau's  (NCRB) recent report states that , in India, every day 312 burglary, 99 robbery, and 1281 theft cases are recorded. Women, children and senior citizens are the victims of such gruesome incidents. Addressing the event, Lata Dattatray Sutar, Senior Female inspector, said, “While the police department is working relentlessly to ensure safety and security of women in the society, it is also important for women to become more aware of their surroundings, rights and take charge of their security. A collaborative effort will further help to fight against this issue.”

Mr, Mehernosh said, “One of the biggest impediments to the adoption of security solutions in India has been a reactive attitude towards adopting solutions to safeguard one's valuables and loved ones. Society is getting more tech-rich and empowered, and yet we remain as vulnerable to crime as before. Today’s safety and security anxieties are tied up not just with personal safety, but with safety of our loved ones at homes, workplaces, schools and campuses, public places and so on. Hence it is important that women too now take charge of their security and pledge to keep themselves as well as their families secure too. We need to make a fundamental change in our behaviour and be more proactive about security.”

Karate champion , Sandhya Shetty said  " Leaning Karate made her feel more secure and confident opined, Prevention is better than cure. It is important that women should learn self-defense and be more aware of their environment and the security threats. I firmly believe that learning self-defense improves agility, alertness and adds to your confidence too as it reduces your dependencies on others for security.”

Godrej Security Solutions introduced it latest range of WiFi enabled DIY CCTVs called EVE. The Eve series is capable of directly streaming videos to the mobile handsets of the home owners, and helps one to watch over their loved ones from across the world. The EVE range of CCTVs has an auto-record function.

Godrej Security Solutions introduced three of their latest innovations on this platform. The three products are a plug and play wifi enabled CCTV camera that allows you to watch over your loved ones from across the world on your phone, wifi enabled video door phone and a plug n play burglar alarm system called Eagle I-Lite that raises an alarm when unusual motion is detected.

To know more on how you can secure your home and family, please download the Safety booklet:

Friday, August 18, 2017

InstaSpect from ICICI Lombard General Insurance for Faster claim settlement

Just the thought of claiming Insurance drives us crazy. We buy the Insurance policy to safeguard our pet asset, our favorite vehicle. We keep on paying the premiums to ensure its long life. One fine day, I mean horrible day , if we meet with an accident , all hell breaks loose as we are suffering from the loss / damage to our pet car. Instead of nursing our wounds , we have to run from pillar to post to raise the claim. We keep on phoning the agent to arrange for inspection of the damaged vehicle , ascertaining the cost of repairs, loads of documents in quadruplicates to be submitted , final approval of the claim and most importantly excruciating stress. These are some of the most important reasons, which make us wary while taking Vehicle insurance. Which company will be worthy to invest in for our favorite vehicles's safety ? 

So friends, now REST ... and Invest in a company which fulfills what it promises instantly. Here's the great news :
ICICI Lombard General Insurance launched ‘InstaSpect’ India’s first live video inspection feature for faster motor insurance claims approvals 

Key features:

 On- the spot vehicle inspection
 Reduced waiting time
 Clarity on coverage and deductions
 Greater transparency
 Assistance with vehicle pick-up services
 Faster claim settlement

ICICI Lombard's InstaSpect – India’s first live video inspection feature for motor insurance claims , allows customers to raise an instant claim via the ICICI Lombard ‘insure’ mobile app.
The customer has to simply stream a live video of the damaged vehicle to an ICICI Lombard claims manager. The claims manager assesses the damage through the video and informs the customer about the extent of liability, documentation and further process involved. The customer can accept the claims manager’s assessment of the damage enabling the claims manager to immediately approve the claim and initiate the vehicle damage repair process.

To understand the level of acceptance of its ‘InstaSpect’ feature, the company had undertaken a survey of over 810 vehicle users in the 25-55 age group. The findings revealed that 94% respondents liked the concept and were keen to use the application; 37% appreciated the on-spot claim assistance process while 26% mentioned that it will bring down the survey time. In an encouraging sign, half of the respondents found the feature, new and interesting.

For a hassle-free claim settlement, a customer needs to open InstaSpect on the ‘insure’ app and click on the ‘InstaSpect’ option which connects to the claims manager. The claims manager guides the customer to do the live video streaming and advises him/ her on how to take the video of specific damaged areas and upload the same along with the policy documents. The manager then provides the policyholder with a rough estimate of the damage and the liability. The details and approvals are sent to the workshop even as the car is being transported there. The entire claim approval process takes a few hours, much
lesser than a normal claim process.

Speaking at the launch of the new solution, Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said, “At ICICI Lombard, we have always strived to challenge the status quo and provide the best in class experience to our customers by using the latest technology solutions. Through this new age
motor insurance claims feature ‘InstaSpect’ on our 'insure' app, we have made the claims approval process far more efficient and hassle free for the benefit of our customers." Using InstaSpect, a customer can intimate a claim through 4 simple steps

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Hospitality Convention 2017 at St. Andrews

All the stalwarts of the Hospitality industry as well as the TV stars added glamour to the " The Hospitality Convention 2017 " event managed by Paramus Education at St. Andrews auditorium at Bandra ( Mumbai ).

Hospitality celebrities , Chefs, hoteliers, bartenders and more addressed hospitality students in this unique and house packed " The Hospitality convention 2017 on August 12, 2017.


It  was a memorable day in the hospitality industry, as the who's who of the industry came together to address the aspiring hospitality stars of tomorrow. The event was graced by chief guest Abhishek Verma. Ever so charming, the TV star lit the lamp and set the event off to a great start, and soon had the students jumping off their chairs in excitement. 

The show then featured noted baker & entreprenuer Kainaz Messman ( Theobroma  )addressing the students about the importance of adding their heart to their food. 

We then saw notable motivational speaker and event extraordinaire Sushma Gaikwad charge up the students with her innovative rope game. The event was taken to another level with the tricks by flair bartender Pankaj Kamble.

In a way to truly prepare the students for the times ahead, there was a cooking challenge with one representative from each college making their best dish with surprise ingredients. This contest was judged by chefs Rakhee Vaswani, Kunal Kapur & Zorawar Kalra. Kunal & Zorawar then had the students at the edge of their seats with their interesting messages & interactive Q&As.

All in all, the event served a great purpose in motivating the aspiring students & hospitality stars of tomorrow.

Maharaja Bhog Premium Veg Thali - Lower Parel

Indian Bloggers

Majestic Treat for Eyes as well as for Taste buds #MaharajaBhog at #LowerParel

We Indians have a Desi wisdom about gauging the fame of family. We measure it by the lots of foot-wares in the front-yard of a home. More the foot-wares, means the family is more Famous for it's Hospitality. Based on this same principle, How to judge the popularity of any restaurant or of any business?. More crowded the restaurant then it must be authentic, excellent & Magnificent.  

I am sure the above photograph clicked candidly by me depicts the immense popularity of brand 'Maharaja Bhog' in it's full glory. Believe me this scene greets you whenever you visit it either at Lunch or Dinner time. I was pleasantly surprised , when I received the special invite by newly launched 'Maharaja Bhog'  ( Lower Parel ) , to indulge in a scrumptious meal.

The prime location of majestic 'Maharaja Bhog', being bang on the Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel sorts out many issues. Curiously, it's located on the exact corner of the street, which houses famous restaurants chains of Zaffran , Sweetish house Mafia , The Barking Deer , Summer House Cafe, Cafe Zoe etc. Yes , you read it right and still it was House-full by the time we left it at 9 pm, even on Thursday.

Once you enter the restaurant you are greeted with ' Namaskar '. The palatial ambiance with huge crystal white chandeliers , ancient sikka murals , Marble-White hued opulent sofas, carved, comfy, cushioned, wooden chairs, spaced out tables loaded with large thalis containing many small katoris ( bowls ) , shining silver cutlery ... transforms you into the Maharaja .... instantly. An attendant comes up to you with a silver thali adorned with small ivory statue of Kamdhenu , Tulsi leaves and few coins. The noble cause is 'Maharaja Bhog' donates Rs. 1 per thali to a charity organization.

Those wishing to have Bohri style meal with Family / Friends can opt for this gigantic version of community thali. Now , that you have chosen your own version, the attendant brings an artistically filigreed Surai and big basin to your seat to clean your hands.

Maharaja Bhog offers 30 different menus on 30 days , so you may visit again & again and still get to enjoy variety of feasts, every other day. The Thali is competitively priced as INR. 550 and INR. 250 ( for kids ). Their specialty is Gujarathi , Marwari cuisine with additional regional dishes to balance. Welcome drink, the Kesar ( Saffron ) Sarbat, works wonderfully as a mouth freshener too.

Join us, let's start our food journey in Royal Mood with Sindhi specialty Dal Pakwan Tadka topped with chutneys, diced onion, tomato in a chat style. Generally, I am finicky about variety of foods and still loved Methi Leela Kanda Muthiya with Bajra Rotla. Three types of Indian breads were served including Fulka and  Kaddu Palak Kanda Thepla. The KPK thepla tasted amazing with chutney / pickle / raita too. The pure ghee utilization for all Maharaja Bhog food-preps adds ghar ka swaad (an unique homely flavor ) and charm. 

Service with smile and personified politeness is the finest funda of Maharaja Bhog staff, right from the attendants to the managers. As soon as you finish any kind of food in your thali, the attendants rush to fill it up as per your wish. All throughout your dining at Maharaja Bhog, you feel like you are feasting at your family function where you are pampered deliciously. 

The tasty treat goes on and on with One Steamed and One Fried Farsan : Farali green peas pattice, Bhujiya Cheese Roll and Cabbage PatraFour types of Vegetables : Matar Paneer, Methi Leela Kanda Muthiya, Aloo Patal Bhaji, Kismis Wak daal, Two types of Indian Dals : Rajasthani Dal ( spicy ) and Gujurati Dal ( sweet ), Two types of Kadhi : Rajasthani Kadhi ( spicy ) and Gujurati Kadhi ( sweet ) , Two types of Sweet dishes ( for us : Sitaphal Basundi and Mohan Thal Halwa ) on Weekdays and Three Different types of Sweet Dishes on Weekends , Poppadums , Two types of Chutneys , Salad , Two types of Pickles , Two types of Rice : Steam Rice and Khichdi with Ghee/ butter , Masala Paan , Chaas ( garnished buttermilk ).

Now that I have experienced this Splendid Maharaja Bhog treat , I am eager to repeat it soon with my family at the Infinity Mall - Malad. Please let me know about your Royal treats.  Till then stay tuned to ' Spirit of Mumbai' for the next best review. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Whistling Woods International celebrated National Handloom Day

 Handloom is the Richest, Loveliest and most Swadeshi Tradition of India. Handloom lost it's Royal patronage in the British Raj due to industrialization. 
Now it's our responsibility to revive our cultural heritage and embrace the Handlooms gloriously. The budding fashion designers should learn the aesthetic nuances of Handloom in it's various forms , designs and adaptability. 


~The well-known handloom expert Bhamini Subramanium , conducted an interactive session as part of the National Handloom day celebration and shared her experiences and insights about the handloom industry in detail~


 On the occasion of ‘National Handloom Day’, the students of Whistling Woods International - School of Fashion adorned the campus with beautiful colours, as they were dressed in their regional ethnic attires. The cultural event held at the campus to celebrate the pre-historic art of handloom in India, was graced by popular designer and expert, Bhamini Subramaniam. 

The designer spoke at length about the history of the handloom industry in an interactive session with the students and faculty. The expert also shed light on the evolution of handloom and its significance as part of the session.

The session was followed by a series of cultural performances through the form of dance, music and monologues by the students, to express their love and gratitude towards the varied cultures of India as part of the National Handloom Day celebration. Each performance perfectly reflected the essence and culture of different states, paying tribute to the magnificent art and heritage of the country. 

While advising the students, Bhamini Subramaniam said, “Handloom is an indigenous and sustainable art. It has a certain kind of sacredness attached to it. In the recent times, this form of art is not valued and is diminishing at a rapid pace. It is the duty of the future designers to promote and convince the coming generations to cherish this beautiful form of art.” While interacting with the students, she urged them to preserve the ancient art and also value it. She further added, “I think the students must wear khaadi at least once a week, and make it a norm for everyone.” She also mentioned the uniqueness that handloom fabrics bring to our rich culture.


The event culminated on a high and positive note. The guest of honour was presented with a token of appreciation by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics at Whistling Woods International. Wishing the students all the best for their future endeavours, she asked them to enjoy their time at the institute and create a mark for themselves in the fashion industry.

Whistling Woods International (WWI) is a Film, Television, Animation, Communication, Fashion, Music and Media Arts institute located in Mumbai, India. Founded by one of India’s leading filmmakers – Subhash Ghai, WWI is one of Asia’s largest Film, Communication &Media Arts institute. The Hollywood Reporter’ has rated WWI as one of the Ten Best Film Schools in the
world in 2014, 2013 & 2010. The campus is located inside Mumbai’s film & television production hub ‘Filmcity’, and offers courses that vary in duration from 1 year to 3 years. All the major specializations of the Media & Entertainment industry are catered to, including Acting, Animation, Cinematography, Direction, Editing, Producing, Music, Screenwriting, Sound, Visual Effects, Media Management Studies, Visual Communication and Fashion Design. Degree and diploma courses offered as accredited to The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

Welcome Home VLCC on-demand services

VLCC expands reach with beauty services at home, acquits Vanity Cube, extends to the on-demand services segment

VLCC, a globally renowned brand in beauty and wellness industry, announced its acquisition of Vanity Cube, one of the earliest entrants in the beauty-services- at-home segment, signaling its foray into the fast growing ‘On-Demand Services’ sector. To be rebranded VLCC Vanity Cube, the company currently offers beauty services at home to its customers in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mrs. Vandana Luthra, Founder, VLCC, said, “On-demand beauty services have a huge growth potential and will define the next level of disruption in the beauty and wellness industry. There is no clear market leader in the nascent on-demand beauty services space. VLCC, with its presence of over 250 wellness centers and salons in 120 cities across 11 countries as well as 76 skill development academies, through whose portals over 10,000 students pass out annually, will have a distinct edge over competition in this domain. With the addition of beauty on-demand to the existing range of services, VLCC will be able to further extend its reach and availability. The immediate plan is to scale up the operations of Vanity Cube beyond the current 2 cities to 10 cities over the next 18 months.”

Vanity Cube was established by Ms. Renu Bisht and Ms. Pragya Upadhyay in the year 2014. A key differentiator of the start-up has been its ability to deliver services within 90 minutes of booking an appointment. The company is currently operational in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai and has served over 50,000 customers till date, with 60% customers availing a repeat within 45 days of the first service. The company had earlier raised Series A funding from Unicorn Ventures and angel investors, who continue to be minority stakeholders in the company.

Being a leader in the Beauty & Wellness services segment, the foray into On-Demand Beauty Services is a natural progression for VLCC. Already, nearly 60% of the company’s revenue from its wellness centres in India comes from beauty treatments and services.

Commenting on the synergy between the two businesses, Ms. Renu Bisht, Co-Founder, Vanity Cube said, “We, at Vanity Cube, aspire to be the private stylists for each of our customers. We understand that beauty is personal to every individual and hence, we have always focused on delivering high quality services at competitive costs. With VLCC’s expertise, years of experience and scale of reach in beauty services, we will now be able to not only deliver an upgraded and expanded offering to our existing customer base, but also achieve our goal to be a pan-India operation.”

Ms. Pragya Upadhyay, Co-Founder, Vanity Cube added, “We are excited to be a part of the VLCC family. VLCC is a pioneer in the beauty and wellness industry and has always given utmost importance to service quality. We are confident that VLCC Vanity Cube will soon be a preferred brand in the on-demand beauty services category across the country, and not just where we currently operate.”

The organized On-Demand Beauty Services market has gained good traction in the last couple of years, with numerous start-ups having mushroomed in this segment, and is estimated to be anywhere between US$ 2 billion – US$ 3 billion. In India, the industry is growing at a compounded rate of 18.6%, fuelled by affluent and middle class customers.

VLCC Group is founded by Mrs. Vandana Luthra as a beauty and slimming services centre in 1989, VLCC is today widely recognized for its comprehensive portfolio of beauty and wellness products and services and also enjoys a high level of consumer trust. The VLCC Group’s operations currently span 330 locations in over 150 cities and 14 countries across South Asia, South East Asia, the GCC Region and East Africa. This includes UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. VLCC:

• Manages one of the largest chains of Slimming, Beauty & Fitness centers across Asia;

• Runs one of Asia’s largest network of skill development institutes in Beauty & Nutrition;

• Manufactures in Switzerland and the GMP certified company owned plants in India and Singapore, a comprehensive range of over 250 skin-care, hair-care and body-care products as well as nutraceuticals and functional/ fortified foodsunder the VLCC Natural Sciences™, Skin MTX™, Bellewave™, Enavose™, VLCC Slimmer’s ™, VLCC Shape Up™,  and SPECIFIX™ brands and sells them in over 20 countries worldwide